As a child I remember playing ‘Christmas’ games with my family: Scavenger Hunt; Ring on a String; Hunt the Key; the Memory Game and Charades.
It struck me that all these games help us think about Christmas… here’s why!
To play Scavenger Hunt you must be prepared. If yours is a team with a handbag filled with all manner of random things, and you’re observant and responsive, your team is more likely to win. Advent is about being prepared – prepared to meet Jesus when he comes, being vigilant, observant and responsive to Jesus, all attitudes associated with Advent and Christmas.
Again, Ring on a String involves being observant – the one in the middle tries to work out who’s got the ring? It also involves passing something valuable on (depending on the quality of the ring!) much like the Good News of Christmas we are to pass on to the world.
Hunt the Key involves hiding something that unlocks things. Best to hide things somewhere no one will think to look. Who’d have thought to look for a King in a manger in a stable – the Wise Men didn’t. The Christmas message unlocks something precious to be found and shared.
Playing the Memory Game involves seeing things on a tea tray for a short time, then relying on memory to recall them and write them down. Jesus was in the world for a short time and, so that the world will know, we have to recall his words and actions to a world in need of knowing God’s love.
Charades is about communicating with actions. God communicated his great love for us by action; coming in person in Jesus to demonstrate how God intends us to live. In doing so, Jesus demonstrated the extent of God’s great love.
It’s easy to hide the meaning of Christmas in food, presents, fun and games. But, maybe there is a Christmas message in the games we play. So, Lord, help us to be prepared, vigilant, willing to unlock the message and pass on your Good News… your love demonstrated in Jesus Christ.
I wish you all a blessed Christmas filled with the joy and peace of knowing that you are loved beyond measure by a God made known to us in flesh and blood in Jesus – his birth, his life, his words, his actions, his promises, his death and his resurrection.
Revd. Janine Atkinson