For the Christmas Eve service at FPC Jesup I read Tomie dePaola’s “Birds of Bethlehem.” This book tells the story of Jesus’ birth from the perspective of birds observing the action taking place. The birds give vague descriptions of the action, which allowed room for the kids to fill in the story with their knowledge of the nativity story through scripture.
In the book each part of the story is told by different colored birds. I made paper cranes in each of these colors and wrote a phrase summarizing the scripture to which the birds were referring on one of their wings.
When the children all came up for the message I passed around the birds so that each kid had one. After we read each colored birds’ story in the book, I had a kid with the same colored bird read their corresponding phrase from the bird’s wing.
The kids seemed to love being a part of the story. When I asked for a volunteer who had a green bird to read the green bird phrase, one girl (who’s a little young to be reading quite yet) said proudly that her bird said, “Jesus loves me!” Though of course that was not the phrase written out on bird, I told her that she was right and that we hear all about how Jesus loves us throughout this story. Then I asked for one of the other students to read their green crane to see if it said something different and they read the phrase.
Later on when I was asking for volunteers for another colored bird, the same girl raised her hand and I told her, “No, yours is still green.” Gotta love the enthusiasm!