Sunday, December 22, 2019

Christmas 1 A (December 29): Jesus was a refugee/Christmas Can Make a Difference

Bible readings: Isaiah 63:7-9, Psalm 148, Hebrews 2:10-18, Matthew 2:13-23

About the Images:
Upper Left: This is a free image from Hermano Leon clip art. You can find a link to this site in the Links column to the left 
Upper Right : This is a painting by Eastman Johnson - A Ride for Liberty -- The Fugitive Slaves. This image is in the Public Domain and found at
Middle Left and RightThese free images both come from  See my links column at left.
Lower Left: This is a free image from the excellent Heartlight site - see my links column at left.

 Call to Worship: Nocturne
Show a variety of images of Jesus' family fleeing to Egypt and present day refugees while playing Nocturne by Secret Garden as a backing. Nocturne can be found on Secret Garden's album, Songs From a Secret Garden or on the compilation album Encore (pictured at left)

Kid's Story: The Christmas Miracle of Jonathan Toomey.
By Susam Wojciechowski and P. J. Lynch, Walker Books, 1995, ISBN 0744554020 (pictured at right)

Kid's Story: The legend of the Spider's Web
Found in The Lion Christmas Book compiled by Mary Batchelor, Lion, 1984, ISBN 0745912206, page 81 (pictured at left)

Drama: The Soldiers
From Cloth for the Cradle by Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose Publications, 1997, ISBN 1901557014, page 129 (pictured at right).

Drama: It Happened Again
Found in Mega Drama 2 by Verena Johnson (Ed.), Open Book, 2001, ISBN 085910916Xv2, page 104 (pictured at left).

Story: Christ
Index 677-723 from Bible Illustrator for Windows Version 1.0d, Parsons Technology Inc., 1990. Story about how Turner, the English painter, painted a storm at sea.

Story: The Manger Was Empty
Retold by Cassandra Lindell, in Christmas Stories of the Heart compiled by Alice Gray, Multnomah Books, 1997, ISBN 1576731847, page 17 (pictured at right).

Story: The Ivory and Gold Tablecloth
By Howard C Schade in Christmas Stories of the Heart, as above, page 24 ( pictured at above right)

 Story: The Manger is Empty
By Walter Wangerin in The Manger is Empty: Stories in Time, Spire, 1989, ISBN 0340555548, page 3 (pictured at left).

Poem: Once in Judah's Least Known City
From Cloth for the Cradle by Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose Publications, 1997, ISBN 1901557014, page 113 (pictured above right).

Poem: The Flight
Found in Outback Christmas by Pro Hart and Norman Habel, Lutheran Publishing House, 1990, ISBN 0859105628, page 44 (pictured at right).

Meditation and Response Activity: Women Weeping
From Cloth for the Cradle by Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose Publications, 1997, ISBN 1901557014, page 1183 (pictured above right)

Response Activity: Haiku (or Cinquaine)
If you didn't do this in Advent 4 (see my notes on Advent 4), this activity would also work well for this week.


Kids: Jesus Was a Refugee
This is another brilliant book  by Andrew McDonough, Lost Sheep Resources, 2012 (pictured at left). This goes with the Gospel reading.  The great thing about these books is that they only around $A7 and for a further $A10 (or instead of) you can buy on line the story in any format you need to project the pictures in church.  There are also free activity sheets and for a cost activity book for both teachers and children.  Visit to check out all the excellent resources.

Brilliant Comments on the Gospel
Found in Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes by Kenneth E. Bailey, SPCK, 2008, ISBN 9780281059751, pages 56-64.

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