2007 Christmas Program St. Peter's Sunday School




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Title2007 Christmas Program St. Peter's Sunday School
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Sourcehttp://freepages.religions.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~blenderman/stpeters/stpeters-files/old sermons
2007 Christmas Program

St. Peter's Sunday School


Intro poem (could be any character, a shepherd/wise men/angel):

"Upon Christ His Birth" Sir John Suckling

Mary:

"O Simplitas" by Madeleine L'Engle

Joseph:

"i thank you God for this most amazing day" e.e. cummings

Angel:

"Questions Concerning Angels" by Billy Collins

Shepherd:

"A Shepherd's Song at Christmas" by Langston Hughes

Star:

"Star Poem," Sherry Gail Heim

Wise-person:

"The Three Kings" by Henry Wordsworth Longfellow


Closing poem (could be any character, a shepherd/wise men/angel):

"A Christmas Hymn" by Richard Wilbur


Introductory Poem: "Upon Christ His Birth" by Sir John Suckling


Strange news! a city full? will none give way

To lodge a guest that comes not every day?

No inn, nor tavern void? yet I descry

One empty place alone, where we may lie:
In too much fullness is some want: but where?

Men's empty hearts: let's ask for lodging there.

But if they not admit us, then we'll say

Their hearts, as well as inns, are made of clay.1


^ Mary: "O Simplitas" by Madeleine L'Engle2

An angel came to me

and I was unprepared

to be what God was using.

Mother I was to be.

A moment I despaired,

thought briefly of refusing.

The angel knew I heard.

According to God's Word

I bowed to this strange choosing.. .


. . . Perhaps it was absurd;

the stable set apart,

the sleepy cattle lowing;

and the incarnate Word

resting against my heart.

My joy was overflowing.

The shepherds came, adored

the folly of the Lord,

wiser than all men's knowing.


^ Joseph: "i thank you God for this most amazing day" by e.e. cummings


i thank You God for most this amazing
day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun's birthday;this is the birth
day of life and love and wings:and of the
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any-lifted from the no
of all nothing-human merely being
doubt unimaginably You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)


^ Angel: "Questions About Angels" by Billy Collins


Of all the questions you might want to ask

about angel, the only one you ever hear

is how many can dance on the head of a pin.


No curiosity about how they pass the eternal time

besides circling the Throne chanting in Latin

or delivering a crust of bread to a hermit on earth

or guiding a boy and girl across a rickety wooden bridge.


Do they fly through God's body and come out singing?
Do they swing like children from hinges

of the Spirit saying their names backwards and forwards?

Do they sit alone in little gardens changing colors? . . .

. . . If an angel delivered mail would he arrive

in a blinding rush of wings or would he just assume

the appearance of the regular mailman and

whistle up the driveway reading the postcards?


No, the medieval theologians control the court.

The only question you ever hear about

the little dance floor on the head of a pin

where halos are meant to converge and drift invisibly.


It is designed to make us think of millions,

billions, to make us run out of numbers and collapse

into infinity, but perhaps the answer is simply one:

one female angel dancing alone in her stocking feet,

a small jazz combo working in the background.


She sways like a branch in the wind, her beautiful

eyes closed, and the tall thin bassist leans over

to glance at his watch because she has been dancing

forever, and now it is very late, even for musicians. 3


^ Shepherd: "A Shepherd's Song at Christmas" by Langston Hughes


Look there at the star!

I, among the least,

Will arise and take

a journey to the East.

But what shall I bring

As a present for the King?

What shall I bring the manger?


I will bring a song,

A song that I will sing,

A song for the King

In the manger.


Watch out for my flocks,

Do not let them stray.

I am going on a journey

Far, far away.

But what shall I bring

As a present for the child?

What shall I bring the manger?


I will bring a lamb?
Gentle, meek and mile,

A lamb for the Child

In the Manger.


I'm just a shepherd boy,

Very poor I am-

But I know there is

A King in Bethlehem

But what shall I bring

As a present for the Him?

What shall I bring the manger?

I will bring my heart

And give my heart to Him.

I will bring my heart

To the Manger.4


^ Star: "Star Poem," Sherry Gail Heim


The star did shine both night and day

It kept the manger bright

Christ the Lord, the Son was born

Beneath its holy light


Wise-person: "The Three Kings" by Henry Wordsworth Longfellow


Three Kings came riding from far away,

Melchoir and Gaspar and Baltasar;

Three Wise Men from the East were they,

And they travelled by night and slept by day.

For their guide was a beautiful, wonderful star. . .


. . . So they rode away; and the star stood still,

The only one in the gray of morn;

Yes, it stopped- it stood still of its own free will,

Right over Bethlehem on the hill,

The city of David, where Christ was born. . .


. . . And cradled there in the scented hay,

In the air made sweet by the breath of kine,

The little child in the manger lay,

The child, that would be king one day

Of a kingdom not human but divine...5


^ Closing Poem: "A Christmas Hymn" Richard Wilbur

A stable-lamp is lighted

Whose glow shall wake the sky;

The stars shall bend their voices,

And every stone shall cry.

And every stone shall cry.

And straw like gold shall shine;

A barn shall harbor heaven,

A stall become a shrine. . .


. . .Yet he shall be forsaken,

and yielded up to die;

The sky shall groan and darken,

And every stone shall cry.

And every stone shall cry.

For stony hearts of men:

God's blood upon the spearhead,

God's love refused again.


But now as at the ending,

The low is lifted high;

The stars shall bend their voices,

And every stone shall cry.

And every stone shall cry.

In praises of the child

by whose descent among us

The worlds are reconciled.6

1 Suckling, Sir John, "Upon Christ His Birth" found in ^ Christmas Poems, John Hollander and J.D. McClatchy, eds. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1999, 45.

2 L'Engle, Madeleine, "O Simplitas" from A Cry like Bell

3 Collins, Billy. "Questions About Angels" in Questions about Angels, Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1999, 25-26.

4 Hughes, Langston. "Shepherd's Song at Christmas," found in Christmas Poems, John Hollander and J.D. McClatchy, eds. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1999, 70-71.

5 Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth, found in Christmas Poems, John Hollander and J.D. McClatchy, eds. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1999, 74-75.

6 Wilbur, Richard,"A Christmas Hymn," found in Christmas Poems, John Hollander and J.D. McClatchy, eds. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1999, 118-119.

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