After the Nativity
The story doesn’t end at Christmas!
by Kirstine Davis
Suitable for Whole School (Pri)
To remind us that Jesus doesn’t remain a baby.
Preparation and materials
- You will need a selection of Nativity costumes such as for Mary, Joseph, a shepherd, a donkey, a wise man and an angel. You will also need a Superman T-shirt or cape. All of the costumes should be placed in a bag so that they can’t be seen.
Note: if a Superman T-shirt or cape is not available, you could display an image of one instead, in which case you will also need the means to do so. An example is available at: https://tinyurl.com/32t3tkfb
- Welcome the children to the assembly and explain that, before all the costumes from the Christmas play are put away in the cupboard, you are going to have one last look at them. (Note: if your Christmas play didn’t involve Nativity costumes, you will need to adapt this wording.)
Take the first costume out of the bag.
Ask the children, ‘Who do you think this costume would belong to in the story of the Nativity?’
Ask one of the children to put on the costume and stand at the front.
- Take the second costume out of the bag and repeat the process.
- Take the Superman item out of the bag, or display the image of it.
Ask the children, ‘Who does this belong to in the story of the Nativity?’
Look at the costume in a confused manner and ask the children, ‘What does Superman have to do with the Nativity?’
- Place the Superman item back in the bag, or remove the image of it.
Repeat the dressing-up process with the rest of the costumes in the bag until they have all been used. Position the children to form a 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, but if not, guide the children towards this answer.
- Return to the bag of costumes and pretend to look for a baby doll.
Tell the children that there is no baby doll in the bag; the only thing left is the Superman item.
- Pretend that you have suddenly realized something important. Point out that you are looking for a baby, but Jesus isn’t a baby any more. Explain that sometimes, we get stuck at the scene of the Nativity and forget that Jesus grew up.
- Look round the room and point out that everyone was a baby once. No one remains a baby; everyone grows and changes.
- Explain that Jesus didn’t remain a baby either: he grew up and did amazing things. Christians believe that Jesus did things that were much too difficult for humans to do. He healed people from incurable diseases, rescued people from harmful lives and even fed thousands of people from a few loaves and fishes. Christians believe that Jesus was like a superhero.
- Invite a child to wear the Superman item and ask them to stand in the 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 we remember at Easter, when we think about Jesus’ death and his rising to life again.
Thank you for Christmas and the fun that we have had.
Thank you for the beautiful Nativity story.
Please help us to remember how Jesus taught us to live,
By putting other people first and loving each other.
‘Jesus, you’re my superhero’ by Hillsongs, available at: https://youtu.be/V76x50BfA7k (2.39 minutes long)