15 minute Story planner
The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories by Mary Batchelor, page 279
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
Before telling this story, remind the children what had happened previously. Explain that the Old Testament times had drawn to a close and the Romans were in charge of the land God had promised to Abraham. God’s people were waiting for the Messiah – the special person God had promised to send. You might need to explain that in this story, instead of a stable the writer talks about a cave. This is because the stable we are used to hearing about in the Christmas story may well have been a rocky cave.
2. Starter question - 1 min
Did you know that each Christmas thousands of trees are decorated, millions of cards are sent and expensive gifts are bought from crowded shops in every city? Isn’t it amazing that at Christmastime people spend hundreds of pounds celebrating an event that happened in a small town, in a simple stable tucked away from the crowds and busy streets? But although the stable was simple and the town small, the baby born in those poor surroundings was in fact the most important baby of all. The baby was Jesus. He was God’s Son Who had come to live among people.
3. Tell the story with props - 4 mins
A rolled-up piece of paper to represent the census
A picture of the Holy Land with Nazareth and Bethlehem clearly marked
A handful of straw
A doll wrapped in a cloth
‘We shall call him Jesus’ speech bubble (see Printables)
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 - ‘No room at the inn’
You will need a roll of wrapping paper or brown parcel paper. Try and use thick paper that won’t tear easily.
Divide the children into two teams. If you have a small group, work together as one team. Ask the children to remove their shoes for this game. Give each team a piece of wrapping paper approximately one meter in length. Make sure the pieces of paper are the same size. Explain to the children that the object of the game is to try and get as many members of their team to stand on the paper at the same time. When the groups are satisfied that as many people as possible are successfully standing on their paper, they should call out ‘no more room at the inn’. Count the number of children standing on the paper but deduct points if feet are touching the floor. For the next round make the pieces of paper smaller by folding over one edge of the paper by approximately ten centimetres. Encourage the children to now see how many people they can fit on their paper. When the group is successfully standing on the paper they should again call out ‘no more room at the inn’. Again count the number of children standing on the paper, deducting points for feet touching the floor. Keep folding the paper until only a strip remains. Add the points together to work out which team had the higher score.
5. Reflective prayer - 2 mins
Father as we prepare for our own festive celebrations we remember the first Christmas when Mary and Joseph searched for somewhere to spend the night. Father we imagine how thankful Mary was when she was offered the shelter of a stable. Father God help us to remember that although the stable in Bethlehem was simple and bare, that night it held the greatest treasure of all, your Son. Help us to remember that Jesus is the real reason for Christmas. Help us to remember that without him, our celebrations would be empty and bare. Thank you for your wonderful gift of love and forgiveness this Christmas. Amen
Alongside this story, make the craft...