You can tell this too story using the Gospel magic trick of the Cut and Restore rope trick
“Joseph, Joseph, I have good news!” Mary comes running into Joseph's work place with a big smile on her face. To demonstrate this you make a smile with your rope. Joseph is curious. Has Mary finally found a wedding dress?
“Joseph, I'm going to have a baby. But it is not yours. It is from God.”
Any smile on Joseph’s face is immediately wiped away. “A child from God. What kind of bad joke is this?” Joseph gets angry, really angry.
That night as Joseph lies tossing and turning in his bed he makes a decision. He is not going to marry Mary. He is going to divorce her. And to demonstrate this you cut your rope in two pieces with a pair of scissors.
But as Joseph is sleeping an angel comes to him in his dream and says: “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the One conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you shall give Him the name Jesus, because He will save His people from their sins.”
The next morning when Joseph wakes up, he does something very brave. He decides to trust the angel, take the suffering and shame upon himself and he ties the knot with Mary. He marries her.
To demonstrate this you tie the two pieces of rope together with a knot and pull on both pieces to get the knot very tight.
Mary has a baby in her tummy. You point to the knot, which has now become a symbol of the unborn child. You ask one of the girls present if they want to take care of Mary and the baby and you give the rope containing the knot to the girl. “Can you hold it with two hands for me please?”
Now you do the following magic trick of the traffic lights to tell the story of Joseph and Mary looking for a place to stay in Bethlehem. Once they found a place in the stable you ask the girl with the rope to come forward and you talk about the miracle of that Christmas night. Not only the miracle of Joseph and Mary finding a place to stay, not only the miracle of Jesus being born. No, the miracle of God Himself who came down from heaven to be one of us and to show us how much He loves us. This is the meaning of Immanuel.
To demonstrate this you keep the rope vertical and move your hand down from the top to the bottom. When you reach the knot half way down the rope you move the knot down as you keep talking about God coming down from heaven.
You ask the girl to open her hands and you slowly let the knot drop in her hands. Jesus is born in the stable and you ask her to take care of Jesus. She may keep the knot as a symbol of Jesus being born. Before she leaves the stage make sure she gets a round of applause.
You can do this too during your Christmas service, school assembly or in your Sunday school lesson. Don't forget – any children’s worker can do this Gospel magic trick. It only needs a little bit of practice. So give it a try!
Watch the video demonstration
You can see me doing a full demonstration of this story and magic trick in the video below.
Below this video you’ll find another video in which the cut and restore rope trick is shown, so you can learn to do this yourself.