Sunday, December 18, 2011

Four Candles Burning

Happy Fourth Advent! This week at church, we heard the Godly Play story, "The Mystery of Christmas". This story is based on a series of frescos by Giotto and contains parts of the Christmas story that are not as frequently told, but nonetheless important. The story was written for older children, so I left out some parts for the younger children in our group. 

The panels are normally found in a wooden, golden parable box.  Since I only had a backpack today to transport my materials in, I wrapped them in gold paper with a bow. The children immediately made the connection with the parables before I began speaking.  

"This is the most mysterious parable of all: that God became a human being, that He entered our world as a baby . . . "

I didn't tell this story last year, because I couldn't find a copy of Madeleine L'Engel's The Glorious Impossible that the Godly Play German books recommend purchasing for the storytelling. This year, however, I discovered that all of the paintings were on-line here and here. So I downloaded them, mounted them on canvas, and varnished them with Modge Podge.

Middle: The Birth of Jesus; Counter-clockwise from top left: The Annunciation,
Mary's Visit to Elizabeth, Presentation in the Temple, The Visit of the Magi,
The Murder of the Innocents in Bethlehem, and The Flight to Egypt
I think this will now be one of my favorite Godly Play stories. Not only does it fill in some blanks for children about the events surrounding Jesus' birth, it also introduces them to some amazing art. The 8-year-old in the group was riveted, but it did get a little long for the younger children.  There is no "Wondering" phase at the end, and I was going to try it anyway, but the smaller children were too tired by that point to try. 

For the creative phase, the children could either draw or make more beeswax ornaments. (I've certainly gotten a lot of mileage out of this craft this Advent season! Thanks again, Naturkinder!)


Then, came a special Advent feast thanks to a good friend who prepared it for us and let us use her apartment for the children's service!


On Fourth Advent, we also spend time remembering the wise men who followed the star from the east to find the Christ Child.  We also spend some more time thinking about Mary on this Sunday as well, because without her, there would be no baby.

The Godly Play board for the Fourth Advent Sunday.

Our old East German-made cabinet is running out of room!
 Hope you are finding peace in the midst of the sometimes crazy last week of Advent! Blessings and joy to you all!

1 comment:

  1. Love the beeswax ornament idea! Simple enough to do in a class with multiple abilities, yet so pretty! Thank you for the idea, Sheila. Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas this week.

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