Once upon a time. In a simpler pre-covid age, Sofa wrote a little thing about Alternative Christmas Service Ideas, and as a post. Its fine. You can argue some of it could be adjusted for a socially distanced church service, but… some of them might take work.
With that in mind, may I present* the Church Sofa…
Alternative – Socially Distanced – Christmas Service Ideas…
Ok. Lets face it. Inviting a group of people anywhere may not be the best the thing to do right now. So – lets bring it to the people. Find a heavily pregnant lady and ask her to walk around the local streets. Knocking on peoples door, asking if theres any room in the inn.
Add a hassled husband into the mix.
Have a live donkey with them as well. Don’t forget to walk the long donkey up to the house whilst they are being asked if there is any room. Bonus points if the donkey leaves any “bonus” gifts on the door step. It will add to the atmosphere.
Have a socially distanced choir follow the couple and donkey.
Livestream a Christmas reading. Just outside the open window to a labour ward. See if any “bonus sounds” get picked up.
Live stream a reading of the shepherds, in the light of a camp fire. Possibly on the church carpert. Granted someone on the PCC / a Deacon / Church Wardens, may come after you, but the young people will love it. Besides. It might be a while until anyone notices.
Do you normally have a midnight service? Try and have drop a little bottle of port around everyones houses. See if anyone has it by the time the service starts.
Is there anyone pregnant in your church? Get them to change their Facebook name to “Mary”, then a few days before encourage her say she has to go on a journey… and the travel arrangements aren’t great.
There was a collection of Easter / Passion stories told on Twitter under the banner of #EasterLive (hosted by Share Creative), which the The Church Sofa joined in with… and well… we decided to try and be different. What would happen if the Rebel Alliance, and the Empire decided to put aside their differences for one moment, and put on an Easter play? How would that go?
Since then the Lego men have discussed a sequel.
Let me please present:
The Lego Star Wars Christmas Story.
A Long Time Ago, in a Galaxy far Far Away…
The Rebel Alliance, and the Empire decided to put aside their differences for one moment, and celebrate Christmas together by putting on a Nativity Play. There was just one thing that needed to be settled by the directer.
Director: Alright Star Wars Lego Men, who’d like to play Mary?
26 During Elizabeth’s sixth month of pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin. She was engaged to marry a man named Joseph from the family of David. Her name was Mary. 28 The angel came to her and said, “Greetings! The Lord has blessed you and is with you.” Luke Chapter 1
Joseph didn’t exactly feel blessed when he heard the news… so planned to quietly call the whole marriage thing off.
At that time, Augustus Caesar sent an order that all people in the countries under Roman rule must list their names in a register. 2 This was the first registration;[a] it was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 And all went to their own towns to be registered.
4 So Joseph left Nazareth, a town in Galilee, and went to the town of Bethlehem in Judea, known as the town of David. Joseph went there because he was from the family of David. 5 Joseph registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged[b] and who was now pregnant.
As the hostel was full…
…Mary gave birth in a shed around the back of the hostel.*
8-12 There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God’s angel stood among them and God’s glory blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said, “Don’t be afraid. I’m here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David’s town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you’re to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger.”
13-14 At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God’s praises:
Glory to God in the heavenly heights, Peace to all men and women on earth who please him. 15-18 As the angel choir withdrew into heaven, the sheepherders talked it over. “Let’s get over to Bethlehem as fast as we can and see for ourselves what God has revealed to us.” They left, running, and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. Seeing was believing. They told everyone they met what the angels had said about this child. All who heard the sheepherders were impressed. Luke Chapter 2
*Kinda roughly based on Luke Chapter 2 – ish.
1-2 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem village, Judah territory— this was during Herod’s kingship—a band of scholars arrived in Jerusalem from the East. They asked around, “Where can we find and pay homage to the newborn King of the Jews? We observed a star in the eastern sky that signaled his birth. We’re on pilgrimage to worship him.”
3-4 When word of their inquiry got to Herod, he was terrified—and not Herod alone, but most of Jerusalem as well. Herod lost no time. He gathered all the high priests and religion scholars in the city together and asked, “Where is the Messiah supposed to be born?”
5-6 They told him, “Bethlehem, Judah territory. The prophet Micah wrote it plainly:
It’s you, Bethlehem, in Judah’s land, no longer bringing up the rear. From you will come the leader who will shepherd-rule my people, my Israel.” 7-8 Herod then arranged a secret meeting with the scholars from the East. Pretending to be as devout as they were, he got them to tell him exactly when the birth-announcement star appeared. Then he told them the prophecy about Bethlehem, and said, “Go find this child. Leave no stone unturned. As soon as you find him, send word and I’ll join you at once in your worship.” Matthew Chapter 2
9-10 Instructed by the king, they set off. Then the star appeared again, the same star they had seen in the eastern skies. It led them on until it hovered over the place of the child. They could hardly contain themselves: They were in the right place! They had arrived at the right time!
11 They entered the house and saw the child in the arms of Mary, his mother. Overcome, they kneeled and worshiped him. Then they opened their luggage and presented gifts: gold, frankincense, myrrh.
Matthew Chapter 2
12 In a dream, they were warned not to report back to Herod. So they worked out another route, left the territory without being seen, and returned to their own country.
Matthew Chapter 2
13 …God’s angel showed up again in Joseph’s dream and commanded, “Get up. Take the child and his mother and flee to Egypt. Stay until further notice. Herod is on the hunt for this child, and wants to kill him.” (kinda based on Matthew Chapter 2)
They all went their own ways, and everyone lived happily ever after. The End.
Its a busy time for any one. Carol Services are springing up all over the place. Imagine it. You’re arranging a Carols by Candle light service, you’re arranged the carols, the band, the singers, publicity, the mince pies… have you arranged for the local vicar to turn up???
What if they cant make it? After all, you’ve only asked them to come at last minute!
Try this “Inflatable Priest“(Amazon Link) and you never need to worry about booking a vicar ever again!*
* Obviously you’re hoping that people cant tell the difference between their vicar, and a big balloon.
Every now and then, people find us after doing search for a combination of words that we wouldn’t normally expect. An example of this has been the flood of people search for Facebook Nativity or Facebook Christmas Cover Photos. (Cover photos, are what you find on the top of a Facebook profile)
Well… this has ended up inspiring a random session on Photoshop.
Please feel free to download the below, link back here, and use to your hearts content:
Right clicking, then clicking “Save Image As” should do the trick.
I’m one of the pets that sometimes sit on The Church when the two Andys arn’t looking.
Well seeing they are both doing Christmassy things they have left me in charge of the weekly roundup.
As its been hard to avoid Christmas stuff this week, I’m going to be predictable and keep with it…
Well… if you’ve had the BBC on during the last few evenings the chances are you’ve seen The Nativity on BBC1. I couldn’t help but love it, and thought the Tony Jordan interview with The Telegraph was an insight into the journey he went through while writing it. For a more traditional ‘media’ interview, it also worthwhile checking out the online press pack for The Nativity.