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What did you expect?

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Theme: Bethlehem – The birth of Jesus.

How would you expect God to arrive? We’d probably imagine all kinds of celebration and excitement. And that’s exactly what happened, but probably in a different way to what wasexpected. Jesus arrived in a very humble animal shelter – not the entrance you’d expect from the God who made heaven and earth. When Jesus arrived there was major celebration among the heavens. A host of angels came to celebrate his birth.

Introduction:

  • Play a tape of an audience clapping and cheering. Walk onto the stage bowing and smiling. Talk about how nice it is to walk on to a big reception.
  • Imagine how celebrities and pop stars must feel when they come on stage.
  • Play a guessing game with clues given, children to say whom they would expect to arrive.
  • Tape of fanfare and wedding march – bride.
  • Tape of singing in football terraces – football team.
  • Show baby cards, nappies, baby clothes – a new baby.
  • Roll out a red carpet (improvise!) – the Queen.
  • Ask what arrangements would they make if the Queen were going to visit their school (it may have happened). They would clean and decorate the school, have lots of pictures, flowers, a special assembly etc.

Main Content:

2000 years ago the king of all kings came to visit our world. But there were no flowers – only straw. No nice hospital bed – just an animal’s food box. No medical team standing by – just farm animals.

But there were some visitors. Only shepherds mind you, but they probably would have travelled to Timbuktu after what they had seen. A whole host of heavenly angels come to proclaim the Lord’s birth! The shepherds knew it was a special night all right.

Also some other visitors from far away after seeing a very special star in the sky were prompted to seek after a new baby king. They brought with them gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh, something used to anoint dead bodies!

What would we have done if we had been there? Would we have believed the shepherds story, or maybe thought they’d had a bit too much to warm their tummies that evening. And would we consider for one moment that the God over all creation would allow his only son to be born in a filthy stable? I’m sure our biggest concern that night would have been the same as everyone else’s, to make sure we had somewhere to stay in Bethlehem.

But Jesus had come on a mission that night. To save us from the sins of the world. To do this he had to become as a servant, to humble himself and leave his kingship behind. So he slipped in, barely noticed.

Pupils response/Outcomes/Prayer:

But why would Jesus do this for us? What have we done to deserve such a sacrifice? He did it for one reason only. He loves us so much. So much that he was prepared to give up everything, even his life. Maybe Jesus doesn’t want red carpets, flowers or applause. But I think we can thank and praise him by living our lives in a way that pleases him. That’s worth more than all the words in the world.

Prayer:

Dear Lord Jesus,

We want to than you again for what you did for us by coming into our world as a baby on that first Christmas. As much as we like to receive praise, let us also be prepared, like you, to step back and put others first. Help us at this Christmas time, to remember those less fortunate than ourselves.

Amen.

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