Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Christmas Bible Study

Garden of Blessings incorporates Socio-Dramatic Play into our bible study times. We take poster size pictures of a particular bible study and discuss what is going on in each picture. We then encourage each child to dress up into one of the characters from the story and act out the story. The children love it and the story sticks into their heart and mind. Here is some pictures of our costumes and the Christmas Story that follows.
This is the back side of our Angel costume.

This is the Front side of our Angel Costume.

This is the back end of Mother Mary. We do have a baby Jesus but he was asleep in the Manger.

This is the cloak that looks like the Joseph that is in the pictures.

2.1 Mary Tells Joseph the Angel’s News

After the angel Gabriel told Mary that she was to be the Mother of the promised Messiah, she was beside herself with joy. She went to Judea to tell her cousin Elisabeth, the mother of John the Baptist. She also told her fiancé, Joseph. When Joseph learned that Mary was going to have a baby, he was worried, troubled, and disturbed. Mary was not yet his wife; they were only engaged to be married. As he thought over all of this he almost decided he would quietly break their engagement. Though he loved Mary, maybe Mary was really not the right kind of girl for him to marry. Joseph had many doubts about what Mary had told him. He certainly wanted to do right, but what she had told him was so unusual that maybe it would be too risky to marry a girl who might be the wrong kind of girl.

2.2 Gabriel tells Joseph of his task.

One night Joseph couldn’t sleep. As he lay tossing on his bed, an angel came to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, don’t worry! Go right ahead and take Mary to be your wife! For this baby that she will have is the Messiah, the Son of God. You shall name Him Jesus (meaning Savior), for He will save His people from their sins.” When Joseph awoke, he was filled with wonder that he, too, had heard from the Lord about this special baby – the One who was to be the world’s Savior. Joseph must have remembered also what the prophet Isaiah had said about the Messiah hundreds of years before; “Call his name Immanuel, God with us.”

Joseph did what the angel of the Lord commanded him and took Mary as his wife. Together they prepared for the coming of Infant Jesus, the Son of God and the Savior of the world.

2.3 Joseph tells Mary of the emperor’s command

The weeks must have dragged by very slowly for Mary as she waited for her special Son – the Messiah, the Son of God – to be born. One day as joseph worked very hard in his carenter shop, he looked up from his work and said, “Mary, I have bad news for you.” “What is it?” She asked.

“Soldiers have brought word from the great emperor of Rome, Caesar Augustus, that all of us have to go to the city or town from which our families have come and sign our name in his big census book. He wants us to register so he can have a list of the names of everybody in his empire. Caesar Augustus is also ordering us to pay more tax money. We are paying so much now that we hardly have enough to live on. So we will have to travel the eigty-five miles to Bethlehem, the city of David, because we’re both of the family of King David. We must obey the command of the emperor.”

Joseph did not like the thought of taking Mary on that long, hard trip because it was almost time for the baby to come, but there was no choice. They must pack their things and prepare for the long journey.

2.4 Mary and Joseph travel to Bethlehem

There were no buses, cars, or trains on which to travel. But Joseph did have a donkey for Mary to ride as he walked alongside the donkey. Of course, the donkey was slow, and the road was rocky, rough, and bumph. When the road didn’t lead them up a hill, it led them down a hill. Mary got tired, stiff, and sore, and Joseph’s feet probably hurt from swelling, and as he cut them on the rocks. Man times Joseph asked, “Are you all right, Mary?” Can we go just a little farther before we make camp for the night?” It took them many days to make the trip. They thought they would never get to Bethlehem.

Finally, late one evening, as darkness was falling, they saw little lights in the distance, and Joseph cried, “There it is, Mary; there’s Bethlehem!

“Oh, thank God – I’m so glad. We’ll have a soft, warm bed tonight instead of the rocky ground, and we can get some good, hot food to eat. Make the donkey go a little faster, Joseph.”

They finally reached Bethlehem, their destination. As Mary and Joseph came into Bethlehem, they saw that it was swarming with people who had come to register and pay taxes. Some were on camels; some on donkey’s, some on wagons, or on foot.

Joseph exclained, “Oh, Mary, look how crowed! Where will we find a place to stay? We’d better go get a room.”

And so they tried. They made the rounds. But everywhere it was the same answer when Joseph asked for a place to stay for the night. “We’re sorry, but we don’t have any room. Every bed and place to sleep is full. Try the village inn – you might get a room there,” some one said.

2.5 No room at the Inn

Joseph wearily led the little donkey with its rider down the rough cobblestone streets to the inn. He begged the innkeeper for a room or even a bed for the night. The innkeeper said, “We don’t have a corner, nook, or cranny left in the inn. People are on cots and even wrapped up in blankets sleeping in the courtyard.”

Josephn said, “Couldn’t you just give my wife Mary a small place? It doesn’t matter about me.”

“I’m sorry,” the innkeeper said, “There’s not one tiny bit of space left.” If the innkeeper had known that the messiah, the Savior, would be born that night, surely he would have found a place somewhere.

Joseph put his head in his hands and sighted, “what am I going to do?” He was desperate. Had God forgotten to take care of them?

As he turend to go away the innkeeper said, “Wait, I have a suggestion. It’s not a very good idea, but ou could go out in the back to the cattle stable where the travelers keep their animals. There are mules, donkeys, calves, and sheep in the stable where the travelers keep their animals. There are mules, donkeys, calves, and sheep in the stable, but you could find room in there to rest tonight. If it rains, you could at least have a roof over your heads.”

Joseph hung his head. “Is that all you have? I certainly do hate to take Mary out to a dirty smelly old stable. But I don’t know what else to do.” He thanked the innkeeper, and they went out back to the stable. Joseph drove some of the cows and sheep to the other side of the stable. He made a straw broom and swept off the cold damp, dirt floor. The he put some clean hay over in one corner and trew their coast over it. Finally, exhausted, they lay on the coats to sleep.

2.6 Christ is Born

That night, as all the people of Bethlehem slept I their nice, snug, warm beds, God sent His Son to earth – the King of Kings and Lord of Lords! And when He left heaven’s glory, where all the angels bowed before Him, and came down to this world, He had to be born in a stable! The event that God had planned down through the ages had finally taken place – the Christ, the Messiah was born. It was the very first Christmas night.

Mary said, “Joseph, I don’t have any more soft blankets to wrap around the Baby to keep out the cold. What do you think we should do?” Joseph took some swaddling clothes, the old rags that are used to wipe down the animals, and Joseph wrapped those around the newborn Baby. There was not a beautiful little crib or bed to lay God’s King in, so Joseph cleaned out an old manger, a stone trough where the cows ate, and put some fresh hay in it. And Joseph lay God’s King on the hay in a manger.

Isn’t it sad there was not room for Jesus in Bethlehem, no room in the homes of the people, no room in the inn? And worst of all, there was not room in the hearts of most of the Jewish people. The Bible says, “He came unto His own, and His own received Him not!” I wonder if we have room for Jesus in our homes and in our hearts. Have we invited Him to come in and be our Savior and Lord? If we make Him Lord, that means He’s to be our boss, our King. Have we crowned Him King of our lives? A king rules, doesn’t he? We must let Jesus be our Ruler and obey Him in everything.

If you want Jesus to be your Savior and Lord, all you have to do is tell Him. He says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in.” If you never have invited Jesus into your heart and life, why don’t you do it right now?