Jesus Didnít Stay as a Baby
The Christmas story doesnít end there!
by Kirstine Davis
Suitable for Whole School (Pri)
To use Nativity costumes to remind us that the Christmas story doesn’t end there.
Preparation and materials
You will need a selection of Nativity costumes such as Mary, Joseph, a shepherd, a donkey, a wise man and an angel. These should be placed in a bag so that they can’t be seen.
A Superman T-shirt or cape. Alternatively, you can use an image of this, in which case you will also need the means to display it. An example is available at: http://tinyurl.com/jnov85d
Optional: you may wish to use the song ‘Jesus is my superhero’ by Hillsong Kids, in which case you will also need the means to play it. It is 2.39 minutes long and is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V76x50BfA7k
Welcome the children to the assembly and explain that, before all the costumes are put away in the cupboard from the Christmas play, you are going to have one last, quick look at them! (Note: if nativity costumes have not been worn for the Christmas play, change the wording of this sentence.)
Take the first costume out of the bag.
Ask the following question.
- Who do you think this costume would belong to in the Christmas story?
Ask a child to dress up in the costume and stand at the front of the room.
Repeat the above process for the second costume.
Pull the Superman T-shirt or cape out of the bag, or show the image.
Ask the following question.
- So who does this belong to in the Nativity story?
Looking confused, ask the following question.
- What does Superman have to do with the Nativity story?
If you are using it, place the T-shirt or cape back in the bag and repeat the dressing-up process until all of the available Nativity costumes have been used. Position the children in the tableau. Ask if anyone can suggest anything that is missing from the tableau. Suggestions could include animals, stars and so on. Hopefully, someone will notice that baby Jesus is missing. If not, guide the children towards this answer.
Go back to the bag of costumes and pretend to look for a baby doll. Explain that there is no baby doll in the bag - the only thing left is the Superman T-shirt. (If you are using the image, explain that there is nothing left in the bag - the only thing that hasn’t been used is the image of the Superman T-shirt.)
Pretend that you have suddenly realized something important. Point out that you are looking for a baby, but actually, Jesus didn’t stay as a baby. Explain that sometimes we get ‘stuck’ at the Christmas story and forget that Jesus grew up.
Look around the room at the children and adults and point out that each of them were babies once. No one stays as a baby; everyone grows and changes.
Just like everyone in the room, Jesus didn’t stay as a baby. He grew up and did amazing things. Christians believe that Jesus did things that were much too difficult for a human to do, such as healing people from incurable diseases, rescuing people from harmful lives and even feeding thousands of people from a tiny amount of food. They believe that Jesus was like a superhero.
If you are using the Superman T-shirt or cape, invite a child to put it on. Ask the child to join the others in the Nativity tableau.
Time for reflection
Remind the children that we don’t know much about Jesus as a child. However, Christians believe that when Jesus grew up, he did amazing things and taught thousands of people about God. Sometimes, we forget that the baby in the manger is the same person whom we remember at Easter, when we think about Jesus’ death and his rising to life again.
Thank you for Christmas and the fun we all had.
Thank you for the beautiful Christmas story.
Please help us to remember how Jesus taught us to live,
By putting other people first and loving each other.
Optional: you may wish to use ‘Jesus is my superhero’ by Hillsong Kids. It is 2.39 minutes long and is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V76x50BfA7k