come and see

John 1:46 “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” Nathanael asked.“Come and see,” answered Philip.


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Christmas Awards Ceremony

Yes, I know it’s only September, but Christmas will be here before you know it, and we have certainly already started to think about our Children’s Christmas Service. So we thought it was about time we shared with you what we did last year. This is an original work by Vanessa; feel free to use it or adapt it as you wish, but an acknowledgment of the source would be appreciated.
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The theme was a “Red Carpet Awards Ceremony”, with Vanessa as the reporter greeting the celebrities as they arrived. This enabled her to hold a clipboard which had both her words and the words of each of the participants on it. Made it so much easier all around, with no stressing about forgotten lines. There were no costumes – everyone was invited to dress as if they were going to a real awards ceremony, but we did have some Angels there as well.

I have included a note of the songs that we used between each “celebrity”, but you may well have your own favourites that you want to use.

So, without further ado, Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to:

THE GOVERNORS BAY CHRISTMAS AWARDS CEREMONY!

Song: They Came to a Christmas Party (Starshine Singers, from Jesus’ Christmas Party)

Interviewer: Good morning everyone and welcome to WWJD TV, where we are live at the Governors Bay Christmas Awards Ceremony. We hope to be able to bring you interviews with many of the Nominees as they arrive on the red carpet today. And look, here is our first celebrity arriving now!

MARY
Interviewer: Hi Mary. It must be exciting to be at the 2013 Governors Bay Christmas awards. I know you have an important part to play in Christmas. You are the mother of Jesus. Wow you must have a really amazing story to tell so please share it with us here today and for all the viewers at home…

"Mary" on the red Carpet

“Mary” on the red Carpet

Mary: Look I am just a girl who believes in God. A while back I got the fright of my life, first when an angel appeared and then when I was told I was pregnant, and I wasn’t planning that, not yet  – I hadn’t even got the wedding invitations out.

Interviewer: Crickey, an angel what was that like?

Mary: His name was Gabriel and he was big, bright and beautiful. He told me not to be afraid because I was going have God’s son.  I was pleased I was already sitting down when he said that. Can you imagine being chosen to have God’s son. But wait there’s more …. my cousin Elizabeth who hadn’t been able to get pregnant was going to have a baby too, at the same time, so I went to see her to give glory to God for our babies and, of course, swap swollen ankle stories.

Interviewer: It must have been nice to have some relaxation before the birth.

Mary: Relaxation, if only! Just after I got back from Elizabeth’s, Joseph tells me we have to go to Bethlehem and the only transport left is a donkey. I suppose it is better than having to walk the whole way.

Interviewer: Thanks for your time Mary. You really were blessed by God weren’t you.

Song: Mary’s Boy Child

 JOSEPH
Interviewer: Hi Joseph. I gotta say it must have been bad news to hear that Mary was pregnant. First because you weren’t married, and even worse than that, it wasn’t your baby. So come on tell us your Christmas story.

"Joseph" tells his story

“Joseph” tells his story

Joseph: Mary and I were sorting out the wedding – well, Mary was. She loves organising all that.  And, yeah, I was not happy when Mary told me she was pregnant because I knew it wasn’t my baby.  Nazareth is a small town and everybody knows everybody, and of course that also means everybody knows everybody’s business. I really wanted to do the right thing and stay with her, but I was thinking about breaking up.

Interviewer: I didn’t know you were going to break up. So why did you stay?

Joseph: I had a visit from an angel who told me that God was the father of Mary’s baby, and I was to name the baby Jesus. Well that settled it for me, I wasn’t going to argue with an angel  – would you? So  straight away I married Mary, but just before the baby was born we had to go Bethlehem.

Interviewer: Bethlehem that’s about 130km from Nazareth – like going from Governors Bay to Hanmer Springs. It must have been something important to go to, especially with Mary just about to give birth.

Joseph: Yeah, it was very important. The Roman Emperor ordered a census, which meant you had to go back to where your family came from. I come from the tribe of David and our home town is Bethlehem. Pregnant or not we had to go, so we packed up and went on a road trip. There are quite a lot of us now from the tribe of David, so Bethlehem was busy, but we finally got somewhere to stay. That was lucky because pretty soon after that Mary gave birth to our son. We were in with the animals mind you. Did you know I am a carpenter? I just wish I could have carried all my tools to make a cot. We had to lie our baby in a manger. A manger! .. you know, that thing they put hay in to feed the animals. Wasn’t made that well either!

Interviewer: Thanks Joseph. We can see what a special guy you are because God chose you to raise his son. And I’d like to add what a great man that son turned out to be.

Song: Away in a manger

 INNKEEPER
Interviewer: And look here comes the innkeeper whose place was where Jesus was born. Hang on, I will try get a word with him as he goes past. Hi, I’m from WWJD TV. Can you please give us a moment to hear your story?

Our Innkeeper looks back on a profitable time

Our Innkeeper looks back on a profitable time

Innkeeper: Yeah, sure. I’m Donald from The Do Duck Inn. Mention you saw me on TV tonight and you can have a 5% discount on the room rate!
Well that first Christmas it was real busy. Bethlehem was the home town for the tribe of David, so it was like a huge family reunion. I filled up every room we had – and at a full rate price too. But all these people kept knocking on the door even though I had a sign out saying there was no room in the inn.  Then a couple came to the door, and I was about to turn them away like all the others, but I saw the woman- she was pretty close to having a baby and if that happened I could charge for another person!
So I let them sleep with the animals. No way was I giving them my bed. My bed is made from beautiful exotic wood, carved by the best artists and my sheets are made from the finest Egyptian cotton. They’re weren’t royalty you know, just from that small town of Nazareth. Nothing good will ever come from Nazareth.
I remember their names too, Mary and Joseph. Mary – how common! Everyone these days is called Mary. And they had visitors all night too. How did all these people hear about the birth of the baby? Someone must have posted it on Facebook.

Interviewer: Great, thanks for that, all the best at the awards.

Song: Knock on Another Door (Starshine Singers, from A Wriggly Nativity)

 ANGELS
Interviewer: Well this lot need no introduction…..here come the angels. I love you all! I have an angel at the top of our Christmas tree at home. So how was that first Christmas for you?

The Awesome Angels!

The Awesome Angels!

Angel: What a busy time we angels had with the birth of Jesus. It was brilliant! We hadn’t been that busy… ever. I always love seeing how those people react – sometimes frightened  like this (pulls face), sometimes surprised like this (pulls face) and sometimes both like this!!! Remember Mary – she did both faces. Her and Joseph were really surprised finding out there was an unexpected baby on the way, and it was God’s son too. Gabriel was the angel who visited Mary. Pretty scary seeing Gabriel, mind you; he is really big and really shiny. I would just like to say if you ever see an angel we aren’t scary at all.

Interviewer: So some of you angels visited Mary and Joseph, the parents of Jesus. Did you scare… I mean visit… anyone else?

Angel: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Gabriel went to tell some shepherds about Jesus being born, and they were NOT happy to see him. But when a whole heap of us angels joined Gabriel and we sang the shepherds beautiful songs of praise to God, they weren’t scared anymore and took off into Bethlehem to find Jesus.Thank goodness we got the next few days off!

Interviewer: It must have such a busy and exciting time as you raced around telling everyone about God’s son, Jesus, coming here to earth. Just like you are doing again today – telling all these people about that the very first Christmas,  the day when Jesus was born.

Song: Hark! the Herald Angels Sing

 SHEPHERDS

The Shepherds: some of those sheep seem rather lively!

The Shepherds: some of those sheep seem rather lively!

Interviewer: So, hello shepherds! I am pleased to see you could get some time off work and come to the Governors Bay Christmas Awards. As you can see it is a big event here, look at all the people who have come to see the Christmas celebrities. I bet you became celebrities in Bethlehem after that first Christmas.

Chief Shepherd: Celebrities? You betcha! Everyone wanted our autographs after that night. It started out normal enough. We had eaten our tea and were settled in watching the sheep. Then this humungous angel appears! I thought I was seeing things but everyone else was freaking out too.

Interviewer: Can you remember what the angel said to you?

Shepherd: Remember? I can’t forget that night, ever. Well first he said not to be afraid – Yeah right! He said the Saviour, the Messiah, was in Bethlehem. That’s our town. And he said we will find a baby wrapped in cloths lying in a manger. Now that’s the oddest thing, because we have been waiting for the one to save us for  generations and he said we would find a baby lying amongst the animals. The animals!

Interviewer: This Christmas story sure has some exciting parts in it.

Shepherd: Hang on, it gets better. So we have one angel, right. Next thing there are so many angels in the night sky that it is as bright as day. And the coolest part is they all begin singing praises to God. It was better than a Justin Bieber, One Direction and a Selina Gomez concert all rolled into one. After that the angels disappeared, and so did we.

Interviewer: What you went to heaven too?

Shepherd: No! We raced into Bethlehem to find the baby and tell everyone about it. We haven’t stopped talking about yet either.

Interviewer: Thank you for your time. What a life changing experience for some shepherds to have.

Shepherd: Here is our agents card, we now do radio and TV interviews, giving our firsthand account of Christmas.

Song: While Shepherds watched their flocks

 THREE WISE PEOPLE
Interviewer: Oh look we have got some interesting looking characters arriving now. Let’s see why they are here at the Christmas Awards.

(Enter three Wise Persons, being led by person carrying star on a stick)

Wise Person 1: Greetings and salutations. We are accredited representatives from the Oriental Association for nocturnal observers of celestial bodies.

Wise Person 3: HUH?

Wise Person 2: We’re stargazers from the East!

Wise Person 1: Affirmative.  In accordance with our customary nocturnal activities…

Wise Person 3: HUH?

Wise Person 2: Let me do this – we are wise, not geniuses! No one will ever understand what happened if you keep talking like that.

Interviewer: Whew, Thank you

The Wise Persons (and star)

The Wise Persons (and star)

Wise Person 2: We noticed a bright star appear in the sky in such a place and formation that we realised a new King of the Jews had been born. We would have arrived sooner in Bethlehem had the maps in the GPS been updated. It wasn’t my fault, someone (secret pointing to WP3) else was in charge of navigation. Really I don’t know why she is even in the wisest of the wise club, because she’s not that clever.Interviewer: So how did you find this new baby king?

Wise Person 2: The first obvious place was to ask the current King, King Herod, but he didn’t know anything about it. Luckily the other GPS worked.

Interviewer: The other GPS, what’s that?

Wise Person 2: Glowing Prominent Star, of course.

Interviewer: Yes of course!

Wise Person 2: So we followed the star all they way to Jesus. We had brought the baby special gifts with us from the east.

Interviewer: What did you get him?

Wise Person 2: I gave gold, she gave frankincense, a very special perfume. And she gave myrrh – an oil for rubbing on dead bodies! It was a baby we were going to visit! I told you, not so bright.

Interviewer: It must have been easier going back home, the same way?

Wise Person 2: Oh no, we didn’t do that. God had warned us in a dream that King Herod was not going to worship Jesus. The King was not happy knowing there was now someone new who would take his throne, and we did not to be any part of that thank you very much!

Interviewer: No, thank you very much for your time today.

Song: We three Kings

CONCLUSION
Interviewer: I am so excited! I can’t wait to meet Jesus. I wonder when he will get here today? That might be him coming down the red carpet now…
(another person comes up and whispers to the interviewer)
What? He’s not coming? But Christmas isn’t Christmas without Jesus! It even has his name in it  – Christ-mas. What am I going to tell everyone? How will they get to meet him?
(more whispering)
God’s gift to us was Jesus, who was born on Christmas Day. Not a gift just for that  day but for everyday. If you want to hear his side of the story…ask him yourself, he would love to hear from you.

Song: Joy to the World

All of the Celebrity Guests, with Interviewer

All of the Celebrity Guests, with Interviewer

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Joshua and the Battle of Jericho

Luke enthusiastically blowing to make the walls fall down!

Luke enthusiastically blowing to make the walls fall down!

Joshua 6: 1-27

For our telling of the story of the Battle of Jericho last week, we looked at it from the point of view of some of those involved.

We built “City Walls” from building blocks on a piece of board, and walked around this after hearing from each person. For the final “day”, after we had gone around  seven times, we banged on the board that the “City Walls” were on so that they fell down. We also made “trumpets” to be blown whilst walking around the walls, and you can find those instructions at the end of this post.

We started and ended with Joshua speaking; the other parts can be in any order.

Day 1: Joshua
Now, I know I’m new to this leading armies lark, but these are the strangest instructions I’ve ever come across for defeating a city! But still, you know what they say, “the Lord works in mysterious ways”.

So, all the fighting men, fully armed. Check.
The Ark of the Covenant carried in front of the soldiers. Check.
Seven Priest blowing trumpets in front of them. Check.  

Now remember, you men, do not give a war cry, do not raise your voices, do not say a word until the day I tell you to shout. Then shout! Once round the city, then back to camp for the night.  

Day 2: Soldier
Well, I must admit this wasn’t quite what I had in mind when I signed up to be a soldier. I was expecting lots of fighting – you know, swishing swords, clashing shields, that sort of thing, but there’s not been any sign of that recently.

Of course I knew there was going to be lots of marching – how else are we to get from one place to the next? But that’s just it – marching is for going from here to there – from point A to point B, if you like – not for going round and round in circles. Sorry, make that circle, singular.
But no, it’s “Hey ho lads – up before dawn, one quick march around the city, then that’s it for the day.”

Day 3: Jericho Citizen
So, that’s the famous Israelite army is it? A sight to strike fear into all our hearts? I don’t think so! You know, it’s only a couple of weeks ago that we heard that the whole Israelite nation had managed to cross over the River

Jordan without getting their feet wet. Rumour has it that their God dried up the river totally – and this is when it was in flood. Definitely gave us pause for thought – I mean, if they really had a God that powerful on their side, you could hardly blame a person for a bit of the old “hearts melting in fear” reaction.

But, if they really had a God that powerful on their side, why aren’t they attacking us instead of indulging in a daily stroll? No, definitely don’t think too much of their tactics. What do they think they’re going to do – walk the city into surrender?

Day 4: Child
Mum, Mum, look. It’s the soldiers again.
Why do they come so early? They woke me up!
Why are they just walking round and round the city?  

Day 5: Priest
Excuse me if I have a bit of trouble making myself understood – mouth’s a bit sore from all the trumpet blowing, don’t you know. What was that? Am I in a marching band? Ha, ha, very funny.

You must admit we make quite a sight, all dressed up in our priestly robes, leading the procession around Jericho. And not just anyone can play those Ram’s horn trumpets you know – there is quite a technique involved in getting the sound just right.

Actually, I was quite honoured when I learnt that I’d been chosen as one of the seven trumpeters. What no-one told me was we’d be playing the same tune all the way around, every single day. Now, don’t get me wrong, I like the traditional music as much as anyone else –but surely a bit of variety wouldn’t do any harm!  

Day 6: Rahab
There they go again. Another day, another march past. I just hope those Israelite spies that I helped managed to get back to their camp – and most of all I hope they keep their promise to make sure me and my family are safe from harm.

I know it might seem strange that I am siding with the very people who want to destroy the city I have lived in all my life, but I’ve heard all about that God of theirs, how powerful he is, and how much he has done for his people, and I so long to be able to receive the same blessings for myself.

I’ve got Mum & Dad here, my brothers and the sisters-in-law, and all the nephews and nieces. Surely they must be taking the city soon. I’ll just tie this scarlet cord in the window like the spies told me to, so the soldiers know which is my house.

Day 7: Joshua
Listen up men! I’m sure you must all be thinking that this is a strange way to win a city, but I think we should all have got used to the fact by now that God has his own ways of getting things done. I am proud of you all for your unquestioning obedience over the last six days – and especially pleased with you all managing to keep silence during our daily marches. You will all be pleased to know that today is the day!

Today, instead of once round Jericho, we go round seven times. You still need to keep quiet when you’re marching, and the Priests will still be blowing on their trumpets. But, at the end of our seventh time around the Priests will blow a long blast on the trumpets, and that’s the cue for you all to let rip with your voices. Shout out loud – praise the Lord with all the strength of your lungs because He has given you the city!

 

Conclusion:

The Battle of Jericho is the first battle of the Israelites during their conquest of the land of Canaan. The army was ready. They had been training to get into battle mode. They had the right fighting stuff – armour, swords, shields, bows and arrows. And this was the first battle of the campaign. There was  anticipation and there was excitement…Now let’s get ready to rumble!

It starts out normal enough – send in spies to see what the enemy is up to before going into battle. Find out where the guards were placed, whether anyone disliked the king and could help them, what weapons and armour the guards had, when the guards changed shifts, how much food, water, and other supplies the city had, and the height and width of the walls to determine how to overcome the city. I would say that is very normal battle tactics, and those tactics are still used today.

God had given specific instructions for battle to Joshua. We have just read and even been and acted out that battle. And I can’t think of any part of that battle that is normal battle tactics! When you were pretending to be a soldier all ready for battle and then had to be quiet and walk around the city you were ready to fight, what did you think?

I have spent a while thinking about this reading and realised our God is not a “normal” God. He likes to mix it up, do it different. I think we tend to put our human expectations and limitations on Him. He enters a city by walking around it for seven days so that the walls fall down with a shout. Not normal.

God likes to do the unexpected but it always takes something on our part first, – then in the Bible and now today. Faith and obedience. Joshua and his army obeyed God’s word, trusted in God’s promises, and were rewarded with the fulfilment of God’s promises to them.

If you are getting ready for battle, are fighting with something – simply ask God for instructions, have faith it will happen and obey Him. It may not be what YOU think will happen, but, hey, remember our God is not a normal God restricted by our understanding and limitations.

 

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Make a “Trumpet”

You will need:IMG_0698

Drinking straws
Baking paper
Card/advertising flyers
Sellotape
Scissors

For each “trumpet” cut the straw to about 4 or 5 cm long; cut a piece oIMG_0700f baking paper 4mm wide and 14 cm long. Fold this in half, ensuring that if the paper curls at all, the two loose ends curl towards each other. Feed the baking paper into the piece of straw so that the loose ends are just inside the end of the straw and the folded end sticks out. Bend the folded end over the end of the straw and tape it down. Now, blow through the straw from the end where the paper is taped down – the loose ends vibrating inside the straw will make a noise.

Now make a cone shape out of card, or recycle by using stiff paper advertising flyers. Push the straw into the narrow end of the cone and blow – the noise is amplified, and you have a “trumpet”!

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Extreme Makeover – the God Edition

Extreme MakeoverVanessa recently read in the Enjoying Everyday Life magazine from Joyce Meyer Ministries (March/April 2014 edition), an article entitled Getting Unstuck – learn to shake off the past and claim your new beginning. It starts with the sentence “Have you ever noticed all the people throughout the Bible that God gave a fresh start?” and that got us thinking about some of the fresh starts and “makeovers” we hear about in the Bible, giving us the springboard for this skit which we did last week. There are two speaking parts, with three more people needed to sit there and be talked about. The first is Moses, so try to get someone quite a bit older, second is Ruth, so a female, and the third is Paul. It is quite fun to not let anyone (even the participants) know who the “candidates” are -see if they can work it out from the hosts’ chat

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First Host:
Thank you for joining us today for Extreme Makeover – the God Edition. Can we have our first candidate come up please. So you think God can still do something with you. Well I see here you have already had quite a life. When you were born your mother left you in the bushes where you were found by the Royal princess, and you were raised in the Egyptian palace alongside the Royal prince. Awesome. What an incredible start to life. Then you stuffed things up – big time. You saw an Egyptian beating a slave so you killed the Egyptian and buried him in the sand. When you knew you had been seem you ran away into the desert and settled with the Midianites. You have already had quite a life. Not sure how much time you have left, to be honest. I don’t know if there is really anything I can do with you. Sorry….

Second Host:
Well, you know what they say – where there’s life there’s hope. And at least he is still alive – just about. However, you know that other saying “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”? Well, I don’t think that’s true in this case. In fact, I foresee quite a few new tricks up his sleeves in the near future. I think he could also be responsible for a significant increase in the numbers of certain species in the area – although that may not make him particularly popular with the local council! And if you want someone who will bring people together with a common purpose and goal, he’s definitely your man. I know he doesn’t look like he’s got much influence, but he’s going to be responsible for a significant change in the emigration policy of the country he lives in. And I definitely foresee travel in his future – in fact, quite a long journey. Sandcastles may be involved, although I don’t think he’s likely to be dipping his toes in the sea. He better have a good meal before he sets off though, as it might be only bread and water on the journey. Thank you for participating, Moses. You can return to your seat, and can we have our second candidate, please.

First Host:
You are from Moab – I can tell just by looking at you. You lot are not liked at all really. That is bad news; I don’t know what I can do with that. And you are a widow. And have no children. I don’t know who would want to marry you. Well this is really a challenge so, over to you …

Second Host:
Well, I can see there are a lot of negatives about her, but, you know, she is very loyal – just look how much she’s done for that moaning Minnie she lives with! There’s not many young widows who’d be willing to move to another country to look after their Mother-in-law, let alone end up doing manual labour to get the food they need to survive! I think you’ll find that she’s actually much admired for al that by the people off the town she now lives in. And look at how much she’s stepped out of her comfort zone – I mean, some of those suggestions of Mum-in-law were a bit close to the edge of acceptable behaviour, but this brave young lady was willing to follow through on those ideas, and I’m certain it will pay off for her. Yes, all in all, I think there’s a great future ahead for her: a happy marriage; elevation in social status; lots of friends – lots of children! I think you’ll find that she’ll be the matriarch of a great family – a Royal family even. You know, Kings, and people even more influential than that further down the line. Thank you for participating, Ruth. You can return to your seat, and can we have our third candidate, please.

First Host:
Here is a really big challenge. I can’t see what God could do with you because you are already very successful and respected. Actually, I would even say you are a man of great influence.

Second Host:
Yes, but he’s a bit prejudiced isn’t he? Got very fixed ideas about what you should and shouldn’t believe – and certainly seems to be in favour of extreme punishments for those that don’t think like he does. Mind you, I think he’s misguided more than anything else. Maybe a little holiday would help him see things more clearly – you know, get the scales to drop from his eyes. I hear Damascus Donkey Tours do a good deal. I know you think he’s the bees knees now, but with a change in focus he has the potential to influence half the know world. Get his passions engaged in the right way and the words will just pour out of him. He’s a great one for writing, you know, and I think that there’s a very real possibility that the things he writes will still be being read, and influencing people’s lives, hundreds of years from now. I’m not saying things will be easy for him from now on in. He’ll definitely be going on some long journeys – on some more willingly than on others – and some of the transport safety ratings might be a bit suspect. He might well have to rely on the charity of others for food and accommodation, and even resort to his old occupation of making camping equipment at times. But yes, you are right, he is a man of great influence – and will continue to be so for a very long time. Thank you for participating – sorry, is it Saul or Paul? You can return to your seat.

Conclusion:
Would you like a change in your life. Maybe even an extreme makeover? All things are possible with God. He has done it before – He can do it again. We have picked only three out of the bible, but there are so many more people that God has transformed, both in the Bible and right up to the present day. Moses – the man who was abandoned by his mother, killed an Egyptian and ran away to the desert. Moses – the man who God used to bring the Israelites out of Egyptian slavery and who God gave the 10 commandments to. Ruth – a foreign woman from a place not like by many, and the fact that she was a widow and childless didn’t make her a catch either. But Ruth loved God and that made a difference. Ruth married Boaz, and they had a son, Obed, who had a son, Jesse, who had a son, David – the same one who killed Goliath and became King. And further down the family line there was Jesus. And Paul, a man who was very successful and respected for persecuting Christians, became persecuted himself for being a Christian. He wrote much of the New Testament and guided the early Christian church. You are not too young or too old, too shy or too loud, you don’t have too much history or not enough scars from life. You are a child of God. The same God who paints the sunrise and sunset has plans for us bigger and better than we could even imagine. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it —– if you are willing.

Written jointly by Vanessa & Gail


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The Rainbow – Living together in unity (Psalm 133:1)

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“How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1)

As a reminder of how we are all different, but together we make something beautiful in God’s eyes, we put together this gorgeous jigsaw picture.

Now obviously this required pre-planning. Vanessa’s husband cut out the individual wooden pieces – we went for straight sides with a groove at the bottom and a lip at the top, so they would fit together nicely, and also so that it didn’t matter if not everyone brought one back. These were delivered to each family (one per person) during the week before the service, with basic instructions to decorate them in any way they wanted and to bring them along on the Sunday. We had time during the service to share what we had done and why, and then Gail took it home to glue it all together.

We are planning to have this on display at each service and, hopefully, have a permanent position for it in the Church when it is finally rebuilt.

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We also did a skit adapted from the story “The Rainbow” (written by Anne Hope, 1978, based on an Indian legend), inviting everyone to come along in rainbow colours for the service.

The Rainbow

Narrator: Once upon atime all the colours in the world started to quarrel: each claimed that it was the best, the most important, the most useful, the favourite…..

Green: Clearly I am the most important. I am the sign of life and of hope. I was chosen for grass, trees, leaves. Without me all the animals would die. Look out over the countryside and there is green as far as the eye can see.

Blue: You only think about the earth, but about the sky and the sea? Blue is the colour of water which is the basis of life. The water in the rivers, the lakes and the sea. Blue is the colour of the sky, which gives space, peace and serenity.

Yellow: You are all so serious. I bring laughter, fun and warmth into the world. The sun is yellow, the moon is yellow and the stars are yellow. Every time you look at a sunflower the whole world starts to smile. Without me, there would be no fun.

Orange: I am the colour of health and strength. I may be scarce, but I am precious for I serve the inner need of human life. I carry all the most important vitamins. Think of carrots, pumpkins, oranges, mangoes and pawpaws. I don’t hang around all the time but when I fill the sky at sunrise or sunset my beauty is so striking that no one gives another thought to any of you.

Red (shouting): I’m the ruler of you all. Blood – Life needs blood. I am the colour of danger and bravery. I am willing to fight for the cause. I bring fire in the blood. Without me the earth would be as empty as the moon. I am the colour of passion and of love, the red rose and poppy.

Purple: I am the colour of royalty and power. Kings, chiefs and bishops, have always chosen me for I am a sign of authority and wisdom. People do not question me, they listen and obey.

Indigo (quietly): Think of me. I am the colour of silence. You hardly notice me, but without me you all become superficial. You need me for balance and contrast. You need me for prayer and inner peace, for thought and reflection.

Narrator: And so the colours went on like this, each convinced that it was the best. Their quarrelling become louder and louder. Suddenly there was a startling flash of brilliant white lightening, thunder rolled and boomed.  Rain started to pour down relentlessly. The colours all crouched down in fear, drawing close to one another for comfort.
Then rain spoke…..

Rain: You foolish colours. Fighting amongst yourselves, each trying to dominate the rest. Do you not know that God made every one of you – each for a special purpose, unique and different? Each and every one of you is loved and wanted by him. Stand up and join hands with one another. God will stretch you across the sky in a great bow of colour. This will be a reminder of his love for you all, that you can live together in peace, a promise that he is with you and a sign of hope for tomorrow.

 

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Our argumentative Rainbow!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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The Lightmaker

Once upon a time (some of you may even remember when) there was a village, not far from here, that lived in darkness. This meant that the people got lost sometimes because they couldn’t find their own way in the dark. Sometimes they fell down and it was quite difficult to get back up. And they couldn’t see all the beautiful things around them like the hills and even their friends. It was dark.

But one day something happened that changed their lives forever. Someone came to town.

He met a person that didn’t even know they had a torch and so The Lightmaker (as he became known) found it for them.

The second person had a torch but couldn’t make it work as it had flat batteries. The Lightmaker helped him too.

The third person had a candle but had been using it as furniture wax and hadn’t even realised it could make light until the Lightmaker showed him how.

The fourth person had a lamp but it was filled with the wrong kind of spirit – the Lightmaker soon fixed that.

Now something else began to happen. The other people could see the light through the darkness. They came to find out what had happened. They were told all about The Lightmaker and soon light began to spread throughout the land.

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We did this short skit  – an original piece written by Vanessa – a few weeks ago.
The craft to go with it was these tealight holders – simply take an old glass jar or tumbler, draw and colour in your own design on a piece of parchment paper, then tape the paper to the outside of the jar. (We used battery operated tealights as a safer option)


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Jesus is the Reason – an All-Age Christmas Worship Service

Jesus is the reason

Well, Christmas is fast approaching and you may well be going into panic mode – what can we do for the Children’s Christmas Service?? Given below is the whole of one of our previous All-Age Christmas Worship services. Feel free to copy, adapt, or otherwise tweak it for your own use.

(Note: The Leader’s words are in plain text and the responses are in bold.)

WELCOME

CALL TO WORSHIP: 

(Preparation for this section: Have a Christmas Tree without any decorations on it, and with lights arranged on the tree but not switched on. 

Have a basket of ornaments – enough for the number of children you expect so that each one gets to put a decoration on the tree. During the Call to Worship, after each response ask a group of children to come forward, take a decoration, and put it on the tree)

We have a lovely tree here but there is something missing – can anyone tell me what it is?
that’s it decorations and lights.

Like Mary we ponder the wonder of God acting through us
FOR THE 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS AND FOREVER
(First group of children put decorations on tree)

Like Joseph we obey what God was spoken
FOR THE 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS AND FOREVER
(Next group of children put decorations on tree)

Like the manger we cradle the light God has given
FOR THE 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS AND FOREVER
(Next group of children put decorations on tree)

Like the angel on the hillside, we announce Jesus is born
FOR THE 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS AND FOREVER
(Next group of children put decorations on tree)

Like the multitudes of angles we praise God with great joy
FOR THE 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS AND FOREVER
(Next group of children put decorations on tree)

Like the sheperds we gather eagerly around the baby
FOR THE 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS AND FOREVER
(Next group of children put decorations on tree)

Like the stars we shine with the brilliance of good news
FOR THE 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS AND FOREVER
(Next group of children put decorations on tree)

Like the people of Bethlehem we hear what God has done
FOR THE 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS AND FOREVER
(Next group of children put decorations on tree)

We are called to celebrate the gift of God – his son Jesus Christ
FOR THE 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS AND FOREVER
(Next group of children put decorations on tree)

(Once the tree is decorated, turn on the lights, saying:)
Thank you for all your help. You know, we are like this Christmas tree and when we have Jesus in our lives he lights us up.

(For this next part you need a narrator, and 5 or 6 helpers)
It is getting very close to Christmas, only 5 sleeps to go! Christmas can mean different things to different people. Maybe it is some of these things for you:

It is about having the best tree in the whole world
(All helpers stand and point at the Christmas tree)

It is about presents
(All rub hands together and say YEAH)

It is thinking the Christmas story starts
(One helper to read first few lines of “Twas the night before Christmas” )

It is about Christmas crackers and Christmas cards
(Helpers snap crackers and pass cards to each other)

It is listening to the Queens message
(One helper to put on a crown)

It is about having too much good food and good wine, then falling asleep
(Helpers pretend to eat, drink, then sleep)

It is about having paid leave
(A helper waves a handful of monopoly money)

It is about Santa with flying sleighs and reindeers
(Two helpers put on Santa hats)

Me, I think Christmas is about something very different indeed. I have a friend who knows a great story about Christmas. Let me get her and she can tell you all about it.

(Here either the Narrator gets dressed as angel, or you can bring in another person to do this part. You also need large signs to hold up with pictures of an Angel, an Inn, Sheep, and a Star, and a further sign with “Jesus” written on it.
You will also need five boxes wrapped in Christmas paper arranged at the front. On the back of each of the boxes– not visible to the congregation –  is one of the letters needed to spell JESUS)

Hello. I hear you want me to tell you a story about Christmas. Well yes, I know a TRUE story about Christmas, and I know it is true because I was there, but I will need you to help me tell it.
The front half of this side, up to say here, when I say ANGEL you say HALLELUJAH  and to help you remember that (helper one) will hold this ANGEL up.

The back half of this side, when I say INNKEEPER you say WHAT IS IT NOW and to help you remember that (helper two) will hold this INN up.

The front half on this side, up to say here, when I say SHEPHERDS you say BAAAA and to help you remember that (helper three) will hold this SHEEP up.

And the back half, when I say WISE MEN you say FOLLOW THAT STAR and to help you remember that (helper four) will hold this STAR up.

BUT, when I say WHAT WAS THE REASON, you ALL say JESUS IS THE REASON, and to help you remember that (helper five) will hold this up (SIGN WITH “JESUS” on it)

Right lets give it a go:
ANGEL (Hallelujah)
INNKEEPER (What is it now!)
SHEPHERDS (BAAAA)
WISE MEN (Follow that star!)
WHAT WAS THE REASON?  (Jesus is the reason!)

Great – let’s start

MARY TO BETHLEHEM
A long time ago, about two thousand years or so, there was a woman named Mary who was engaged to be married to a man called Joseph. One day an ANGEL (HALLELUJAH) came to Mary and told her that she was going to have a baby. When she told Joseph, he was a bit freaked out about it all because he knew it wasn’t his baby as they weren’t even married. So an ANGEL (HALLELUJAH) came to Joseph and told him it was alright, because it was God who caused Mary to be pregnant and they were to name him Jesus. So Joseph and Mary got married and waited excitedly for the day when the baby would be born. Just before the baby was due to arrive, Joseph and a very pregnant Mary had to travel to Bethlehem for a census. This was when the rulers wanted to count everybody. Mary was pretty lucky because she got to ride all the way on a donkey.

What was the reason an Angel spoke to Mary and Joseph: JESUS IS THE REASON

Song: Clippety-clop, clippety-clop, trotting to Bethlehem

JESUS BORN
Joseph, Mary and the donkey finally arrived in Bethlehem. They found that it was really crowded because a lot of people had come to be counted for the census. All the inns were full and the INNKEEPERS (WHAT IS IT NOW) were very busy. They tried all day to find somewhere to stay but with no luck. It was getting dark. Mary was tired. Joseph was tired and the donkey was tired. Knock, Knock on the last door. A flustered INNKEEPER (WHAT IS IT NOW) answered the door. He told them THERE WAS NO ROOM IN THE INN, then he saw how tired and how very pregnant Mary was and he said that they could sleep in the stable. That night, amongst all the animals in the stable, Mary had her baby and laid him in the manger. And they named him Jesus, just as the ANGEL (HALLELUJAH) had told them to.

What was the reason the Innkeeper let them sleep in the stable: JESUS IS THE REASON

Song:  Away in a Manger

SHEPHERDS
While all this was happening in Bethlehem, there were some SHEPHERDS (BAAAA) out in the fields looking after their sheep. Suddenly they were scared out of their wits. There were bright lights in the sky, and some really really good singing. It was ANGELS (HALLELUJAH). They told the SHEPHERDS (BAAAA) not to be afraid. They had come to bring them great news. “Today in Bethlehem a saviour has been born. He is Christ the Lord and is lying in a manger wrapped in swaddling clothes.” They sang praises to God and then they disappeared.
Well the SHEPHERDS (BAAAA) were really excited. This sort of thing had never happened to any of them before.  They immediately leapt up and ran to find the baby. They found the inn, and asked the INNKEEPER (WHAT IS IT NOW) where the baby was. He told them that Mary and Joseph were out in the stable. So they went in and found baby Jesus lying in the manger. The SHEPHERDS (BAAAA) then left and told everyone in Bethlehem what had happened that night.

What was the reason the SHEPHERDS went to Bethlehem? JESUS IS THE REASON

Song: While Shepherds watched

WISE MEN
Far far away some really really really smart guys – lets call them the WISE MEN (FOLLOW THAT STAR) – had seen something rather amazing. They had spotted a special star shining in the East and thought “Hmmm, this star means a king has been born. We’d better go and find him.” So the WISE MEN (FOLLOW THAT STAR) packed up their camels, followed the star and made their way to Bethlehem. When the WISE MEN (FOLLOW THAT STAR) found the Inn, they asked the INNKEEPER (WHAT IS IT NOW) where the baby was. He directed them to the stable and there they found the baby Jesus. The WISE MEN (FOLLOW THAT STAR) gave Jesus three gifts. Gold because Jesus is a king, Frankincense because that means Jesus is a priest, and Myrrh because Jesus was going to grow up and die on the cross for each one of us .

What was the reason the WISE MEN went to Bethlehem? JESUS IS THE REASON

Song:  We Three Kings

And that’s the TRUE story of Christmas with Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus, and the ANGELS (HALLELUJAH), and the INNKEEPER (WHAT IS IT NOW), and the SHEPHERDS (BAAA) and the WISE MEN (FOLLOW THAT STAR).

(At this point turn the “present boxes” around to spell JESUS)

Christmas is about the best present we have ever been given, Jesus. It is about having his presence in our lives every day not just Christmas day. Mary and Joseph became a family with the birth of Jesus in their lives, just as we become part of God’s family with the birth of Jesus in our lives. Jesus is the real reason for the season, of Christmas.

PRAYERS

SONG:  Carol our Christmas (a New Zealand Christmas Carol)

COLLECTION – including donations for the City Mission

PRAYER OF BLESSING

NOTICES

SONG: Joy to the World

DISMISSAL WITH BENEDICTION BLESSING


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A curious bird learns about Noah

Humour is always a good way to introduce a subject. We have an occasional “visitor” to our services in the form of a bird puppet – a Kookaburra called Kookie. He’s a cheeky little thing, but always keen to learn more about God’s work in our lives. Here is the conversation from when we learnt about the story of Noah.

Leader: Hey Kookie! What you reading?

Kookie: A cruise brochure – see!

Leader: Yes, very nice.  Are you planning a holiday then?

Kookie the Kookaburra learns about Noah

Kookie the Kookaburra learns about Noah

Kookie:  Well, yes… Don’t you remember? You told me we’d be going on a boat ride today. And I found these brochures in your car, so I just thought I’d check out  what we’re in for. I hope we’re going on this really big one – it’s got a cinema, and FOUR restaurants!

Leader:  Ahh! Sorry Kookie,  I think you’ve got hold of the wrong end of the stick. I didn’t say we were going on a boat ride, just that we’d be learning about a boat ride!

Kookie:  So… no promenade deck?

Leaser:  No.

Kookie: No Day Spa?

Leader: No.

Kookie:  Are we even talking an ocean voyage here?

Leader:  Well, yes … if you count the fact that there was a big boat and there was no land in sight.

Kookie: Okay, then, give me the gossip.

Leader: Not gossip, Kookie, we’re talking about a man called Noah.

Kookie: Hey, isn’t he the dude who built a cute little boat in the middle of a dessert?

Leader:  No and yes. He did build a boat in the middle of a dessert

Kookie: Why?

Leader: Because God told him to

Kookie:  And we should always listen when God tells us to do something.

Leader:  That’s right. But this wasn’t a cute little boat – it was big. The bible tells us the measurements – 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide, and 30 cubits high.

Kookie: Pardon? Can’t you measure in English?

Leader: Sorry, that works out to about 137 metres long – about  the size of a Cook Strait ferry. In fact, experts reckon that the ark was probably the biggest that a wooden boat can be built to.

Kookie: Pretty impressive. So then this Noah dude went on holiday?

Leader:  Not a holiday, Kookie.  Noah had a job to do. The boat was full of animals – and I do mean FULL! At least two of every kind of animal. Can you imagine the noise?

Kookie: And the smell! I wouldn’t like to be on pooper-scooper duty on that boat!

Leader:  Well, Noah did have some help – his wife, and his sons and their wives – his sons were called Shem, Ham and Japheth.

Kookie: Ham! Ha! Who names their son after food?

Leader:  I can’t imagine KOOKIE! Look, if you keep interrupting we’ll never get this story told. How about you hop on board…

Kookie: What do you think I am? A kangaroo?

Leader:  No – an annoying bird! How about you embark on the boat, and we can get the rest of the story. I’ve got a nice cabin in mind for you, just along from the African animals…..

Kookie:  Okay – but don’t put me next to the lions – they might be hungry and I don’t want to be food……