This was the second part of Christmas Session 1, but it's so big it deserved its own page!
Session idea - Remix a classic song
1. Remix a classic Christian song or carol. I mean, re-do the music and change the words. We remixed ours using keyboards etc. but you could just use a piano, guitar or sing accapella style! Anyways.. here's our remix of the chorus of that 'delightful' (ahem..) Cliff song, 'Misteltoe and Wine' (sorry, Sir Cliff...)
We all dressed up for this in hats, scarves and gloves and sang in a very cheesy way. Christmas jumpers are a good idea if you're going for the full-on look..
Christmas Day, lets join hands and sway
Everythings super, were OK
With shining little faces and big cheesy grins
A time to eat quiche and confess all our sins
Christmas night, everyones alright
Watching TV and eating mince pies
The Pastor is preaching, and I've gone to sleep
A time to be lovely and have happy dreams
Boxing Day, not feeling OK
Think I had too much to eat yesterday
Ive been in the toilet, Ive taken some pills
But I still feel awful, I still feel ill
New Years Eve, time to receive
The New Yrs Eve social with Jez, Helen, Ben & Steve (some of the youth leaders, replace)
Theres Waking Ned Part 3 & then theres Part 4
Nah, were only joking, its Part 1 once more!
New Years Day, I have stuffed my face
Been up all night at JeznHelens place (replace names)
And now Im shattered and I need to rest
Gotta revise for my GCSE test
(All together now...)
Christmas time, mistletoe and wine
Children sing in Christian rhyme
With logs on the fire and gifts on the tree
A time to rejoice in the good that we see
(Waking Ned is not exactly a young person's movie, our guys hated it so we keep joking about it. Insert similar kind of movie or situation relating to your group)
2. Make a Christmas movie of the Nativity scene or the Christmas story. Note this isn't about dissing the Christmas story at all but rather to make a poor quality video in the style of one of those really bad kids performances!!
If you want to shoot this sketch on video then click here for the script and technical prompts
In this, filming is all. Voices, expressions and more must all be wooden. If you don't feel comfortable doing this on vid or haven't got a camera, you could act this one out live.. filming instructions and actions etc in brackets.
Remember that when filming and using voice overs, you must shoot extra film in order for their to be something on screen while the voice over is on.. sometimes that's as simple as filming 10 seconds before and after the actor's bits you want.
Narrator - Once upon a time there was a boy and a girl and there names were Mary and Joseph. They were going to be married.
(During narration, cut to Mary & Joseph sitting looking at each other. Then..)
Joseph & Mary (together) we love each other, were going to be married.
Narrator - One day an angel appeared to Mary
(Mary doing her nails. Then cut to angel flying in flapping wings with ring around head)
Gabriel - I am Gabriel, an angel. You will have a baby boy and call him Jesus.
Mary not another, Ive already had three kids already, (this was specific to the youth leader playing Mary. You can use or edit with something similar). I mean.. OK then, as you say oh angel from heaven above
(Angel flaps off to music.)
Narrator One day Joseph saw that Mary was getting a bit fat.
Joseph are you getting a bit fat?
(Mary hits him)
Mary No, I am having a baby.
Joseph How did this happen?
Mary - well, when a man and a woman love each other very much..
N Mary explained that God had sent an Angel.
Joseph sounds a bit funny to me but OK then Mary my lovely wife to be.
Together we love each other
(Mary & Joseph get on a play horse for children - going 'clip clop' like a donkey)
N - One day Mary and Joseph went to a new town. It was a horrible place, a bit like Plymouth (replace with local football rivals). Eventually they found a small farm and Mary had her baby.
Mary (with cushion up her top, unconvincing) Ouch, oo, it hurts
Joseph - (watching the sky) Shut up, don't be so noisy..
Mary - oo, the baby is coming
(Throws cushion away and someone else hands Mary a doll)
Mary - look it's a baby
Joseph - wow, isn't she lovely..
Mary - (whispers) She!
Joseph - wow, isn't he lovely..
Mary & Joseph we love our baby. We love each other.
N One day some shepherds came to visit
Shepherd - (Towel over head. Makes sound effects of a sheep 'baa, baa' - just in case you didn't know what noise sheep make..) Shh, be quiet Dolly.. Dolly, stay there.. (talking to a sheep)
Shepherd I have come to visit the baby Jesus
Joseph - it's a baby boy
Shepherd - wow! (walks off)
N And then some wise people came along
Wise Man (wearing wise hat - a bit of paper with the words, 'Wise man' written on. It is upside down) We are wise men. The square root of 4 is 2. Yes.
N and that is the Christmas story of how Jesus was born.
(Actors take a bow)
3. We also used another sketch - click here for this sketch
4. Another Christmas Quiz (woohoo!). Ten of your finest questions please barman.. No..? Oh well, you'd better use our quiz instead..
1. Who was the father of Joseph in the Christma story?
2. What region of Israel was Bethlehem in?
3. Which tribe did the prophecy quoted in Matthew say that a ruler of Israel would come from?
4. Who issued a decree in the Christmas story?
5. Where did Mary and Joseph escape to?
6. Who prophecied there would be 'painful crying and deep sadness in Ramah' (Youth Bible, Matthew 2.18)
7. Who replaced Herod as King?
8. How many Kings came to visit Jesus?
9. How many inns did they try to stay at, according to Luke?
10. Name 2 women in the genealogy (birth/family history) of Jesus?
4. Caesar Augustus
8. The Bible doesn't specify
9. Luke 2.7 says there were no rooms left at the inn (singular) though you could argue they may have tried other places!!
10. Ruth and Rahab
5. Review of the Year
We got a load of photos, and put on Powerpoint. Then go through key events of the year with photos. The fun, games, events, sadness, whatever is appropriate..
Ideas? We talked about a popular family going back to Korea, our mission to Lithiuania, trip to Spring Harvest, to Christian gigs, our Revelation events, other events we took part in, practical action, Halloween evangelism, weekend away, services at church etc.
6. Game, the Price Is Right.
Get a load of cutouts of things from Argos or a catalogue and put the pictures up around the room. The young people have to guess how much each item cost! Pens and paper needed, Individually or groups.
7. The talk..
The game led into the talk: Consumerism; Christmas; The Christian Attitude...
It's so easy to get caught up in the Christmas hype.. how does it all start? Well, we feel obliged to buy people nice presents but who do you buy for it's so hard? Best be safe and buy for more rather than less. Can't afford it? Well, you can do more hours at the shop or the mail order call centre can't you? An anyway, even if you get into debt, it's not gonna be that bad is it?
There's so many nice presents out there too.. now if I get that top, I need some cool jeans to go with it as it doesn't go with my other jeans.. then I should get another funky pair of sneakers, Nike preferably and that is one wicked outfit right??
Know what, some of this is just like me. I'm the kind of person that doesn't buy many clothes but likes the cool stiff, the Nike trainers, the Adidas hoody and so on. I like this and like many things, prefer quality over quantity. But we all get caught up in this fashion or 'buying stuff' trap.
You know you can spend too much on others, even with the right motives. If you love giving more than receiving it's a Biblical principle - but the buying can become the god, not God himself.
What about buying stuff that's a bit dodgy like CDs? I once compiled a CD and one track was by rappers Talib Kweli & HiTek called 'Move Something'. We loved the track but God convicted me that we shouldn't be putting this on the CD due to the language in it so we took it off. Should I even have this CD? Where do we draw the line? Should we download mp3s and not pay? No!
How does this apply to you? What about Eminem, Black Eyed Peas or other commercial rap artists? What about the bad language? You can sometimes get clean versions but you know that the content of the lyrics is usually pretty bad. You know when they're cutting the words and know what words it's replacing. So what do you do? I think it's between you and God. But don't do anything to damage your faith - or anyone else's faith, especially if they're younger or been a Christian a short time. Christian rap is as outstanding (if not better) than much of the 'secular' rap available. See sphereofhiphop.com or other places.
So what does the Bible say?
Well, read Luke 12.29-34 first of all.. in this passage Jesus is talking to his disciples about getting their priorities right. Like many of us the followers may have worried about what they were going to eat, wear and drink. A lot of our mental and physical time and energy revolves around these questions. How often do you read catalogues, think about buying clothes or goods, or food etc. How much money do you spend, what percentage of your money, time.. think about it..
Jesus is talking about a radical re-think in the way we do things. He says to us, don't worry about these things because God knows we need them and if we put God first and seek his Kingdom, he will provide for us. Jesus turns things upside down, he says if you spend time thinking about money and food too much, your time is wasted but if you think about God and his priorities, he will actually provide it all for you.
Next Jesus goes on to say don't worry about collecting things on earth but store up your riches in heaven. What does it mean? It means invest your time and money in doing God's work and not the world's work. Your priority is not the same as the world. In the West we're dominated by consumerism.. you want the latest top, mobile (cell phone), CDs, equipment, clothes, sneakers etc. God doesn't think the same way. He says to you and me to think about helping the poor, loving people, preaching the Gospel, seeing people healed and delivered from demons, set free from sin. He wants us to spend our time looking out for the orphan, the widow, the poor, the oppressed. What that means in practice is up to you and the opportunities available to you.
Jesus makes the point that your heart will be where your treasure is. Another way of saying this is by using a story I read in the excellent UCB Bible notes, 'Word for Today' (www.ucb.co.uk):
The story was about an Old Native American who after getting saved told his pastor that he felt like he had 2 big dogs fighting constantly inside him. 'Which one of them wins?' asked the pastor. After thinking for a moment, the man replied, 'I guess the one I feed the most.'