Be an innkeeper

All Age Talk for Advent/Christmas

This might also work well for a Crib service or other event where children come dressed up as nativity characters.

Gathering

Ask the children if they know what special time of year we are in at the moment. Some of them might talk about Christmas. Remind them of the calendars they have at home with chocolates inside. What are they called? The time we are in at the moment is Advent. This is when we are waiting for Christmas. That’s why we have the calendars to help us count down, get ready and wait for Christmas day.

Activity

But waiting is sometimes difficult isn’t it? Christmas is very exciting and so sometimes we do lots of Christmas things like shopping, parties, eating nice food and our plays about the Christmas story before Christmas day is here! I am finding it very hard to wait this year so I’ve already got out all my costumes for the nativity play. Who would like to come and try some on?

Who is your favourite character in the nativity story? Whatever they respond with, ask the children to come and try on the corresponding costume. Have plenty of shepherds/Joseph, Mary, Angels, Kings, animals (if possible), maybe a star? You may also have a baby Jesus to hold. Remind the children about Jesus – we don’t normally dress up as Jesus but he is an important part of the story.

But who is missing? Do we have all the important characters for the nativity play?
Does anybody know which character we might be missing?
Remind them of the story; Mary and Joseph (we have them) travelled from? Nazareth. To where? Bethlehem. They were travelling on a donkey. When they got to Bethlehem they had to find somewhere to stay didn’t they? Who remembers what happened next?

There might be some children who talk about not being able to find a place to stay – agree, that there were some people who turned Mary and Joseph away. Try and lead them towards the innkeeper – one child might remember or even have played that part in a nativity play.

innkeeper

Teaching

Return to the original idea – was the innkeeper one of our favourite characters? No. We forgot all about the innkeeper but what did the innkeeper do which was really important? He found space for Mary and Joseph so they could have baby Jesus. Even though there was no room at his Inn he said yes, and found a place for them.

That’s a really important message for us to remember at this special time of Advent. As we get ready for Christmas we might be very busy in our lives; putting up decorations, going to parties etc. It might be full up in our homes; presents, Christmas tree etc. It might be full up in our minds; we think lots about Santa, our families, things we are looking forward to. These are all really important, just like all your favourite characters in the story are important.

But we must be like the innkeeper this and every Christmas. Even when it doesn’t seem like there’s space, we must find a place for Jesus in our hearts and in our lives this Christmas.

Prayer

Dear God, please help me to be like the innkeeper and find room for your Son in my heart. Amen.

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