7. Christmas Love
Props: Thirteen A4 sheets with the letters CHRISTMAS LOVE, one letter per sheet. For the letter M, splay the legs a little to make it a reasonable W upside down. You will need (at least) 13 children for this talk. I had to augment the group with some younger YP. This helped with the quiz part of the talk as well. To give the talk, I sat side on to the congregation, and to one side, so that I could talk to the children and the congregation, whilst watching the children displaying the letters. I lost some sleep over this talk, but on the day it was very well received.
Hello boys and girls! This week I read about a group of kindergarten children who were presenting a concert for their mums and dads and friends. They had prepared a special song called ‘Christmas Love’. * I don’t know the words or music of this song, which is lucky for you, as I might have felt obliged to sing it, and that would have been terrible! But in the song, the children spelt out the title with each letter standing for some Christmas object: C is for Candle say, H is for ... , and as that line was being sing, the children in the front row held up the letters one by one to spell out the title. I thought we might play this as a game today (with no singing!), but I need your help. Now here is the first letter: C is for ... [Invite responses from the children, then adults, then get a child volunteer to stand facing the congregation holding the sheet with the letter (far left!). Do this for each letter in turn.]
C is for: Christmas/ carols/ cards/ candles/ cake ... sounds like someone’s birthday? ... the Christ child.
H is for: Happy/ holly (that shrub with prickly green leaves and red berries) ... Hark the Herald (one of the angels!)
R is for (hum Rudolph the red nosed reindeer): reindeer/ Rudolph/ red ... a name for Jesus, Redeemer
I is for: ice and snow (but I don’t think we are going to get much of that!) ... the inn (where there was no room) / inn-keeper/ incense brought by the wise men, Israel where all this took place. S is for (now there are lots of words here, but remember we have two Ss): Santa/ sleigh/ ... the star that guided the wise men
T is for tinsel (on the Christmas) tree, under which lie all the toys/ ... three wise men (let’s not get too theological!)
M is for: Merry! ... Mary, the mother of Jesus, who laid her baby in a manger. Later Jesus was visited by the wise men or magi who bought as one of their gifts myrrh.
A is for: angels who appeared to the shepherds who were sore afraid. The angels were praising God singing Alleluia!
S is for: sheep/ shepherds/ stable
L is for lights/ lollies/ ... lambs/ love,
O is for offering/ ointment (myrrh is an ointment)
V is for Virgin/ voice (of the angel)/ who then vanished!
E is for (Christmas) Eve/ ... East (where the wise men came from)/ Emmanuel (God with us).
There, that is a good message for Christmas ... CHRISTMAS LOVE.
But you remember I was telling you about the kindergarten children and their song. In the excitement, one little girl was holding her letter upside down. [Turn the M into the W position.] Now there is a real message for Christmas.
CHRIST WAS LOVE. Christ is Love. And it is my prayer that we might each know the love of Christ in our hearts and lives this Christmas.
* I don’t believe this song actually exists. A lengthy internet search failed to come up with music or lyrics for such a song, only various references to the story being presented here. It’s a good story!