Bible Verse of the Day

Monday, December 3, 2007

Picture A Day Challenge for 12/2/07 - Journey to Bethlehem and Christ Child Service

Yesterday was our church's major kick-off for Advent. The Children's Department provided the Journey to Bethlehem which was followed by a worship service we call the Christ Child Service. This is when we make our special gifts for the month of December in support of ministries outside the walls of our church.

The Journey to Bethlehem was great for children because it gave them a sense of what life was like at the time Jesus was born. We had a farmers' market, the scribe, a weaving station, a carpenter shop, a grain mill, a bakery, a pottery tent, the spice tent, a perfumery, a toy shop, a beggar (that was Larry), authentic food, and farm animals. The animals were rabbits, chickens, ducks, a donkey, goats, a sheep and a llama, which Larry the beggar referred to as the compact camel. I'm not sure they had llamas in Bethlehem 2000 years ago. As they came in, people were invited to put on costumes if they liked, so there were a lot of small children running around in "tunics." They all got to try their hand at all the tents, including grinding grain by hand.

After the village re-enactment, we had our Christ Child Service. We had three choirs singing, our little praise band playing, and an older couple in the church explaining the meaning of the Nativity. One of the choirs was the Young at Heart chorus, then the youth group's "God Squad," and finally the young-in-heart children's choirs. Our adult choir didn't sing, which is unusual because we always sing. It was a nice change, though. I played both alto sax and clarinet in the band. What was strange was that, since we didn't have any praise singers, I played the melody on several songs, most of it sight-reading. It was a trip! Unfortunately, my lip gave out right at the end of the last piece. I haven't played so much in years. Well, the service culminated in the lighting of the Chrismon tree. Chrismons are "Christian Monograms." They are the symbols of Christianity. The ornaments have been made over the years by the children and they include fishes, angels, the Chi-Rho symbol, the bible, a church, and many more. They're made out of two layers of white felt sewn together and lightly stuffed, then decorated with beads, ribbon, glitter, whatever makes them shiny.

I hope you all are successful this Advent in preparing your hearts for the coming Savior. Merry Christmas!

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