Are We There Yet? - So What Now?

Week 5: December 29 – So What Now?
Matthew 2:13-23, Jesus’s family is forced to flee

Note to the Teacher

This lesson is about God’s light in the world. Through lighting candles, seeing the darkness in the world Jesus was born into, and contemplating about the ways we hope to be light to others, youth will be invited to see how God’s light can be both in earth changing moments and in everyday life.

Time    Description of Activity

10 min. 1. Ice Breaker - Lighting the candles

See if you can use the candles in your church. (Please note that some churches are only allowed to light candles in certain rooms, like the sanctuary; make sure you check on this if you need to.) While you’re at it, check to see if you can use the candles that were used for the Christmas Eve service!

Give everyone a candle and open with a time of silent prayer. Then invite people one at a time to name a time this Christmas season they saw God’s light. While they are sharing they can light their candle. Do this until everyone has had a chance to go. Then close this part with the following prayer: God, your light shines in the darkness. Help us to always see your light and proclaim your light everywhere we go. Amen.

5 min. 2. Read Scripture

In this text we see that after Jesus is born, Herod feels threatened and plans to search for the infant and kill him. Mary and Joseph take Jesus and flee their home and head to Egypt until it is safe to leave.

Read Matthew 2:13-23

15 min. 3. Discussion

  • What is your reaction to hearing this part of Jesus’ birth story?
  • Joseph, Mary and baby Jesus had to flee their home because of threats of violence from Herod. Have you ever considered infant Jesus and his family being refugees? Does their story have any parallels with situations happening in our world today?
  • Why do you think Herod was so afraid of the infant Jesus?
  • How did the infant Jesus shine light in the world?

Read Isaiah 63:7-9

  • Why is it important that we recount, remember and retell the gracious deeds of God? Why do we tell the Christmas story again and again, year after year?
  • Who do we tell these stories of God’s action in our lives?
  • We gather every Sunday to remind each other of God’s story, of God’s action, of God’s love and faithfulness. Why do you think it's important we do it every week – to gather, remember and proclaim? Why is it necessary to continually do so?

20 min. 4. Activity

Isaiah reminds us to tell the story, to tell the story of God’s guidance and faithfulness in our lives. Our lives become the story that we tell. How we live is our story. How our church lives and operates is a story we tell to the community. Invite your students to think about what kind of story they want their lives to tell.

Give each student a piece a paper and a pen, pencil, or markers. Invite the students to take 10 minutes and ask them to write their own obituary after a long life. What would they want shared about their life? What story do they want told about how they lived, how they loved, what they were a part of, and what work they did in the world for God? In what ways do they want their lives to be light in the world?

If it feels too morbid for youth to imagine writing their obituary, then invite them to pretend they are giving their retirement speech. The goal is to think about the story we want our lives to live and share with others.

After 10 minutes have those in your group who feel comfortable share them aloud. If your group is larger, then perhaps do this in small groups. Provide a way for anyone who wants to share to be able to read theirs out loud.

50 min.

Resources Needed:

  • Candles
  • Pens/pencils and paper for everyone