Preschool Tells the Story of Christmas (12/12/19)

Posted by on Dec 20, 2019 in EventReport, kids, Mission: AroundTowns, OFH | 0 comments

On the morning of Thursday December 12 (and during the 9:30 service on Sunday the 15th), over 50 pre-K students of Our Father’s House filled the chancel area of our sanctuary to tell the “True Story of Christmas.” A boy and a girl were dressed as Mary and Joseph. There were three wise men, a drummer boy, and an innkeeper. Several were dressed as donkeys, cows and sheep. There were bell players, candlelight holders, and the “Heavenly Happy Birthday Choir.” Accompanied by pianist Mike Murphy (“Mr. Mike”) and directed by their teachers, the kids sang and motioned their way through the biblical account of that first Christmas as OFH Director Eileen Salmon read the narration before each song.

 

The True Story of Christmas

The Christmas Story; we’ve heard it so many times over the years that it’s perhaps too familiar. It’s tied to childhood memories, or family traditions, or even movies and TV specials. Who hasn’t seen Linus reciting the biblical account? And yet, when the story is presented by children, it takes on a fresh aura. When kids (even fictitious ones like Linus) tell the story, grownups want to listen. Somehow our perception of Christmas has grown complicated with theology and culture, and hearing the children brings us back to the roots of what happened in Bethlehem so many years ago.

 

No Room…

The pageant began the Christmas Story on Christmas Eve. Instead of decorating a tree and wrapping gifts, the participants in that first Christmas were simply looking for a place to spend the night after a long journey. The story is told in Luke 2:1-7 (all quotations are from the New International Version)…

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register.

So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.

 

Instead of simply reading the story, the children energetically demonstrated that there was Noooo room when Mary and Joseph knocked-knocked-knocked on the innkeeper’s door…

 

Friendly Beasts…

Luke tells us that the birth happened in a stable; a cave under the Inn. The stable was normally the home for cows and sheep. It was where travelers would “park” their horses and donkeys. “Friendly Beasts” watched as the Son of God was born, and then they shared their feeding trough with the Messiah when the baby was placed in a manger.

 

Mary Had a Baby…

Shepherds were in the field taking care of the sheep. Bethlehem was close to Jerusalem (where the Temple was), and the sheep that these shepherds tended would eventually be offered a sacrifices in the temple.

But on that first Christmas, the focus was on the shepherds. God sent angels to tell these lowly shepherds that the Messiah had been born…

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.”

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

Luke 2:8-15

The angels told the shepherds that a baby had been born in Bethlehem and they gave them hints on how to find the baby. But the main point of the Angel’s message was that this baby was very, very, special. There were so many angels announcing this birth, you knew this particular birth was unique. This was something core to God’s plan with His people. And so the shepherds quickly went to Bethlehem to find this baby wrapped in swaddling clothes.

The children dramatized this event by singing “Mary had a baby, yessss Lord.”

 

 

Wise Men Brought Him Gifts…

Some time later, Wise Men arrived from the East. These Wise Men may have been descended from the men that Daniel had trained in Babylon many years earlier (see Daniel 5:11). Matthew tells us about the Wise men…

After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.”

When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Christ was to be born. “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written:

“‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.'”

Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.”

After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen in the east went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh.

Matthew 2:1-11

 

The children reminded us of the star by singing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”, and then (using the same tune as the song “Mary Had a Baby”), the children sang “Wise Men Brought Him Gifts… Yesssss Lord.”

 

Joy to the World

Even though most of the people in Bethlehem that night didn’t realize it, the King of Creation had come into the earth. God had somehow become a human being. Perhaps that’s why these wise men traveled from such a far distance to find this special baby.

Someday, this baby will return to rule the world. In anticipation of this second coming, the children sang, “Joy to the World”…

 

 

Little Drummer Boy…

But (according to tradition), there was one boy who couldn’t afford such expensive gifts as Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh. What gift could you give to such a King as Jesus? All this boy could do was to play his drum. He wanted to give thanks and praise God for this birth; he wanted to pay honor to the King. He couldn’t bring the kind of gifts that the wise men brought, so he just did what he could do. God gives us gifts and talents that might not seem all that important. But He gives them to us so that we can have some way to express our love for God.

The children sang “Little Drummer Boy”…

 

 

Away in a Manger…

This traditional carol paints the juxtaposition between the King of Creation and the helpless child. The Son of God, God’s anointed King, is sleeping as a small baby in a manger. The One who spoke the world into existence is quiet. “The little lord Jesus, no crying He makes…”

The children sang “Away in a Manger” and the “Pajama Girls” dramatized the meekness of our Lord by pretending to sleep on the floor. Even Mary took a nap…

 

This Little Light of Mine…

A King has arrived! God became a man to walk with us, to show us how to live, and even to pay for our sins. This True Story of Christmas is one that needs to be repeated over and over. We don’t just tell it with words, but we also tell it with love and with action.

The children sang, “This Little Light of Mine”…

 

Families…

Christmas is mainly about remembering the gift of salvation that God gave to humanity, which came in the form of a human baby. But it is also about traditions; about coming home and celebrating the love of family.

Part of the Our Father’s House Christmas Pageant is the parents. The pews and aisles were filled with parents and cell phone cameras trying to capture this special moment with their child.

 

 

Teachers

The teachers and staff of Our Father’s House are also important. Led by director Eileen Salmon, the teachers and aides work tirelessly and lovingly to create a warm nurturing environment for the children of Our Father’s House. Their dedication was evident throughout the pageant.

 

Food

After the pageant, families, children, and staff were able to celebrate the joy and wonder of these special children by enjoying a luncheon in our fellowship hall.

 

 

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For more information about Our Father’s House, click this button:  Our Fathers House  

 

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