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Light in a dark place or… Christmas

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Theme

The story of Christmas

Christians believe that Jesus’ birth was the day that God, who is unseen, became flesh, which is seen. God sent Jesus into the world as light in a dark place.

Story (Bible reference) Luke 2:1-40

Key Stage Relevance KS1 & KS2

Resources:

A camera with a flash unit. If you have a small, cheap one, you can put it into your feely bag and introduce the assembly with it. A proper flash unit from an SLR camera will be able to be flashed independently from the camera. 

Introduction:

If you were going to do something amazing, something you knew that could change the world forever and for everyone, where would you start? What would you do first? Who would you tell? 

These days, if something were that important, the world’s press photographers would all be there. TV crews and all their gear to transmit the news around the world. It would be on the internet, on You Tube and Twitter and … well, pretty soon everyone would see it or hear about it.

Background if needed... The most watched piece of TV was an estimated viewership varied between one and four billion for the 2008 Summer Olympics opening ceremony. This global figure including an estimated 842 million viewers watching on host Chinese broadcaster China Central Television.

The opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics attracted an estimated global TV audience of 900 million people. In Britain, viewing figures for the opening ceremony peaked at 27 million, more than watched the previous year's royal wedding between Prince William and Catherine Middleton. 51 million Britons watched some coverage of the Olympics but the most watched individual Olympic event on British TV was the men's 100-metre final on Sunday.

Main Content:

This term we have been looking at some things that we don’t see. The story of Christmas for Christians is a reminder that God, who is unseen, became a man, which is seen, in the form of Jesus. Suddenly there was a real, living example of God and the way he wants us to live here amongst us. It was like he was light, in a dark place, which is why Christians often talk about Jesus being the light of the world.

When Jesus came into the world, it happened in a very different way to what we might expect. Instead of TV cameras or big celebrations in the main city, Jesus was born in a small town, out of the eyes of the public. Here is the Christmas story, told in a way that says what wasn’t there, rather than what was!

Poem: There was no...

There was no…
crowd of people standing along the sides of the street as Joseph and Mary and their baby arrived in Bethlehem. There was no… interest. No one cared.

There was no… one to help as Mary pulled herself off the donkey... just Joseph.
There was no… one to help them find somewhere to stay.
There was no… house for the couple to stay in or room in the inn.
There was no… special welcome or people holding doors open or helping with their bags. There was no… excited crowd outside waiting for a first view of the baby.
There was no… warm fire, or hot water, or comfy beds. Just straw on the ground.
There was no… baby crib with soft blankets. Just straw and an animal feeding box.
There was no… food ready prepared. They only had what they could carry… which wasn’t a lot.
There was no… doctor, or nurse, or midwife... just Joseph.
There was no… private health care or NHS.
There was no… quiet place to have a baby. People everywhere, noise, chaos.
There was no… excitement… after all, it was just another baby. Just another mouth to feed… or was it?
There was no… big celebration, no cheering in the streets, no crowds chanting the baby’s name.
There was no… family and relatives and friends to help, to cuddle, to do the things that families do.
There was no… loved ones to share the moment with.
There was no… water in a bathroom for a wash.
There was no… baby bath! No special soap.
There was no… privacy as shepherds walked into the stable.
There was no… understanding of why some Wise Men had travelled so far. But Mary understood and treasured these things in her heart.
There was no… anger .. Mary and Joseph put up with it all. Quietly. Dignified… though probably scared.
There was no… disappointment in Mary’s heart. Could God have done something better than this for His son? There was no… heartache, just joy.
There was no… safety, as the savage King Herod sent his solders to kill children born in Bethlehem.
There was no… special treatment or luxury. This was no royal family… Or was it?
There was no… understanding of who this child was. Of what he would become. Of what he would do.


But… 

Yes… there were angels. 
Yes… there were shepherds running through the town. 
Yes… people were amazed when they heard the story.
Yes… it was a lovely, ordinary birth of a lovely baby boy. Yes… he was God’s son.
And yes… it was what God wanted for his son. 

Martin Sweet © Spinnaker Trust 2013

Perhaps Christmas is about what we don’t see… but not about what wasn’t there. Christians believe it is about what was there. God’s son, God’s love. There was no limit to the love of God when this boy was born.

KS1 – The full length poem would be too long for young children. Perhaps read a shortened version and give the story in another way. Shadow puppets are a fantastic medium and keeps the theme of being things you don’t see/light etc. Dounby Community School have a YouTube video ( http://youtu.be/MYIwguhp8UM ) which is their version of the Nativity, using shadow puppets. It is a bit long (9 mins) and the picture quality could be better, but it is very cute. 

Reflection

These days, with a camera on a phone, I can post a photograph almost as soon as I have taken it - around the world. The camera on my phone also has a flash facility – enables me to take pictures even in the dark. But it is not that bright – it can’t light up a whole big area like a football pitch floodlight. And it only lasts a split second. Christians believe that Jesus, God’s son, light of the world, came, shining, and still shines. Bringing light not just to a small town in the Middle-east 2000 years ago – but to a world.

Prayer

Help us to see what others don’t see when they look at the Christmas story. Reveal to us that special person, Jesus, the light of the world who came into the world in such a quiet, unseen way.

Amen

   
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