Sunday, 26th December 10.30 am Order of Service

CHRISTMAS FAMILY SERVICE

WELCOME – Something’s Missing This Year

CAROL Come and join the celebration

PRAYER

1 – Upside Down Christmas with Rodger

(Something’s Missing This Year)

Rodger(Singing while working) Joy to the world, the Lord has come. Let earth receive her King. Let every heart prepare him room and Heaven and nature sing… and Heaven and nature sing… and Heaven and …..
HughWell, well, well would you looky here? That is just beautiful, Rodger!
RodgerOh, hi Hugh! Yeah, it does look pretty, huh!? I love Christmas don’t you?
HughIndeed I do Rodger, but I don’t like what the world has done to the true meaning of Christmas though.
RodgerWhat do you mean Hugh?
HughWell, look around Rodger – what do you see everywhere this time of year?
RodgerWell, I see lots of Christmas trees, and lights, and people shopping like they were all crazy, and I see everyone going to parties and Santa, and food, and lots of toys, and presents and…..
HughThat’s exactly my point Rodger! What does ALL of that stuff have to do with celebrating the birth of Jesus!?
RodgerHmmm, I guess you’re right, He does get lost in all of it, huh?
HughWell the world has certainly turned the real meaning of Christmas all upside down! Just like that string of candy canes up there.
RodgerHuh?
HughUp there! Those candy canes. They are all hanging upside down!
RodgerAhhhh, Hugh? Do you think that you might need a new pair of glasses?
HughHuh?
Rodger(Louder) I said, do you think you might need a new pair of glasses???
HughWho?
Rodger(Louder) Hugh! Glasses! I think you need a new pair of glasses! Those candy canes aren’t hanging upside down!
HughHuh? Oh, No! I can see fine…. It’s the hearing that’s goin I think.
RodgerSo, what do you mean Hugh?
HughAbout what?
RodgerTHE CANDY CANES! Why do you say they are all hanging upside down?
  HughAh! My dear Rodger, let me tell you the real story of the candy cane! You see, many, many years ago at least 150 or more….
RodgerWhen you were a little boy?
HughWell, not quite…. You see there was this candy maker who wanted to honour the birth of Jesus with a very special type of candy. First he knew that it had to be a hard candy, not a soft, squishy kind.
RodgerWhy was that Hugh?
HughBecause believing in Jesus is as solid as a rock! God’s promises are a firm foundation for us to build our lives upon. Next, he shaped the candy into a “J” to stand for the precious name of Jesus.
RodgerCool! I get it! “J” for Jesus! What does the rest of it mean?
HughWell, the white stripes mean that Jesus is pure and He never sinned. White stands for purity which means Jesus was always perfect.
RodgerWOW! I wish I could say I was always perfect. I think of all those times I’ve gotten into trouble!
HughWell, that’s exactly why Jesus died for us Rodger. Because no one living in this world is perfect. The red stripes on the candy cane stand for the blood that Jesus gave when He died for our sins. If we love Him, then in His eyes we are perfect.
RodgerWow! That’s pretty cool Hugh! I get it now. I guess all this time maybe I was the one who needed glasses, huh!?
HughWell, Rodger, it’s all how you look at the meaning of Christmas. And like I said, most of the world has it all upside down. It’s not about toys, and trees, and lights, and food all that stuff!! The candy cane tells us the true meaning of Christmas if we’re willing to look at it the right way!
Rodger(Laying on his back, looking up at string of candy canes, in an upside down position) Yeah, but Hugh… it’s gonna be a little tough trying to go through Christmas standing on my head.
HughHey! Then I have an idea! How about if every candy cane we touch this year we turn it right side up? That way the whole world can see the “J” for Jesus, the white for purity and the red for His Blood… and we can show them the REAL meaning of Christmas!
RodgerYeah! Cool Hugh! Hey! How about we start right here with the children? Can we hand out candy canes to everybody so they can show their friends how Jesus loves them and we can help them celebrate Christmas right side up instead of upside down! (Flips over on back again).
HughGreat idea Rodger! Let’s hand out some candy canes.
RodgerGreat job everyone!! OK, now, everybody hold up your candy cane high in the air. Take a look and make sure it’s right side up…and on three, let’s all say together, “J” is for Jesus! …. 1, 2, 3…. “J” is for JESUS!!
HughThat’s it kids! “J” is for Jesus and now Christmas is right side up! Bye!!!

CAROL Good Christian men, rejoice

2 – Waiting for Jesus

(Something’s Missing This Year)

Message: Waiting for Jesus

  • two long ribbons tangled up,
  • a gift-wrapped box,

Display the tangled ribbons and say: I have lots of Christmas presents to wrap, but look at this mess!

  • Why won’t the ribbons work like this?

Have kids help you untangle the ribbons and place them on the floor in straight lines, about 3 feet apart. Have everyone sit on the ribbon “path.”

Say: Isaiah was an Old Testament prophet who announced events and helped people prepare for what was coming. Listen to what he said.

Read aloud Isaiah 40:3. Listen! It’s the voice of someone shouting,

“Clear the way through the wilderness

for the Lord!

Make a straight highway through the wasteland

for our God!

Ask:

  • How do we get tangled up like these ribbons and forget what’s important at Christmas time?
  • How can we remember what’s important at Christmas?

Hold up the box and say: Isaiah also shared some great names for Jesus.

Read aloud Isaiah 9:6. For a child is born to us,

a son is given to us.

The government will rest on his shoulders.

And he will be called:

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,

Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Jesus is the most incredible gift we’ll ever receive. Let’s wrap this special present and keep it as a reminder to remember the Prince of Peace this Christmas.

Together, wrap the ribbons around the box.

READING Luke 2:1-5 (The Message)

1-5 About that time Caesar Augustus ordered a census to be taken throughout the Empire. This was the first census when Quirinius was governor of Syria. Everyone had to travel to his own ancestral hometown to be accounted for. So Joseph went from the Galilean town of Nazareth up to Bethlehem in Judah, David’s town, for the census. As a descendant of David, he had to go there. He went with Mary, his fiancée, who was pregnant.

6-7 While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. She gave birth to a son, her firstborn. She wrapped him in a blanket and laid him in a manger, because there was no room in the hostel.

CAROL See him lying on a bed of straw

3- Does God give us presents

(So… THAT’s what is missing…)

Does God Give Us Christmas Presents?

Christmas is such an exciting time of year because we get to spend extra time with our families and we might even get some gifts!

  • What’s the best Christmas present you’ve ever given someone?
  • What’s the best Christmas present you’ve ever received?
  • Do you know about the Christmas present that God gave us?
  •  

Then say: I have a present here that will remind us about God’s wonderful Christmas present to us. Have a child open the wrapped box and take out the baby Jesus figure so all the other children can see.

The Bible says God sent Jesus as a gift to us. Luke tells us what God’s angel said to Mary when he first told her she was going to have a baby.

Mary did have a baby named Jesus, and that’s the very reason we celebrate Christmas every year. And the Bible says that Jesus is a gift from God.

Isn’t that wonderful? God has given us such a precious gift in Jesus. Jesus is our way of living forever with God. That’s the best gift of all!

The very best gift we’ll ever get is God’s gift of Jesus.

prayer: Thank you, God, for sending Jesus as a gift to us. Sometimes gifts we give or get can take over the holiday so help us to remember that the reason for Christmas is Jesus. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

CAROL Hark the herald angels sing

Benediction

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