Last year we focused on the Three Wise Men and how they journeyed far, following the star to worship the new-born baby Jesus in a stable in Bethlehem. The Wise Men encountered the shepherds in passing; as they tied up their camels the shepherds came down the dark, windy streets of Bethlehem, dancing and singing praises to God.
This year we have focused on the shepherds’ narrative, how they were visited by angels whilst on the hills above Bethlehem and urged to visit the new-born Saviour of the world, born in humble surroundings in the town below. In our version, two shepherds (Jethro and Silas) reflect on the impact ‘that night’ had on them and their colleague (Barnabas) who had been hugely affected by their shared experience.
We thought it might be useful to include some sample questions you could use to stimulate class discussion after watching the short film with your pupils. Do feel free to add your own! The questions are ‘clustered’ to accommodate different age ranges and abilities, with the more detailed and challenging responses required from the final set.
- What message did the angels give to the shepherds?
- What did the shepherds take as a gift for the new-born King?
- Who else brought gifts for the baby Jesus and what were they?
- Do you think this is why we exchange gifts at Christmas today?
- Describe the scene on the hillside, what were the conditions like for the shepherds?
- How was the stable and manger described – shiny and polished or rough and ready?
- Why do you think Jesus, the Saviour of the world was born in such humble surroundings?
- Describe the wise men – can you remember some of the adjectives used by the shepherds?
- Can you remember how many times light is mentioned in the shepherd’s story?
- What was the significance of the star and what role did it play in the narrative?
- Describe the impact and meaning of the angels lighting up the dark night sky?
- What does the soft glow emanating from the manger tell us about the baby Jesus?
- Discuss the different reactions from the shepherds to the amazing night they experienced.
- Barny had been doing some research, can you remember some of the prophecies he found?
- What impact do the prophecies Barny uncovered have on proving the validity of Jesus’ birth?
- How do we know what happened in Bethlehem that first Christmas – who wrote about it?