Follow the Star Week 6: Christmas Season 2016

“For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.”
–The words of the wise men in Matthew 2:2

For those churches which follow a three year cycle of Sunday readings, called the Revised Common Lectionary, this year most of our readings about Jesus will be from the Gospel of Matthew.  I love the year of Matthew, because this year is the one that tells us the story of the wise men which appear on Epiphany.  Because of its emphasis on the wise men, I thought it might be fun to go star-crazy this year from Advent to Epiphany.  This week, we continue to celebrate the birth of Jesus.

Gathering:  Light your Advent wreath, get out your Advent Spiral, or turn on the Christmas tree so that your family knows something special is about to happen.  If you have made our star craft during Advent, you might gather to remember why it is at the top of the tree; Jesus is born!

Gathering Prayer: (repeat-after-me style)
Dear God, we thank you for time to spend together as a family as we celebrate that Jesus is here.  Help this time to be a holy time.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Bible Story:
Ask your kids to tell you the story of Jesus being born.  If they can’t come up with it off hand, you might want to get out a nativity set and have them tell you about all of the pieces.  You can also use this to help them to learn the story.  A Children’s Bible or Children’s Christmas story book might also come in handy.  If you are stumped, you can watch this short video:

The season of Christmas is 12 days long.  Jesus’ birth is a really big deal, and so it takes more than just one or two days to celebrate it.  Just like we tell the stories of our children’s births to them around their birthday time, we learn and relearn the story of the birth of Jesus every year when we celebrate his birthday.  It is not yet Epiphany, and the wise men are still on their way to Jesus.  This week, we will continue to go star-crazy with our activity.

Rising Star Mobile
For this week’s craft, I borrowed an idea from another one of my blogs, Good God Ideas.  You can find the template here (but read our modified instructions first, below):  https://goodgodideas.files.wordpress.com/2016/11/stacked-star-ornament-2016.pdf

Instead of coloring it slowly over the course of the whole season, each of our family members colored one star and we hung up the Emmanuel part without coloring it.  We attached the stars together with fishing line and hung it up where it could move and swing.  It looks like a rising star, and reminded us that the wise men are still following the star to Jesus, and haven’t yet arrived to worship him.

Our finished project looked like this:

IMG_20161223_124740011.jpg

Song:  Beautiful Star of Bethlehem
This week we go bluegrass with yet another song about the star.  I hope you enjoy it!

Closing Prayer: (repeat-after-me style)
Dear Jesus, you are our bright morning star.  As we wait for the wise men to arrive, help us to follow where you lead, both now and always.  In your name we pray, Amen.

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