Tuesday, 20 December 2011

The Christmas Story

I wrote this short 'read aloud' version of the Christmas story last year and we used it on Christmas Day with our boys to get them thinking...

Mary, Mary” the angel whispered. Mary looked around her and then fell backwards in fright.
Who are you?” She whimpered.
I am Gabriel and I have come from God's presence to you. I have brought you a message. You are going to have a baby. He will be the light of the world and his name will be Jesus.”
Eeerm, I'm sorry Gabriel, but I am a virgin. I'm not even married! This is not possible!” offered Mary.
The Holy Spirit will fill you, and you will become pregnant. Don't worry Mary, God has it all sorted out.”
And with that, Gabriel disappeared.
Mary rubbed her eyes and looked around her. Was that a dream or had it really happened? All she knew was that she was filled with joy, wonder, love and awe.

Close your eyes and imagine the scene.
The donkey brayed,
The cows pooed,
The goats watched curiously through the slits of their eyes.
Into this dirty, straw filled shed a baby was born.
His mother, frightened and with only her husband to help, pushed the baby out with a grunt and a scream and King Jesus, naked and covered in blood and dirt, cried his first cry.

Long awaited and long promised, the King had finally come. Was this King to enter a palace, with gold robes and a jewel encrusted throne? Was he given a baby-sized crown to fit his tiny head?
No, he was wrapped up in the cleanest scrap of material his mother could find and he was put to sleep in a feeding trough, with straw for a mattress.

His people had longed for him to come more than we long for presents. They had waited hundreds of years, sometimes wondering if their God was really going to fulfil his promise or not.

The first to visit this tiny baby were not important dignitaries, not the prime minister, not the richest in the country. The first to visit were the poorest of the poor – the shepherds. Despised by others, they had nothing to bring but themselves. Did Jesus want extravagant gifts? No, he wanted their hearts.
The shepherds knelt in the smelly shed and kissed the feet of their new King. They worshipped him and gave him their hearts. They were his first followers, the first Christians.

What do we have to bring to King Jesus? How much do we long for him to come and be our Saviour? How can we worship him? How can we show him we want to follow him, love him and give him our hearts?

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