The Unopened Gift

This was an extended kids’ talk that was ‘interrupted’ by other elements in the meeting.

8 That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. 9 Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, 10 but the angel reassured them. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. 11 The Saviour—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! 12 And you will recognise him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.”

Luke 2:8-12 CEV

At front of church a man is curled up in bed dressed in pyjamas. Next to him there is an enormous box wrapped up in Christmas paper. In the box a small child is dressed as a fireman or similar rescuer. The present has a tag on it saying, ‘Good news, great joy, for all people, with love at Christmas from God’

1. God’s gift is good news

Me: Is anyone here looking forward to getting a present at Christmas? What would you like to get? Wait for answers

Me: Someone seems to have left a massive present here, shall we see who it’s for? There’s a tag on it. That should give us a clue. Can someone read it for us? The tag reads ‘Good news, great joy, for all people, with love at Christmas from God’

Me: Wow! It’s a present from God. Imagine that, what do you reckon God would give us at Christmas? But who’s it for? Can you see anyone that God might want to get this present? [Kids point to man sleeping]

Me: Let’s try and wake him. Let’s shout ‘wake up lazy bones!’

All: Wake up lazy bones! Man wakes up

Me: Did you realise you’ve got this massive great present from God? Aren’t you going to open it?

Man: Nahh, I can’t be bothered. I don’t want a present from God. It’s probably not that exciting. It’s probably something I’ve got already, like socks!

Me: No, it’s not. Look! It says on the tag that it’s news, so its something you haven’t had before. And it’s good news, so it’s something that you’ll really want to get.

Man: Nahh, I’m tired I’m going back to bed.

Manclimbs back into bed and rolls over

Me: Well he doesn’t seem very excited about this present from God does he? Let’s leave him to sleep for a while and we’ll sing again. This is a new song for some but it’s straightforward to pick up. It’s all about Immanuel. Who can remember what that means? It means ‘God with us’ and so it’s all about Jesus.

SONG

2. God’s gift will bring great joy

Me: When we left him the man didn’t think that God’s gift was that exciting. Let’s see whether we can wake him up again and change his mind. Let’s try ‘wake up lazy bones’ again. Are you ready? After 3, 1-2-3.

All: Wake up lazy bones! Man wakes up

Me: You’ve got a present from God, why don’t you open it up?

Man: Nahh, I still can’t be bothered. I don’t want a present from God. It’s probably really boring anyway. It’s probably something like hankies with my initials on them or something really boring like that.

Me: No it’s not. Look it says on the tag that it will bring great joy, so it’s not rubbish.

Man: Nahh, I’m tired I’m going back to bed.

Man climbs back into bed and rolls over

Me: Well he doesn’t seem very excited about this present from God does he? Let’s leave him to sleep for a while and we’ll sing again.

SONG

3. God’s gift is for all people

Me: When we left him the man didn’t think that God’s gift wasn’t worth opening. Let’s see whether we can wake him up again and change his mind. Do you remember what we say?

All: Wake up lazy bones! Man wakes up

Me: Come on mate this is ridiculous. You’ve got a present from God, open it up you idiot?

Man: Nahh, I really can’t be bothered. It’s probably not for me anyway.

Me: It is! Look! It says on the tag that it’s for all people. You’re a person and so it’s for you. It’ll make you really happy because it’s really good news from God. What have you got to lose by having a look?

Man: Nahh, I’ll be honest, I can’t be bothered with God. It’s Christmas and I’m just catching up on some sleep. So cut me some slack and give it a rest would you.

Man climbs back into bed and rolls over

Me: Well he looks like he could be a lost cause. But since it’s for all people I guess we could open it up and find out what’s in it couldn’t we? Who wants to open it up?

Choose a kid to open it up and reveal a kid who’s been inside dressed as a fireman.

Me: What a strange present. What have we got here? Who are you?

Kid: I’m a fireman of course!

Me: What would we use this man for?

Me: We’d use a fireman to rescue us from great danger wouldn’t we? The present that God has given to each one of us at Christmas is a rescuer. But God didn’t give us a fireman did He – what did He give us?

Let me explain…

God thinks that each one of us is in danger because we won’t do things the way God wants us to do them. He thinks that we need to be rescued. He knows that we need to be rescued because when we don’t do things His way that makes Him angry. But because He loves us so much and doesn’t want to punish us He sent Jesus to be our rescuer. Jesus didn’t rescue us by being born he rescued us by dying.

That’s why

1. It’s such good news. There’s nothing more important than discovering that God sent Jesus to rescue us. And there’s no better news that we could ever receive. No gift we get this Christmas will be better news than this.

2. It brings great joy. There’s nothing that can make us happier this Christmas than discovering that God sent Jesus to rescue us. No gift we get this Christmas will bring us greater joy than this.

3. It’s for all people. There’s no one who needs to be left out. God sent Jesus for all people because all of us need to be rescued. Whether we’re a Grandma or a Grandpa, a Mummy or a Daddy, a son or a daughter everyone needs Jesus to rescue them.

Let’s make sure that we’re not like Bruce and never get round to opening the gift that God has given us. Let’s say thank you to God for His gift of Jesus.

7 thoughts on “The Unopened Gift

  1. Josh Mills December 5, 2013 / 3:10 pm

    Was the kid inside the box through all the songs and everything!?

  2. theurbanpastor December 5, 2013 / 3:52 pm

    Josh, I think when I did this I had the fireman’s kit in the box and not a small child. I didn’t wantt o get in trouble with social servcies! But my youngest would happily have done it if the box was big enough and I’d let him.

  3. Megan November 26, 2015 / 10:09 am

    Instead of having a child inside the box, I had ‘medicine’ (a little chocolate bar for everyone with labels stuck on them). I emphasized that this was life saving medicine that was guaranteed to cure any sickness no matter how bad it was. As well as saying that he couldn’t be bothered, Mr SleepyHead also mentioned a few times that he wasn’t feeling well, and was too sick to worry about opening presents. There was a chocolate bar for everyone (for ALL the people) even the mums and helpers. One of the little kids asked, and is there a medicine for Mr SleepyHead. Of course there was so we woke him up one last time and Mr SleepyHead said that he was only sorry that he hadn’t opened the box earlier when we had first woken him up. Thank you so much for the inspiration for this talk – it worked a treat.

  4. Charlie Fadipe December 19, 2016 / 10:50 am

    Perks
    Just wanted you to know that I used this for our Christmas Family Service this year. Thanks so much for your hard work and for sharing this idea. Hope all is going well CCB.

    • theurbanpastor January 5, 2017 / 3:27 pm

      Cheers Charlie – glad it was useful. All good here. The Lord is kind!

  5. Evan Stanbury December 25, 2016 / 8:51 pm

    Thanks for the concept!
    I adapted it to Australian conditions by describing “Uncle Bruce” as sleeping off Christmas lunch beside the swimming pool. He was dressed in a T-shirt, with a hat over his face.
    Our little fireman crawled into the present from a hidden entrance.

    A suggestion: Perhaps list some suitable songs/carols that could go between the segments?
    I realized after the event that if I had coordinated a little better with our music team, we could have sung “Joy to the World” after the segment on “It brings great joy”.

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