Reading the Nativity Story as Children Act Out the Story with Nativity Sets

Categories: Jesus' Birth

When our children were young, we took them to Bethlehem one Christmas and each chose an olive wood nativity set as their memento of the trip. They have treasured these through the years, and in a desire to emphasize the true meaning of Christmas, we decided to extend this tradition to the grandchildren this year.

We selected a nativity set for each grandchild and found them in various catalogs priced between $8 and $14. For little children, we chose ones made of fabric or wood; for older children, they are made of resin or pottery - each one charmingly distinctive.

Our plan is to gather everyone around a large table and present each set. Then, we will read the Nativity story from the Bible starting with the prophecy:

Micah 5:2
Isaiah 40:1-5
Isaiah 9:2, 5-7
Matthew 1:18-23
Luke 2:1, 3-7
Luke 2:8-18, 20
Matthew 2:1-12
Luke 2:40
Matthew 4:23-24
Matthew 5:2, 16
Matthew 10:8
John 13:34
John 21:25
Revelation 19:6, 16

[Chronological translations -- King James Version, The Message]

These citations tell the story in order, and as we read it, the children will put the characters in place as they come into the story: Mary, the angel, then Joseph, next the shepherds and sheep, then the stable with animals, the baby Jesus, and the three kings.

This establishes a memorable tradition of love that can continue for generations.