15 minute Story planner
The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories by Mary Batchelor, page 282 - 283
For a printable version of today’s story see ‘Wise men and a star’ 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 three
2. Starter question - 1 min
What do ‘The Great Bear’, ‘Orion’ and ‘The Little Dog’ have in common? Many years ago when people looked up at the night sky they described the different groups of stars that they saw: ‘That group looks like a crab’, they said ‘and that one looks like a hunter’. They began to name the groups after animals and people. Among them were ‘The Great Bear’, ‘Orion’ and ‘The Little Dog’.
3. Tell the story with props - 4 mins
A children’s book on astronomy
A star-shaped Christmas decoration
A long piece of silver tinsel to represent the angel’s wings
Click on the images at the beginning of this post for more resources from the web
4. Story activity - 6 mins
Option 1 - Enjoy colouring in this week's Dead Sea Comic Caper (see Printables)
Option 2 - A Christmas crossword
You will need: The ‘Crossword puzzle sheet’, the ‘Story with the missing words’ and the ‘Answer sheet’ (see Printables). If you have a large group copy the puzzle onto a whiteboard or large sheet of paper.
Read the story again, this time leaving out some of the words as indicated. Ask the children what the missing words are then write them one at a time on the puzzle sheet or on the whiteboard.
When the children have completed the puzzle, the word ‘worship’ should appear down the centre.
Use this time to talk briefly about the trouble the Wise Men went to, to worship Jesus. Even though the journey was very long and the gifts they brought were very expensive they packed up their things and travelled all the way to Jerusalem. The Wise Men did not stop until they were able to bow down and worship Jesus in the house in Bethlehem. Unlike the Wise Men we don’t have to travel 500 miles to spend time with Jesus. We can talk to God anytime, anywhere. Sometimes, however, there might be things that stop us spending time with him; perhaps it’s the busyness of our lives or sometimes we might just feel like doing something else. Wouldn’t it be great if, just like the Wise Men, we thought that spending time with God was so very, very important that we were willing to stop doing some of our stuff for a while to worship Him?
5. Reflective prayer - 2 mins
Father God, we think about the long journey made by the wise men as they searched for the new born King. We remember that they did not give up but pressed on until they found Mary, Joseph and Jesus.
Father we think about the expensive gifts given to Jesus. We remember that each gift had a special meaning. We remember that they not only spoke of Jesus' life but also of him making a way for everybody, everywhere to become close friends with you.
Father as we look ahead to the coming year, and we start to think again about the wonderful things Jesus did among people, help us to remember the wonder of the Christmas story, and the excitement and joy that surrounded Jesus’ birth. Amen.
Alongside this story, make the craft...