The Place for Christian Education Communication
   Children need the Lord...teach them about Jesus! 

Issue #77 - December 12, 2007
Previous issues can be found in the Archives.

  Home   |   Search  |  Support SSTN    

To reply or to post a new topic:
Please TITLE your email to reflect the content of your message.
When replying, highlight the text that is pertinent to your response, then hit reply.

"For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them." -- Jesus

Scroll down the page to view articles.

Wise Men Not At Manger
2) Point of Wise Men
3) New Christmas Traditions
4) New Christmas Traditions

Bible curriculum for next here.

5) Comment regarding Wise Men Story
6) Kataluma

7) Wise Child's Christmas Book
8) World Hunger Site


Bible Games
Christian Crafts
Christian Skits
Missions For Kids
Recycling Ideas
Sermons & Object Talks

Search For Ideas


Bible-4-Life Curriculum                   
Gospel Fun Activities                      
Easy Make N' Take Downloads
Holidays & Holy Days
Christian E-books, skits, crafts and more!

Premium Club Membership Discount
Support the SSTN Ministry!
Email a friend to join us at SSTN!

Christmas Ideas in Featured Resources 


This book records how God sent deliverers or military leaders to rescue Israel.

(The answer is in this newsletter)

1) Wise Men Not At Manger

I'm probably too late replying to this but I just read it the other day when one response was way off in left field and didn't have time to respond then.

Cathy is correct. the word house in the Greek is "oikia" pronounced oy-kee'-ah. It was a residence. The wise men were more likely to have been astrologers and by Jesus being referred to as a child means he was up to the age that Herod had killed trying to be sure he got the right one.

Darlene Pruitt
Christ Family Church
Nashville, TN


2) Point of Wise Men

The point of the wise men in the Christmas story/manger scene is that these three kings came from afar to worship the child, giving validity and majesty to His birth/existence. So, they belong in the manger scene because they validate the king-ly nature of the birth. I feel these kinds of arguments are distractions. Perhaps with older kids it could be a topic for discussion during the Christmas season, but I think the visual of kings at the manger is important for small children and to remind us all of the birth of the King. This is not a harmful perception. Let's not get distracted by debates, like this and the Halloween issues. Agree to disagree about the details that are interpreted and focus on the message and the salvation of those in our charge. 




Bible Stack-O! TM  

A fun game to play at home, church and after-school clubs!

For ages 8 and Up / 2-4 Players. Three ways to play for younger and older kids. The 66 Bible cards include a content summary of each book. Fun for adults too! 
 Click here.



3) New Christmas Traditions

My husband and I are not from Christian homes, but, of course, celebrated Christmas growing up. We decided that we wanted to start new traditions that had more meaning than just what we had done with our families growing up, since Christmas had never been focused on Christ. Our favorite new tradition is that we have replaced the Christmas tree with a Christmas cross. My husband took two large fence posts, nailed them together and put them into a Christmas tree stand, making a "rugged" cross. We outline it with lights and put it in our window (so you see lights in the shape of a cross). We even put a few homemade ornaments (usually what our kids make) on the cross. It really helps us remember where our focus should be throughout the Christmas season. This year we will add a simple red Christmas tree skirt to the bottom and red rope lights instead of white. We also try to limit our presents to just a few spiritual gifts on Christmas day (new Bibles, Christian DVDs, etc.). If there are other toys or things we want to give, we give them before Christmas, so that on Christmas day we are not distracted by all the "stuff". Hope you all have a blessed Christmas!!!


New Christmas Traditions

Our church tried something new this year. On the second Sunday evening of Advent we met for a light dinner in Fellowship Hall. Then all of us went caroling into the surrounding neighborhoods on foot, in open-air trolleys, on the church buses and in a hay-filled pickup truck. Afterwards we came back to the church for more fun with a snow blower (south Florida), had multiple fire pits to roast marshmallows and made Smores. Santa made an appearance to read the Nativity story to the children. It was well attended by all generations and was sooo much fun!  Hopefully it will become one of our traditions! 


Bible curriculum for next here.

This issue's Bible Trivia answer is, "The book of Judges". Used by permission. From the game, Bible Stack-O!

5) Comment regarding Wise Men Story

As a reader of many Christian publications, I found one to be especially pertinent to the questions arising out of "telling the truth" about the wise men and the manger story.

The link to the very short article is here: 

I now ask myself, "Does this factor of the Christmas season obscure, or detract, from the Christmas holiday?" If not, as the article states, we can apply Biblical meaning and importance to these "traditions" without detracting from what Christmas is all about: Christ, His birth, God's love, our redemption.

No matter where you stand on this issue, have a merry Christmas.

Don Bursell
DonB! Ministries



6) Kataluma

Sarah, I read the two articles you suggested and have some doubts about them. I am not saying some of their guess-work is wrong, I am just wondering. The first one seems to be all maybes. Was He born in a guest room? Could be. Maybe a cave? Could be. Maybe in a tent? I doubt it. But the fact is, all this is just someone's ideas. One of these men even quoted as fact something from a book that is not in the Bible.

I do want to commend the two who called attention to the wise men coming later when the Lord Jesus was a child instead of at the time He was born.

Love in Christ,
Helen Setser

--from SSTN: Hi Helen, I didn't understand that he was guessing. Rather I understood he was explaining the Greek word kataluma, which when translated in English can be house, guest room, place for travelers, etc. Which is why it is necessary to look at the context and culture of that day: "There was no room for them in the "kataluma" (Luke2:7). Which is also the same Greek word Luke used for the "upper room". As opposed to the Greek word, "pandocheion" that Luke used for "inn" from the Good Samaritan story. I also know people who have traveled to Bethlehem and while there learned that katalumas referred to a guest room off the main house, as the writer pointed out. In fact, it was very common to have a portion of the main house cordoned off for the animals too. Usually in a lower level below the house. If this is the case, then the manger may have actually been in the lower level of Joseph's ancestral home.

Does any of this really matter? I don't think so. It doesn't take away one iota from the story of Christmas, that is:
God becoming flesh and tabernacling with us. 

With Christmas blessings,
Sarah Keith <><
P.S. I find this topic very interesting and hope this discussion is useful and informative. It is not intended to be contentious. 


) The Wise Child's Christmas Book (More to Ponder): 

Yes, its fun to think about these things, isn't it? Last year our children did a fairly in-depth study of the Gospel accounts of the Nativity. We made books which we called 'The Wise Child's Christmas Book' which told the story simply for the younger ones and had coloring and activities for all of them but at the same time looked at interesting facts and misconceptions. We decided that most likely the kataluma would have been a downstairs room as part of the house. One suggestion for why Mary did not have the baby in the upstairs guest room was that the birth of a baby would make her, and those involved, 'unclean' for a time and this could have been awkward for some of the other guests. We also looked at the suggestion that, if the flocks and herds were out on the hills, the room may have been cleaned and swept well before it was needed by Mary. December in Britain would be a cold, dark, damp, bleak time to have a baby in a draughty stable, but as the Bible does not suggest it was winter, and the climate was kinder, the relative peace of a downstairs room may have been a good option. 

Then we came to the accounts of going to the temple v going home to Nazareth. We looked at a map and saw that Bethlehem is considerably closer to Jerusalem than it is to Nazareth and speculated that in fact they went to Jerusalem and then back to the relatives in Bethlehem for a time, until the magi had visited and they fled to Egypt. The house where the magi saw Him may even have been the same one as where He was born. They may have gone back to the same relations. That still left us with the going home to Nazareth puzzle. That gave us many maybes. The children enjoyed the thought that while the magi were probably traveling in search of the baby He had been right under Herod's nose in Jerusalem without Herod realizing. We wondered just how close the timing was. That suggested that the magi had not already been. maybe? We came to the conclusion that just because there were things that we couldn't quite place it didn't mean that either version was not true - just that we didn't understand. I think it is important to discuss these things with children as they get older so that they can see that they don't need to be fazed by what look like inconsistencies. We may not have hit on the exactly right sequence of events, but they learned that it is alright to look and ponder and discuss. If we are too dogmatic and just say "This happened, then this, then that," eventually they come up against someone in the world who tells them the Bible is full of contradictions and it throws them. If they have grown up with the knowledge that there are puzzling bits in the Bible and we know about them and are not afraid to think about them because they do not threaten our faith, then they are less likely to be disillusioned and think none of it was true after all.




8) World Hunger Site

FreeRice is a sister site of the world poverty site,

FreeRice has two goals:
    1. Provide English vocabulary to everyone for f-r-e-e.
    2. Help end world hunger by providing rice to hungry people for f-r-e-e.

Check it out at 


Help SSTN To Continue 

Your donation of one dollar a month helps to provide the Christian educational resources in the website and newsletter. To learn how you can help, go to the following webpage: 

Or, write your US check or US Money Order out to:
S.A. Keith - Creative Imaginations (d.b.a.)

Mail to:
438 East
Ilex Drive
Lake Park, FL 33403

(In the memo section of your check write: "SSTN Subscription". Please include your email address.)

Your webservant,
Sarah Keith <><



To learn how you can advertise your business, ministry or product to over 16,000 Christian educators,
please visit the following page at: 

SSTN Posting Guidelines: 

Copyright 1997 - 2007 / d.b.a. "S. A. Keith of Creative Imagination"
Reproducing in any medium, commercial or noncommercial, is strictly prohibited without prior written permission. SSTN has contributors from all over the world who share their ideas. If you reprint any of the ideas from SSTN, or ChristianCrafters.Com in any medium (websites, magazines, newsletters, etc.), you must contact the submitter, and website for reprint permissions. Any materials used must also include the submitter's name and where the ideas were gleaned from. The opinions expressed or advertisements displayed in the SSTN e-Newsletter are not necessarily endorsed by or any of its affiliates. SSTN reserves the right to edit and or exclude information from the SSTN e-Newsletter. | | |



To SUBSCRIBE a new email address, visit the following page at: 

(If you are subscribing your friends, make sure you have their permission.)

Return to the Archives