As background prep Lucy and I made and iced a biscuit nativity set with Stable, Star, Shepherds, Sheep, Wise Men, Camels, Baby Jesus in a manger, Mary and Joseph. (You can see a picture at http://twitgoo.com/539ugw)
We started the assembly by talking about What time of year is it? How many days to go?
Then began by asking what do you normally have as a background to the nativity? Stable - produce and set up stable. Who or what is in the stable? Mary, Joseph, Donkey, Baby Jesus, Star, Camels, Sheep, Shepherds, Wise men.
But actually not all of those were at the actual nativity scene - as you talk about them either eat them yourself or give them to a child or teacher to eat:
- Stable – It wasn't a stable like we think of it but probably a cave in the rock, or a spare room (eat it)
- The bible doesn’t tell us Mary rode on a donkey (eat it)
- The wise men don’t visit when Jesus is born but some time later when they are living in a house (eat camels, wise men)
- And we aren't told that the shepherd bought any sheep with them.
That is good news – its why we celebrate Christmas because Jesus is God’s gift to us a gift that brings peace. Our Christmas can be a bit crowded just like our nativity scene was and the danger is we look at the crowd not at Jesus. But the Bible tells us without Jesus - God made man come to save us there would be no Christmas, no great news, no happy celebration.