Sunday, December 27, 2020

Christmas 2 A and B and C (January 3): Special Children/Shining Lights


Readings: Jeremiah 31:7-14, Psalm 147:12-20, Ephesians 1:3-4, John 1:1-9, 10-18

A little note:  Well you learn something new everyday!  Christmas 2 is the same EVERY year.  Not sure why - possibly because it does not show up often,  

About the Images:
Upper Left: This is a free image from Heartlight. To visit their site, go to my links column on the left hand side of this page.
Upper Right: This is a free clipart image from Hermano Leon with my text. To find his clipart, go to my links column on the left hand side of this page.
Middle Left: This is a free image from Church Galleries.  See my link column at left. 
Middle Right: This image comes from another excellent free site: I put the text on to the image.
Lower Left and RightThese are more free images from Heartlight.

Listening Song: Immanuel
By Michael Card and found on his CD, Joy in the Journey (pictured at left).

Listening Song: Dies Irae 
By Robert Prizeman on his album, Libera (pict
ured at right). This song uses some of the gospel words.

Kid's Talk: Reflecting the Light
A great kid's story and associated puzzle and colouring-in pages based on John 1:6-9 can be found

Kids' Story: Our Granny
By Margaret Wild and Julie Vivas, Omnibus Books, 1993, ISBN 1862913501 (pictured at left). This story develops the idea of family and therefore relates to how we are all children of God.

Drama: A Perfect Disgrace
Found in Cloth For the Cradle by the Wild Goose Worship Group, Wild Goose Publications, 1997, ISBN 1901557014, page 100 (pictured at right).

Drama: Don't You See Me
A lovely moving drama which goes well with the Ephesians reading. If you cannot find the music for the song or do not have a singer, I think that reading the words of the song would work quite well.  You can find this drama at
Film Clips: A Christmas Carol - The Musical
This Dickens story (pictured at left) runs parallel to the second half of the gospel reading as follows: John 1:10-11:Rejecting Jesus: Scrooge as he is at the beginning of the film. John 1: 12-13: Accepting Jesus: Scrooge as he is when, in the graveyard, he finally realises what it is all about. John 1: 14-18: Reflecting Jesus: Scrooge at the end of the film when he cannot help but spread good cheer, love and generosity.  I found all three clips at

Film Clip: The Cider House Rules
 Show the clip (around 13 minutes in) where Curley is told he is special. This goes very well with the part in the John reading and the Ephesians reading that tells us that we are God's special children.

Story: Not Unless You Take It
This story, based on the John reading, can be found at under section 2B.

Story: Point to the Light
Found in The Youth Bible, Word Publishing, 1991, ISBN 0849909252, page 1058 (pictured at left). This story goes well with the gospel reading.

Quote: Madeleine L'Engle
It starts with "cribb'd, cabined and confined" and can be found in in Imaging the Word Volume 2 by Susan A. Blain Sharon Iverson Glouwens, Catherine O'Callaghan, Grant Spradling (Eds.), United Church Press, 1995, ISBN 0829810331, page 105 (pictured at right).

Adult Response:
Challenge everyone with the Reject, Accept, and Reflect challenges found in John 1:10-18. It is interesting to note that in John's view accepting Jesus without reflecting him in your life is pretty much the same as rejecting him. Give people some space and time to think about this. 


Worship Activity: Responsive Reading
By Jim Burns and Robin Dugall in Worship Experiences, Gospel Light, 1999, ISBN, 0830724044, page 680 (pictured at left).  This is based on the John reading.

Prayer Exercise: Singing our Prayers
Found in Prayer: Heart of the Pilgrimage by Jenny Youngman, Upper Room Books, Nashville, 2007, ISBN 0835898369, page 68 (pictured at right).  This is based on the Psalm reading.
Drama: Accept My Gift
Found in Mega Drama 2 by Verena Johnson (Ed.), Open Book, 2001, ISBN 085910916Xv2, page 96 (pictured at left). This drama is based on the John reading.

Drama: Heavenly Gift
Found in Mega Drama 4 by Verena Johnson (Ed.), Open Book, 2002, ISBN 0859109186, page 27. This is based on the John reading.  


New Years Day A or B or C: All Things New

Readings: Ecclesiastes 3:13, Psalm 8, Revelation 21:1-6, Matthew 25:31-46

About the Image:
Upper Left: Hibiscus bud photographed in my garden - you are free to use this image for worship and related activities.
Upper Right: This is my photo (my front yard) with words from the John Marsden prayer below. You are free to use my photo for worship and related activities.
Middle left: A free image from
Middle right: A free image from Church Galleries (see my links column at left)
Lower Left and Right: These are free Heartlight images - see my link column at left.

Confession: The Paradox of Our Times 
This can be found in many places on the net and makes a good confession if read by two people. U
se 1 John 2:1-2 as your absolution.

Kid's Story: The "Sheep Lion"
Found in Illustrations, Stories and Quotes to Hang Your Message On by Jim Burns and Greg McKinnon, Gospel Light, 1997, ISBN 0830718834, page 147 (pictured at right). This is a story about recognising who you are in the context of God's purpose for your life.

Story: Missed Opportunities 
This story can be found at
/mt06v19b.html. Scroll down until you find the heading "Folly".

Prayer: Prayer For the 21st Century
By John Marsden, Lothian Books, 1997, ISBN 0850918146 (pictured at left). A beautifully illustrated prayer appropriate for every new day, let alone every new year. It goes well with the track Adiemus by the group Adiemus on their CD, Songs of Sanctuary (pictured at right).

Response Activity:
Invite people to stand up and name a ministry in which they are involved in or in which they feel called (by God but not necessarily by the church) to be involved in, in the future (this may be something nobody is yet doing in the church).

Response Activity:
I combined the above Response Activity, the Prayer for the 21st Century and Wesley's covenant prayer as three distinct prayer stations to finish off the service.  People had the option and the time to visit all three stations or to spend time at just one or two. 


Taize Service: Loving the Least
Found in Worship Feast by Taize, Abingdon Press, 2004, page 14 (pictured at left). This is based on the Matthew reading.

Prayer Exercise: The Psalms Teach Us to Pray
Found in Prayer: Heart of the Pilgrimage by Jenny Youngman, Upper Room Books, Nashville, 2007, ISBN 0835898369, page 42 (pictured at right).  This is based on the Psalm reading.
Kids: Cecil and Psalm 8
This is another brilliant book  by Andrew McDonough, Lost Sheep Resources, 2012 (pictured at left). This goes with the Psalm.  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 books for both teachers and children.  Visit to check out all the excellent resources.

For Children and Families: God is Wise
Found in Rewind by Beth Barnett, SU Victoria, 2011, ISBN987098710035, navigate from page 5 (pictured at right). This is based on the Ecclesiastes reading. 
Various Ideas: The Glorious End of the Message
Found in Multi-Sensory Message by Dave Maclure, Scripture Union, 2008, ISBN 9781844272730, page 46 (pictured at left). Connected with the Revelation reading.

Drama: Words Don't Mean a Thing
Found in Mega Drama 4 by Verena Johnson (Ed.), Open Book, 2002, ISBN 0859109186, page 104. This is based on the Matthew reading.  

Poem: I think
Found in In Due Season by Herbert F Brokering, Augsburg Publishing, 1966 (pictured at right) in the Summer section.

Complete Service: Service for a Battered Woman
Found in In this Hour by Dorothy McRae-McMahon, Desbooks, 2001, ISBN 094982433X, page 37ff. 


Holy Name of Jesus Sunday

Drama: No Ordinary Baby
Found in Mega Drama 4 by Verena Johnson (Ed.), Open Book, 2002, ISBN 0859109186, page 97. This is based on the Luke reading.