By Kathy Carlton Willis –
One Sunday, I taught a lesson to my Junior High class I entitled, “Remedial Nativity.” Of course, my first order of business was answering their question, “What does remedial mean?” I thought for sure they would know—so I explained it was a sort of beginner or refresher course. Just the basics. We started by looking up the word “nativity” in the Bible. The teens were surprised to learn it just means birthday. So I asked them what was different about this birthday. They were right on target when they gave the following answers: Jesus was born God in a human body. He came to be our substitute on the cross. He was perfect. We needed Him to come to patch things up between us and God the Father. He grew up to be King.
We read through Luke 1 and 2 to set the scene and evaluated what it must have been like to be greeted by an angel. To use the words of a teenager, “Mary must have freaked out!” When they found out Mary was possibly their age, they immediately formed a connection with her. They were amazed at her maturity and spirituality. Even in this age of permissiveness, the teens admitted they would have told the angel to pick someone else. They would fear the ridicule of their friends and family. I explained that all Jewish girls prayed to be the mother of the Christ child. It was the biggest honor imaginable. Honor or not, it was also filled with potential problems.
We looked at the scenario through the eyes of Joseph, and then through the eyes of her parents and other friends. We discussed the culture of the time. One student brought up the fact that Mary came into Bethlehem on the back of a donkey. I explained that this showed the tender side of Joseph because many men would have made the women walk the journey while they rode the distance. To use another of their expressions, “that’s messed up!”
Of course the lesson wasn’t complete until another teen sat confused by the facts and asked, “Where does Santa fit in to all of this?” I’ll save that for another lesson!
AUTHOR QUOTE: Christmas—Keep It Simple, Saints.
“This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 1:18 NLT).
Today’s devotional is by Kathy Carlton Willis, Christ-servant, wife to Russ, editor, publicist, certified CLASSeminars speaker and faculty member. Kathy Carlton Willis Communications encompasses her many passions. Kathy’s tagline captures her essence—Light & Lively: His Reflection/Her Laughter. Schedule Kathy for a speaking event or contact her firm for promotional assistance. KCWC gets jazzed shining the light on God’s writers and speakers.