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Christmas Craft Workshop - October 2002

Castletown Methodist Church held a "Christmas Craft Workshop" in the October half term school holidays. Three sessions took place from 9.45-11.30am on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday saw 72 children attending (the Toddler Group held 2 extra sessions that week bringing the overall total to 102 children).

The workshop was designed to be a 'modular' course so that even if a child attended only once they would have learnt something about the birth of Jesus.

Various visual aids were used including the photographs below.

Wednesday

Sheep in SomersetThe sheep in this photo are well fed. This is of an orchard in Somerset and this sheep had just eaten an apple.

The farms here have good weather for the apples, fruit and crops to grow so the sheep have good lives. They never want for anything.

The picture below is of Harold Leece who is a Manx farmer living in Greeba. He has been brought up with sheep all his life - he cares for them and they love him. There are no snakes or lions around so he can leave them here and they will be safe.

You couldn't leave them here in a desert like the picture below though! The Shepherds had to protect them from snakes, wolves, and lions (like in Bible times) - they never left them because they could attack them at any time.

The Shepherds have to find food for them. That's why they have tents to live in - these are made out of goat's hair. The Shepherds drink the goat's and sheep's milk.

Harold Leece - a Manx farmer with his sheepCompare the way the Shepherds live with farmers like Harold - he has a warm farmhouse to return to each night. In the Desert life is very hard. Imagine how dark it would have been in these tents in this land. In the east it gets so cold and dark; there are no lights out here!

Suddenly it was SO bright - brighter than a traffic light! The Shepherds were woken up - they couldn’t believe it! The light was so bright!

Shepherds are the poorest people in the world and God wanted them to be the first people to know about Jesus. God is interested in ordinary people like you and me. He wants you to care about Him and to know Him for yourself.

Thursday

The Desert east of JerusalemWhat is this? It is a picture of a desert. The Three Wise Men travelled a very long way in a desert like this. So empty and cold and dark.

They would have travelled by camel. And it would have been a difficult journey.

Here they are below - the Three Wise Men. Can you remember what presents they brought to Jesus?

Gold
Frankincense
Myrrh

Children dresses as the Three Wise MenThe Three Wise Men were so happy here in the stable where Jesus was born.

BUT there was danger! Cruel King Herod was very jealous - he hated the thought of Jesus being King and he wanted to kill Him.

So they had to go to Egypt and they needed money - just like chocolate gold coins. Gold is the most precious thing in the world - but the most precious thing YOU can give to Jesus is yourself.

Friday

On Thursday we were looking at the Three Wise Men and cruel King Herod. Let us look at this king's robe and crown.

In Jesus' time there were no baby clothes, no blankets, coats, buttons, and zips like we have today. No one had invented prams or pushchairs either.

In the east, in Bethlehem, it is very cold at this time of year. In the stable where Jesus was born it would have been cold even with all the animals around Him.

Toby Crossley being dressed in swadling clothes by his mother RuthThere would have been no running water, so Mary would have used oil to clean Him instead of using water. Now we have Toby Crossley and his mother Ruth to show us how this would have been done.

They also used a kind of 'talc'. This would have been made from olive leaves ground down with a pestle and mortar like this one. Myrrh was also used for putting on wounds.

We said there were no baby clothes - so what did they use? Well, it would have been swaddling clothes made from strips of cloth like these. The cloaks here would have become too old and so would have been cut into strips.

Jesus was a baby just like Toby and his mother showed just how Mary would have put these on Jesus for his clothes.

Jesus came into the world like Toby and He has gone through all the things we go through - in our family, in school, things that happen in our lives. He can be our Friend as He has gone through all this.

Our prayer is:

Lord,

We thank You for sending Your Son because You loved us so much.

We know You became like us and lived our lives.

Help us to know with You as our Friend that we will never be on our own.

Help us to start again with You as our Friend and King.

Amen.

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