A Christmas Reflection

A Christmas Reflection

Hidden within the Christmas story is I believe, an example of how best to live our lives. It’s a story about caring for others, celebrating diversity, and understanding our shared humanity. The nativity account brings together a cast of characters from every part of society – characters who couldn’t be any more different from one another. They are all integral in the unfolding drama and despite their different backgrounds their lives cross paths. The story brings together… The powerfulThe rich and the wealthyThe insignificant and the poorAnd those looked down on and considered untrustworthy There’s Mary – a teenage girl who discovers she’s pregnant and understandably she doesn’t quite know how to tell her husband to be.  It’s not just that she’s about to have a child out of wedlock which would have attracted a lot of shame and dishonour at the time… But Joseph, her older fiancé, is about to discover, he’s not the father of the baby. Then a group of shepherds enter from stage left. They were the first people outside of Mary and Joseph to hear about the birth of Jesus. They have what can only be described as a supernatural encounter with a group of angels. The shepherds were on the very bottom rung of society. At the time it was forbidden “to buy wool, milk or goats from a shepherd…because it would be more than likely stolen property.” They were despised people especially by the religious leaders at the time. And then we have the Wise Men. They are astrologers from the East searching for the birth of an important king foretold in...
Another Stress Free Nativity Script

Another Stress Free Nativity Script

*Introit O Come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant, O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem; Come and behold him, born the king of angels; O come, let us adore him, O come, let us adore him O come, let us adore him, Christ the Lord. Opening Hymn – #164, Tell Out My Soul Narrator: On my way into church this morning I got into a conversation with a guy on the bus. I mentioned that today was our children’s Christmas programme. He said he didn’t believe in Christmas, at least not in the way the story is typically told. I said I thought that was interesting because our minister said pretty much the same thing every year. He was intrigued by that and said he might visit our church sometime. I said, “Why don’t come today and see for yourself?” He said he might just drop by sometime. Worship is like a stage play. In worship we act out the story that we then try to live out there in the real world. Sometimes folks would like worship to be entertaining. I would imagine that God might like that as well. But God is not the one to entertain us; we are the actors and God is the audience. If we want worship to be entertaining, then it is up to us to put on a good show. Today we re-enact the story of the birth of Jesus. We are all wearing various costumes. Maybe you’ve always wanted a part in the Christmas play. Now’s your chance. Even if you’re not dressed like an angel, you can...
Nativity story as told by kids – Video

Nativity story as told by kids – Video

A creative video telling the nativity story from the fresh and unique perspective of children. Ideal for church groups or school chaplaincy. I really love this retelling of the nativity story – used  recently for our school Christmas assembly with pupils engaging well. http://www.childrenandyouth.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/The-Christmas-Story-_-Kids-Perspective.mp4 You can become a patron of Children & Youth through Patreon. In return for your monthly support, we offer first access to a range of youth and children’s work resources. Thank you for being part of the C&Y team. More school based resources...
Assembly/Reflection: Is peace possible?

Assembly/Reflection: Is peace possible?

We are in a unique position after the events of Remembrance. What filled our screens and facebook feeds over the past few days has quickly been replaced with the Christmas adverts for the major stores and shops. We’ve taken off our poppies and already we begin to look towards the excitement of Christmas. You might have seen this ad on TV recently – it portrays the ceasefire that took place between the troops on Christmas Eve 1914. http://www.childrenandyouth.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Sainsburys-OFFICIAL-Christmas-2014-Ad.mp4 Is peace possible? The joy of the ceasefire is quickly replaced again with the noise of shells and warfare. However the relationships and bonds forged as soldiers lay down their weapons continued in the minds and hearts of those involved; forever changed no longer seeing the world in the black and white terms of friend or foe. War can rage on the outside and it can rage on the inside too but peace IS possible. Although it may only be momentary and brief. As we saw in the advert peace often involves one person stepping out, letting go of fear and embracing sacrifice. Could you be that person? What situations could you affect change in? What might peace look like in your own life? Are there fears that you need to let go of? Now go forth into this day – to live your hopes and not your fears, knowing you are held in holy hands by a love that will never let you go! You can become a patron of Children & Youth through Patreon. In return for your monthly support, we offer first access to a range of youth and...
Nativity Animation

Nativity Animation

This is a hand drawn Nativity animation that would could be used as a stand alone video, for reflection,  or as an introduction to a Christmas service. http://www.childrenandyouth.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/Nativity.mp4 You can become a patron of Children & Youth through Patreon. In return for your monthly support, we offer first access to a range of youth and children’s work resources. Thank you for being part of the C&Y...
Stress Free Nativity Script

Stress Free Nativity Script

Every year around this time, congregations struggle to find a fresh way to retell the familiar story of the birth of Jesus. When I first started at St James’ this task fell to the Sunday School team and from the beginning of December the volunteers would rehearse a full script with written parts with each of the children. Every year the same thing would happen – rehearsals would take place with a different set of children than were present on the day of the actual Nativity. So after a chaotic and stressful few years we decided to change our approach and adopt a much simpler Nativity service. What’s great about this approach is that it takes no rehearsal and the only planning involved is acquiring the costumes. The only speaking part is the narrator and usually one of the older young people is chosen for that role. Also, everyone, adults and children, can participate at their comfort level – whether it is wearing a costume or singing in the pews. Below is a sample script that could be used. Welcome Introduce the nativity and give instructions to the congregation. At the beginning of each part within the script, children and adults are invited to come forward to the chancel to assume the character they want to be.  This means that in our nativity we might have only a few or many animals, angels, and shepherds, or several Marys and Josephs.  That’s okay!  (Volunteer helpers secure to each child’s head the tie-on mask of his or her choice, or give them the other appropriate props.  They also guide the children to the places...
A Chocolate Nativity

A Chocolate Nativity

This is a script for a Chocolate Nativity – to add a fun element to it you can hand out the bars of chocolate as you go along. A long time ago, God made the Galaxy – Beautiful,rich, wonderful And he filled it with people, people he loved, people like you and me, people who were all special to him. And he gave these people everything.Everything except one tree, one Fruit Past-all others which they were told not to eat. But the people wanted to do things their own way. They decided to Breakaway from God. Trouble is, everything started to go wrong! Things got really really Rocky.Suffering, pain, loneliness, bullying, violence, death – because we’d chosen our way instead of God’s way. Everything got really Haribo (horrible) So to give them a Boost God promised that things would change. One day a special person would come and put things right Many years later, a young woman was FRIGHTENED OUT OF HER WITS when an angel suddenly turned up. The Angel wondered if he might ease her fear. Don’t be scared he said, You’re going to have a son, the Son of God, call him Jesus A name that means he’ll save people, he’ll make them friends with God again. And though Joseph was a bit confused, he was a good egg,you couldn’t hope to meet aKinder man,so he decided to look after Mary, and God’s baby. So as the story goes Mary and Joseph traveled to Bethlehem. The journey was nopicnic and with Mary heavily pregnant, Joseph wondered if she’d Flake out on the way. From Nazareth to Bethlehem – they might have even passed Jaffa on the way. They finally found a room full of animals – it...