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Advent - John the Baptist           Lectionary: Luke 3:1-6

Object lesson and children's Advent sermon: John the Baptist sounds the alarm – be prepared  
Prepare the way

Children’s sermon idea: Show the children a small battery operated smoke detector. (These are very common) Push the test button to catch their attention. Discuss the role of a smoke detector and then explain the role of John the Baptist. Wake up! It’s dangerous to be ill prepared for Jesus.
 
As a Sunday School lesson: Demonstrate the smoke detector’s loud beep.
-Discuss what sort of things John could do to warn the people that Jesus was coming.
-Discuss the things the children might do if they knew Jesus was coming tomorrow.
-Discuss what they can do now to get ready for welcoming Jesus at Christmas and being ready for his return at any time. (What does it mean to “repent” and “wake up.”?)
 
Object lesson items: Small battery operated smoke detector. If you don’t have one a friend or neighbor will. They can usually be released by pressing up and turning a ¼ turn counterclockwise.
 
Full Children’s Sermon for Advent:
Good morning children. Today, in this season of Advent our bible reading is about John the Baptist. John the Baptist was a messenger sent to prepare the way for the coming of Jesus. He knew Jesus was coming and that the people needed to get ready. This morning I brought something from home that is designed to wake us up and get us ready. (Hold up the smoke detector). Do you know what this is? It’s a smoke detector. It’s designed to make a loud beep if it detects smoke from a fire. That way, if a fire started in your house late at night it would beep loudly, wake you up, and then you could get to safety. Listen to the loud beep. (Push the center test button to sound the alarm. Or, you could hold a match underneath, blow it out, and let the smoke trigger the sound. You could ask them to pretend to be asleep before sounding the alarm. ) That really woke you up didn’t it!
The smoke detector wakes us up and warns us that we’d better get ready and go to safety. John the Baptist was a bit like this smoke detector. A long time ago many of the people living in Israel were not thinking about being right with God. John the Baptist sounded the alarm, by saying “wake up,” “repent” and get ready for the Savior. This took place many years ago in Israel but John’s message is important for us today. If we are being asleep to God it’s important that we wake up. I think it is especially important at this time of year when we are getting ready for Christmas. At Christmas time it is especially important that we are living in such a way that our hearts are open to Jesus Christ. We certainly couldn’t have Christmas without Jesus Christ. Also, if we wake up to God and live lives pleasing to him we will be ready when Jesus returns.
 
Children’s Prayer: Dear God, thank you for these smoke detectors that wake us up and warn us when there is a fire. Thank you for sending John the Baptist to prepare the way and wake people up in preparation for Jesus. We know that if we have our hearts right before you we will be ready to welcome Jesus this Christmas and we’ll also be ready to see him when he returns to earth again. In Jesus Name – Amen!

Copyright sundaychildrensfocus.com   Andrew Hewlett 2008 Feel free to use this at your Church Service or Sunday school but please give credit to Sundaychildrensfocus and consider putting a link to this site. Blessings, A.H.