The children came in three groups over the two days and the church was divided into five stations, ‘The Promises’, ‘The Announcement’, ‘The Journey’, ‘The Message’ and ‘The Gift’.
God promised his messenger (Jesus) through the Prophets. The wise men saw the star and wanted to find out more. The promises of God helped them to find the baby king. The children read some of God’s promises to all of us and were encouraged to write promises to God in gratitude for what He has done for us.
God announced the forthcoming child to Mary, a young girl promised to be married to Joseph. She was terrified at the news but accepted it. When we are confused or upset we can pray to God as Mary did. The children were encouraged to tie a piece of ribbon to the blanket for the baby as a way of asking God for the courage and confidence they needed.
Mary and Joseph had to travel from Nazareth in the north of Israel to Bethlehem in the south, a distance of 70 – 80 miles with a climb of some 4,000 feet in height in the last 12 miles. A long way to walk at any time, but especially hard for a heavily pregnant young girl. The children traced the route on the map on the floor. They then considered how hard it would be to arrive on a strange town and find no accommodation.
God sent a message to some shepherds near Bethlehem and they left everything very quickly to go and see the baby. The children were encouraged to write or make a card with a message of peace to another person.
The children heard that Jesus was God’s gift to all of humanity. We can respond to God by giving him our hearts.
The children enjoyed the whole adventure.