A White Gift Play
(a link to the liturgy for the White Gift Service is below)

Play & Liturgy: written and prepared by M. Gayle MacDonald
         copyright, October, 2000. 
 
Permission is  granted for all of this material to be used in a service of worship during Advent, 2003.


Liturgy for the White Gift Service:
Admaston's Home Page:

THE WHITE GIFT SERVICE

by M. Gayle MacDonald

Characters:  Sunday School Teacher
             	Four younger children 
             	Three older children 

Props:  - SS Teacher has a bag with books & 
		papers & the Minutes for Mission 
		Booklet(s) are in there.
	   - 1 or more Minute for Mission 
		Booklets.  What year doesnít matter.  
		You can decide ahead which Minutes 
		for Mission stories will be read.

Setting:  Practice for a White Gift Service.  
SS Teacher is getting the younger children in place and older 
children can be sitting on the front pew or the steps
 or wherever seems natural for them to be in this setting
--but close enough to be taking in what the SS Teacher is doing.

SS Teacher:  The White Gift Service is next week, so letís 
	get started.  (Name 1, Name 2, Name 3, Name 4) 
	stand over here.  
		(The children line up in place)
	O.k..  Now letís hear your part.

One:  What can I give him, poor as I am?
Two:  If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb?
Three:  If I were a wise man, I would do my part?
Four:  Yet what can I give him--give my him my heart.

Todd:  Yeah right!!  That poem is so lame!!  He isnít even 
	  here, so how can they give him stuff.

SS Teacher: What do you mean, he isnít even here??!! 

Todd:  You know what I mean.  I mean the Baby Jesus 
	isnít.  	I mean he was already born--a long time ago.  
	And he already got his gifts, didnít he?

Lisa:  Gold, Frankincense, Myrrh.  . . .  What are they
	 anyway?---Frankincense and Myrrh, I mean.

SS Teacher:  Frankincense and Myrrh are incense.  Those 
	particular ones meant, among other things, that they 
	considered the baby Jesus to be a king.  

Todd: Cool!!  So what has that got to do with this little 
	thing those guys are saying (nodding towards the 
	younger kids who are by now fidgeting)?  Whatís it 
	got to do with today? ... I donít want to make trouble 
	or anything, but I mean, really, what has that got to 
	do with the Mission and Service stuff?  And what is 
	that anyway?

Lisa: Yeh?  and weíve been doing this White Gift Service 
	ever since I can remember and we give our offering 
  	to the Mission and Service Fund--which is cool, Iím 
	glad we can help--but what is it?  

John: Didnít they used to bring gifts wrapped in white to 
	go to poor people? 

SS Teacher:  Well, first things first.  First of all, let me 
	explain the White Gift Service we are doing.  

John: (Waving his hand)  ooo ooo  I know that.  Can I tell
	 them?  (John starts right into his explanation without
	 waiting for the SS Teacher to answer.)  My Mom 
	told me that when she was little they used to 
	exchange gifts at a Christmas Sunday School 
	Concert.  And then they heard that some churches, 
	instead of getting gifts for each other, brought gifts to 
	put by the manger to give to people in need--and all 
	the gifts were wrapped in white.

SS Teacher:  Thatís right.  It acutally started 97 years ago 
	with a ministerís wife who thought the children 
	would understand the meaning of Christmas better by 
	giving to people in need instead of each other.  And 
	the gifts were wrapped in white so that all the gifts 
	looked the same.  That way no one could brag about 
	giving the best or prettiest gift.  Some churches still 
	have gifts wrapped in white along with their Mission 
	and Service fund.  Some bring Food Bank donations 
	as well.  (You can include any project you may do at 
	your church here.  We also collect new handmade or 
	purchased mittens in all sizes to go in the Christmas 
	baskets that are given to people in need and decorate 
	the tree with them on White Gift Sunday.)

Todd: Well, thatís a good idea.  I never said I minded the 
	White Gift Service.

SS Teacher: No.  But it sounds like you think itís kind of
	strange to be singing about bringing gifts to the Baby 
	Jesus when he was born around 2000 years ago.  But, 
	itís sort like a birthday present to Jesus today, 
	except we give it to other people.  And the reason we 
	do that is in the Bible.

Lisa:  It is?   (Pauses)  Oh, I get it.  I know that story.
	  Itís where Jesus says even if you do it for the least
	  of one of these you do it for me.

SS Teacher:  Thatís it.  When we give to someone who 
	needs what we have, we are really giving to  Jesus.  

SS Teacher:  The Mission and Service Fund is a way the 
	whole church helps both the people here in the church 
	and outside of the church--in Canada and around the 
	world.  -- And weíre part of the whole church.  
	Would you like to know some of the ways our 
	Mission and Service Gifts help?

Todd:  Do we have a choice?  
	(SS Teacher gives him ďthe lookĒ)  
	Sure, why not?

Lisa:  Iíd like to know.

John:  Me to.

SS Teacher:  Well, here have a look at these books.  (Rummages through her bag, takes
out a number of books and papers before brining out 1 or more Minutes for Mission books and
gives it/them to the Todd, Lisa & John).

(As she puts her papers back, they take the books and look at them.)  

(The younger children who have been fidgeting in place, begin to yawn and stretch)

SS Teacher:  (to the younger children).  O.k., now where
	where we?
Todd:  (Interrupting) This is pretty neat.  Listen.  (He reads 
	one of the Minutes for Mission)

Lisa:  How about this one?  (Lisa reads one)

John:  Thatís awesome.  Waitíll you hear this one?

(The younger children start to play hide & seek)

SS Teacher:  Thereís a lot of good stores in there, but youíll have to read them
later.  You know the more we are able to give, the more good stories like that there
will be.  And maybe the stories can give us ideas of other ways we can help here at
home.  But right now, we have to practice for this White Gift Service.

SS Teacher:  (Turning to the younger children).  Come 
	back and line up.  (The children get in place again).  
	Now, can I hear your part one more time, please?

One:  What can I give him, poor as I am?
Two:  If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb?
Three:  If I were a wise man, I would do my part?
Four:  Yet what can I give him--give my him my heart.

THE END

email Rev. M. Gayle MacDonald