Who is the most valuable?
by Rebecca Parkinson
Suitable for Whole School (Pri)
To use the Christmas story to show that God considers people of equal importance.
Preparation and materials
- You will need two costumes, possibly from a school Nativity play. One should be something that a rich person would wear, such as one of the wise men’s costumes. The other should be something that someone poor would wear, such as one of the shepherd’s costumes.
If these are not available, use something else to indicate that one person has a lot of money, and the other has hardly any.
- Ask for two volunteers who don’t mind dressing up.
Explain that the two volunteers are going to dress in old-fashioned clothes that are like those worn in Jesus’ time.
Tell the children that you want them to watch, and then tell you what they can deduce about each person.
- As you dress the children, comment on what you are doing. For example, you could say something like, ‘I’m placing this very expensive robe on X and this very scruffy tunic on Y,’ and ‘I’m placing this old, ragged head-dress on Y and this beautiful crown on X.’
- When you have finished dressing the volunteers, ask the other children what they can guess about two people who would have been dressed in this way.
- Where might they have been born?
- Would they have gone to school?
- Would they have gone out to work?
- Explain that in the Bible, Jesus is described as the king of kings. For Christians, the Christmas story is very special because Jesus came to earth not as a great, powerful, important man, but as a tiny baby. He wasn’t born in a huge, expensive palace, but in a stable. He wasn’t placed in a beautiful cot, but instead lay in an animal’s feeding trough.
- Explain that the Bible tells us that God considers both rich and poor people of equal importance. When Jesus was born, both kings and shepherds visited him.
Time for reflection
Although God considers that both rich and poor people are equally important, he still expects those of us who have a lot to help those who are in need.
Let us pause for a few moments to remember all of the things that we have enjoyed this Christmas. Now that the new year has arrived, let’s stop to consider how we can use our possessions and money to help those who are in need during this coming year.
Encourage discussion about how the children might be able to help others in the school, the local community and further afield.
We thank you so much for everything that we have.
We thank you for our food, our clothes, our homes and our families.
We pray for those who have many needs.
Please help us to remember them, and to do everything that we can to help others.
‘You’ve got a friend in me’ from the film Toy Story, available at: https://youtu.be/DNZUKm0ApEM (2.08 minutes long)