I know it’s very much still Autumnal November, but I’m just planning ahead.
I’ve got an idea for a Christmas card craft, and in order to do it I needed a Christmas Alphabet. I could have just Googled this, but I wanted to make it up myself (no-one knows why). Speaking of Alphabets, I highly recommend you listen to the Bible Alphabet song from Emu’s J is for Jesus CD. (“H is for heaven, where I-I am going,” need I-I say more?)
I don’t know if this could be helpful to you in any way? Perhaps you could do one a day during advent? I know that the alphabet is 26 letters long, not 24, but some of them could be squashed together. For example, you’ll notice that Q is a bit, well, not quite tenuous but perhaps uninspiring. Sometimes I was spoilt for choice, so I put a few ideas down and have underlined the one I’ve used here.
You might also notice that there is a lot of repetition, which (aside from maybe being inevitable) was deliberate. Children like repetition, and it helps them learn. I was actually amazed by how much you can get out of Luke Chapter 2 alone. I mostly used Isaiah 9; Matthew 1-2; Luke 2; John 1.
So without further ado, here you go – an early Christmas present from me (no expense spared):
Angels: But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Luke 2:10
Bethlehem: But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times.’ Micah 5:2
Christ: Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ, the Lord. Luke 2.11
David’s Town: Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. Luke 2:11 (See also: Does not Scripture say that the Messiah will come from David’s descendants and from Bethlehem, the town where David lived?’ Luke 7:42; “He will reign on David’s throne’ Isaiah 9:7)
Everlasting Father: “For to us a child is born… And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6
Favour: Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.’ Luke 2:14
Glory/Grace/Gold/Gift/Good news/Grace: We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14
Holy/Heavenly Host/Hope: Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,
‘Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.’ Luke 2:13-14
Immanuel: All this took place to fulfil what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’ (which means ‘God with us’). Matthew 1:22-23
Joy/Jesus: But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Luke 2:10
King: ‘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.’ Matthew 2:2
The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
a light has dawned. Isaiah 9:2
Messiah/Manger This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: his mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they came together, she was found to be pregnant through the Holy Spirit. Matthew 1:18
Noel/Nativity/News: But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Luke 2:10
One & Only Son: We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14
Prince of Peace: For to us a child is born… And he will be called
Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6
Quiet/Quirinius: This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register. Luke 2:2-3 (You could talk about the sovereignty of God, and the fact that these events happened in real history.) If you’re not keen on this, you could do “Quiet” and talk about how quietly God’s rescuing King came.
Rejoice/Revelation/Righteousness/Reigns The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told. Luke 2:20 (also “When they saw the star, they were overjoyed” Matthew 2:10)
(or Revelation: No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and[b] is in the closest relationship with the Father, has made him known. John 1:18)
Saviour: Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. Luke 2.11
Truth: 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. John 1:14
Unto Us a child is born “Unto to us a child is born,
to us a son is given…” Isaiah 9:6
Virgin: All this took place to fulfil what the Lord had said through the prophet: ‘The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel’ (which means ‘God with us’). Matthew 1:22-23
Wonderful/Worship: When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshipped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. (Matthew 2:10-11)
X: Gloria in Excelsis Deo:
‘Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.’ Luke 2:14
Yahweh: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. John 1:1
Zeal: Of the greatness of his government and peace there will be no end…
The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this. Isaiah 9:7
As ever, your comments are really welcome. Plus, if you think this is helpful please do share it with others. Happy Autumn everybody!
4 thoughts on “The Christmas Alphabet”
That might have taken some effort.
Hi, I’m just about to start this in my special needs unit in Bradford UK. Planning to do two a day twice a week for 6 weeks, that’s 24,right?
Not sure whether to do models or just illuminated letters. It’s for a 15 minutes devotion twice a week before school lessons start. Only 7 kids, mostly with autism, from 11-13.Am happy to do the Bible readings, just not sure how much craft to fit in. Any suggestions?
Hi Jane, this sounds amazing, well done! Thank you for getting in touch. I’m afraid I have very little experience with autistic children so definitely wouldn’t be the best person to ask. However, I think I might try to focus on two scenes: the shepherds on the hillside with the angels and then the manger in the stable. Perhaps I would have pictures of both scenes and maybe have bits to stick on each time, so I’m adding to the scene as we go along. I’m not sure if the Old Testament prophecies should just be used to refer to the stable scene or whether you could properly go into the fact they were given many years before. It would depend on their level of comprehension. I suppose the main thing to remember is to have one or two key points you want them to remember about Jesus, and to keep coming back to those throughout. Like I said I’m definitely out of my depth here, but I’ll ask a couple of friends who have experience with children with special needs. Thanks so much for mentioning this! Catherine x
I also passed this on to a friend whose son has special needs. She said this:
…Like any child, it’s tweaking it to their learning style. I like the idea of building up an image that can keep being referred to. I think the repetition is also important.
I would be tempted be tactile in telling stories with my son but that’s because he has Sensory Processing Disorder. There is a great blogger, Lynn McCann, who writes under ‘Includedbygrace’ and she has guidance on creating sensory stories as well as generally making the bible accessible/inclusive.
We have recently purchased the Biblica NIrV New Testament Accessible Bible which uses simple language, some illustrations, large font and introduction to each book. It’s great and might be good for the age group the lady has mentioned, depending on ability of course.