Bring: Print out of psalm 25:4-7 on square pieces of paper with stripe edge. For instructions see http://www.skiptomylou.org/2008/12/11/paper-candy-canes/

The origin of the candy cane to decorate our Christmas trees goes back about 350 years to 1670, when the choir leader at the Cologne Cathedral in Germany, bent sugar-sticks into canes to represent a shepherd’s staff. The candy canes were given out to children during the long Christmas nativity services most likely to keep them quiet! This tradition spread throughout Europe and later to America and the rest of the world.

Visual: Slide of shepherd on screen.

Sound: Play music. – Itune track ‘Fremantle’ by the New Palm Court Orchestra & Gemma Turvey

A shepherds staff or crook is used by shepherds to guide the sheep, to pull sheep out of trouble, or bring them back into the herd when they wander off course. It is also a walking support to the shepherd and a handy place to hang lanterns and coats on.

Today we will make a staff as our prayer, remembering that God is like our shepherd, guiding us, gathering us, nurturing us, teaching us his ways and mercifully pulling us back in line when we are getting into danger or wandering away.

Hold the piece of paper on your table, and quietly reflect on the psalm, making it your own prayer this morning.

Psalm 25:4-7

4 Show me your ways, Lord,

teach me your paths.
5 Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long.
6 Remember, Lord, your great mercy and love,
for they have been forever.

Now we will make this paper it into a shepherds staff, representing our prayer for God to teach and to guide us as a shepherd guides the sheep.

Instructions:

http://www.skiptomylou.org/2008/12/11/paper-candy-canes/

I invite you to come and Hang them on our tree.

Sound: Play itunes track ‘Little Drummer Boy’ by Jars of Clay.