In the midst of all these posts about how busy Christmas is and all the things we have got to get done between now and then and the major surgery that my 21 year old is having next week I added something extra into the pre-Christmas mix. It might have been a dangerous thing to take on this close to Christmas but I think it has been worth it. I agreed to plan and put on a Christmas prayer space in the school I work at, with less than 4 weeks notice.
That Christmas prayer space happened this week. It has been a delight. Over 400 children have come through the space this week, and most of them have engaged to the best of their ability. I have been so surprised at how popular it was. We even ran out of star shaped post it notes.
With 3 weeks notice I planned a prayer space for 2 weeks b4 Christmas. It was worth it.Click To Tweet
Since it was so popular with the children, I wanted to share it with you.
Our focus was on all the journeys that were made in the original Christmas story.A Christmas prayer space focusing on the journeys that were made in the original Christmas story.Click To Tweet
All of the activities in our prayer space focused on one of the journeys that was made in the original Christmas story.
The first journey we looked at was the journey the angel Gabriel made to visit Mary and tell her she was going to have a child. Our activity focussed on the angels statement that “Nothing is Impossible with God.” The children were encouraged to consider their hopes and dreams, the things they want to one day that right now seem difficult or even impossible. They wrote those onto strips of paper which were put together to make a paper chain.
Next we looked at the journey Mary and Joseph made to Bethlehem and how they could not take a lot with them because it would have weighed them down and slowed them down. I talked to the children about the fact they might not even have had the donkey we all talk about in our nativity stories. The children were asked to think the things that are weighing them down, specifically unforgiveness. They took a stone from the suitcase and held it in their hands while they considered someone they wanted to forgive, then they placed their stone into the bucket.
Our 3rd Christmas prayer activity looked at the journey the shepherds made from their hillside to the manger. We talked about how shepherds were not thought of as nice people, and you wouldn’t have invited a shepherd to dinner, for instance, because people thought they were dirty and smelly. I asked the children to think about people around the world who are being treated unfairly because of all sorts of reasons and to write a prayer for them on a sticky note and put it on the world map.
Our 4th activity looked at the journey the Wise men made, all the way to Bethlehem, without a SatNav. I talked to the children about how God helped the wise men by giving them a star to follow and asked them to think about how they (or someone they love) need God’s help. they were to write or draw this on a star shaped sticky note and put it on our night sky.
Our final Christmas prayer activity was the most difficult to keep sensible and serious, but I still think it was worth giving them the opportunity to experience this. We looked at the journey Mary, Joseph and Jesus made to Egypt. I talked to them about king Herod and how he wanted to be sure he had got rid of Jesus. We compared the journey Jesus and his family made with refugees fleeing all sorts of dangerous situations around the world and then I showed them some pictures of street children from different countries. We had 2 large cardboard boxes for the children to crawl into and think about what it would be like for that to be their only home. Then they wrote or drew their prayers onto the boxes.
I asked them to think about what they would want God to do if it was them. What would they be scared of, what would they dislike the most, what would they be hoping for and so on.
To finish I will leave you with one final photo collage, a tiny sample of the prayers prayed this week and a question. What is your Christmas prayer this year?
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