Christmas Journey 2018
This year was another opportunity for the King’s Centre, Chessington, Hook Evangelical Church and Insight Christian Schools Work to jointly present ‘The Christmas Journey’ . This year there were about 450 year-2 school children, aged 5/6, on Mon - Wed daytime, and then about 200 other visitors on the Wed after school enjoyed experiencing the story of Christmas.
This Christmas Journey took place in ‘The King’s Centre’, and comprised a number of gazebos which the children visited along their Christmas Journey..
First the children visited a Thinking Zone, where the children could consider why Christmas is important to them, and draw pictures accordingly. Each children’s group was allocated a shepherd, to guide them along their Journey.
The children went back in time to the beginning, and visited a Creation zone, where they heard about God’s creation, and then the Fall of Man, and sin coming into the world. They also heard about a Rescuer who was promised to come to restore the relationship between God and man.
In the next gazebo the children met Mary, who was engaged to Joseph, and who suddenly had a visit from the Angel Gabriel, startling many with the words: ‘Greetings Mary!’ Mary was going to have a baby by God’s power, and would be carrying God’s son, the Rescuer!
The children then jumped ahead 9 months and became shepherds out in the fields, and they, too were visited by the Angel Gabriel, who told them that they would find the Rescuer, as a baby in a stable in Bethlehem.
The children-shepherds quickly rushed off to Bethlehem, in the next gazebo, where they met Joseph, who told them that this was ‘no ordinary baby, but God’s Son, who had come as a Rescuer’. There was also a noisy donkey, who had be quietened with a carrot, to ensure that he didn’t wake the baby!
The next gazebo contained the wise men, who had seen the star signifying that the Rescuer had been born. They were packing up ready to go and visit Him, bringing, not cuddly toys or a rattle, but Gold, because he would be a King, Frankincense, because he would be worshipped, and Myrrh to use for His burial.
The children then went forward in time to the present day, where they met a man, dressed in a Christmas jumper, and a Christmas cardigan. He then explained the meaning of Christmas - the Crib - when Jesus, God’s Son, came into the world as a baby; the Cross - the story of Easter, when Jesus took the sins of the world upon Him through His death; the Cave - when Jesus rose again and defeated death. And offers everyone the opportunity to have their sins forgiven, and to live in that restored relationship with God.
The children then went back to the Thinking Zone gazebo, where they wrote down why Christmas is important to Christians, and also they had an opportunity to ask questions they may have thought of around their Christmas Journey.
Finally the children did a Christmas craft, to thread beads onto a star, to hang up at home, or at school, to remind them of their visit to the Christmas Journey. One year-2 girl said ‘I’ve had so much fun this afternoon, I just don’t want to go home!’