Sunday, December 15, 2019

Christmas Day A: The Big Gift/The Light Wins

Bible readings: Isaiah 62:6-12, Psalm 97, Titus 3:4-7, Luke 2:1-20

About the Images:
Upper Left: This is a microsoft free clipart image with my Biblical text
Upper Right: This is a Christian image with Biblical text preceded by a line from the song "Sweet Little Jesus Boy" by Rebecca St James (see below).
Middle Left: This is my image taken of the ancient entrance and wall into Bethlehem. Please feel free to use it for worship and related activities.
Middle Right: This is a slide from Church Galleries - see my link in the column at left.
Lower Left:  A painting on the present day 8 metre high wall built by Israel surrounding Bethlehem and the West Bank preventing residents from freedom of movement. This is my photo - please feel free to use it for worship and related activities. 

Listening Song: Sweet Little Jesus Boy
By Rebecca St James on the WOW Christmas album (pictured at right)

 Kid's Story: Chi-Wee's Special Present
Found in The Lion Christmas Book compiled by Mary Batchelor, Lion, 1984, ISBN 0745912206, page 22 (pictured at left). This is a lovely story about what it really means to give a gift.

Kid's Story: One Little Angel
By Ruth Brown, Red Fox, 1998, ISBN 0099404362 (pictured at  right). This story has a delightful surprise ending.

Kid's Story: The Fox's Story
By Nick Butterworth and Mick Inkpen, 1988, ISBN 0551015799 (pictured at left).  This is one of a set of excellently illustrated stories. They have been republished insets of four however I never let mine out of my sight - just in case.

Kid's Stor
y: Great Joy
By Kate DiCamillo and Bagram Ibatoulline, Candlewick Press, 2007, ISBN 9780763629205 (pictured at right).

Kid's Story: Jed and Roy McCoy
by Andrew McDonough, Lost Sheep Resources, 2007 ISBN 9781921229121 (pictured at left). Visit lostshee for downloads of this book in a number of different formats for both Mac and PC.  The site also has free activity sheets and lots of other resources. 

Film Clip: When God was Born

Drama: Angel Space
Found in Lightning Sketches by Paul Burbridge and Murray Wells, Hodder and Stoughton, 1981, ISBN 0340267100, page 28 (pictured at left).

Drama: Accept My Gift
Found in Mega Drama 2 by Verena Johnson (Ed.), Open Book, 2001, ISBN 085910916Xv2, page 96

Drama: The Shepherd
From Cloth for the Cradle by Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose Publications, 1997, ISBN 1901557014, page 94

Drama: Unto You
Found in Mega Drama 2 by Verena Johnson (Ed.), Open Book, 2001, ISBN 085910916Xv2, page 90 .

Plenary Discussion:
How many people received Christmas cards this year?
How many people received religious ones?
With neighbours: Is the real story gradually being lost?

Story: Chippie's Bad Day
Found in More Hot Illustrations for Youth by Wayne Rice, Zondervan 1995, ISBN 0310207681 page 51.  An illustration of the difference Christmas can make to our lives.

Poems: From Outback Christmas
Pro Hart and Norman Habel, Lutheran Publishing House, 1990, ISBN 0859105628, page 32. If you want to give your service a real Australian flavour the following poems and their corresponding artwork go very well with the Luke reading for today: The Ride to Bethlehem (vs1-5), Jesus' Birth (6), The Bethlehem Pub (7), The Stockmens' Story (8-14), Report of the Stockmen (15-20)

Poem and Prayer: defiant light
Found in Dad and Daughter by Ron Gordon and Jennie Gordon, 2012, ISBN 9780646586601, page 6.  I am giving everyone a bookmark copy of this lovely poem to take home and discover at their leisure. This wonderful book has poems and prayers for the three year cycle of the lectionary.  

Meditation: The Word
From Cloth for the Cradle by Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose Publications, 1997, ISBN 1901557014, page 98.

Response Activity: Christmas Cards
Give everyone a business sized card as above (upper right image) and a time of silence to pray.

Response Activity: Light in the World
Have a big gift box at the front on the church filled with enough stars for everyone to take one home. Print a prayer about being light in the dark on each star. This idea is roughly based on an idea by Christine Wright in Christmas Wrapped Up! by Scripture Union, 2003 ISBN 9781859997956, page 78. (pictured at right and which is full of brilliant ideas for Christmas).


Meditation: Quiet Remembering
Found in Meditations from the Iona Community by Ian Reid, Wild Goose Publications, Trowbridge, 1998, ISBN 1901557022, page 16.

Brilliant Comments on the Gospel
Found in Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes by Kenneth E. Bailey, SPCK, 2008, ISBN 9780281059751, pages 25-37.

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