Christmas – Why Christmas?

This is a session exploring some different perspectives of Christmas.

Resources needed: wrapping paper, selotape, wallpaper, pens, bibles, Laptop, projector, speakers, Joseph video (YouTube link), alternative Christmas story (click to download) (note: this resource is used on another of our Christmas resources but the questions are tweaked for this session)

Game: Have a couple of rolls of wrapping paper and 2 reels of selotape. Split the group into two smaller groups and challenge them to wrap one of their team members. Score them on neatness of wrapping, body covered, amount of selotape used etc.

Ask: What is your favourite part of Christmas?

Christmas Timeline Activity

Split the group into 4 small groups and ask each group to read the bible passage and timeline the events that happen in bullet form.

Passages: Luke 1:26-38, Luke 2:1-20, Matthew 1:18-25 and Matthew 2:1-18

Then bring the groups back together and using a big roll of wallpaper make a big timeline of all the things that happened around Christmas time. (You could use dates from -4BC to about 0 BC (Note: Herod died just before 0BC)

Explain: We can now see the Christmas story as a bigger picture with all the parts mentioned in the bible rolled into one.

Ask: What about the Christmas story we’ve just wrote down stands out the most? Why?

Explain: If we were to summarise the Christmas story we could use John 1: 14 which in the message says:

The Word became flesh and blood,

    and moved into the neighborhood.

We saw the glory with our own eyes,

    the one-of-a-kind glory,

    like Father, like Son,

Generous inside and out,

    true from start to finish.

Small Groups – For this you need to split your group in two and have two areas set up for the 2 activities laid out below. After 10/5 minutes switch the groups around so both will have done both activities.

Group 1/Activity 1 – Joseph

Video: Watch the Joseph video –  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fQ0oak1MwXs

Questions

– What was your initial reaction to this perspective?

– Did it make anything in particular stand out?

– Do you think it works well as a modern perspective?

– How appropriate do you think the setting of this version is?

–  Are any of the thoughts in the video similar to how you think you would feel in Joseph’s position? Do any differ

Group 2/Activity 2 – Modern Day Nativity

Read the modern day nativity story and questions (on the next page)

After 10/15 minutes switch groups over

As a big group…

Ask: What (if anything) stood out from the two perspectives? Did either of them help you understand more about why Jesus coming to earth is something we should celebrate?

Prayer – In groups, thinking about the significance of Jesus coming to earth, perhaps reflecting on the message passage:

The Word became flesh and blood,

    and moved into the neighborhood.

We saw the glory with our own eyes,

    the one-of-a-kind glory,

    like Father, like Son,

Generous inside and out,

    true from start to finish.