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December 2011

Shouting Shepherds

For the Christmas Day Service

From “Sitting on the Rainbow”

Scripture Reference: Luke 2:8-20 “The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.”

Preparation: Bring a picture of a shepherd’s staff, or, if possible, a life-size model of a staff. A picture of a bishop or other church official holding a ceremonial staff may also be used. You may also bring shepherd staff-shaped candy canes to hand out.

A very Merry Christmas to you! Are you happy that Christmas is finally here? (Let children respond.) Have you heard people call out to each other, “Merry Christmas!”? That is a wonderful sound to my ears. Merry Christmas! Did you ever wonder what the very first Christmas greeting sounded like? Now people send Christmas greetings with cards or phone calls or even e-mail, but they also still call out to each other, “Merry Christmas!”

Who do you suppose were the very first people to shout out the news that Jesus was born? (Children may answer.) The very first people to shout out the good news that Jesus was born were shepherds. The angels told them where to find Jesus, and they ran to the stable and saw the Son of God lying in a manger. They knew right away that this was important news and they told everyone who would listen about the baby Jesus.

Those shepherds were the first preachers. They told everyone the good news. They couldn’t keep quiet. The shepherds were probably not used to speaking out in public, and they were certainly not used to having people listen to them. In those days, shepherds usually did not have much education. They couldn’t read or write. They might never have gone to church. But God sent the angels to the shepherds. They were the first to hear the good news, and they were the first to shout the good news. They had seen and heard something wonderful! God had come to earth. God was right there, lying on a bed of straw.

Have you seen the picture or symbol of a shepherd’s staff anywhere in the church? (Here you may hold up the staff you brought in and/or point out the staff on the church paraments or on a pastor’s stole.) It makes sense for a pastor to wear, or at times even carry, a shepherd’s staff, because shepherds were the first people to tell the world that Jesus was born.

All of you can be honorary shepherds, too. You have heard the good news. You know what Christmas is all about. You can shout out to the world that Jesus is born—just as loud as those shepherds did two thousand years ago. Let’s all be shouting shepherds together, shall we? Let’s all shout, “Merry Christmas! Jesus is born!” (Try it with the children. Afterward you may hand out candy canes for a treat to take home. Show the children how the canes are shaped like shepherd staffs.)

Prayer: We shout and sing, Merry Christmas, dear Jesus, because you have come to earth. Help us to spread the good news far and wide that you were born for all of us.


2 comments to Shouting Shepherds

  • Celia Shires

    Hello, thank you for this, May I use it during Christmas morning service, acknowledging your authorship of course. ?

    • ruth

      Dear Celia, Sorry to not have replied sooner, but my internet access was spotty over the Christmas holidays. You are free to use any of the resources that you find on Kidsermons. I hope that your services were a blessing to many children. Here is a link to the Kidsermons’ Facebook page in case you are interested:
      In Christ, Ruth

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