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Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly.
But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet:
“Behold the virgin shall conceive and bear a son,
and they shall call his name Immanuel”
(which means, God with us). When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.
Joseph Dearest, Joseph Mine
“Joseph dearest, Joseph mine,
Help me cradle the child divine;
God reward thee and All that’s thine
So prays the mother Mary.
He came among us at Christmastide,
At Christmastide, in Bethlehem;
Men shall bring Him from far and wide
Love’s diadem: Jesus, Jesus,
Lo, He comes, and loves, and saves, and frees us!
“Gladly, dear one, lady mine,
Help I cradle this child of thine;
God’s own light on us both shall shine
As prays the mother Mary.”
Peace to all that have goodwill!
God, who heaven and earth doth fill,
Comes to turn us away from ill,
And lies so still
Within the crib of Mary.
All shall come and bow the knee,
Wise and happy their souls shall be.
Loving such a divinity
As all may see
In Jesus, Son of Mary.
Now is born Emmanual,
Prophesied once by Ezekiel,
Promised Mary by Gabriel,
Ah, who can tell
Thy praises, Son of Mary.
Thou my lazy heart hast stirred,
Thou, the Father’s eternal Word,
Greater than aught that ear has heard,
Thou tiny bird
Of love, thou Son of Mary.
Sweet and lovely little one,
Thou princely, beautiful, God’s own Son,
Without thee all of us were undone;
Our love is won
By Thine, O Son of Mary.
Little man, and God indeed,
Little and poor, thou art all we need;
We will follow where thou dost lead,
And we will heed
Our brother, born of Mary.
God provided a strong, humble, kind leader to be Jesus’ earthly adoptive father. He also happened to be a carpenter (or at the very least, “one who works with his hands”) by trade.
Today, we are going to start building a Christmas Nativity Village. We will start with the buildings, and your kids will be “carpenters” today and design and build the village buildings.
- Small boxes (small shipping boxes, cereal boxes, pasta boxes, etc)
- Decorative paper (construction paper, scrapbook paper, colored paper, etc.)
- Glue: Any glue will work, but I recommend Tacky Glue, Glue-All or Extra Strength Glue Sticks
- Different materials to put on the buildings: gravel, decorative rocks, sand, plastic grass, paper shred, etc. (Optional)
Collect small boxes that can be made into village houses, stores, etc.
Using different sizes of small boxes or containers, wrap them with different solid colored papers.
Have each child cut doors, windows, roofs, etc. out of paper and glue them to the boxes.
You can even glue different materials to the boxes, like sand, gravel, plastic grass, small decorative rocks, etc.
Make different kinds of buildings like homes, a bakery, a school, a store, homes whatever creatively sprouts from your children’s minds.
When the buildings are done, set them aside to dry. Tomorrow we will find a display area.