This article is from Issue 45 of “On The Move,” a publication of new learning possibilities for churches, at one time published by The Joint Board of Christian Education of Australia and New Zealand.
Although some ideas and liturgies may appear somewhat “dated” in style, concept, imagery or language, they may nevertheless offer a spring-board for new ideas among people who find themselves leading worship, perhaps in a new context, and with some trepidation.
Reproduced by permission. May be reprinted for use in local congregations only.
SAM – Julie Norris
Many, many years ago there lived a spider called Sam. Sam lived in a stable, and every day he spun his web so that it hung just over the doorway of the stable.Now this stable was at the back of an inn, and each day the son of the innkeeper came out to the stable and cleaned it out. He swept out all the old hay and put fresh hay down for the animals, and he took his straw broom and swept away any cobwebs he could see, including Sam’s, and this went on for a very long time. Sam would spin his web, and the boy would sweep it away next day.
One afternoon Sam was sitting on his newly spun web and he noticed that there was a lot of activity going on in the streets below him. There seemed to be people everywhere. It was getting late and night was coming. Suddenly he heard voices and he could just make out the voice of the innkeeper telling a man that all the rooms in his inn were full.
The man, whose name was Joseph, was very sad, and asked if the innkeeper knew of anywhere he could stay, because his wife, Mary, was very tired. They had travelled a long way and Mary was going to have a baby very soon. The innkeeper said that all the inns were full and the only place he could think of was the stable. Joseph said that would be fine and he brought his wife Mary into the stable.
Sam the Spider had been watching all this, but it was very late now and he was rather sleepy, so he started to close his eyes. He closed one eye, and as he was closing the other eye he notice out of the corner a very bright star. How beautiful it looked shining just abovehim… And Sam fell asleep and snored a spidery snore.
Suddenly he woke with a start. What was that noise? A baby crying? Sam looked below and found to his surprise that Mary now had a little baby and he heard her call him Jesus. How happy Mary and Joseph were with their new baby. Sam noticed the star in the sky again and how brightly it shone. He smiled and started to sleep again, when he heard more noise.
Two shepherds were coming into the stable. They were very excited and they knelt before the baby and called him Jesus and each gave him a little lamb for a present. Sam was most surprised and he thought this baby must someone very special. The shepherds left and Sam nodded off to sleep again.
Again Sam woke with a start. This time men were coming into the stable.How important they looked! They must be very rich, for they were all wearing golden crowns and had fine clothes on. Sam watched as the three men knelt before the baby. This time they called him King and they gave him precious gifts. One was shiny like gold. The men soon left and now Sam was very excited. Fancy a king being in his stable!
I wish I had a special present to give to the baby King, thought Sam. He thought and thought but he couldn’t
think of anything a spider could give to a king. Poor Sam—he was very unhappy, and to make matters worse it had started to rain and his web was gettng all wet. Eventually Sam fell asleep again.
When he woke in the morning the sun was shining brightly. Sam looked up at the sky— the bright shiny star had faded away. He looked in the stable. Mary and Joseph were still there with the baby King. Sam remembered about the gifts and again wished he had something to give. How unhappy he was. His web was still wet with drops of rain hanging onto all the threads—and now look: the innkeeper’s son was coming to sweep his web away. Oh dear!
But just as the boy reached the stable he looked up and cried our in delight: ‘That spider has spun a bright shiny star!’ Sam looked at his web. It was true. The sun shone on each drop of water on his web and it gleamed and shone like the star he had seen in the sky.
Mary and Joseph heard the boy and came to have a look. Sam looked down and as he did he heard Mary say ‘What a beautiful gift the spider has made for Jesus — a star to shine in the day’. Sam was so proud, and he never forgot the day he spun a gift for a king — and the innkeeper’s son never swept Sam’s web away again.