Tonight went great. We are still right around the 50 student mark. The sign in sheet is working well and we haven’t found the stink. We have started a time of worship with mixed reactions. If you are praying I think that is the big thing that needs prayer. Last week I really told them off. Many students really want this time and I understand if other students don’t but they need to be respectful not jerks during this time. I told them that almost verbatim. This week went generally better but it was still frustrating to see a lot of people talking and texting and I know that it is frustrating to a dozen or so of my students that really want to enter into worship.
As far as what I am speaking on, well let’s just say I am mythbusting Christmas. Last week I dealt with who was at the nativity. No Santa, No Drummer Boy, and no, not even a single wise man. Don’t believe me? Time to go read your Bible. Those guys showed up about two years after the face.
This week I dealt with the reason for the season. If you are easily offended then you may want to stop reading now.
I asked about why we celebrate Christmas. Is it for the presents? Is it for the time off school? Is it for goodwill to men and peace on Earth…? Everyone did great and actually answered no to each of these. I expected some jokers to say “why so serious?” … I mean “yes,” but they didn’t. Then I asked the question, “Is Christmas Jesus’ birthday?” This caused much confusion especially when some people started saying no. Next I explained that Jesus was almost certainly not born in the winter and while the Bible doesn’t give specific dates we do know some information based on the shepherds being in the field which is not a winter time activity. This is important because many people are trying to debunk Christianity based on the adoption of Jesus as the son of a god who is born on the same day as another demi-god “Mithras.” Of course this ends up being all about politics in the 3rd century and has little to do with Christian faith, but boy to the conspiracy theories sound good when we believe in tradition over the Bible.
Now I concluded with this, if we know Jesus wasn’t born on Christmas is it wrong to celebrate His birth on that day? I think it is perfectly acceptable because this is the only time God ever became flesh. That is something to celebrate.
Anyways, the night concluded with my taking a student home. I have been taking a few home lately and this one has really grown and changed a lot in the last year. He is very thoughtful and insightful. I think most people would miss it because he is a skater and looks the part. He doesn’t look like a thinker. Tonight I learned a little more about where he is. He is still struggling with his faith. I am working on building a relationship with him. Right now I want to push him into building a strong relationship but I feel like the right thing is to play the long game over the short one. That is, to keep talking to him and more importantly listening to him. To be there for him and let him experience Christ through my actions.
The crazy part is, he may be struggling with faith, but he is willing to help and work in everything. He is one of the teens signed up to help in a service project this weekend. He is hungry and I’m happy to keep giving him the Bread of Life.