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Christmas Luke 2:1–14SUNDAY GOSPELJesus is Born!Narrator 1: At the time of Jesus’ birth, the Roman emperor Caesar Augustus ordered a census of the whole world. This was at the same time Quirinius was governor of Syria. Narrator 2: In order to be counted in the census, people returned to the towns their families came from. Joseph went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Bethlehem in Judea, the town where the family of David began. Joseph belonged to the house and family of David. With him he took Mary, his espoused wife, who was expecting a baby. Narrator 3: While Mary and Joseph were in Bethlehem, Mary’s time to give birth arrived. She gave birthThey could find no room in the place where travelers stayed. Narrator 1: Shepherds lived in the fields around Bethlehem and took turns watching over their flocks at night.Messiah and Lord. Let this be a sign to you: in a manger you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes. Narrator 3: Suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God. Angels: Glory to God in high heaven! Peace on earth to those on whom God’s favor rests!to her firstborn son, wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger.Narrator 2: The angel of God appeared to them. The glory of God shone around them, and they were very much afraid.Angel: You have nothing to fear!I come to proclaim good news to you—tidings of great joy to all people. This day in David’s city a savior has been born to you, thePFLAUM GOSPEL WEEKLIES Faith Formation ProgramDecember 25, 2017 and January 7, 2018 Christmas and EpiphanyTG2-30Share ExperiencesObjectives l The children will:l Share prayers of thanksgiving to God for his Son, Jesus. l Read an Epiphany story about finding God unexpectedly.Have lively holiday music playing as the children come to class. Play and sing your choice of the following songs from the Venture/Visions CDs: “Hark! The Herald AngelSing” (CD-1, #6), “Night of Silence/Silent Night” (CD-1, #8), “He Came Down/We Are Marching” (CD-1, #7), or “Christmas Star” (CD- 1, #9). Lyrics are available at Prayer This is a joyous time! Gather in your prayer space. Give the children ample opportunity to share their prayers of thanks for all the good things that happen at Christmas. After all have shared, say: Loving God, for the gift of your Son, we thank you. All: Amen.Story l The Three Skaters (pages 2–3) Gatherthe children in a story circle. Ask them to speculate from the illustrations what the story might be about. The three skaters remind us of the three kings in the Christmas story. Tell the children that many cultures celebrate Epiphany as the time of gift-giving. Christmas Day is a holy day rather than a family celebration. Let the children get comfortable and read the story aloud to them. When you are finished reading the story, ask the children for their responses. This is the kind of miracle we like to believe in, when a loving act is rewarded.Discuss the Think questions on page 3. Answers: 1. It is Epiphany, ten days after Christmas, and even though the three skaters are unable to have much for theirfamilies, they help the couple and baby in the barn. They have the Christmas spirit. 2. The three kings, or Magi, visited a poor family, too, and left behind gifts. 3. Open-ended. Whenever you do a generous act, the remembrance of it lasts a long time in your own heart and sometimes in the heart of the person you helped. The sense of having done the right thing is its own reward.Note: If your time is short, you might read the story aloud to the children as they color and cut out their crèche figures (Make a Christmas Scene, pages 5–8).Discover Gospel and DoctrineObjectives l The children will:l Proclaim the entire Christmas and Epiphany story.l Understand how Jesus’ birth is Good News for the entire world. l Review Catholic vocabulary at the midpoint of the Venture year.Christmas Gospel l Jesus Is Born! (page 1) Ask for volunteers to play the three Narrator parts and the Angels. Before you read, note that the Gospel of Luke is the only one that tells the story of Bethlehem. Read the Gospel together.Turn to the Think questions on page 1. Answers:1. Most of the children will be able to trace their family tree back to grandparents or great-grandparents.2. Open-ended. Talk about emotions of each person in the Gospel—Mary, Joseph, shepherds. Assure the children that it’s okay if they Think they would have been afraid—or perhaps even doubted what they were seeing and hearing.Epiphany Gospel l Wise Men Visit Jesus(page 4) The Gospel of Matthew is the only one that tells of the people he calls Magi, wise men who study the stars as omens. Because they brought expensive gifts to Jesus, people beganto Think of the wise men as wealthy kings. Because there are three gifts, they were imagined as three kings. It doesn’t matter what we call them. Their story is in Matthew’s Gospel to show that Jesus’ came for all people, not just for the Jews of his home country. Again, ask for volunteers to proclaim the Gospel.Discuss the two Think questions on page 4. Answers: 1. They followed the orders of King Herod to find the newborn king. They learned that the child was indeedthe one for whom everyone had been waiting. They also learned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, but rather go home by another route. 2. Herod was concerned that this child was indeed the Messiah and that he would eventually diminish Herod’s power.Connecting Gospel and Doctrine l Christmas Is Good News for the World (page 4) Read the doctrine aloud. Notice how well thebeginning of this unit, the Feast of Christ the King with its Gospel of the works of mercy fits with the celebration of God becoming human among us.Turn to the Think questions related to the doctrine. Encourage everyone to participate in the discussion.Teaching This Week’s Lesson

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