To explain clearly the facts surrounding the birth of Jesus.
Matthew 1&2, Luke 1&2. The birth of Jesus.
You will need:
The following items to wrap and number as shown:
- A ‘decree’ – wording as suggested by Luke 2:1-3
- A map showing Nazareth and Bethlehem (a simple drawing will do)
- A ‘No room’ sign
- Some straw
- A toy donkey
- A doll wrapped up in cloths as Jesus would have been
- An angel (a Christmas decoration or paper one)
- A toy sheep
- A star
- A box to represent one of the gifts given to Jesus
- A question mark
- Christmas paper
- A tape of suitable music and cassette player
- A rubbish bag for all the paper!
Wrap each item from the list in Christmas paper and number them in the correct order for the story.
Some can be omitted to cut down on time, but the larger number means that everyone should at least handle a parcel.
- Ask what games the children like playing at Christmas parties. Make sure ‘Pass the Parcel’ is mentioned.
- Explain that today’s game will be played slightly differently: all the parcels will be passed around together and, when the music stops, you will call out the numbers of the parcels that you want to be opened.
- Spread out the parcels among the children and give clear instructions about which way they are to be passed. When the music stops, call out two numbers at a time (otherwise it takes too long!) and have the children bring the parcels to the front to be opened.
- As each parcel is opened, tell the relevant part of the story.
Begin with music. Open parcels 1 and 2.
Long ago, when Augustus was Emperor, he decided to take a count of everyone who lived in the country of Judea (Show the decree)
Two people, Mary and Joseph had to travel from Nazareth, where they lived to Bethlehem, where Joseph’s family came from many years before. (Show the map).
Music. Open parcels 3 and 4.
When they got to Bethlehem, the town was so busy with travellers like themselves that all the places to stay were full (Show the sign), and Mary and Joseph had to stay in a stable, and sleep in the straw. (Show the straw).
Music. Open parcels 5 and 6.
During the night, Mary’s baby son was born. He was called Jesus. There was nowhere for him to sleep except the manger, the feeding trough that the cows and donkeys used. (Show the donkey). Mary wrapped up Jesus in strips of cloth, and laid him in the straw. (Show the baby).
Music and parcels 7 and 8.
Jesus, the baby born in the stable, was not just any baby: he was the Son of God. Later that night angels (show the angel) went to tell the good news of Jesus’ birth to some shepherds (show the sheep).
Music and parcels 9 and 10.
A special star came in the sky too (Show the star), and some wise men who studied the sky saw the star, and followed it many, many miles until it took them to the place where Jesus was. When they saw the baby Jesus they gave him special presents of gold, incense and myrrh. (Show the gift). These gifts were not what you might take to a newborn baby; but they were just right for someone so special, like Jesus.
Music and parcel 11.
- When the question mark is opened, ask the children why they think God sent Jesus to live on earth.
- Explain that Jesus was God’s special present to us, because he loves us so much.
Ask the children to join in by saying ‘Thank you, Father God’ after every line.
It’s Christmas time, and we’re excited: Thank you, Father God. There are lots of things that make us delighted: Thank you, Father God. For our families and our friends: Thank you, Father God. For your love, that never ends: Thank you, Father God. For excitement and fun: Thank you, Father God. And for Jesus, your Son: Thank you, Father God.
Come and join the celebration, 323, Junior Praise