Reflections on a Wandering Life.....

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Joseph and Mary (with Chinese characteristics) 

Christmas. This weeks unit is about holidays, so I outlined the 20 basic facts of Christmas and had the English majors design skits to act out some of the 20 items on the list. Here is the list I compiled:

Basic Events of Christmas
  1. Mary and Joseph are betrothed.
  2. The angel Gabriel appears to Mary to tell her that she has been chosen to bear the special child.
  3. Mary stays with her cousin for three months.
  4. Mary is discovered to be pregnant.
  5. Joseph decides to put her away quietly.
  6. Joseph has a dream, where is told that Mary has not been unfaithful.
  7. Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world.
  8. Everybody was required to go to their home town, so Joseph took Mary and went to Bethlehem.
  9. Bethlehem is very crowded, because so many people have come to their home town to register, so there is no room for them in the inn. They find a barn to have their baby.
  10. The angel appears to the shepherds.
  11. The shepherds go to visit the baby.
  12. Mary and Joseph take the baby to the temple in Jerusalem.
  13. Simeon saw the baby and recognized him. He says that this baby will bring light to many nations. He also tells Mary that a sword will pierce her heart.
  14. Wise men from Persia come to Jerusalem looking for the new King.
  15. Herod is very upset and asks them exactly when they first saw the star.
  16. He asks the Jewish scholars where this child is supposed to be born.
  17. Herod orders all the children in Bethlehem killed.
  18. Joseph is warned in a dream to go to Egypt.
  19. After Herod dies, Joseph returns to Israel and goes home to Nazareth.
  20. The child grew to be a healthy child and apparently took over his father’s business when Joseph died.
Of course these kids don't have a lot of background with Christmas, but they were game. They came up with some interesting variations on the story. Christmas has pretty much become an international festival now, but there is no government holiday for Christmas. Christmas Eve (called "Peaceful Evening" in China) is mainly seen as a time for people to go out to dinner.

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