Listen to a recording of a Service exploring the Nativity Stories and Celebrating Christmas

Help your congregation to explore the Nativity Stories and why we Celebrate Christmas

On Sunday 22 December 2013, I prepared and led a worship service for my 10am Congregation at Wesley Methodist Church, Taranaki Street, Wellington.

A congregation member said that she would like to be able to share a recording of the service with her church back in her country, so here it is.

I have re-recorded the service by reading my leader’s version of the Order for Service, which includes my sermon, the readings and discussion questions.

Download the recording .mp3 file here (32mb)

  • The mp3 link will take you to a page where you can either listen to the recording or download and save the file to your computer to listen to later.

Download a PDF of the Order of Service here

  • Clicking the PDF link for the Order of Service will immediately download the file to your computer.

I felt that this service was particularly effective in stimulating the congregation to think again about the nativity story. I set the scene by explaining that stories about Jesus conception, birth and childhood only appear in the Bible in Matthew’s and Luke’s gospels, and pointing out that these gospels actually tell two different nativity stories.

In the middle of the service, the congregation formed four groups to discuss these questions:

  • Group 1: What if Mary said “No” to the angel? Think about how this would affect our
    relationship with God and God’s relationship with us.
  • Group 2:  Matthew and Luke provide nativity stories. Paul, Mark and John don’t. What
    do you think about this?
  • Group 3: Matthew has wise men. Luke has shepherds. Does this tell us anything about
    the two writers and the audiences they were writing for?
  • Group 4: What is your favourite part of the nativity stories. Are there any parts you don’t
    like. Why?

They spent 10 minutes sharing within their groups and the groups then reported back their responses to the whole congregation.

Worship leaders are welcome to use or adapt any of my ideas in the Order of Service and the recording can be freely shared.

You are welcome to comment on this post clicking the Leave a Reply link or by emailing me at

Cheers, Philip Garside

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