How to draw out the Christian Message in your Church Nativity
In the past, I have been so caught up in the tension and preparations of the nativity play, that Jesus would not have been happy with the way that I was commemorating His birthday! However, it’s one thing knowing that, and another thing getting the balance right, but it does help to focus on the purpose of the nativity play before you start and get your own mindset right.
- Ask yourself exactly what matters to God
“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” Psalm 51 verse 10),
and when things fail, or somebody lets you down, remain focused on managing things with God’s grace. Be a good witness as you tell His story.
- These are useful bible passages to include to repeat that Jesus’s birth was foretold:.
“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times” Micah 5 verse 2.
“Then Isaiah said ‘Hear now, you house of David … … Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call Him Immanuel.” Isaiah Chapter 7 verse 13 & 14
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting father, Prince of Peace.” Chapter 9 verse 6.
Open your nativity service with a prediction before you inform the story as it took place. I can honestly say that, as a long-lasting Christian, my understanding of the Christmas story was restricted for a long time to the way it was stood for in the nativity play, so I am very aware of how crucial it is that we likewise back this with the actual passages from scripture.
Why not include in the play the angel’s message to the shepherds directly from the bible
“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger” Luke 2 verses 10 to 12.
- Remember that people do not always check out the bible, but they do read the people. Your nativity play is an opportunity to be a family of God’s people, joined in celebrating Jesus’ birthday together, and welcoming others to join you in doing so. Make sure that you encourage an atmosphere of love and inclusion, not one of perfection, and stress.
- Consider very carefully how you close your nativity play
1) Maybe with a bible passage which highlights the relevance of the birth of Christ today.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” John 3 verse 16).
2) Alternatively, search for a Christian poem to make use of as a mini sermon. There are lots of Christian poetry websites easily available on the internet.
- Consider using your nativity play as an opportunity to welcome visitors to join you; a neighborhood outreach. Could you find a way to include participation on the day if anyone wants to join in? Could you invite the community ahead of time to join you for rehearsals if they want to? Could you have a household fun event or party pre-arranged and advertise it at the nativity, maybe offering a pre-printed invitation?
Keep in mind, Jesus set us an example of working through love and look after others, and the nativity and carol services are the ideal way to start creating this relationship. Maybe you could welcome the audience/congregation to stay after the service for mince pies and coffee or some other appropriate Christmas tradition. Jesus created many relationships with fellowship over food.
In summary, tell the story in the way Jesus would have done; with relevance and love, and then simply cover everything that you do in prayer, and let God do the rest.
May God bless you richly as you share His word.