This act of worship is designed to encourage people to think beyond the cradle and to put the Resurrected Christ into the Christmas story.


As the service begins and you give notices, welcome, sing etc. have people come and place baubles in the manger. Then at the time you want to do the activity the leader reads:

"As we gather today we celebrate the joy of Christmas when Jesus took on the form of a man and came willingly to earth as a baby. We have been worshipping Him here today. You will have noticed that during our service people have been placing Christmas baubles in the manger. This is to represent the worship that we bring to Jesus. God loves us to bow down and worship him just as the Shepherds and the Kings did. Spending time at his feet is a good place to be. Today we are intentionally remembering that this baby Jesus grew up to be a man, lived a holy life, performed miracles and acts of love and then took our place by choosing to die on a cross. We remember that Jesus not only died, but rose victorious from the grave and is living today. We can have the freedom to live in that resurrection life.

"We are free to worship at the side of the cradle, free to worship at the foot of the cross and free to worship the living Jesus! During the next moments come and collect a bauble from the manger. As you kneel or bow down to take one, make this your declaration to God that you are willing to give him the worship of your life. Then take that bauble and write your name on it. Next hang your named bauble on the empty tree. The empty tree represents the empty cross. The named baubles represent our visible lives of worship, seen by all. The red baubles symbolise the blood of Jesus that has freed us, the silver baubles signify the glory of the Risen Christ that shines through us. Take a moment to worship the Lord here at the 'tree' and offer him the thanks of your heart. Ask God to shine through you this Christmas as we focus on the God who came to earth, the God who reigns on high!"

You may like to have words and phrases around the 'manger' and 'tree' as prompts for prayer. For example, around the manger place words and phrases like - bow down, offering, gift, worship, do not be afraid, great joy, etc. Around the 'tree' place words like - resurrected, risen, reigning, glorious, light, shine, praise, offering.