It is my most favourite time of the year when the weather starts to change, the gorgeous colours of the falling leaves and the warmth of fluffy jumpers and hot chocolate signalling we begin to think about preparing for Advent. Advent is a special time of the year when we get ready for the coming of Jesus. The word Advent itself taken from the Latin ‘Adventus’ meaning coming.
Over the past two weeks and until the end of term in Foundation, during Collective Worship the children have been learning the story of the Nativity of Our Lord. Each week we introduce a new ‘character’ to our Advent scene building it up week by week until the last and most special lesson – the birth of Christ our Lord.
Our ‘buildable’ story involves the children unwrapping a present each week which introduces the new character to place in the crib, a bible reading, a re-cap of the story so far and an evaluation of their knowledge. This week was the turn of the Shepherds, the first to hear the good news of Jesus’ birth.
The children were asked lots of ‘I wonder’ questions. I wonder how it felt to be a shepherd, sleeping on the hillside in the pitch black and to be woken with a blinding light? Close your eyes for a moment and imagine that! I wonder what it was like to see an Angel? Answers being ‘I think it would have been exciting and maybe a little scary too’. Notice the first thing the angel said “Do not be afraid” God wanted to reassure them it was a good visit.
We then used the lesson of the Candy Cane to further explore the role of the Shepherds.
Look at the Candy Cane
What do you see?
Stripes that are red
Like the blood shed for me.
White is for my Saviour
Who is sinless and pure!
“J” is for Jesus, my Lord that’s for sure!
Turn it around
And a staff you will see
Jesus my shepherd
Was born for me!
The children of course all enjoyed receiving a candy cane to take home and tell their families that it is no coincidence that these sweet treats come out at Christmas time to remind us of our Nativity story. From the shape of a Shepherds Crook, Jesus said “I am the good Shepherd”, the peppermint flavour reminding us of the gift of spices given by the wise men, the white hard candy symbolising Jesus is like a rock, strong and dependable. The red and white colour, white for Jesus is holy and pure and red reminding us of the love of God.
And finally, turn the cane upside down and it becomes the letter ‘J’ for Jesus.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank you for the shepherds who believed in you and were ready to follow the Angels. Thank you that they shared the good news of your birth so that we can learn about it today and celebrate the good news too. Let us also share the good news with our friends so that everyone can know about you.
I wonder who next week’s character will be?…