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Mr. Stricken’s Nativity Nightmare: A Christmas Unit of Work for Upper Key Stage 2 By Giles Freathy

January 22, 2016

This is a scheme of work based on the RE-searchers approach and looks at the birth narratives about Jesus and considers the ‘true meaning’ of Christmas.

It starts with a YouTube clip about school governors criticising a head teacher’s nativity play about Mary and Joseph going to Mars.

Possible answers to the head teacher’s dilemma might be:

“Mr. Stricken should tell the Governors that the Christmas play is going to include parts of both the Gospel of Luke and the Gospel of Matthew because I believe they are both true. The writers just chose to include different elements of the same story because they wanted their readers to know different things about Jesus. I believe this because the stories are in the Bible and I believe this is God’s word. The play should be called ‘A King for All’ because Jesus is presented both to shepherds and wise men from a different country.”

“Mr. Stricken should tell the Governors that no one knows what really happened at the Birth of Jesus. Matthew and Luke give the only two accounts of what happened and even they don’t agree. One has shepherds and one has wise men. It seems like Matthew added things into the story to persuade Jewish people that Jesus was the Messiah. Mr. Stricken should tell the Governors that the Christmas play should be about the meaning of the Christmas story and should not worry too much about historical accuracy as we don’t know what really happened.”

“Mr. Stricken should tell the Governors that we neither know what happened at the birth of Jesus nor can say what is the ‘true’ meaning of Christmas. Amongst Christians, some think Christmas is all about the gift of love. Others believe it is about the arrival of a King to save everybody. Others about God coming to earth to be at one with us. Non-Christians may think the meaning of Christmas is no longer about Jesus, but about being together as a family, showing love and care to everybody. Some people, both religious and non-religious, don’t celebrate Christmas at all. The Christmas play should have a mixture of religious and non-religious songs and scenes.”

K F Panda There’s an interesting reference to two movies:

In Kung Fu Panda a legend promises a Dragon Warrior; a master of great skill who will be granted the secret s of the universe by reading the Dragon Scroll. Grand Master Oogway (the elderly tortoise) surprisingly identifies an over-weight panda, Po to be the Dragon Warrior even though he doesn’t know any kung fu moves. As the Dragon Warrior, it falls to him to save the local village from the evil enemy Tai Lung.

In The Lego Movie, the wizard Vitruvius warns the evil Lord Business of a prophecy where a person called the “Special” will find the Piece of Resistance capable of stopping the Kragle and saving everyone from Lord LegoBusiness. Surprisingly, the special turns out to be Emmet an ordinary construction worker with no special qualities or creativity.

Something similar can be said about Jesus. The Jewish people at the time were expecting their Messiah and saviour. They thought he would be a King. A baby born in a manger to a carpenter and his young wife, might not have seemed like a new born king.

The Jewish people at the time thought their Messiah would be a saviour who would defeat their enemies, and give them back the land God had promised them.

It’s online here.

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