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:
by M. Gayle MacDonaldCharacters: 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