Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Ten Commandments for Christmas

1. You shall not leave "Christ" out of Christmas, making it "Xmas". To some, "X" is unknown.
2. You shall prepare your soul fro Christmas. Spend not so much on gifts that your soul is forgotten.
3. You shall not let Santa Claus replace Christ, thus robbing the day of its spiritual reality.
4. You shall not burden the shop worker the mailman, and the merchant with complaints and demands.
5. You shall give yourself with your gift. This will increase its value a hundredfold, and the one who receives it shall treasure it for ever.
6. You shall not value gifts received by their cost. Even the least expensive may signify love, and that is more priceless than silver and gold.
7. You shall not neglect the needy. Share your blessings with many who will go hungry and cold if you are not generous.
8. You shall not neglect your church. Its services highlight the true meaning of the season.
9. You shall be as a little child. Not until you become in spirit as a little one are you ready to enter into the kingdom of Heaven.
10. You shall give your heart to Christ. Let Him be at the top of your Christmas list.

Pilgrims Christmas Prayer

Pilgrims Prayer
May the Babe of Bethlehem be yours to tend
May the Boy of Nazareth be yours for friend
May the Man of Galilee his healing send
May the Christ of Calvary his courage lend
May the risen Lord his presence send
And his holy angels defend you to the end.

Monday, 15 December 2008

Prayer of preparation

Lord Jesus, master of both the light and the darkness, send your Holy Spirit upon our preparations for Christmas. We who have so much to do seek quiet spaces to hear your voice each day. We who are anxious over many things look forward to your coming among us. We who are blessed in so many ways long for the complete joy of your kingdom. We whose hearts are heavy seek the joy of your presence. We are your people, walking in darkness, yet seeking the light. To you we say, "Come Lord Jesus!"

Henri J. M. Nouwen
Nouwen Centre

Galilee Star News

The news that might have been...

Cost blowout on government census

The census called be Caesar Augustus for the entire Roman
world, the first under the governorship of Quirinius in Syria,
is facing a huge cost blowout.

Each person had been requested to return to their own town
for the census. The cost of compensation claims alone is
almost certain to cause an increase in taxes.

See the Gospels of Luke (2:1-7) and Matthew (2:1-23)
for the full story.

Star "not Halley's comet" says expert
The sightings of a new star over the Bethlehem sky
recently has baffled stargazers and astronomers alike.
Some reports of it being an unscheduled sighting of
Halley's comet have been denied by experts.
A government spokesman refused to comment.

Eastern Mystics Customs Check

A number of Magi from the East,who had come to Jerusalem
to visit a so-called 'king', were questioned strongly by
government officials today over a number of unregistered
gifts and treasures, including gold, incense and myrrh.

The Magi were being sought be officials after eluding a
command to report to King Herod about the whereabouts
of the 'child king'.

Reports to hand indicate that the Magi found the child by
following the path of a star. When they entered the house
where the child was staying , it is said that they bowed
before the infant and worshiped him.

A spokesman for King Herod said that the actions of the
were inappropriate and distasteful in the extreme,
and that the gifts themselves were more in keeping
with those of a real king instead of some imposter child.

See the Gospel of Matthew 2:1-16 for the full story.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Christmas Drama

You may have heard of the Christmas play where the little children dressed up as little angels, shepherds, wise men and the other characters of Christmas.
The highlight of the Christmas play was to show the radiance of Jesus. An electric bulb was hidden in the manger. All the stage lights were to be turned off, leaving only one light in the manger.
At the appropriate time, all the lights went out.
Even the manger light.
The silence was broken when one of the shepherds loudly whispered,
"Hey, you turned off Jesus!

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Christmas Dinner

A four year old boy was asked to say grace before Christmas dinner. The family members bowed their heads in expectation. He began his prayer, thanking God for all his friends, naming them one by one. Then he thanked God for mummy, daddy, his sisters, grandma and grandpa. He then began to thank God for the food. He gave thanks for the turkey, the dressing, the fruit salad, the cakes and even the ice cream. Then he paused, and everyone waited. After the silence, the young boy looked up at his mother and asked, "if I thank God for the broccoli, won't he know that I'm lying?"

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Miss Noisy And Mr Quiet's Christmas - Skit

Here's a short Christmas Skit for use with a school or church setting.
Miss Noisy and Mr Quiet's Christmas by Beth Barnett

Other great Advent and Christmas Resources for children's workers and churches are available here -
Centre for Theology and Ministry - Uniting Church in Australia.

The Shoppers Prayer

The Shoppers Prayer--

Our cash
Which art on plastic
Hollowed be thy name
Thy Cartier watch
Thy Prada bag
As it is in store
Give us each day our Platinum Visa
And forgive those that stop us spending
And lead us not unto Louis Vuitton
For thine is the Gucci
The Dior and the Armani
For Chanel No.5 and Eternity


Give Christmas Away

"Let me not wrap, stack, box, bag, tie, tag, bundle, seal, keep Christmas.
Christmas kept is liable to mold.
Let me give Christmas away, unwrapped, by exuberant armfuls.
Let me share, dance, live Christmas unpretentiously, merrily, responsibly with overflowing hands, tireless steps and sparkling eyes.
Christmas given away will stay fresh—even until it comes again."

(author unknown)

Thursday, 4 December 2008

Christmas Baskets

A great idea for a family or church small group activity. One small group at our church put together a number of "Christmas baskets". The group members brought along wrapping paper, recycled baskets, food, gifts, and some toys. The baskets were filled with gifts and then covered with cellophane and a gift card attached. These baskets were then distributed to folk who have been through a difficult time or who would appreciate some encouragement. The little note attached simply said: "Please accept this gift from ______ small group. Christmas blessing to you!" Most of the baskets were delivered anonymously.

Christ, the Light of the World

A Christmas Day Prayer
Christ, the Light of the world,
on all who greet this day with sadness or
loneliness, may your light shine;
on all who greet this day with no home to call their own,
may your light shine;

on all who greet this day with fear of
violence, may your light shine;
on all who greet this day not recognising
God at work in the world, may your light shine,
and so, may all people near and far have
their darkness banished as Jesus
is made known. Amen.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Christmas Card Boxes

Here is an easy Christmas activity for a family or children's group to make.

Making the Christmas Card Box
1. Take an old (or new) Christmas card.
2. Cut it in half. Put aside the front with the picture on.
3. Trim 2mm off 2 sides of the other sheet. This will become the box bottom. (The bottom needs to be smaller than the top).
4. On this sheet rule a line from one corner to the other to form a cross.
5. Fold both long sides into the middle. Flatten out.
6. Fold both short sides into the middle. Flatten out.
7. Cut two short cuts up to the line on each end.
8. Fold in ends to form a box shape. This is the box bottom.
9. Tape at both ends inside to secure.
10. Repeat the above steps for the other sheet (with the picture) which will become the box top.
11.Choose a small gift, poem or a verse to place inside the Christmas box to give someone.