It's my last week this Sunday leading the youngest group in kids work at church and I get the best teaching week - The Christmas Story!
It's so important not to let the story lose it's magic - yes I said it in the same sentence - nativity and magic!
The magical qualities of Christmas shouldn't be only for non-religious festivities, the true meaning of Christmas is the most magical of all. The journey, the circumstances in which Mary finds herself about to give birth, the arrival of the three wise men who have been following the star in eager anticipation of the birth of the King. The angel, an actual angel! Imagine being one of those shepherds - doing your normal shift with the sheep... and a angel appears, would you consider that maybe you were dreaming, or someone had slipped something in your drink earlier?! You would be stunned!!!
If it was today, and all these things happen, just imagine the hype that would be around. There would be camera crews on stand by, people would be talking about it, there would be a load of collectable mugs, T Shirts, "Keep Calm, Mary's had the baby" merchandise everywhere. I think it's so easy to take for granted the miracle element of it all, for it to become another children's story we roll out every year.
I found this brilliant free printable at Design Dazzle of the nativity scene (you just seen to sign up to their mailing list to get the PDF access, takes about 2 minutes!). Get some straw, an old shoe box, and make yourself a nativity scene - one the kids can actually play with, tell the story from Luke 2 and enjoy an interactive story time.
I am challenged this year, not only because the children are now older and can grasp some understanding of it, but that the magic of Christmas should not only be that Santa is coming on Christmas Eve. It's Jesus' birthday, that's an exciting time too!