by Kimber Bailey Scott
RHYME: Jesus Grew and Grew by Barbara Ebert
Little baby Jesus (cradle a pretend baby)
Grew and grew and grew (put your hand higher and higher)
He learned to walk and talk and pray (put your hands together to pray)
Just like me and you (point to yourself then to them)
Jesus helped His mother.
He helped her every day
He always helped her gladly
That’s the grown up way.
Jesus loved Joseph.
He wanted to obey.
He did what Joseph told Him.
That’s the grown up way.
Have a selection of things 12 year old boys might like such as video games and action figures. Allow each child to choose one thing. Do you see the outline on the wall? That is ________’s outline (a 12 year old boy at church that the children will know). ______ is 12 years old. Let’s add the big boy Jesus face. Do so. Jesus was once the same age as Eric. Jesus did not collect action figures or video games because there were no movies or computers then. Jesus helped Joseph build things out of wood, so perhaps He collected things He made. Please hold your action figures and video games quietly while you listen to the Bible story. Pick up your Bible, open it and put it in your lap.
We read in the Bible that when Jesus was 12, He got to make a special trip with Mary and Joseph. He got to go to Jerusalem for a special celebration. This was a time when people would pray and thank God all day long.
Now Jerusalem was a very special city. God’s beautiful temple was there. The temple was something like a big church building. When the celebration was finished, Mary and Joseph started to go back home. They had come with a big group of people. They were going back with the same people. We do not know what happened. Maybe Jesus went back for just one more look at the temple. Maybe He just stated talking to one of the teachers and lost track of time. The Bible tells us only that when the group Mary and Joseph were with stopped to camp for the night, Jesus was not with them.
Mary and Joseph hurried back to Jerusalem. They must have been very worried! Can you guess where they found Jesus? They found Him in God’s temple (church). Jesus was surprised that they had looked anywhere else.
It must have been hard for Jesus to leave God’s beautiful temple, but Jesus did not argue. Jesus did not beg to stay a little while longer. Jesus went back home with Mary and Joseph. He knew God would want Him to obey Mary and Joseph.
What does it mean to obey?...Yes, it means to do what you have been told to do. Tell the children you are going to play a game about obeying. Choose a compliant child to play first. Patrick, please give me your action figure. When the child obeys, thank him and return the figure. Repeat with each child. Ask, Are you getting big enough to obey? Yes, you are! Who are you to obey? Let the children list people. If they do not respond readily, suggest people. Should you obey your mommies? Yes! Should you obey your daddies? Of course! You please God when you obey your parents.
The Bible tells us that, “Jesus…pleased God“ Luke 2:52. Can you say those words with me? Say them louder. Say them softer. Give each one a Bible (or share) & ask each to say, “Jesus…pleased God“ Luke 2:52.
Tell the children they can finger paint with shaving cream if they obey the rules. Give the rules one at a time and let each child comply before giving the next rule. 1. Roll or push up your sleeves. 2. Put on a paint shirt. 3. Stand without touching your neighbor. 4. No splashing! You have grown up enough to follow rules. You are getting bigger. You can do many things you couldn’t do when you were smaller. Jesus grew up that way too. He grew big enough to help and big enough to obey His parents. Have them finger paint on the tables. Wash the table and their hands afterwards.
Post a sign reading “JERUSALEM” at a distance from the group. Tell the children that to get to Jerusalem they must follow directions. Say something like, Take 5 little tiny steps toward the story rug. Continue giving directions until the group reaches Jerusalem. When Jesus grew to be a big boy, He went on a long trip to Jerusalem. He was big enough to go with His mother and Joseph. He was big enough to follow directions. You are growing the way Jesus grew. I’m glad you are growing big enough to follow directions.
Selection of things 12 year old boys might like such as video games and action figures
Non-menthol shaving cream
Old adult tshirts or paint shirts/aprons
Bucket of water
A sign reading “JERUSALEM”