Today we’re going back into the book of Luke to learn more about what happened leading up to the birth of Jesus.
We aren’t adding anything to the memory verse today. My 6-year-old is still hanging in there. My 5-year-old is still getting it, but I do have to give her a couple of words here and there.
The impressive part to me about what my 5-year-old is doing is that even when she can’t recite it verbatim, she gives me a synopsis of what the verses say. If I want them to get anything out of it, it is the meaning of the words. Mission accomplished!
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.”
2 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.
4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.Luke 2:1-7, NIV
What should you teach them?
Here is what I tell my kids:
- Back in the days of Joseph and Mary, they lived in an area that fell under the rule of the Romans.
- The Roman Empire was huge! The Romans had control over a lot of places back then. At this time, Rome was ruled by an Emperor named Caesar Augustus. An emperor is a king that rules over more than one kingdom.
- Since the Empire of Rome was so big, it was impossible for the Emperor to control every part of it on his own. There were lots of smaller governors and rulers who worked for the Emperor. We’ve already learned about one of these people. Do you remember the name Herod? Today we are told about another one, Quirinius, the governor of Syria.
- Caesar Augustus decided that he wanted to count all of the people in all of the kingdoms that were in his empire. It was decided that the best way to do this was to have the head of every household go to his hometown to register himself and his family with the local government.
- Joseph’s family was from a city called Bethlehem. Bethlehem is also called “The City of David,” or “Royal David’s City.” It is called this because it is where King David was from. David was one of the most famous kings who ever ruled Israel. David was a king of Israel before Israel was taken over by other kings and empires. David was one of Joseph’s ancestors.
- While Joseph and Mary were in Bethlehem to be counted, the time came for Mary to have her baby.
- The city was so full of people who were there to be counted for the emperor that all of the inns were filled up! One innkeeper offered to let Mary and Joseph stay in the barn with the animals because that was the only place left.
- That’s how Jesus ended up being born in Bethlehem and placed in a manger of hay instead of a cradle meant for a baby! A manger is a trough to hold food for farm animals to eat.
- Do you have a nativity scene in your house? If not, have you seen one? There are Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus in his manger. Are there animals? There are in mine, a donkey, a cow and a sheep. Sometimes there are other figures in the nativity scene. Do you know who they are? We’ll read about them over the next several lessons.
- As usual we end our study with a prayer. Today my 5-year-old offered to say the prayer.