Churches are often looking for ways to tell the Christmas story in a way that will be interactive for children. Local churches are putting on productions that not only tell the stories found in the Gospels, but they help children remember Bible verses.

St. Emmanuel Church of God in Christ in Denison will host its annual Christmas program with children presenting Christmas speeches and Faith Church in Sherman will host its annual cantata that was created by Phillip Keveren and Tony Wood.

“Almost all speeches are a reflection of Bible teaching and stories,” St. Emmanuel Pastor Larry L. Polk said. “We want to remember the context of the stories as well as the stories.”

Without the birth of Christ, Polk said, there would be no salvation. He said that having children participate in Christmas programs is a way to bring that message alive to them.

“Because of Jesus’ birth, life, and death and the subsequent resurrection, we now have the new covenant,” he said. “Easter and Christmas are important because they celebrate the greatest gift of all time and that is Jesus Christ. He paid for the redemption of men and we teach children these speeches to help them remember these stories.”

Polk also said it is good that we keep traditions like Christmas and Easter speeches in churches because they teach basic Christian principles.

“Many times, I believe the church has fallen prey to the negative criticism about the standards and convictions that Christians are called to have,” he said. “We teach young people the principles that are taught in the Bible so that they do not yield to the temptations of the world.”

The free production of “Journey of Faith: Celebrating the Season, the Story, the Savior” is a cantata that will be performed by Faith Church in Sherman. Performances will be held at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 8, 4 p.m. Dec. 10, and 4 p.m. Dec. 17.

“What began as a love for sharing the Christmas story with our community has become a 35-year tradition at Faith Church of Sherman,” Faith Church Senior Pastor J. Ryan Cernero said. “Each Christmas season, approximately 150 people gather to participate in Faith Church’s Christmas musical and drama, which includes adult and youth choirs, a full orchestra, and a drama. One-third of the participants include young people from grade school through high school.”

The Christmas story must never grow old, Cernero said. He said Faith Church wants to do its part to make sure that the story always remains new and alive.

“How God, who made the heavens and the earth, loved humankind so much that he would clothe himself in the robe of flesh, fulfilling the prophesies of old, ‘And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth,’” Cernero said, quoting John 1:14.

Cernero also believes that is no greater joy than for a child than to understand that the Christmas season is more than tensile, lights and presents under the tree.

“It is a time to remember that Jesus Christ was born in a manger, walked among humankind, laid down his life, and rose again that we all may have life and life more abundantly,” he said. “Faith Church’s Christmas musical and drama, ‘Journey of Faith: Celebrating the Season, the Story, the Savior,’ beautifully reminds us through song, orchestration, and drama that understanding the Christmas story and the meaning of the Christmas season truly comes through a journey of faith.”