The Road to Bethlehem

Advent 2020 Story Booklet

 

Advent One - The Prophecy

Today is the first day of the year – what?  Isn’t that in January?   

Well, there are lots of ways of measuring time – calendars, clocks – look at our Church Year Calendar on the wall – where are we today?  The blue blocks – blue is for Advent and we are here today on the first Sunday of Advent. 

Yes, in the church Advent One – the first Sunday of the season of Advent is New Year’s Day – our worship calendar changes today 

And today is when we begin another journey – another walk with God to places he wants us to go. 

Today we begin a journey to Bethlehem.  It begins with a prophet – Isaiah.

The prophet Isaiah lived hundreds of years before this journey began, but he knew we would take it.  Isaiah lived in Jerusalem and loved to worship in the great temple – he spent many days in the Temple praying and worshipping God.  Isaiah like all the prophets - heard the word of God and spoke it to the people.

Isaiah knew the people would one day need to be reminded that God was with them. Isaiah talked about a messiah who would come to the people – a light that would shine in the darkness. Isaiah talked about light and dark, he said, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of darkness, on them light has shined.” 

 The light Isaiah spoke of, of the messiah who will come as a light to the world we know is Jesus. 

Questions: 

I wonder how the prophets knew it was God giving them words to speak? 

I wonder what the road to Bethlehem is like – is it a smooth road or rough and full of holes? 

Coloring Pages

 

Advent Two – The Holy Family 

We are on a journey – going to a place called Bethlehem.  The prophet Isaiah spoke of this journey – hundreds of years before anyone was on the road.  Isaiah said, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of darkness, on them light has shined.”  

Now on this road are two people – poor people who have to walk – although they are lucky to have a small donkey 

Mary and Joseph are walking to Bethlehem because the Roman governor has said everyone must be taxed and they must go to their home city to be counted and pay their tax.  It is good that they have the donkey because Mary is pregnant – she is going to have a baby and walking can make her very tired.  It is a long way to Bethlehem and Mary is getting more and more tired. 

Mary knows a secret about her baby – even before he is born Mary knows that this is a very special boy baby.  An angel had come to her to tell her that her child was the son of God.  The baby inside of Mary is the light of the world.

Mary’s baby is the light Isaiah spoke of – the light that will come into the world to end the darkness.  Mary’s baby is Jesus.  And Jesus is the light of the world.   The light of God is always with us and in us – just as Mary’s baby was in her. 

Questions: 

I wonder how Mary felt knowing how special her baby boy is? 

I wonder how Joseph felt knowing he would have to care for such a special baby? 

I wonder if they ever got so tired they thought of just going home? 

Coloring Pages

 

Advent Three – The Shepherds & The Angels 

 We are on a journey – going to a place called Bethlehem.  The prophet Isaiah spoke of this journey – hundreds of years before anyone was on the road.  Isaiah said, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of darkness, on them light has shined.” 

 Now on this road are two people – Mary and Joseph - poor people who have to walk – although they are lucky to have a small donkey.  Mary knows a secret about her baby – an angel had come to her to tell her that her child was the son of God. Mary’s baby is the light Isaiah spoke of – the light that will come into the world to end the darkness.  Mary’s baby is Jesus.  And Jesus is the light of the world. 

The first people to see this light – to hear from the angels about this special baby are the least likely people in the world to get this amazing news.   The first people to hear about this are – shepherds – shepherds!  People who spend all day and all night with sheep in the field.  They smell like sheep and that is bad – they never get any special invitations or recognition.  They are pretty low on the social ladder. 

But they are the ones who first hear that God has been born into our world.  And they run head long to Bethlehem to find this special baby 

And they find Jesus with Mary and Joseph in a place they know well – in a barn with hay and straw and other animals – and baby Jesus sleeping the manger – a feeding trough.   

 Questions: 

I wonder how the shepherds felt when the angels came to tell them about Jesus? 

I wonder if they were afraid?  Would you be afraid?

 
 

Advent Four – The Magi 

 We are on a journey – going to a place called Bethlehem. The prophet Isaiah spoke of this journey – hundreds of years before anyone was on the road.  Isaiah said, “The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of darkness, on them light has shined.” 

 Now on this road are two people – Mary and Joseph - poor people who have to walk.  Mary’s baby is the light Isaiah spoke of – the light that will come into the world to end the darkness.  Mary’s baby is Jesus.  And Jesus is the light of the world. 

The first people to see this light – to hear from the angels about this special baby are the least likely people in the world to get this amazing news.  The shepherds!  They run head long to Bethlehem to find this special baby 

 There are others in the dark night – looking at the sky – people who know the stars and see a very special one shining in the distance. 

 They decide to look for it – to join in the journey to Bethlehem 

They are on the road to look for what the star shines upon 

These people – some call kings – ride into the darkness to find the light 

 And what they find is what Isaiah prophesied, what Mary heard from the angel, and what the shepherds heard from other angels – they find Jesus, a baby in a barn in the feeding trough – the son of God.  And they give him gifts.   

 Questions: 

I wonder what the kings thought they would find? 

I wonder if a baby was what they were looking for? 

Coloring Pages

 

Christmas – Meeting the Baby

Today is Christmas, the day we celebrate the mystery of God becoming a person

Today we are all in Bethlehem to meet baby Jesus, the special son of God.

Jesus was born in barn – his parents too poor to afford a room in the over-crowed town. 

They made their baby a bed in the feeding trough – the hay manger, the place where the animals ate.

No matter where this baby lay – he was the light of the world. 

Baby Jesus was the light Isaiah promised that would forever end the darkness. 

Jesus is the light of the world.

This light is with us always.  All around us and in us.

Through Jesus we share in the light – the light of Creation and the light that ends all darkness.

It is a special gift from God.  One we cannot refuse and cannot lose or put out.

Questions:

I wonder how one little baby could bring such goodness into the world?

I wonder how you will use your light?

Coloring Pages