Big Idea: Jesus speaks to us by His Holy Spirit and we can learn to recognise His voice.
Bible Passage: Luke 1:8-19, Luke 1:26-38, Matthew 1:18-24, Luke 2:8-15, John 10:27
Parent Prep: This week is the first week in our Christmas series, and we are talking about how God speaks to us. It can be difficult for children to understand how to 'hear' God, as they think mainly in literal terms. So to say God 'speaks' and that we can 'hear' him can confuse kids sometimes. They may think if we cannot hear Him audibly, that He is not speaking to them, and then wonder why or why not. We can help children understand how we listen to God's Holy Spirit by reading His word together, and getting to know what Jesus says through becoming familiar with His teachings.
Read: Luke 1:8-19, Luke 1:26-38, Matthew 1:18-24, Luke 2:8-15, John 10:27
In the Christmas story, we read of God sending many special messengers, or angels to His people. The angels spoke God's messages and gave people instructions to follow. But God doesn't send us an angel every time we need to follow His instructions. It was a very special time in history, and the angels had very important instructions. Now, Jesus says He speaks to us and gives us instructions to follow by His Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit's job is to 'remind us of everything Jesus has said' (John 14:26), and to reveal to us what is true (John 16:13). That means the Holy Spirit will remind us of what Jesus has said in the Word of God and help us know which way to follow Him.
Jesus also says that He is like a shepherd, and that those that follow Him are like His sheep. He says that just like sheep follow a shepherd because they recognise their shepherd's voice, we also learn to recognise the Holy Spirit's instructions and follow Jesus.
Have you ever heard God speak to you in a voice you can hear with your ears? Have you ever had an angel visit you to tell you a special message?
Why does Jesus promise to speak to us if we can't hear Him when He talks? How do you think we listen to Jesus? Is it easy or hard to hear Him? Allow children to be honest with their responses and assure them that just because they cannot hear Him with their ears, that it doesn't mean He isn't speaking to them.
Jesus says we will recognise Him when He speaks to us. We can learn to recognise the words of Jesus to instruct us if we spend time getting to know Him more and more. Just like you recognise your grown-ups' voices because you know them so well and they are familiar to you, so we can also learn to recognise the voice of Jesus the more we know Him.
Have everyone in your family close their eyes. Then have someone in your family anonymously call out a word. All the other people in the family must guess who spoke. It will be an easy game! Make a point of telling children that we learn to recognise the words and instructions of the Holy Spirit when we spend more and more time with Him.
What are some ways you can spend time with Jesus and learn about Him this week?