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Archive for January, 2015

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A Charlie Brown Christmas, the classic animated musical is a great way to ponder the true meaning of Christmas. After watching the beautiful show, our Sunday school children had the opportunity to share some interesting ideas of how each family celebrated this festive occasion. After a time of sharing about family traditions, we began to talk about how the church has historically celebrated Christmas. To do this we revisited the Enrichment Lesson on “The Mystery of Christmas” based on the Godly Play teaching curriculum (Godly Play Volume 3).

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The lesson suggests using the Christmas images taken from the book, The Glorious Impossible by Madeleine L’Engle (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1990). The seven classical moments of the infancy narratives/paintings are seen through the eyes of Giotto di Bondone who was an Italian Renaissance artist. The depictions of the story are based on the Gospels of Luke and Matthew that include the stories not often told, yet are important to the narrative, even the sad parts (pg. 59).

According to the lesson plan, the reason the medieval frescoes of Bondon are used instead of “modern, realistic pictures or models” is to “honor the deep mystery of the Incarnation without the loss of its historical fact”. The original murals can be seen at Scrovegni Chapel in Padua, Italy.

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Since there is a limited access to this book, a great thanks to Explore and Express for providing the downloadable link so we could enjoy the glorious images as we reflect on the mystery of Christmas.

Through this enrichment lesson, our grasp on some concepts of the religious languages such as the annunciation and the nativity, is enriched.

And yes, at the end of the lesson, we still let children add some “modern, realistic pictures and models” of their liking to enhance the knowledge of this glorious narrative.

The Epiphany
上主顯現人間的奧蹟

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The Annunciation 領報節
Luke 1: 26 – 38 (Angel visits Mary)
Matthew 1:18-25 (Angel visits Joseph)

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The Visitation 探視節
Luke 1:39-56 (Mary visits Elizabeth; Angel visits Zechariah Luke 1:5-25; 57-80)

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The Nativity 聖誕節
— which means the Birth
Luke 2:1-20

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The Presentation 殿中奉献
— where Baby Jesus was dedicated in the temple after the eighth day of his birth.
— known as pidyon haben in hebrew where he was circumcised and consecrated to God as recorded in Luke 2:21-22.
Luke 2:21-40

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The Adoration of the Magi 賢士朝聖
Matthew 2:1-12

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The Flight Into Egypt 逃往埃及
Luke 2:13-15

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The Massacre of the Innocents 屠殺嬰孩
Luke 2:16-18

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And the lesson concluded with: I guess the story is over then, isn’t it? No. The baby Jesus did not die in Bethlehem… (Pg. 62)

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The Return to Nazareth
返回拿撒勒
Luke 2:39-40; Matthew 2:19-23

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The rest of His story can be found in the glorious Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

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Glorious Day

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Waking up on this brand new day to welcome the first dawn of 2015;
As I look up to enjoy the morning sky with the sun quietly rising in the east,
I suddenly notice a huge pearly white cloud formation, resembling a shimmering crown, appears majestically against the pale blue sky.

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I am awestruck by the stunning image of the cloud-formation-crown which immediately points my heart towards Jesus, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.

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What a glorious day to be mindful of who Jesus was, is and is to come.

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