“Sharing Time: Match the Figures with the Facts,” Friend, Dec. 1982, 48
This matching game offers some interesting ideas about the figures of the Nativity. Most of the information is found in the scriptures. Other facts are found in Harper’s Bible Dictionary, by Madeleine S. and J. Lane Miller, Mormon Doctrine, by Bruce R. McConkie, and Jesus the Christ, by James E. Talmage. You can learn something new while you have fun playing this game with your family or friends.
Instructions: Mount rectangles on colored paper, and cut out. Begin game with all rectangles spread out facedown. The first player turns over two rectangles. If figure and fact do not match, rectangles are turned facedown again and next player takes a turn. When fact and figure match, player keeps pair and takes another turn. Play until all rectangles are matched. The player with the most matches wins!
Enlarge game and pin to flannelboard. Play as a team game, or provide individual copies for children to cut out and play as partners. You may wish to add other facts and figures, but be sure to include source of your information.
Use references as a scripture chase to introduce ideas to children.
The heavenly sign of Jesus’ birth had been foretold by prophets on both continents. The wise men in the east knew the meaning of the star (Matt. 2:1–2, 7, 9). The Nephites knew of Christ’s birth when a tremendous brightness made the night appear as a day (Hel. 14:3–5 and 3 Ne. 1:15).
Although Jesus’ father was Heavenly Father, Jesus’ birth did fulfill the prophecy that He (Jesus) would be a descendant of King David, because Mary was a descendant of King David (Jesus the Christ, p. 86).
The scriptures refer to Jesus by many names: Babe of Bethlehem, Christ Child, Elder Brother, Firstborn, the Good Shepherd, Jehovah, Messiah, the Nazarene, Redeemer, Risen Lord, Savior, and the Son of God. Can you name any others?
Joseph, the husband of Mary, was a noble and kind man. He was a carpenter. Joseph was older than Mary, and it is thought that he died before Jesus began his ministry (Harper’s Bible Dictionary, page 351).
Even though artists have shown the Christmas manger as a wooden trough or box on a trestle, when caves were used as stables, mangers were usually carved from the soft rock (Harper’s Bible Dictionary, page 416). A stone manger filled with sweet straw was probably a bassinet for the Infant (Luke 2:7).
“The stable at Bethlehem where Jesus was born was quite likely a rock-hewn cave stable on the hillside of Bethlehem overlooking the Field of the Shepherds” (Harper’s Bible Dictionary, page 703).
The wise men, or magi, came to worship the Savior. They did not go to the stable but to a house some time after Jesus was born (Jesus the Christ, pages 97–99). They received revelation not to return and report the whereabouts of the Child to Herod but to return to their own country (Matt. 2:12).
The work of a shepherd was to lead the sheep to food and to protect them. Often the shepherd placed himself at the entrance of the stone-enclosed sheepfold. Those who help with the Lord’s work are like shepherds. Jesus asks them to feed his lambs/sheep (John 21:15–17 and D&C 112:14).