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Candy Cane Sunday School Lesson

Candy Cane Sunday School Lesson
Check out our Candy Cane Sunday School Lesson! We all know that God's love is for everyone. In this lesson, kids will associate candy canes with the shepherds' crooks, as a reminder that God invites everyone to know him. Candy canes are shaped like a shepherd’s crook, reminding us of the shepherds who visited the baby Jesus. God chose to invite shepherds to see the baby Jesus to show the world that Jesus came for everyone, not just a few. This lesson is great for every Children's Ministry, Kids Church, and Sunday School!  Take a look at Candy Cane Christmas 4-Week Children's Ministry Curriculum. And, if you like this lesson we have over 100 more free Sunday School Lessons for Kids!

Candy Cane Sunday School Lesson:

BOTTOM LINE:

God’s love is for everyone.

OBJECTIVE:  

Kids will associate candy canes with the shepherds’ crook, as a reminder that God invites everyone to know Him.

KEY PASSAGE:

Luke 2:1-20. Jesus is visited by shepherds.

MEMORY VERSE:

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” - Isaiah 9:6 (NIV)

SUMMARY:

Candy canes are shaped like a shepherd’s crook, reminding us of the shepherds who visited the baby Jesus. God chose to invite shepherds to see the baby Jesus to show the world that Jesus came for everyone, not just a few.

SIMPLE PRAYER:

Dear God,

Thank you for your amazing love. Thank you for the shepherds, and thank you for baby Jesus. Help us to invite others to meet Jesus, the same way you invited the shepherds that first Christmas.

In Jesus' name,

Amen

MEMORY VERSE

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” - Isaiah 9:6 (NIV)

“A child will be born to us. A son will be given to us. He will rule over us. And he will be called Wonderful Adviser and Mighty God. He will also be called Father Who Lives Forever and Prince Who Brings Peace.” - Isaiah 9:6 (NIrV)

LARGE GROUP:

Divide the room in half.  Pick one side to start and have them all shout the first word, then the other side shouts the second word, and so on until they finish the verse.

SMALL GROUP:

Look at the verses surrounding this passage, or read the whole chapter, so you can hear this verse in context. What was happening? How do the verses before and after the memory verse help you understand its meaning?

SKIT

THE SHEPHERDS

ITEMS NEEDED:

Shepherd’s crooks, Biblical costumes

CHARACTER BREAKDOWN:

4 M

1 F

CHARACTERS:

Aaron, Jesse, and Claude - Old shepherds

James- Aaron’s son

An angel

Aaron, Jesse, Claude, and James stand around at center, watching their sheep.

AARON: Sure is a lovely night. Yes, sir. Lovely night.

JESSE: It was lovely last night, too.

AARON: Yes it was.

JESSE: And the night before.

AARON: Oh the night before was fantastic.

CLAUDE: The night before that was nasty.

AARON: Oh it was awful! Just awful.

JESSE: But tonight's very nice.

AARON: Very nice indeed.

Long pause.

JAMES: I am so BORED!

AARON: (laughs) Oh, my son, if you're bored now, you're going to be really bored when you've been doing this for twenty years.

JAMES: I don't want to do this for twenty years!

AARON: There's nothing wrong with being a shepherd.

CLAUDE: Except the smell.

AARON: You're lucky your old man got this job. I wasn't always a shepherd you know.

JAMES: I know.

AARON: Do you have any idea how good you have it?

JAMES: No, but I bet you're going to tell me again.

AARON: When I was a child, we lived in a little shack. There were seven of us, living in that tiny room. We spent our days gathering grains in the field behind the harvesters. Ten hours we worked to collect barely a handful of grain, and when we went home, we slept on the floor with a few filthy rags for our pillows.

JESSE: You had rags for a pillow?

AARON: Yes I did.

JESSE: Oh we used to dream of having rags for pillows. We didn't even have a room to share when I was a kid. There were fifteen of us living in a narrow alley between a blacksmith and a tavern. We worked 21 hours a day collecting mud from which we hoped to strain just a few drops of water. When we got home, we cried ourselves to sleep on a pile of gravel.

CLAUDE: What a bunch of spoiled rich kids.

AARON: Oh boy.

JESSE: Oh, here we go.

CLAUDE: I had to get up at 12:30 at night, half an hour before I went to bed. There were 137 of us living under a damp cloth at the bottom of a garbage pile. We spent 30 hours a day collecting gravel for our dinner, and at night, we fell asleep to the sound of snorting pigs.

JAMES: Gee. I guess I don't have it so bad after all.

JESSE: Ehh, don't kid yourself too much. We're a bunch of poor shepherds without the education or the means to better ourselves.

AARON: No where to go but sideways.

CLAUDE: Speak for yourself. I'm going places. I'm going to be a tax collector one of these days.

AARON: What's two plus two?

CLAUDE: October?

AARON: You're not going anywhere.

A bright light shines on the shepherds. The shepherds shout in fear and alarm, and the Angel enters.

ANGEL: Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you, Christ the Lord. You will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger. Glory to God in the highest, and peace on Earth!

The angel exits.

AARON: Did you guys just see that?

CLAUDE: I can't see anything!

JAMES: I saw it! It was an angel! She said the Messiah has been born!

AARON: What's she tellin' us for?

JESSE: I don't know, but I'm going to see this thing!

AARON: Me too!

JAMES: Me three!

JESSE: This way to Bethlehem, boys!

Jesse, Aaron, and James exit stage right. Claude exits stage left. A few seconds later, Claude enters, his sight returning. He asks the audience:

CLAUDE: Which way did they go?

Claude follows the kids' directions off stage.

OBJECT LESSON

ITEMS NEEDED:

A stethoscope

A candy cane

Begin the lesson by showing the kids the stethoscope. Ask them what its name is, and let one or two kids test it out on other kids.

What kind of people do you think of when you see a stethoscope?

Stethoscopes are associated with doctors and nurses. We think of people who are well educated and highly trained to help us diagnose illness and keep us healthy. We think of people who are well respected, admired, and in most cases, well paid.

What other "tools of the trade" remind you of certain professions?

Suggested answers: a fireman's hat, a football, a construction hard hat.

For people in Jesus' day, the shepherd's crook reminded them of shepherds the same way stethoscopes remind us of doctors and nurses. Shepherds weren't as educated as doctors. Most weren't educated at all. They were simple men who made very little money. They used their crook to guide their sheep and to ward off animals that might try to steal one of their sheep.

God could have sent his angels to announce the birth of Jesus to anyone he wanted. He chose a group of shepherds for a reason - to show us that the good news of Jesus is for everyone. Jesus isn't a luxury for the rich, the powerful, or the educated. He is for you and me. He is for rich and poor. He came to die for the sins of the whole world, from the king on the throne to the lowly shepherds in the fields.

When you spot shepherds in a Nativity scene this Christmas, don't forget who these men were. They were common. They were poor. They were no one special in the eyes of the world. But in the eyes of God, they were loved!

LARGE GROUP GAME

COLLECT ‘EM

ITEMS NEEDED:

Two wreaths

Candy canes

INSTRUCTIONS:

Pass candy canes out to the kids in the audience. Choose two players for the game. The players will have 60 seconds to run through the audience and gather as many candy canes on their wreath as possible. The player who makes it back on stage in 60 seconds with the most candy canes on their wreath is the winner.

VARIATION:

An alternate way to play is to have the kids pull candy canes from a pile or a bucket and hook them on the wreath without running through the audience.

LARGE GROUP LESSON

BOTTOM LINE:

God’s love is for everyone.

OBJECTIVE:  

Kids will associate candy canes with the shepherds’ crook, as a reminder that God invites everyone to know Him.

KEY PASSAGE:

Luke 2:1-20. Jesus is visited by shepherds.

INTRO

How many of you have already decorated your house for Christmas? If you're like most families, Christmas time means decking the halls with Christmas trees, wreaths, snowmen, and Santas. In the midst of all the trees and Santas and snowmen, you'll usually find something a little more sacred - a Nativity scene. It is there we see baby Jesus surrounded by his parents, a few shepherds, the Magi, and angels.

The Nativity is a great reminder of the true meaning of Christmas, but it's not the only reminder. There's another popular Christmas item that you see all over; on trees, in the malls, in outdoor light displays - that can take us back to that quiet manger scene. It's the candy cane!

Candy canes come in all colors and flavors these days. You can get candy canes in red, yellow, orange, purple, green, pink, and blue. You can get candy canes that taste like Lifesavers, SweetTarts, Spree, Starburst, and Jelly Bellys. You can get candy canes decorated with Dora, Scooby Doo, Spongebob, and even Star Wars Characters. But regardless what color and what flavor candy cane you prefer, a candy cane just isn't a candy cane if it doesn't have that familiar candy cane shape.

The shape of a candy cane has a practical purpose. The hook on top of the candy cane allows us to hang candy canes on Christmas trees. But there's a symbolic purpose to the shape of the candy cane as well. It resembles a shepherd's crook, making the candy cane a good reminder of the only visitors Mary, Joseph, and Jesus had the night Jesus was born.

READ Luke 2:1-20

MAIN POINT

This is the story of the most important birth in history. This is Jesus, God's only son, who will one day save the whole world from sin. This is the fulfillment of God's promise to restore us to his side so we can go to Heaven. And whom does God invite to see baby Jesus? A couple of shepherds.

These were not educated men. They weren't rich, and they certainly weren't famous. They were common laborers working the night shift at a low paying job. They were sleepy, dirty, and a little smelly.

So why would God want these lowly shepherds to see his son? To show us that Jesus came for everyone. He didn't come just for the rich, the famous, the powerful, or the elite. He came for shepherds, for tax collectors, for the poor, for the sick, and for the downtrodden.

DRIVE IT HOME

When you hold a birthday party, whom do you invite? You invite the special people in your life. You invite friends, relatives, and special classmates. You don't invite people you hardly know or people who don't know you. It's a party for a special group of people that mean something special for you.

When God invited the shepherds to witness Jesus' birth, he invited everyone to come see the manger. Not only did God want us to know we are invited, he wanted us to understand that everyone is invited. As God's people, we need to welcome everyone to the manger. We need to share baby Jesus with friends, with classmates, and with the outcasts. We need to share God's love with the sick, the elderly, the homeless, and the poor.

Jesus wasn't born in a palace, set apart from the people. He wasn't even born in a proper bed. He was born in a stable, and his first visitors were shepherds - men who carried the shepherd's crook. God made it very clear right from the beginning that Jesus was someone that anyone, even a lowly shepherd, could come and see.

As Christmas approaches this year, let's look at the candy cane and remember the message of the shepherds. Let's thank God for his love. Let's thank him for welcoming everyone to the manger. And let's open our hearts to welcome anyone willing to come and see baby Jesus.

CLOSE WITH A SIMPLE PRAYER:

Dear God,

Thank you for your amazing love. Thank you for the shepherds, and thank you for baby Jesus. Help us to invite others to meet Jesus, the same way you invited the shepherds that first Christmas.

In Jesus' name,

Amen

SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION (K-2ND)

ICEBREAKER

What's your favorite flavor of candy cane?

MEMORY VERSE ACTIVITY

Isaiah 9:6

Look at the verses surrounding this passage, or read the whole chapter, so you can hear this verse in context. What was happening? How do the verses before and after the memory verse help you understand its meaning?

SMALL GROUP GAME/ACTIVITY

Have the kids each give their best impression of the shepherds when the angels suddenly appeared to them.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

Read Luke 2:1-20

Why was Jesus born in a stable?

Whom did God invite to see baby Jesus?

Who invited the shepherds to Bethlehem?

What did the shepherds do after seeing the baby?

Why did God invite the shepherds?

SIMPLE PRAYER

Dear God,

Thank you for the baby in the manger, and for showing how much you love us. Help us to share that love with others so they can know Jesus as their Savior.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen

SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION (3RD-5TH)

ICEBREAKER

What's your favorite flavor of candy cane?

MEMORY VERSE ACTIVITY

Isaiah 9:6

Look at the verses surrounding this passage, or read the whole chapter, so you can hear this verse in context. What was happening? How do the verses before and after the memory verse help you understand its meaning?

SMALL GROUP GAME/ACTIVITY

Have the kids act out today's Bible story about the shepherds, the angels, and the baby Jesus.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

Read Luke 2:1-20

Why was Jesus born in a stable?

Why did God invite the shepherds to see the baby Jesus?

What message did God send by having Jesus born in a stable?

Whom does Jesus want us to tell about his birth?

What can we do to share the love of Jesus with others this Christmas?

SIMPLE PRAYER

Dear God,

Thank you for the baby in the manger, and for showing how much you love us. Help us to share that love with others so they can know Jesus as their Savior.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen

For your convenience, you can also download the entire PDF version of this Candy Cane Children's Ministry Lesson (just click the link). 

Here's a video from Curly Fry Ministries that you might find helpful to go along with your Sunday School Lesson on Candy Canes.

Take a look at the links below for other ideas for teaching a Candy Cane Sunday School Lesson: 

The Candy Cane - Sermons4Kids

Christmas Children's Sermon: Christmas Candy Cane Story

Candy Cane Poem about Jesus (Printable Handout) 

The Candy Cane Story - An Object Lesson - Creative Bible Study