In the weeks leading up to Christmas, read about the Christmas stories and focus on the messages delivered by the “Gabriel angels” to:
Mary—Luke 1: 26-38
Joseph—Matthew 1:18-25; 2:13-15, 19-21
The Shepherds—Luke 2: 8-20
The Wise Men—Matthew 2: 1-12 (The wise men were Divinely warned in a dream, but angels are not mentioned.)
- “The Angels Rejoice” by Peter M. Buss, Sr.
The people on earth couldn’t see them, but angels were all around Bethlehem the night the Lord was born. One group of them was seen, praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, goodwill toward men.”
- “Christmas Joy and Happiness” by Norman H. Reuter
This family talk helps us reflect on the joy of the angels at the Lord’s birth and the way the joy of the angels can affect us when we are celebrating Christmas.
- “Angelic Appearances at the Time of the Lord’s Advent” by Daniel W. Heinrichs
A sermon about the angel Gabriel’s appearances to different people and how this pictures how we can prepare for the Lord’s birth in our own lives.
- “Do Not Be Afraid” by Kurt Horigan Asplundh
At Christmas, as we think of the Lord’s birth, we can think of all of the things He has done to take fear out of our lives.
Ideas for Discussion
- The angels in heaven and some people on earth knew that the Lord was going to come into the world, but they didn’t know when.
- Why did the Lord send angels to some people? (To let them know what was about to happen, so they could be prepared.)
- One group of angels called “Gabriel” was especially focused on the Lord’s advent, and they were called to serve as messengers. They loved sharing the glad tidings of the Lord’s coming.
- Who are the people who were visited by an angel to prepare them for the roles they would have in preparing the way for the Lord, caring for Him, or spreading the news of His birth? (Zacharias, Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, and the wise men)
- An angel appeared to Zacharias in the temple (see Luke 1). What was he told? (That he and Elizabeth would have a baby and should name him John. This child would help prepare people to receive the Lord.)
- The angel Gabriel also appeared to Mary telling her that she would be the mother of the baby Lord through the miracle of the virgin birth (see Luke 1).
- The angel appeared to Joseph in a dream three different times (see Matthew 1,2). What did he tell Joseph? (First, he told Joseph that Mary’s baby was conceived of the Holy Spirit and should be named Jesus because He would save people from their sins. The second time, the angel warned Joseph to take Mary and the young Child to Egypt because Herod the King wanted to kill Him. The third time, the angel told Joseph it was safe to go back to the land of Israel.)
- The angel came to the shepherds and said, “Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people” (Luke 2:10). Then the angel called them to go to Bethlehem to witness the blessed event of the Lord’s birth.
- What warning did the wise men receive? (They were warned in a dream that they should not go back to Herod but return home another way (Matthew 2:12).
- Norman Reuter noted that the “angels could only appear to those who loved and believed in the Lord—those who still hoped and looked for His coming.” What does suggest about how our attitude influences our ability to hear what the Lord is saying in His Word?
- How can we cherish the glad tidings of the Lord’s coming? One way is by trying to focus on the true meaning of Christmas as we celebrate His birth with family and friends.
Projects and activities for all ages
- Setting Up a Christmas Representation
Picturing the story of the Lord’s birth with a nativity set or crèche is a wonderful way to think about the true meaning of Christmas.
- The Role of Angels in the Christmas Story
Make or buy some angels to add to your Christmas nativity. During the weeks leading up to Christmas, move the figures around to show different parts of the Christmas story.
- Simple Paper Angel (ages 6-12)
Print the angel pattern on stiff paper, color and assemble.
- Angel Appears to Zacharias Coloring Page by Lisa S. Buss
Shows the angel Gabriel coming to Zacharias in the temple.
- His Name Is John Video (ages 4-10)
A simple retelling of the story of the birth of John the Baptist.
- Glory to God in the Highest Coloring Page by Edith Elphick
Gabriel is joined with a host of angels as he brings good tidings to the shepherds.
- The Angels Bring Good News by Kurt Horigan Asplundh
This poem about the angels coming to the shepherds has a beautiful color border.
- Song: Good News from Heaven the Angels Bring
Song performed by the Sons of Art, a male choral group.
- Scroll of the Angelic Appearances in the Christmas Story (ages 7-14)
Illustrate the angelic appearances on separate pieces of paper and tape them together to make a scroll.
- Angel Snowflake Pattern
Print, fold and cut to produce a beautiful snowflake of angels.
- For Unto You Is Born This Day Coloring Page by Robert Glenn
A beautiful illustration of the angel Gabriel appearing to the shepherds.
- Prayers for Children on the Good Tidings of Christmas
Three prayers with a beautiful color border showing angels, the star, and the town of Bethlehem.
- Making a Paper Chain of Angels (ages 10-14)
Use the angel pattern to color and assemble four or more angels in a chain.
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