December 2011

Advent, A Nativity Scene and Storytelling

Merry Christmas! If you are looking for a way to inject “Jesus is the Reason for the Season” into family life without guilt and without stress, here’s an idea to consider.  Each of the four weeks of advent, focus on one group of the original participants.

Week 1:  Mary and Joseph:   Read Luke 1 to find out how Mary knew she was going to be the mother of the Messiah.  Imagine if you were there when the angel came.  Mary wrote a psalm of praise; write your own song of praise to God.  Read Matthew 1 to find out how Joseph learned about the Messiah.  Talk about his reaction before and after the angel’s visit.  Draw pictures of Mary and Joseph’s encounters with angels.  Set up a nativity scene with Mary and Joseph.

Week 2:  Shepherds and Angels:  Read Luke 2 and imagine you were there with the shepherds when the angel came.  Memorize the angel’s message.  Learn more about life as a shepherd.  Make sheep and angels for Christmas decorations.  Add shepherds, sheep, and angels to the nativity scene.

Week 3:  The Magi:  Read Matthew 2 and imagine you were with the Magi on their journey.  How did God protect Jesus from King Herod?  Make a huge star to hang.  Add the star, magi, and presents to the nativity scene.

Week 4:  Simeon and Anna:  Read Luke 2 and imagine you were waiting for the Messiah.  Talk about waiting and trusting.    Create Simeon and Anna to add to the nativity scene.

Use to read different translations of the Christmas stories in Matthew and in Luke and use the footnotes in a study Bible for more information.  Take time simply to wonder what it felt like to be each of the various people who were there on that amazing night.  Merry Christmas!

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