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Advent: The Angel Visits Joseph

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The Angel Visits Joseph

Background for Grown-ups

When Joseph found out that Mary was pregnant before they were married, he planned to call off their engagement discreetly. Younger kids probably won’t ask about this, but older kids might wonder why Joseph was upset. Be prepared to explain that Joseph thought Mary had cheated on him with another man, using whatever language you’re comfortable with. Joseph changed his mind when an angel came to him in a dream and told him that Mary was pregnant with God’s child. This is not how Mary or Joseph expected to start their life together, but they both trusted God.

Bible Story

  • Read the story about the Angel visiting Joseph in Matthew 1:18-24 or in your favorite storybook Bible. Wonder about the story together
  • Wonder about the story together:
    • I wonder what the angel in Joseph’s dream looking life.
    • I wonder how Joseph knew the angel in his dream was real.
    • I wonder what Joseph was thinking and feeling when he found out Mary was pregnant.
    • I wonder why God picked Joseph to be Jesus’ father.
    • I wonder what you dream about.


Dear God, thank you for bringing our family together. Thank you for (name the members of your family). Help us to trust each other during difficult times, and to trust you. Amen.


Choose one or more of the activities to do with your family to explore the story!

 1. What’s in a Name?The angel told Joseph to call the baby “Emmanuel” which means “God with us.” Talk about how the people in your family got their names and whether or not there’s any special meaning to the name. You can also look up your names on this website to see what they mean in other languages and cultures: https://www.meaningofthename.com/

2. Family Origin Story

The stories of the angel appearing to Mary and then to Joseph and telling them they were going to have a baby and name him Jesus is kind of like their family’s origin story. It’s the story of how they became a family. Talk about your family’s origin story – if you’re married, how did you meet your spouse? How did you find out you were having children? Every family’s story is unique, families come in many forms and there are many different ways for families to be created. As you talk about your family you might want to write the story down or have the children draw a family picture and add people to the picture as you tell the story. 

3.  Make a Dreamcatcher

In indigenous cultures dreamcatchers are believed to prevent bad dreams and let good dreams filter through. You can read more about this history here: https://legomenon.com/dreamcatcher-meaning-legend-history-origins.html

Make your own dreamcatcher out of paper plates to keep away bad dreams. Instructions can be found here: https://www.thecrafttrain.com/paper-plate-dream-catcher/