The Story Sack by asafwewe

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The Story Sack

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									The Story Sack

Recently a colleague was telling us of a way to share your own
personal faith story with children by using a story bag in which
you place items that relate to your faith journey that explains
your story in a more visual way for children. This idea is the
basis for this year's All Age Christmas service and we thank
Rosemary Kidd (Training & Development Officer, Manchester
and Stockport) for her inspiration!

The retelling of the Christmas story is an important part of any
Christmas service and we hope that this way opens up the story
in many different ways for children and adults alike. After listing
the item or prop from the sack we have expanded a little on the
connection to the Christmas story. You may come up with many
more of your own!

Prop – An old worn sack under the Christmas tree with the
items below inside - Take the sack out and explain that it has
been left there and perhaps we should all take a look inside and
the contents.
As you take each item out of the sack you can either pass it
around the children and adults or maybe lay it on a large table
or covering at the front of the Church. The idea is that people
get to experience each item either through sight, smell, or
touch. Use ‘wondering’ type questions to ask those in the church
to engage with the story that is being told - 'I wonder what this
has to do with the Christmas story?, I wonder what this makes
you think of?

Prop- silver tinsel – This can remind us of Mary, a young girl
who was visited by angels and was asked to do an amazing and
quite frightening thing by God – to have a special baby that
would change the world.

Prop – a piece of carved wood – Mary was going to marry a man
named Joseph who was a carpenter, he made things from wood.

Prop – a bag of sand- the long journey through the rough
terrain that Mary and Joseph made on the donkey. What would
the landscape have looked like, how would it have felt
underfoot?

Prop – Hay- reminds us of the stable, used to keep the animals
warm, used as food, harvested from the fields. After the long
journey how would the stable have looked?

Prop – Nappy- When the baby was born it would not have had a
nappy like this wrapped around it but it would have been
bundled up to keep it warm from the cold night air. How do you
imagine Mary and Joseph would have felt being so far away
from home with a new baby to look after?
Prop – Woolly scarf – think about the shepherds and the sheep
out on the hillside. Although we think of the sandy desert of
Israel as being warm it gets very cold at night on the hills.
(Check the actual weather in the area on the BBC weather site!)

Prop – a piece of velvet and/or a crown – Other people who
came to visit the new baby are described as Kings, Wise Men, or
Astrologers who watch the stars. They had known where the
baby was born by following a bright star in the sky. They too
had travelled from far away to see Jesus.

Prop – A bottle of scented oils and a bowl – the gifts they
bought remind is that Jesus was born to be a King, but not the
kind of King that had great palaces and armies, but the kind of
King who was to lead people to a new life and new
understanding of how to live. Encourage the children to share in
touching and smelling the oils.

Prop – pieces of sack cloth similar to the one used to put the
items in. Remind all the congregation that this story is not just
to be remembered at this time of year but it is part of out whole
lives as Christians. At this time of year we can sometimes forget
the whole story of the life of Christ and today you are giving
them all a piece of the sack to take home and asking them to
hold on to this and use it as a prayer reminder for the months
to come.
Alternatively you may want to tie in the pieces of sack into the
phrase 'sackcloth and ashes' – which was an Old Testament way
of saying that we had to be humble before God. Jesus was
humble in all that he did with the ultimate expression of this
being his walk to the Cross and his willingness to give up his life
for all of us. The piece of sack cloth can then be taken away by
those present as a reminder of the connection between the baby
Jesus and the crucifixion.

								
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