Church@Home - Weekly Resources for the Young


Weekly Resources Church@HomeIf you would like to receive a weekly email of story and craft ideas from Matt our Children & Youth Leader then please let him know by email matt.williamson20@me.com

 

Sunday, 29th November 2020
 

Hi Everyone,

For the weeks leading up to Christmas we will be looking at different characters in the Nativity; this week we are focusing on the Shepherds. I hope you find the activities below useful as you explore his story with your children.

Aftershock is back on Zoom for this month at least. The login details will be in my weekly email.

Thanks,

Matt
 

Characters of the Nativity - The Shepherds


Watch this video of the story of The Shepherds

The Story of the Shepherds














 

I wonder. . . 

  • I wonder when you last received some exciting news?
     
  • I wonder who you told first?
     
  • I wonder who you would tell first about Jesus' birth?
     
  • I wonder why God chose to tell the Good News about Jesus to the Shepherds first?
     
  • I wonder how the shepherds felt at being told first?
     
  • I wonder how the shepherds reacted to the news?
     
  • I wonder what it means that the Shepherds were told first?
     
  • I wonder what it means to you that God sent Jesus as a baby at Christmas?

Question to ask your parents!

  • I wonder if you have received any good news recently?
     
  • I wonder what it means to you that God sent Jesus as a baby at Christmas?
 

Advent Paper ChainAdvent Paper Chain

For this weeks craft we will be starting to make an Advent Paper Chain. You will need to print out the templates below on different coloured paper, Christmassy colours like green, red and white would work best. 

Cut out the strips of paper with the different dates on. Each day during Advent, take the day and read the bible passage with your family. Next stick it together so it makes a ring shape. For the next day you will need to link the rings together.

You can make a tree out of your rings, or you could make it into a line of rings, whichever you prefer.

Download here





Youth Zone

Being a shepherd was and still is a tough job; it involves long hours, often spent in remote places, away from other people, working in an environment which could be very dirty and smelly. Shepherds certainly don't do their job for status or money! Back in Jesus' time, if you were a shepherd you were the lowest of the low, a bit of a social outcast. In a court of law, a shepherd's word would not be trusted because they weren't seen as having a credible testimony. Shepherds were not popular at all. They were officially classified as 'sinners', excluded from the temple and synagogue. And yet, God chooses them to be part of His story and the birth of Jesus. By inviting the shepherds to see the baby, God was making it clear that this new King was for everyone, not just the popular people.

There must have been hundreds of people nearby who were doing nothing that night so why pick men who were on duty and why the dirty, smelly, sinful shepherds? We can sometimes think that God wouldn't want to use us, but when we look at the Christmas Story, the most unlikely people God could have chosen would have been the shepherds. The least important people at the time were chosen to do one of the most important jobs. We may sometimes feel as though we are the least important when we look around and compare ourselves to others but God chooses us too. He looks past the dirty, smelly, sinfulness and sees our potential that we can sometimes be blind to. All we need to do is trust God like the shepherds did.

The shepherds life revolved around one thing and one thing only, their flock. They would do anything for them. If we think back to David when he a shepherd, he told Saul how he had fought off lions and bears who wanted lamb chops for dinner. These shepherds probably had the same mindset, but this changed the night the flock of angels appeared to them. They heard the Good News and left their sheep to go see the newborn king.

They had complete trust in God. Are you prepared to trust God like the shepherds did, drop everything, leave your livelihood behind and go? When the shepherds trusted God, God used them. In Luke 2:17-19 we read how the shepherds helped Mary to understand more about her Son Jesus, by telling her what the angels had told them. Imagine that, the people who were looked down on and who were banned from entering the temple to hear about God, are the same people who God chose first to be told about Jesus' birth. On top of that they were the ones who shared the Good News about Jesus to others, including Jesus' mother!

We can see the excitement the shepherds had when they went and shared the Good News of Jesus. They played an important role in preparing people for the work Jesus was going to do decades later. Do you have the same excitement as the shepherd when it comes to sharing the Good News of Jesus? We never hear of the shepherds again, they go back to their lives tending to their sheep but they went with joy in their hearts after being the first to meet the newborn king. Their lives were changed forever after they were chosen by God and put their trust in Him.
 

More Christmas Ideas

Advent Calendar
John Hardwick, who many of you will remember from VBS,  has produced an online Christmas Advent Calendar which tells the story of the Christmas Story through puppets and songs. Click here or on the image on the left to find out more.


 

Stay Updated


On St Mary's website we have our 'Church at Home' section which has more resources for families at the bottom of the page. www.stmaryssaffronwalden.org/churchathome

There is also our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/saintmaryschurchsaffronwalden/  

 

Some Useful Links


Online Resources Pack for Young People, Children and Families from Essex County Council. Lots of useful links to explore - download here.