15 minute Story planner
The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories by Mary Batchelor, page 276
For a printable version of today’s story see ‘Elizabeth and Mary’ in this week’s Printables.
1. Setting the scene - 2 mins
Find the New Testament section in a Bible.
Show and talk about 'The life of Jesus FlashCards' cards one to two
2. Starter question - 1 min
Do you ever enjoy sitting somewhere quiet? Perhaps a hushed, calm corner, where you can be on your own. What might you do in your quiet space? Think? Wonder? Talk to God?
3. Tell the story with props - 4 mins
A piece of tinsel to represent the angel’s wings
‘You are going to have a baby boy…’ speech bubble (see Printables)
A doll and a blanket
Click on the images at the beginning of this post for more resources from the web
4. Story activity - 6 mins
Option 1 - Enjoy the puzzles in this week's Dead Sea Comic Caper (see Printables)
Option 2 - Christmas Charades
Tell the story using the props then talk to the children about how Zechariah had to write down what he wanted to tell the people. Ask the children if they think he may have mimed what he wanted to say too.
Play a game similar to ‘Charades’. Make it Christmassy by asking the children to pretend they have received a Christmas present then encourage them to mime to each other what it is they have been given.
If you would like to give the children prompts, cut out pictures from catalogues and stick them to individual index cards. Present each child with an index card and explain that this is the present they need to describe.
You could cut out some items that the children would think of as a silly gift for someone of their age such as a washing machine, or make it sensible and cut out age-appropriate items.
5. Reflective prayer - 2 mins
Father God we thank you for the times we have heard wonderful news. We imagine Elizabeth and Mary's great joy when they heard how special their babies would be. Father God, please help us to remember that we too have so much to thank you for and so much to look forward to.
We remember how pleased Elizabeth and Mary were to see each other; how much they enjoyed hearing each other's news; how excited they were for one another and how they both longed to see God at work. Thank you Father God for the friends we have, the friends we can share our happy times with. Father help us to be good friends too, help us to share the excitement and joy of those celebrating around us. Amen.
With younger children, or during a shorter session you may wish to select just one or two phrases from the reflective prayer.
Alongside this story, make the craft...