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TigrisJordanEuphratesThe Gospels echo the voices of God’s messengers and prophets in their narratives about Jesus’ birth. Use the Bible citations to find who is speaking and what is happening in each quotation below.Messengers and ProphetsMediterranean SeaBabylonVIS37_13.indd 18/25/17 6:59 PMJerusalem Bethlehem“A virgin will be withchild and give birth to a son, who shall be called Emmanuel, God-with-us.”“From Bethlehem of Judea, shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people Israel.” (Micah 5:1)Persian GulfRed Sea“Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Shall I indeed bear a child, now that I am old?’ Is anything [impossible for God]? At the wseitllthimaveeI awsilol nre.”tu(Grnenteosisy1o8u:1.3..–a14n)d Sarah750-700 B.C.1000 B.C.(Isaiah 7:14)734 B.C.PFLAUM GOSPEL WEEKLIES Faith Formation Programour God.’” (Isaiah 40:3)540 B.C.“[Say to my servant David,] ‘Your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before me; your throne shall be established forever.’” (2 Samuel 7:5,16)December 17, 20173rd Sunday of Advent“A voice cries out: ‘In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for2000-1500 B.C.B.C. Before ChristTG2-22Share ExperiencesObjectives l The young people will:l Explore the Old Testament echoes in the Gospel narrative of Jesus’ birth.l Determine modern ways to communicate the Good News.Gather in a prayer circle around your Advent wreath. Play and sing “We Are Called” (CD-2, #12). Lyrics are available at Prayer Light three candles on your Advent wreath—two purple, one rose. Pray this prayer: God of gladness, when we ask, “What should we do?” you respond, “Rejoice!” Speak to us through the music we sing, the Scripture we proclaim, the symbols we see, and the moods that touch us. Make us proclaimers of your joy in our world. Amen.Cover Activity l Messengers and Prophets (page 1) Look at the map with your group. Have them workin fours to  nd each Scripture passage and its background. Have Bibles available. Note the dates beside the quotations. As each group reports, note the following:l The year 540 b.c. marks the end of the Exile in Babylon. The prophet Second Isaiah spreads the message that God will lead the Israelites home on a path through the wilderness.l In 734 b.c., the  rst prophet Isaiah urges a young king notto  ght the Assyrians, but the king won’t listen. Micah is a contemporary of Isaiah.l In 1000 b.c., the prophet Nathan tells King David that Goddoes not want him to build a temple and delivers God’s promise that David’s throne will last forever. The statement “Nothing is impossible with God” comes true when Israel’s ancestor Sarah becomes pregnant at an old age.Story l @therealjohnthebaptist (pages 2–3) Have your class use the photos and Twitter-inspired title to speculate about what the story might be about. Read the story aloud with each volunteer taking a turn to read a paragraph or two.Discuss the Talk questions 1–4 on page 3. Answers: 1. The young people likely have used Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and texting. 2. Matt stops otherstudents from making Grace a villain and keeps her in the group. Open-ended. 3. Have the young people give reasons for which activity they like best. 4. Grace has the skills and time to help the group organize; she wasn’t telling people what to do to have power over them.Discover Gospel and DoctrineObjectives l The young people will:l Appreciate how John the Baptist prepares us for Jesus.l Recognize why the People of Israel longed for a Messiah. l Explore the mystery of the Incarnation.l Learn the many names of Jesus and pray the O Antiphons.Gospel Ritual Move to the area you have set up for the Gospel reading. As you prepare the young people to listen to this Sunday’s Gospel, play “Word of Truth and Life” (CD-1, #1).Sunday Gospel l Who Is John the Baptist? Who Is Jesus? (page 4) Choose three young people to take the main parts (Narrator 1, Narrator 2, and John). The others can be Priests and Levites. Have them proclaim the Gospel.Discuss Talk questions on page 4. Answers: 1. Israel’s prophets promise that God is faithful and will send a Messiah, a leader who will rule with justice and bringpeace. As people flock to hear the Baptist’s preaching, authorities wonder if John is the Messiah. 2. John is the bridge between the old and new. His preaching prepares for Jesus’ ministry. 3. Many people expect the Messiah to be a warrior instead of a prince of peace and healing. 4. Open-ended. 5. John is both a powerful preacher and eccentric ascetic; maybe he’d be popular.Connecting Gospel and Doctrine l Jesus Is God and Human (page 4) In the joyous celebration of his birth, we can forget the reason Jesus comesto be with us as a human being. He will eventually die because of his love for us. The mystery of how Jesus can be fully human and fully divine is something we understand only in small glimpses. His great love for us also surpasses our understanding.Turn to the Talk questions at the end of the doctrine section. For Question 1, prompt the young people with examples of stories about Jesus healing people orbefriending people that others may have rejected. 2. Open-ended. This is a good transition into the next section, which explores what type of Messiah the people were expecting. (Spoiler alert: It wasn’t a tiny, helpless infant.)Distribute the What the Church Believes and Teaches handbooks.Teaching This Week’s Lesson

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