Sing Along for Christmas Joy
Sing the story of Jesus' birth. As you read the Nativity story, think of carols that relate to each part of the story. Often there's more than one carol to sing, but all of them make for a joy-filled family time!
Have fun this month by singing your way through the familiar nativity story. Family, friends, Sunday School kids of all ages can enjoy this activity. You'll need a Bible, a bowl of small rewards (stickers, candy, or small trinkets), and willing participants. It might be helpful to have some carol booklets on hand so that everyone knows the words.
The object of the activity is to find Christmas carols that tie in with the Gospel story of Jesus' birth. You will find that several carols apply at the same point in the story...so there are no right or wrong answers. When someone pipes up with the first line of a pertinent carol, someone else may be singing a different carol - and that's harmony. Give an award to anyone who tries.
Sit in a casual circle and let one adult take the lead and do the reading. Then all answers are sung spontaneously - no raising of hands...just sing! Here's a brief outline:
- Ask which carol reminds us that this night is a very holy night. Ask who can sing the first line of "O Holy Night".
- Read Luke 2:1, 3, 4.
Joseph and Mary are going to his home city. Who can sing the first line of the carol about that city? (Someone will surely sing "O Little Town of Bethlehem.")
- How do you think Mary traveled to Bethlehem? Many will not know the delightful carol, "The Friendly Beasts," which tells of a donkey all shaggy and brown. You might want to get a copy of it, just to read the clever verses. Give extra applause for anyone who knows this one!
- Read Luke 2: 8-10.
The shepherds hear angels singing. Who can think of a carol that includes angels singing? "Angels We Have Heard on High" is a good one.
- It is now midnight and one carol tells of the clear sky. Who can sing the first line of "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear"?
- Read Luke 2: 15, 16.
Who can explain what a manger is and sing the carol about it? - "Away in a Manger." Do you need to define "manger"?
- Read Matthew 2:1-12.
But not everyone is pleased with the birth of this baby. The wise men are indeed wise! What do they do? What carol can we sing for them? ("We Three Kings of Orient Are")
- The mission of Jesus brought great joy to the world - then and now. What carol speaks of that joy? ("Joy to the World")
- To close, read John 21:25. Sing "The First Noel." Pair off and let the pairs sing alternate lines.
- Take a vote to show which carol is each participant's favorite.
Make carols part of your holiday festivities. Perhaps you can sing one each night at dinner or in the car. One family even sings a carol before opening a gift! Listen in church to see which hymns tie-in with the nativity story.