I put together this idea to teach my preschoolers many of the names or titles of Jesus. The names of Jesus reveal His character. Our experience of Him is tied to our knowledge of Him! I was surprised to find myself more blessed than they were (which is saying a lot) by digging into the character and imagery of His names.
You will find that it is very difficult to limit the names to only 25; therefore, start after Thanksgiving and go through January. My children (now 6 and 3 ½) can’t wait to start our study again this year! Although the order of the names is special to me, you can go in any order.
- Make Cinnamon Ornaments. (Recipes can be found on the web). This is the most time-consuming part of the Advent activity. We made them fairly thick and used generic Christmas cutouts (stars, bells, angels, doves, snowflakes) as opposed to candy canes, Christmas trees, or reindeer.
- Paint and Write on the Ornaments. Paint the ornaments front and back with mod podge and write one name of Jesus on each of them with a permanent marker. When dry, tie a scarlet yarn/ribbon to each ornament.
Now you’re ready to go!
- Reveal the Day’s Name. Each day, one child opens the small paper-folded box/envelope and pulls out the ornament. Everyday, I re-use the same box. The paper box I folded from a perfect square using 2 squares of Christmas cardstock. (You can also find instructions on how to make your own paper box on the web). Some days I put a hint in the box or near it, like a sheep figurine for The Good Shepherd; then they would try to guess.
- Read and Discuss One or More Scripture References. Discuss the name’s meaning/relevance/revealing. I have included more Scripture references than I shared with my young children. With older children, you could easily divide the reading.
- Sing the Carol/Hymn. You can look these up on YouTube for easy access to this beautiful Christmas music.
- Hang the Ornament on a Miniature Tree. We did not have a tree last year so I found another creative place to hang them like our quilt rack.
- Review the Names of Jesus. This was the powerful part. I would call out: “Who is Immanuel?” And they would shout, with fists in the air: “Jesus!” We would go through 10 or so each day, and they never got tired of praising God in this way. “From the lips of children and infants You have ordained praise because of Your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger” (Ps. 8:2).
May your homes and hearts be blessed as ours has been by exploring the character and provision of His names this Christmas season.
1. Immanuel: literally means “with us is God (El)”
Is. 7:14; Matt. 1:22-23; Josh. 1:5, 9; Is. 43:2-3; Matt. 28:20
Hymn/Carol: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel (note how many names of Jesus are in these verses!)
2. Light of the World
Jn 8:12; Jn 12:35; Jn 1:9; Is. 9:2; Jn 1:4; Luke 2:32
Hymn/Carol: O Little Town of Bethlehem; The Light of the World is Jesus by Philip Bliss
3. Lamb of God
Jn. 1:29; I Pet. 1:19; Rev. 5:12; Rev. 17:14; Rev. 13:8
Hymn: The Old Rugged Cross; There Is a Fountain Filled With Blood; Jesus Paid It All
4. Prince of Peace
Gen. 49:10; Is. 9:6
Hymn: Blessed Be the Name by William Clark
5. Christ, Messiah
Jn. 4:25; Col. 3:24; Luke 9:20; 2:26; Jn. 4:42
Hymn: Angels From the Realms of Glory; “Jesus Messiah” by Chris Tomlin
6. The Word
Jn. 1:1; Jn. 1:14; Rev. 19:13
Hymn/Carol: O Come All Ye Faithful; Standing on the Promises
7. Bread of Life
Jn. 6:35; 6:51
Hymn/Song: We Hunger and Thirst (by Sovereign Grace Music)
Hymn/Carol: Redeemed by Fanny Crosby; My Jesus, I Love Thee; Crystal Lewis “My Redeemer Lives”; Hillsong “My Redeemer Lives”; Nicole C. Mullen “My Redeemer Lives”
9. Son of God, Son of Man
Jn. 1:34; I Jn. 4:14; Jn. 10:36; Matt. 16:16; Lk. 1:32; Mark 10:33
Hymn/Carol: Silent Night; Crown Him with Many Crowns
10. Living Water
Hymn: Give Me Jesus (African-American Spiritual)
11. Son of David
Hymn: All Glory, Laud, and Honor
12. The Way, the Truth, and the Life
I. Jn. 1:2
Hymn: Blessed Assurance; When We All Get to Heaven; I Have Decided to Follow Jesus; “No Sweeter Name” sung by Kari Jobe
13. The Resurrection and the Life
Hymn: Christ the Lord is Risen Today; Christ Arose
14. Good Shepherd
Jn. 10:11; Heb. 13:20; Jn. 10:16; I Pet. 5:4
Hymn: Savior, Like a Shepherd Lead Us; Surely Goodness and Mercy by John Peterson
15. My Servant, the Branch
Phil. 2:7; Matt. 12:18; Zech. 3:8
Hymn: Have Thine Own Way, Lord
This will give you a start at preparing for your Advent season. Watch for Part II of the Advent activity in the next few days!
Rebekah is a Stay-at-home mom to two blessings, Katelyn (5 ½) and Elliot (3), with another on the way. Parenting is the current step God’s using to mold her into Christ-likeness, along with 11 years of marriage to her best friend. Her passions are homeschooling, homesteading, homemaking, from-scratch living, worship and discipleship, and most of all, glorifying God in everything she learns and attempts. Her family’s blog is just getting started over at Hallelu-Jah Homestead. She also teaches a local workshop called Waste Not, Want Not: Practical Ways to Free Up Your Budget and Live Intentionally, sharing the journey God has led her family on over the last few years.
What does your family do for Advent and how does it enrich your faith and joy each season?