Because we have the opportunity to repeat this story, I can really see it sinking in with the children. One of our children from last year went up to the story materials and immediately held up the baby Jesus to the figure of the Risen Christ and told me that the Baby became the Man. It gives me chills when the children do that!
Today's story can be condensed as follows:
"This is the Holy Family.
This is the Christ Child. He is holding out his arms to give you a hug.
Here is Mother Mary. Here if the father, Joseph. Here is the donkey that Mary rode when she and Joseph went to Bethlehem to be counted by the Roman soldiers.
Here is the cow that was in the stable when the baby was born. She was surprised to find a baby in the feed box, the manger, where she usually found her breakfast.
Here is a shepherd who saw the great light in the sky at night. Here are some of the sheep.
When the shepherds saw the light in the darkness, they were afraid. Then they heard singing. The angels sang that they came to bring peace on earth and good will to all people. The shepherds were to go to Bethlehem and they did.
Here are the three kings, the wise men. One day they saw the wild star. They were curious and followed it. It led them to the stable where the Christ Child was. The wise men brought with them gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Here is the little baby reaching out to give you a hug. He grew up to be man...and died on the cross. That is very sad, but it is also wonderful, in an Easter kind of way.
Now he can reach out and give the whole world a hug. He is not just back then, in this place or that place. He is everywhere and in every time."
As we close each storytelling session, we have wondering time where we can think further about the story as a group.
Some wondering questions to try at home:
- I wonder what part of the Holy Family story you like best?
- I wonder what part of the Holy Family is most important?
- I wonder if there is any of the Holy Family story we can leave out and still have all we need?
Remember. This is not a time to quiz children on what they may or may not recall about the lesson. Rather, it is an opportunity to be quietly present as the children share their own experience.
You can view a presentation of this story here on YouTube.
Next week, we will be exploring our Creation story.