December 19th by Rob Monroe
Luke 2:1-14 (15-20)
Verse 15 - When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.”
Being in youth ministry means trying to come up with new, creative, and interesting ways to bring students closer to God through games and activities that might concern adults in the congregation. We talk about parts of the Bible that most would gloss over, and we look at it from a variety of perspectives.
Perspectives is how we approach the story of Christmas with our 8th grade students. Namely we use the whiteboard and list each character we can think of in the birth narrative - the parents, the shepherds, the angels, the animals - everyone we can think of that was a witness to the birth of Christ. We then go through the list of those present in the story and talk about how they might have viewed different parts of the story.
Questions we ask include:
“What do you think the shepherds thought when they first saw the angel?”
“Do you think Joseph felt awkward bringing his pregnant girlfriend home for the first time?”
“Do you think that the community welcomed them the way we hope that they would?”
Then we let students take control and lead the conversation. We let them imagine what the donkey would think with all the extra people (and angels) hanging around in their typically quiet part of town. We encourage them to think through what it meant for God to send a child from heaven to live on earth with us mortals. There are lots of questions, thoughtful ideas and, of course, lots of laughs.
I encourage you to think about all the things that went into the first Christmas from a different perspective this season, you might surprise yourself with something you had not thought of before!