Write out on separate pieces of cardboard the nine letters that make up the word ‘CHRISTMAS’. Take each letter in turn to illustrate the Christmas story. As you talk about each letter, get a volunteer to come and hold it up before the class. At the conclusion, the complete word will thus be shown.
There are a number of variations that could be used, but here are some ideas.
C = Christ. God’s gift to us.
H = Heaven. Jesus came down from Heaven to be born at Bethlehem.
R = Redeemer. You will probably have to explain this. To redeem something means to buy it back. God
created us, but then he had to buy us back with the blood of Jesus. The famous story about the boy who
made, lost and then had to buy back a toy boat is helpful in explaining this.*
I = Israel. Jesus was born in Israel. (An alternative could be Isaiah, who foretold of His coming).
S = Star. God sent a bright star to guide the wise men. (An alternative could be Stable).
T = The wise men. The Bible doesn’t say how many there were, but they brought Three gifts.
M = Manger, in which Jesus was placed. (An alternative could be Mary).
A = Angels, who announced Jesus’ birth.
S = Shepherds, the first to hear the ‘Good News’. (An alternative could be Savior).
* A boy once made a toy boat. He was very proud of his boat because he hadn’t bought it, he had made it himself. One day whilst sailing his boat on the lake, the wind suddenly strengthened and blew the toy boat out of sight towards the other side of the lake. The boy immediately ran around to the far side of the lake to look for his boat. He searched and searched, but couldn’t find it anywhere; the boat was lost. The boy was bitterly disappointed because this wasn’t any ordinary boat. This was his special boat that he had made with his own hands.
Sometime later the boy was walking past a shop. He happened to look in the window, and there, up for sale, was his boat. He knew it was his because he had made it himself and knew exactly what it looked like. Immediately, the boy rushed into the shop and paid the asking price for his boat. On leaving the shop, the boy looked admiringly at his boat and said “Now you are mine twice over. I made you, and now I have bought you back again. I have redeemed you.”
That is a picture of what God has done for us. He made us and therefore owns us, but because of our sin, we became lost and separated from Him. But in His love, God sent Jesus to buy us back, to redeem us. And the price Jesus paid? – His own blood that He shed on the cross. So although at Christmas we remember the coming of Jesus to earth, we must also think of Easter and remember the purpose of His coming, to redeem us to God.