Monday, December 14, 2009

Sharing Time Christmas 2009--Christmas in America

This is the Sharing Time we will be doing this Sunday. I have done another Sharing Time in years past where we visit the characters of Jerusalem, so this year we will learn what happened on the other side of the world before visiting Baby Jesus. Hope you enjoy it.

Christmas in America
See Helaman 13-16 & 3Nephi 1

Narrator/Leader: Today we are going to take a Chrismas Trip, but this won’t be just any trip--it will be a trip back in time. Would any of you children be willing to join me? Let’s get dressed then for our trip, we wouldn’t want to frighen anyone we might see.

{Children dress in appropriate ‘Book of Mormon’ clothing}

Narrator: Now that everyone is dressed, lets all sit together here on the floor. Good, now let’s close our eyes and try to picture ourselves traveling back in time. Let’s imagine ourselves traveling back to a time that was only a few years before the very first Christmas.

{While children’s eye’s are still closed-’Samuel the Lamanite’ enters the room and addresses the children}

Samuel T.L.-Children! I am Samuel. Thank you for coming here to visit me. I am a Lamanite and I live at a time that is only 5 years before Christ will be born on the earth. During this time, the Lamanites have become a righteous people and listen to the Lord, but many of the Nephites of my time have become prideful and turned away from the Lord.

I had gone to the Nephite city of Zarahemla and began to preach unto the people. I told the poeople they must repent, but they cast me out of the city. I was about to return to my own land when the voice of the Lord came unto me and said that I should return again and prophesy unto the people whatsoever things should come into my heart.

Children, I did return to Zarahemla, but they would not let me into the city. But this did not stop me, for I obeyed the voice of the Lord. I went and got upon the wall of the city and I stretched forth my hand {extend hand} and I cried with a loud voice.

{in a loud voice} I said unto them: “Behold, I, Samuel, a Lamanite, do speak the words of the Lord which he doth put into my heart.”

{regular voice} I told them many things and commanded them to repent and have faith on the Lord Jesus Christ. I also told them of a wonderous event that would soon come to pass. I told tham that I would give unto them a sign---in only 5 years, the Son of God would come to redeem all those who shall believe on his name.

And this was the sign at the time of his coming. There should be great lights in heaven, insomuch that in the night before he cometh there shall be no darkness, insomuch that it shall appear unto man as if it was day. There would also be a new star---and this was the sign that Christ had come to earth.

I prophesied many more things, but the people of Zarahemla did not want to listen to a Lamanite Prophet and they threw stones and even arrows at me. Of course I was not afraid, the Lord protected me!

Children, your journey has just begun. I want to give you something to remember my message. Do you know what this is? {hold up apple} Yes, it is an apple, but it holds a special symbol. {cut apple in half widthwise, revealing star pattern of seeds--show children:} Can you see the star? Take this apple and remember the sign inside to remind us that Christ was born.

Narrator: Thank you Samuel, we will remember the symbol of the star at the birth of Christ. And farewell.

Samuel: Farewell. {exit}

Narrator: Wow! Well that was pretty amazing. Do you think we are done, or should we see if we can find some more people to tell us waht was happening in the America’s when Christ was born?

{Wait for children’s hopefully positive answers ;) }

Narrator: If we are going to travel, please remember that we need to be reverent and respectful. OK, let’s go.

{Move to first classroom. This is where you will meet the non-believer and hear how he came to understand the sign of Christ’s birth.}

Jared: Children, thank you for coming to see me. My name is Jared and I am a Nephite from the city of Zarahemla. I would like you to tell you about something I have learned.

I was taught when I was your age about Jesus Christ. My parents taught me that he would be born in Jerusalem, the land of our fathers. But as I grew I thought my parents were foolish to believe in Jesus. I thought he should come to OUR land, not to Jerusalem. I listened to those that said he would not come.

I saw Samuel the Lamanite and heard him prophecy from our city walls, but I did not want to repent and I am ashamed to say that I joined in throwing stones at him. Although I did not want to listen, I could not help but be amazed that even the arrows could not touch him.

I continued to reject our church leaders and even joined a group that helped to persecute believers. We set a day when we planned to kill all those who believed in Chirst! By a certain date, if no star came, we would put all believers to death. We wanted to frighten the believers into admiting that they could not know that Christ would come. But so many of them were not afraid of us, they continued to watch steadfastly for that day and that night and that day which should be as one day-as if there was not night.

I am ashamed to say that I helped to encourage a great uproar throughtout the land which caused many of my Nephite brethren who did believe, to be very sorrowful. When the day finally came that we were going to kill all those who believed, do you know what happened? {pause for answers...}

That’s right, the very day we had set to kill our Nephite brethren, the sign did come. There was a day, and then a night, and another day all without darkness!! I was astonished! And I was ashamed. I had treated the believers in Christ so badly, and now I knew they had been right to believe. I went to Nephi, leader of the church in Zarahemla, and I asked for forgiveness. He taught me the gospel of Jesus Christ and I was baptized and became a believer myself! I am so very happy! I would like to sing a song for you, so you will feel the love I have for Jesus. (sing ‘I Know that My Reedemer lives’’}

Song (sung to ‘I Know that My Redeemer Lives’)

I Know that my Redeemer Lives
What comfort this sweet know-ledge gives
He lives, His star shone in the sky
He lives, now I can-not de-ny

He came, just as the pro-phet told
He is born, o’er in the land of Old
Now I know, I’ll try to mend my ways
And believe, for all my earthly days.

Thank you for coming children. If you take plain sugar and add warmth to it for a time, it will turn into this delicious candy. Please take this and remember that with the warmth of the Savior, He can change us and turn us into something wonderful.

Narrator: Thank You Jared for sharing your story with us, and for the candy. Let’s go children and see if we can find anyone else that saw what happened on that night.

{Continue on to next room (by stage) where we will meet our believers Sarah and Gabriel}

Sarah: Hello, who is here Gabriel?

Gabriel: Grandmother, we have visitors. They look like nice children. {then, to children} Hello children, I am Gabriel and this is my grandmother Sarah. She can’t see you, her eyes no longer work. She is blind.

Sarah: Welcome children. What can we do for you?

Narrator: Sarah, Gabriel, we have come on a journey and are hoping to meet someone that saw what happened here in Zarahemla the night that Christ was born. Can you tell us what happened?

Sarah: Oh Yes! I would love to tell you about it! I have learned about the coming of our Savior Jesus Christ since I was your age. I have always been a believer. Our prophet have told us that Christ would come and He would be born in the Old World where our father Lehi came from. We looked forward to his coming with great joy. But not all of our people continued to believe. Many of them forget what the prophets taught us. Then, about 5 years ago, a Lamanite came and stood on our wall. He told us Christ would soon come and we should watch for the signs of his birth. My eyes were just starting to go blind, but I could see him on the wall and I heard his words. I was SO excited! Do you remember that day Gabriel?

Gabriel: Yes Grandmother, I do remember that day even though I was young. Samuel stood on the wall and the stones and arrows couldn’t touch him. He was protected by the Lord! I also remember how my heart felt when I heard his words. I knew what he was telling us about Christ coming was true. You had told me the word of the prophets, but to hear Samuel preach was like electricity! I too believed.

Sarah: Just as Samuel had said, the day came that the sign was given.

Gabriel: That was a frightening time for the believers. Many wicked men threatened to put us to death if we would not deny the Christ, but we would not deny! Although by now my Grandmother could not see using her eyes, she could still see what was true. She knew that the sign would happen as Samuel had said, and she was right!

Sarah: On the very night we were to be put to death, it came--the sign came! Gabriel was my eyes and he told me what happened. Tell them Gabriel.

Gabriel: We could see the sun going down that night, only it didn’t get dark! It was the middle of the night, yet it was as bright outside as mid-day! Grandmother and I were so happy! We knew this was the sign that Christ was born!

Sarah: Tell them about the star Gabriel!

Gabriel: Yes, there was also a new star-a star unlike any other. It stayed light all through the night and the next morning, we saw the sun come up just as it always does. We had a day, and night, and a day without darkness! It was amazing!

Sarah: We were so excited, we couldn’t sleep! It was wonderful too because many of our people that did not believe in Christ returned to the church. They found our leader Nephi and many were baptized. Children, I want you to understand that even though I did not see the sign with my eyes, I knew that it was true. When Gabriel told me what he saw, I felt the Spirit in my heart. My heart felt as if it were full of light too!! That is the most powerful sign that we can have. Our hearts can tell us that Christ is real and He did come. All of us can feel that truth in our own hearts. Please, take these small candles and let them remind you of the light and warmth that we can all feel in our hearts.

{hand out candles}

Gabriel: Thank you for coming. I think this journey is almost over, but don’t forget to always look for Jesus.

{Continue on to stage, Mary and Joseph sit quietly in corner with a baby. The angels come to greet us and invite children to sit quietly on the ground}

Angel: Children, I am so glad you are finally here. I hope you enjoyed your journey to learn about the baby Jesus. People all over the world waited and watched for this day to come. Heavenly Father loves all of his children and I am glad you got to meet some of them from the other side of the world. They all saw his star in the sky because He is the Savior of all people.

I understand that each of you have something for the baby Jesus. Would you like to put it in this basket near Mary. {children bring papers ‘What I would give Jesus’ that they prepared in class time}

I know you can’t stay for long, so I wanted to sing you a song--that is an angel’s job of course. I will sing first a song you might recognize, but I am going to sing it a little differently. After I sing, I would like you to sing Silent Night the traditional way with your help for the baby Jesus. Would you do that?

Silent Night:

Silent Night, Holy Night
Prophets say to seek the light.

Night without darkness
Now, a new star
Shines as a sign
To people a-far

All who believe, need not fear
Tell all the world He is Here!

{then sing Silent Night the traditional way with the children)

Silent Night, Holy Night
All is calm, all is bright

Round yon Virgin
Mother and Child
Holy Infant
So tender and mild

Sleep in Heavenly Peace
Sleep in Heavenly Peace

Narrator: Thank you Children. This is where our journey ends. Take a star cookie as you leave to help you remember the sign of Christs birth that was seen be ALL people.

{Exit back to Primary Room}


The Childrens Nest said...

Awesome sharing time!! You are AWESOME!! Are you feeling better?? I hope so! Can I tell you that I am LOVE LOVE LOVING your family pics!! Who took them? You are all GORGEOUS!! And cute Gabe is growing out his hair! LOVE IT! When are we going to hang out again?? We need to sooooon.....

Lucy said...

Did you write this one too? You are a playwright! Great sharing time idea.