Christmas - Suffering world

8-11 year olds, All-ageAll-Age service
An assembly or all-age spot on suffering and God's intervention at Christmas

On your marks

You’ll need a globe, a flipchart or OHP, pen and two actors who have prepared the script on page 16 of The Gospels Unplugged.

Get set

Choose two actors. One should be flashy, brash and loud. The other should be quieter and less pushy. It would be fun to have an adult play the loud confident part and a child or elderly person playing the quieter part. The two actors sit on either side of the stage as you start.

Go!

Wave a sealed envelope at everyone and wonder what’s in it. Open it up and read in surprise: “Congratulations! You have won the chance to be God for one day. Please be ready to start at 9am”

Wow, that’s brilliant. Me being God for a day! What shall I wear? How shall I travel around? Where shall I go? What shall I do? (Collect answers to these questions on the flipchart).

(These issues may come up in the previous section. If not bring them up now).
Take a globe out and hold it up. Hmmm the world is in a right mess, isn’t it? Now I’m God, I can do something about it. What global problems shall I deal with?

Collect the answers on a flipchart or similar. (war, terrorism, pollution, global warming, species becoming extinct, world trade laws etc) What a lot of brilliant ideas!

I wonder what (name of loud actor) would do if s/he was God? Let’s see!

The two actors perform the script on p16, with the loud person being very loud, mobile and expressive, and the other one just sitting, until the final paragraph, when s/he stands up.

Say that sometimes we don’t understand why God doesn’t seem to do anything about the problems in the world. It would be so easy just to fix this… or that … surely?!
What a strange way to mend our broken world: to send a baby at Christmastime! No wonder (name) was scornful!

Here’s a very old Christian song which talks about how God chose to mend the world.

In your lives you must think and act like Jesus Christ. He was just like God in every way
But he didn’t think that being equal with God was something to be used for his own benefit.
He gave up his place with God and made himself nothing.
He was born to be a man,
And became like a servant.
And when he was living as a man,
He humbled himself and was fully obedient to God, even when that caused his death – death on a cross. (Philippians 2)

Hold up the globe again.
So when we think about the mess our world is in, we know that:

  • Jesus came at Christmas to be part of the suffering in the world.
  • God wants us to be like Jesus and do all we can to play our part in putting it right with his help.
  • Sometimes God’s plans are so different from what we would do that all we can do is trust that he knows best.

Prayer: Thank you that you love us enough to give us your son Jesus. Help us to be part of the solution to the world’s problems in the ways we think, speak and act.