My Christmas lesson plans are really discussion notes that I hope will inspire you to discuss various topics as you read beautiful books to your children this season. Our discussions generally cover just one topic though we may read the book another time during December and discuss another topic.
An Angel’s Story, by Max Lucado
Since there weren’t video cameras back then, we can’t really know what happened the night Jesus was born. But Max Lucado puts his imagination into high gear as he speculates on the events from a heavenly perspective – through the eyes of Gabriel. An Angel’s Story takes you on a most remarkable journey to Bethlehem and the stable, and reveals what might have happened behind the scenes! (Previously published as Cosmic Christmas). 96 pages, hardcover, Nelson.
We thoroughly enjoyed this story though I doubt it is a story for the really young – you read it first and decide for yourself what is right for your family.
I quote the back cover, “We know the Christmas characters well. The chosen teenage girl. The surprised carpenter. The scared shepherds. We know the Christmas story too. The journey to Bethlehem. No room at the inn. A stable birth. But could there be more?”
And I quote the inside cover, “In this classic Christmas story, best-selling author Max Lucado imagines the spiritual conflict that surrounded the coming of Christ. Surely there was much. If Satan could pre-empt Christ in the cradle, there’d be no Christ on the cross.”
This story has us all wanting more – we can’t put it down (though we have read it several times now!) As I was reading the story, in the background of my brain I was thinking, “This is a living book!” It was touching our hearts, there was no need for any lessons – the truth was there for even the youngest (8yo) to grasp. We wanted more; it was if we were there in the heavenlies, feeling God’s possessiveness towards His creation, feeling with him his disdain for Satan, observing Satan’s mockery of all that God holds dear.
Here are some topics that either I or my children commented on in our discussions:
- God gave us the gift of choice – Adam made a bad choice, sin as the consequence. God is giving us a second choice – to follow Jesus.
- Immanuel – what does this Name of God mean?
- Satan’s power over us (or not). Jesus came to set us free from fear.
- Spiritual battles – we need to prepare our hearts by quoting truth – quoting God’s word. We go into battle with songs of worship in our heart.
- The battle we face is not against flesh and blood but against the powers of heaven.
- God won!!
This was a powerful story. The imagery that the author’s words evoked enhanced his message – Satan didn’t want Immanuel to be born. The conflict of course happens, because God’s plan was set – Immanuel was to be born!
The truth woven through this story has only one conclusion – we must respond to God, thankful for his compassion and in awe of his power.
This is a part of my series of lesson plan / discussion notes for picture books we read at Christmas time.
Throughout the week I share with one, or more of these blogs: