Ways to present the readings
The usual music used for the hymn, ‘Sing aloud, loud, loud!’ (first line: God is love: his the care) is Personent Hodie – a very old medieval song. It is said to have been originally published in 1582, but a very similar tune exists in a 1360 manuscript – and it is, presumably, at least a little older than that. Using such an ancient and long-established piece of music might be a way of expressing that taking joy in God is a steadfast, long-lasting and ongoing part of our faith. Sing the hymn or listen to a recording of it. Then listen to the reading from Zephaniah.
Ask some volunteers to read out an example of a modern-day job and a short phrase that describes that job if it is done well. For example: ‘Nurse/doctor – offers patients the care that they themselves would wish to receive if they were the patient,’ or ‘Teacher – always looks for the child who needs extra support, even while 30 others clamour for attention’. Or you could be a little more tongue-in-cheek: ‘Builder – always 100% accurate when estimating the time and budget for a job’ or ‘Postie – treats every delivery as if it was a personal gift from them’. After a couple of examples, invite people to suggest other jobs and ‘ideal’ descriptions. Ask people: How do these compare with what John says about two jobs in today’s Gospel reading? Then read the passage.
Ways to present Luke 3.7-18
Activities marked with an asterisk next to the activity title are in addition to the resources in the Ready to go sessions. Suggested timings for these activities are also shown. NB The inclusion of additional activities varies from week to week.
Encourage the children to copy your actions as you tell the story.
There was a man called John, who told people to get ready for Jesus.One day some people asked him,‘What shall we do to get ready for Jesus?’(put arms out as if asking a question)‘You need to share,’ said John.(gesture around the group with one hand)‘If you have two shirts, give one to someone who doesn’t have any clothes.(touch your clothes and then mime handing them over)If you have lots of food, share it with people that are hungry.(mime eating, and then again sharing with others)This will be a sign that you have heard the good news.’(give a thumbs up)
Read the story and pause at the to share these points with the children (see Stop and share below). Then use the activity to explore the passage together. (10 mins)
Click on the image to view a PDF.
You will need: copies of the passage, pens.