Resourcing the church

Playmobil Advent – Day Twenty-three

Today’s Santa Claus comes from kit #4889 and can be viewed/ordered here.

Some would argue that Santa Claus doesn’t belong with the Nativity set. I read a valid point this week that if we put Santa and baby Jesus side by side as equally worthwhile symbols of Christmas, then when children grow older and realize that Santa doesn’t exist, they will assume the same is true of Jesus. I would also argue that Santa doesn’t need to be part of our religious rituals, but I felt that with this set, I could put Santa and St. Nicholas side by side and use them to paint a fair picture of where the story of Santa comes from. Santa exists because of Jesus. The original gift-giving that inspired today’s frenzy was initiated by a man motivated by Jesus’ teachings.

Day 23 – Malachi 3: 1-6 (TNIV)
1 “I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the Lord Almighty.
2 But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap. 3 He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the Lord will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness, 4 and the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the Lord, as in days gone by, as in former years. 5 “So I will come to put you on trial. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive the foreigners among you of justice, but do not fear me,” says the Lord Almighty.
6 “I the Lord do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed.

Resourcing the church

Playmobil Advent – Day Twenty-two

Today’s lantern is from Playmobil kit #4884 and can be viewed/ordered here.

On the second day of reading about Jesus as the light come into the world, we get the only electric piece in the set, a cute little lantern with an auto shut-off. The light even flickers like a lamp would.

Day 22 – John 1: 9-18 (TNIV)

9 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God — 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
15 (John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, “This is he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’”) 16 Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.

Resourcing the church

Playmobil Advent – Day Twenty-One

Today’s wise man is part of Playmobil set #4886 and can be viewed/ordered here.

Finally, all three wise men are present. Of course we set them up for the time when they realize that there is no mention anywhere of specifically how many were in the party of the Magi, but each king brings a different gift, which sets the scene up nicely. Already the various pieces of the camel’s heavy load have been spread around.  The coins in the chest of gold have been spread around and the ropes around the camel itself need to be re-wrapped a number of times.  As the platter fills though, the approaching Christmas celebration becomes easier to grasp.

Day 21 – John 1: 1-8

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all people. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. 6 There was a man sent from God whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.

Resourcing the church

Playmobil Advent – Day Twenty

Today’s wise man is part of Playmobil set #4886 and can be viewed/ordered here.

Today we met a second wise man, with a second different kind of gift, and representing a second different race.

Day 20 – Matthew 2: 7-12 (TNIV)

7 Then Herod called the Magi secretly and found out from them the exact time the star had appeared. 8 He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him.” 9 After they had heard the king, they went on their way, and the star they had seen when it rose went ahead of them until it stopped over the place where the child was. 10 When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. 11 On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. 12 And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route.

Resourcing the church

Playmobil Advent – Day Nineteen

Today’s wise man and fully stocked camel are part of Playmobil set #4886 and can be viewed/ordered here.

Playmobil has once again demonstrated their theological astuteness by making the wise men a separate package.  It might even be smart of me to not bring them out until after Christmas or even to hold off on buying the package until a few years after starting the tradition.  The Magi are still a part of the story, and now that Jesus is here, the celebration continues.  The first of three racially distinct wise men comes with a fully loaded camel, included a chest full of gold coins.  We won’t tell the kids that there are loose coins in that chest, because if we did, they wouldn’t survive Advent.

Day 19 – Matthew 2: 1-6 (TNIV)

1 After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, Magi from the east came to Jerusalem 2 and asked, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” 3 When King Herod heard this he was disturbed, and all Jerusalem with him. 4 When he had called together all the people’s chief priests and teachers of the law, he asked them where the Messiah was to be born. 5 “In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied, “for this is what the prophet has written: 6 ” ‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’ “

Resourcing the church

Playmobil Advent – Day Eighteen

Yesterday’s second smaller angel is part of Playmobil set #4889 and can be viewed/ordered here.

Each angel in our set is assigned to a particular group of other characters.  The first large angel speaks to Mary and Joseph. The first small angel speaks to the shepherds and second angel speaks to the wise men who will arrive soon.

Day 18 – Isaiah 52: 7-10

7 How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!”
8 Listen! Your watchmen lift up their voices; together they shout for joy.
When the Lord returns to Zion,     they will see it with their own eyes.
9 Burst into songs of joy together, you ruins of Jerusalem, for the Lord has comforted his people,
he has redeemed Jerusalem.
10 The Lord will lay bare his holy arm in the sight of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth will see the salvation of our God.

Resourcing the church

Playmobil Advent – Day Seventeen

Today’s two doves are from Playmobil kit #4884 and can be viewed/ordered here.

There were two doves in the pocket for today.  One of them is visible in the picture behind the smaller angel, and the other one fell down in between me setting it up and me taking the picture, and I didn’t notice. I don’t know if they were intended to be turtle doves, of they manufacturers had today’s reading in mind, but it was quite appropriate to be reading about doves, after Jesus was born and before the wise men arrive.

My daughter’s ginerbread house is also included in the photo.

Day 17 – Luke 2: 22-32

22 When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (as it is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord”), 24 and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: “a pair of doves or two young pigeons.”
25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem called Simeon, who was righteous and devout. He was waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Moved by the Spirit, he went into the temple courts. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to do for him what the custom of the Law required, 28 Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying:
29 “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace.
30 For my eyes have seen your salvation, 31 which you have prepared in the sight of all nations:
32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.”

Resourcing the church

Playmobil Advent – Day Sixteen

Today’s three sheep are from Playmobil kit #4884 and can be viewed/ordered here.

The list of animals is growing.  The shepherds would likely have left the sheep behind, but it makes for a nice scene.  Ruby was really excited to pull out the sheep from the calendar.  It’s fun watching her piece together the story, and the excitement when she knows where the pieces belong in the pciture is nice too.

Day 16 – Isaiah 40: 9-11

9 You who bring good news to Zion, go up on a high mountain. You who bring good news to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah, “Here is your God!”

10 See, the Sovereign Lord comes with power, and his arm rules for him.
See, his reward is with him, and his recompense accompanies him.
11 He tends his flock like a shepherd:
He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young.

Resourcing the church

Playmobil Advent – Days Fourteen & Fifteen

Today’s shepherd and angel are from Playmobil kit #4884 and can be viewed/ordered here.

A busy weekend and a few lingering colds etc meant that the regular updates haven’t happened, but here are the readings for today and yesterday.

Day 14 – Luke 2: 6-12 (TNIV)

6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

8 And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Day 15 – Luke 2: 13-20 (TNIV)

13 Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

               14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. 17 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. 19 But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told.


Playmobil Advent – Day Thirteen

Today’s baby Jesus is from Playmobil kit #4884 and can be viewed/ordered here.

The smallest package was the most exciting.  The central piece of the scene arrived today.  With baby Jesus in the scene, we now have a natural center.

Day 13 – Isaiah 9: 2-7

2 The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned. 3 You have enlarged the nation and increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest, as soldiers rejoice when dividing the plunder. 4 For as in the day of Midian’s defeat, you have shattered the yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressor. 5 Every warrior’s boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire. 6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of his government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.