15 minute Story planner
The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories by Mary Batchelor, page 282 - 283
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 presents did you get for Christmas? Did you open your presents on Christmas morning or wait until after lunch? In some countries children open their presents on Christmas eve. Do you think that’s a good idea?
Did you know that one of the reasons we give presents to each other at Christmas is because over 2000 years ago the wise men brought gifts to Jesus. The other reason is that Christians believe that Jesus himself was a gift to the world – Jesus was a gift to all people everywhere.
The Bible teaches that Father God sent his Son, Jesus, to live with people here on Earth. Jesus came to show what God is like, to teach people how to live and make a way for everybody everywhere to become close friends with God. Because God sent his Son Jesus into the world people can now say ‘Yes’ to his love and forgiveness – Christians believe that’s the best gift of all!.
3. Tell the story with props - 4 mins
A doll and a small blanket (a white pillowcase would be appropriate)
‘Kingly’ dressing up clothes (a selection of women’s scarves and jewellery would be suitable)
Pictures of camels from the internet (beware of copyright regulations)
Ornate jars or boxes to represent the three gifts
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 - What’s in the box?
Beware of allergies make sure it is safe for the children in your group to handle the food used in this activity.
You will need: a cardboard box (shoebox-sized or slightly larger would be ideal), a pillowcase, scissors, Christmas wrapping paper, sticky tape, strips of newspaper or packaging material, five or six objects such as a mobile phone, a hair brush, a cuddly toy, a slipper, a tin of beans, a chocolate orange or a satsuma (each object should be small enough to fit inside the box).
Before the session wrap the box in Christmas paper. Make sure you can still remove the lid or lift a flap to place items inside. Cut a hole in the side of the box large enough for a child to place their hand through. Fill the box with strips of paper or packaging material and then place one or more of the objects inside.
Explain to the children that they are going to take turns placing their hand inside the box to feel what is inside. After everybody has had a turn ask the children to suggest what they think the item is/items are. For older children place three items in the box. You may need to explain that this is not a lucky dip - the children do not get to keep what is inside. However if you include a chocolate orange or similar you could share it with the children after the session.
To swap the items during the session place the box inside the pillow case while you remove one item and replace it with another.
5. Reflective prayer - 2 mins
Father God we think about the story. We imagine the wise men preparing to set out on their long journey. We imagine them choosing presents for the King: gold, frankincense and myrrh. We remember that each of these gifts show just how special Jesus is.
Father we picture the star that the wise men followed. We remember that today many people have not yet heard your good news. Just as the star led the wise men to Jesus help us to be people who bring others closer to knowing you; help us to speak of the good news that through Jesus everybody, everywhere can become close friends with you.
Father we think about the shepherds and the wise men worshipping Jesus. We think about the rich gifts presented by the wise men. Thank you that you love to receive our gift of worship. Thank you that our worship can be a rich and wonderful gift for you. 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...