The Christmas Tree Narrative
Origins of the Christmas Tree and the Gospel Message
This is a play that I wrote from researching the origins of a Christmas tree and the Gospel. Many of the items that we use to decorate a tree have been researched. There are many other stories out there too. It is easy to adapt to your Children's Ministry set-up. It does not really need a rehearsal. Reading parts can be placed in folders of colored construction paper, being read by the most able children, and selected in advance. I have sent a letter home sharing with parents that this will take place, inviting them all to send all their children on whatever service it takes place. Often it has been the Christmas Eve Service. I have done it about a dozen times as we move around the province, updating it regularly, making necessary changes and always looking for more information. It is a tear jerker to say the least. Many adults do not know the
history behind the Christmas Tree
. So many have come up to me afterwards - sharing that they will never again just put up their tree without thought as to what they have learned. All the songs or carols can be changed - again to suit whatever set up you may have in your church. I have used real and artificial trees. Many churches have rules about real, however, you can always offer to remove it after the event is over, if that is the case. I have begged and pleaded with Ministers & Pastors about the rules they may have about Christmas tress in the sanctuary. God always wins out in the end. I usually do the balloons and the
, or cupcakes after service, making it a real live Birthday Party For Jesus. Now even Christian Suppliers are catching on, and you can get banners, balloons, (depending on your budget) or other supplies to make this so fun. Use your imagination, and elaborate or pare down the play. Every single child can participate hanging ornaments or candy canes on a tree, with parents helping. It is so fun, and I wish this year, it had not been done last year, so that we could do it again. I love it, and it touches my heart.
Susanne - Tillsonburg, Ontario.
THE CHRISTMAS TREE
Narrator #1 - Each year, most of us decorate a Christmas Tree, with little thought as to why we even have a tree in our house or on our lawn. Why do we decorate it the way we do? Today, the children of ______________________ would like to share with you the story and the meaning behind the decorated Christmas Tree. The tree is an evergreen, the symbol of everlasting life, and the joy of living forever with God. This is the Good News that Jesus' birth, life on earth, his death, and the resurrection proclaimed to all of humanity. Jesus made it so clear in the Gospels about His divine identity. (Luke 22:7, John 8:50 etc, & add more if you choose). We need to all consider whether or not those statements are true. To Christians - they are! We therefore trust every single word Jesus ever uttered. Given the reality that Jesus is God, it seems amazing that it may be politically correct to remove Him from Christmas! Christmas Time is a celebration of a
person--a living person who loves you and who was born for you, and then died for You, so that you might have eternal life. Christmas is Jesus.
Narrator #2 - There are lots of stories out there, and many ideas about why we decorate evergreens at Christmas time. One favorite --- that many adults may know, is that a man named Martin Luther, started the tradition over 400 years ago.
One Christmas Eve, Martin was out walking in the woods near his home. He was praying and thinking about the Lord Jesus Christ. He looked up into the midnight sky, and became so thrilled with the beauty of a tall evergreen that was shadowed against the starry sky. He decided that he wanted to take that tree home with him. He had a saw with him, so he cut it down, and dragged it home. He then built a base so it would stand straight and tall in his house. Then he fastened some candles to it, to look like those stars he had seen earlier. (They did not have electric lights in those days.) Then he lit up all those candles and stood back to admire the tree. Those candles reminded him of the stars that were in the sky above Bethlehem on the night that Jesus the Christ Child was born. We have used electric lights today on our tree. (plug in the lights that have been previously put onto the tree, clear ones work the best, as do solid white. I stay away from
colored strands) (Carol suggestion to this piece is "O Little Town of
Narrator #3 - The Lights on our Christmas Tree represent those candles of long ago, and those stars. The Book of Isaiah and THE GOSPEL of John talk about the Messiah as the one who brings LIGHT. Another legend of candles says that candles were put into the windows of all the Christian homes on Christmas Eve. Those candles guided the Christ Child to those doors. If a stranger came to the door on Christmas Eve, they were never ever turned away from that house. Remember in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark & Luke, Mary & Joseph were turned away from the inn and there was no room for them to say anywhere. Christians believed that a stranger could be the Christ Child in disguise. Jesus proclaimed He was the Light of the World. (opt Carol 1
verse, "Away in a Manager.")
Narrator #4 - This morning------each and everyone of us here present can be that same LIGHT. We should be that LIGHT, just not at Christmas Time, but every day, all of our lives. Jesus in THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD. Once we fully accept Jesus into our hearts, we too become those lights for all the unbelievers. The LIGHT OF JESUS SHOULD SHINE THROUGH US IN ALL WE DO, IN ALL WE SAY, and in all we write. (opt carol - perhaps a solo - O HOLY NIGHT!)
Narrator #5 - Our next decoration is the STAR. The star again represents the special star that shone above the manger where the Christ child was laid. It is the same star that the shepherds saw when they came to visit the baby Jesus. It is the same star that the Wise men followed who came from the east, when they came in search of the baby Jesus. Remember the gospel says --- and lo, the star which they had seen in the east, went before them, until it came to rest where the child was with his Mother Mary. Jesus sis also called the "BRIGHT MORNING STAR" in the book of Revelations. (Put the star on your tree. I like to use one that has a light in it, so that it too shines as bright as can be.) (Opt. carol "While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks By
Narrator #6 - Next, we are going to ANGELS on our tree. The word ANGEL stands for messenger, a Greek word. The Angel communicates good news from God to the people. An Angel appeared to Mary. He said - "Fear not for you have found favor with God, and you will conceive by the power of the Spirit and a child will grow in your womb and you will bear a SON. You shall call His name JESUS. The same Angel appeared to Joseph, telling him what would come to pass. The Scriptures also say that some shepherds were in the fields watching over their sheep. Then an Angel of the Lord appeared and stood before all of them. Those shepherds were frightened. The Gory of the Lord was shining all around the Angel. The Angel told them not to be afraid. He told them he was bringing them Good News of Great JOY. Tonight Your Savior has been born in the town of David. He is the Christ Child --- The Lord. This message is that you will know and you will hear. You will find the baby wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manager. Then a very Large Glory of Angels from Heaven filled the midnight skies. All of those Angels were praising God & saying "PEACE ON EARTH, GIVE GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST & ON EARTH LET THERE BE PEACE AMONG THE PEOPLE THAT PLEASE GOD. The Angels told the shepherds where they could go to find the baby and then they filled the whole sky singing praised to God. It was an awesome sight. (Put the angels on the tree. I have used paper ones made by the toddlers age group, but you can use what you choose.) (Opt. carol -
"Angels We Have Heard On High" - 1 verse only)
Narrator #7 - BELLS MEAN JOY at Christmas Time. In some countries around the world, bells ring out loud in every church at midnight on Christmas Eve to announce the Birthday of Jesus who brings Justice & Peace for all. (Each child can put a bell on the tree, ringing it as they walk up) (Opt. Carol -
"Go Tell It On The Mountain")
Narrator #8 - The CHRISTMAS BALLS all have very special meanings also. They are round, a shape that reminds us that God's Love for us is eternal and has no end. The balls also represent the World into which Jesus came as
"EMMANUEL - GOD IS WITH US."
The RED balls remind us here today of the BLOOD THAT WAS SHED for all our sins. In the shedding of that blood, we all became free for all of time. What a sacrifice Jesus made for us all. (some children have been picked to put on the red balls)
Narrator #9 - The GREEN balls represent to us - THE HOPE of eternal life, and the forgiveness of our sins, just by repenting and then asking God. That Eternal Life is God's greatest gift to us all who are willing to surrender and then believe that Jesus was the Son of God. (Children now put on the green balls)
Narrator #10 - The WHITE balls stand for the PURITY & LIGHT OF JESUS. He is the light of the world and was without sin. (other children now walk up and put on the white balls)
Narrator #11 - The BLUE balls are for the FAITH, the FAITH the prophets of the Old Testament which always listened to God's word and proclaimed the message that a Messiah would come to save the world. FAITH is the only thing that can last for all of time. If you have that FAITH, then you have what it takes to tackle all of your problems and challenges. FAITH is the one thing that no one can steal away from you. FAITH RESIDES IN YOUR HEART. FAITH IS REAL. In Hebrews - chapter 11, we are told - FAITH is real even if we do not see it. Grab your FAITH, clutch it very tightly, it is the anchor of you soul. (Children now walk up and put on the blue balls) (Opt, carol - Hark The Herald Angels Sing - allow enough verses to complete the putting on of the balls - it does take time, and sometimes little ones need the help of parents or teachers. Encourage bigger children to put ornaments up higher so that all the ornaments are not on the bottom part of the tree. Allow grandparents or your Minister to even help. You will be touched by the way people catch on to what is going on, and offer to lift a child up to place an ornament higher) (The Holy Spirit really takes over this play)
Narrator #12 - Next, we will put some Candy Canes on Our Tree. Candy Canes were first invented by an Indianapolis Candy Maker. He made the hard candy in shape of a "J" originally, as a way to remind the children that Jesus was at the heart of Christmas. They were originally red, green and white (You can still find these, but if not, adjust this part accordingly) The Candy Canes were also to remind us that Shepherds were the first ones to hear about the birth of Jesus. They carried crooks in order to keep their sheep save or to lift them from a cliff or crevice in the rocks. JESUS IS OUR SHEPHERD AND HE USES HIS CROOK TO GUIDE US EVERY SINGLE DAY, LEADING US AWAY FROM SIN. He provides a path for us to walk with him every day of our lives, if we let Him. The colors on our candy canes are Red, for the sacrifice Christ made for all our sins, the Green, for that Hope, that he always gives to us, and lastly, the White - for His Purity and Light. (every single child participating can put a candy cane of your tree.) (Opt. carol -
"Joy To The World!")
Narrator #13 - Last of all is the gifts that we put under our trees at Christmas Time. At Christmas Time we present our gifts to each other as a symbol of our Love for one another. Our Love should always be given for free. Jesus gives us His Love for Free every day, if we have surrender to Him. WE can not enjoy & experience that Love of this free gift until we accept it, and open that Love and receive this Love as a part of our daily lives. In the same way, we are all reminded at this special time of Year, Christmas Time, that God sent the GREATEST OF GIFTS TO US AT CHRISTMAS TIME, His Son - Jesus Christ. WE can hear about this gift, read about it, but until we accept that gift and receive it as a part of our lives , we will never be able to experience everything that God wants for us as His Children. Jesus did not become God, BUT RATHER HAS ALWAYS BEEN GOD. We know that at the Incarnation - He Became man (Philippians 2:6-8) Jesus came to earth & took on human form in the flesh in order to live amongst us, reveal the Father, and then to offer His perfect life as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.
Now ask for a Prayer from your minister, Priest or Pastor - offering a blessing for what has just transpired. (Each Child has brought a gift from themselves to offer to Jesus. In the past we have asked the parents to wrap up something small to donate to a homeless shelter, a Women's shelter, or to some needy family. You will know what the needs are in your area. It can also be a donation of food, wrapped in white tissue paper. In that way no child is left out, even those that may be on a fixed income. You probably have a facility in your area that accepts food donations. Make arrangements in advance to have these donations picked up. Also as suggested every parent has gotten a letter in advance to let them know what will be taking place. However I have always included extra, or asked all members to bring in donations, then no child is left out, even those visiting just for that one night) (Opt. carol -
ALL THE CHILDREN IN UNISON COME AND STAND AT THE FRONT OF THE SANCTUARY AND SAY - JESUS BECAME WHAT WE ARE, SO THAT WE COULD ALL BECOME WHAT HE IS!
Copyright 2007 Susanne Hudson
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