The 3rd week of Advent is all about Joy! The Sunday which marks the first day of this third week is also known as ‘Gaudete Sunday’ which means Rejoice!

We focus on the theme of Joy because we are starting to realise how close we are to Christmas day and Jesus’ coming and so we really are beginning to become excited. The priest will wear pink vestments on this Sunday so that we can see that the celebration is more joyful and encourages us to continue preparing for the coming of Jesus.

Our Music Resource will help us to think about whether we have been focussing on the right things in the build up to Christmas and we have the chance to create our very own picture scenes in the Picture Resource activity.

The Action will require you to be creative and generous whilst the Video Resource will give you the important task of explaining the true meaning of Christmas to those around you.

Finally, in the Scripture Resource you will get a chance to think like the people in the Nativity Story and think about how they might have felt at the news that there would be a baby, the Son of God.

Fill your week with Joy and try to share it with everyone around you so that you can get ready to celebrate the true meaning of Christmas!

Scripture Bank

If you would like to reflect on some more of the scriptures related to this topic then you can use some of the scripture references below.

Most of these are taken from Open Bible – you can use their Topical Bible Search facility to find lots more ideas! Just remember to change the Bible translation to ‘Good News Translation’ when you click on the link!

If you have found any pieces of scripture that you think link to our theme this week then please add them in the comments box below to share the Good News so that we can all enjoy them!

Romans 12:12

Romans 15:13

James 1:2-4

Philippians 4:4-7

Galatians 5:22

John 16:24

Psalm 118:24

John 15:11

Luke 15:10

1 Thessalonians 2:20

Psalm 71:23

1 Peter 4:13

Psalm 100:1

Psalm 150:6

Luke 1:47

Jeremiah 15:16

Psalm 100:2

Click here for the Music Resource

Listen carefully to this Advent song and see if you can work out why the song is all about rejoicing?

The words of the chorus are:

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel Shall come to thee, O Israel.

This means that we should all be happy and joyful because the Saviour, Jesus is coming us on Earth so that we can be one with Him.

The song feels like it is building because that is what we are doing during Advent, we are preparing and getting ready for when we are at one with Jesus.

We are over halfway through Advent now so it is a good time to step back and see how we’re doing.

Have you been preparing for Jesus?

Have you been focusing on the right things? Have you thought about the hope, peace, joy and love in your life?

There are so may things that can take over our lives at this time of year but for the last weeks of Advent, whilst we wait for Jesus on Christmas Day, really make an effort to look out for hope, peace, joy and love so that on Christmas morning you really can rejoice because you know Jesus better and have welcomed Him into your life.

Click here for the Picture Resource

This week there is no picture until you have created it!

Instead of using paper and pencils you are going to use your arms, legs and bodies!

Split into groups (of 8+) and then click below to find out what scenes you will be creating.

You have 60 seconds to use your bodies to create different objects that you would find at that scene. Be creative and be ready to tell the other groups which parts of the scene you are!

Scene 1

A Kitchen e.g. a sink, a fridge, cupboards and drawers 

Scene 2

A Playground e.g. the park gate, swings, monkey bars 

Scene 3

The Nativity Scene e.g. the manger, the stable, the star, the animals and visitors 
Take some photographs of the scenes that you have created – you could post them below on our website or even tweet the pictures using the Twitter handle @b3inspirational  or, post them on Instagram and tag Be Inspirational

Click here for the Action

Sometimes the greatest joy that we can give to others is through gifts that only we ourselves can give.

Lots of people would love to have more time – time to do everything that they need to get done, time to have more fun and time to spend with their family.

Although we can’t wrap up time with wrapping paper and give it as a gift we can give people time by sharing some of our time with them.

We could give others more time to get on with their work by making them a drink.

We could give someone more time to have fun by helping them with housework like vacuuming or washing up.

We could give someone more time to spend with their family by giving them some of our time. So instead of playing games or watching TV we could gather together and do something together as a family instead.

Think of someone who you think would like the gift of time this Christmas.

Think about how you could give them some time.

Create a beautiful Christmas Card and inside make a voucher for the time that you are going to give.

Click on the images below to have a look some ideas before you create your special gift.

Help us to be generous with our time Lord and to give others the gifts that they need at Christmas time.

Help us to use our time so that we can get to know you and to experience your love more fully.

Amen.

Click here for the Video Resource

If you aren’t sure what joy and excitement looks like watch the reaction of Buddy the Elf when he finds out that Santa is coming to visit!

Not only is Buddy really excited about seeing Santa he also wants to tell everyone else so that they can be excited and share in the same joy too!

During Advent we are getting ready and getting excited about when Jesus will come and part of that is to share that joy with others.

If you were going to explain what Christmas means to someone who had never heard of Christmas what would you say?

What are the most important parts?

Choose one of the following ways to explain the true meaning of Christmas to others:

  • Create a poster
  • Write a Newspaper article
  • Produce a TV advert
  • Design a leaflet
  • Make a PowerPoint
  • Prepare a presentation

You could explain why we have some of the Christmas traditions such as presents, Christmas trees and Christmas Dinners or, you could focus on the hope, peace, joy and love that we can find in the Christmas story.

Share your creations with some of the Classes in your school so that everyone can hear about the true meaning of Christmas, where God showed us all love and gave us a great gift by sending us His only Son so that we could experience hope, peace, joy and love.

Click here for the Scripture Resource

So far throughout Advent we have looked at the story of Jesus’ birth as it is written in Luke’s Gospel and we have heard how Mary found out that she was going to have a baby – God’s Son.

This week we are going to hear the story of how Joseph found out that Mary would give birth to the baby Jesus, as it is written in Matthew’s Gospel.

A Reading from the Holy Gospel according to Matthew.

(Glory to you O Lord.)

This was how the birth of Jesus Christ took place. His mother Mary was engaged to Joseph, but before they were married, she found out that she was going to have a baby by the Holy Spirit. Joseph was a man who always did what was right, but he did not want to disgrace Mary publicly; so he made plans to break the engagement privately. While he was thinking about this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, descendant of David, do not be afraid to take Mary to be your wife. For it is by the Holy Spirit that she has conceived. She will have a son, and you will name him Jesus—because he will save his people from their sins.”

Now all this happened in order to make come true what the Lord had said through the prophet, “A virgin will become pregnant and have a son, and he will be called Immanuel” (which means, “God is with us”).

So when Joseph woke up, he married Mary, as the angel of the Lord had told him to.

The Gospel of the Lord.

(Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ.)

Matthew 1: 18-24

As you can see, Mary and Joseph found out about the big event that was happening in their lives in different ways and today we are going to explore some of the different feelings and emotions that they may have experienced because of it.

Split into teams where some of you will think about Mary’s experiences and feelings and others will think about Joseph’s experiences and feelings.

If you would like to be even more adventurous you could look at last week’s scripture and think about what happened to Elizabeth and Zechariah too!

Use these questions to explore each individual further:

What news did they receive?

How did they react to the news?

How do you think they felt?

Did anything change their reaction? If so, what was it?

What thoughts do you think were going through their mind?

How did the news affect them?

When you have discussed this in your teams share it with the other groups to see how their person from the story would have felt.

Does anything surprise you?

Do you think they should have felt and behaved differently?

This Advent story is about bringing Jesus, the Son of God into the world. Along the way many people were affected by this event and we are all still a part of this.

We each have a choice of how we react and think about things every day and our challenge is to make Jesus our focus and to be more like Him.

Help us Jesus to put you at the centre of our lives and to be more like you in the way that we think and react.

Amen.

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