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Wednesday, 24 December 2014

All-Age Talk - Names of Jesus

Here is my talk for the Nativity & Tree Lighting Service at St John's Seven Kings this year, which I also adapted to use as a Christmas assembly for Downshall Primary School:

Earlier in Advent I had a session with children in an RE class at Little Heath School to talk about Christian values as we see them in Jesus. Following that session the children sent me poems they had written which combined different words to make titles for Jesus which summed up something about him and his values. Among my favourites were 'The King of Kindness', 'The Truth of Giving' and 'The Gift of Happiness'.

I wonder what names or titles you could devise for Jesus which say something about who he is and what he came into our world to do. Each of you should have a sheet of paper with three lists of words on it. I’d like you to look at those lists and combine some of the words to make a new name of title for Jesus. Please talk to the people around about this. You could circle, tick, rewrite or just remember the words that you want to combine and use. Then I’ll ask you to tell us some of the names you have come up with.

[Time for discussion and feedback]

Thank you for sharing those new names and titles for Jesus. They were great and give us lots of ways for thinking about who he is, what he did and what he can mean to us today.

In the Bible we find two special names that were given to Jesus at his birth which are particularly important for understanding and knowing him.

The first is ‘Emmanuel’, which means God with us. Jesus was not just any other human baby, he was God born as a human being. He was God come into our world as an act of solidarity sharing what we experience in life, so we know that he understands and will support us through whatever happens.

The second is Jesus which means ‘The Rescuer’. Jesus was God come into our world to die and rise to new life for us making it possible for us to come through sin and suffering into new beginnings and new life.

The greatest gift you can have this Christmas is to come to know Jesus in these ways. Jesus is God’s gift to the world. Jesus is God’s way of showing and telling that he loves us enough to be with us in every situation and circumstance and to bring us through our experience of sin and suffering into a new start and a new way of living. My prayer is that we don’t simply know the story of Jesus’ birth or even know the meaning, the reason, for his birth, but that we actually receive the gift that God has given to us and know Jesus for ourselves as our Rescuer who is God with us.


Kate Rusby - Diadem.

1 comment:

AnneK-G said...

We are very touched that we made a contribution to the Nativity service and to a special assembly. Religious visitors like you deeply inspire us and we also like to share our own spiritual thoughts in return. We are very proud our pupils' reflections have become part of people's Christmas journey this year.
Anne from Little Heath School