12 Days of Christmas – Part 3

Day 7

The seventh Christmas blessing that my Lord gave to me:

Seventh Grade Bible Class

For our 7th grade (Junior 1) Bible class this month, we taught the students about the first Christmas. We had 3 lessons to help the students understand the first Christmas and why it is important.

The first lesson looked at Mary and Joseph’s reaction to the angel’s news about Mary having God’s son. In the second lesson, the students learned about the first Christmas, with the stable, manger, shepherds, and angels. Finally the third lesson looked at the three wise men and their journey to Bethlehem. Of course we also discussed how Jesus came to save people from their sins.

In these lessons students read a story, learned some new vocabulary, and listened to some Christmas songs. Songs they listened to include Away in a Manger, What Child Is This, The First Noel, and We Three Kings. The students really enjoy listening to the music and learning about the first Christmas. While the students might not understand all of the vocabulary in the songs, they still can get the basic Christmas story through music.

For some of these students, this was the first time they learned the details about what happened at Christmas and why we celebrate it. Many of them have heard of Santa or stockings or Christmas trees, but Bible class provides an opportunity to teach them what really happened at Christmas.

Prayer Requests:
1. Please pray that God would help the students understand the true meaning of Christmas and his love for them.

Day 8

The eighth Christmas blessing that my Lord gave to me:

Christmas Celebrations

Christmas is a time to have many celebrations or parties for the various youth ministries that I am involved with. This year is no exception and I would like to briefly talk about three Christmas parties directly connected to youth ministry here in Taiwan.

OSF Christmas Celebration:

The On-Campus Student Fellowship group meets most Thursday evenings throughout the semester and it is an outreach group for students who live at Concordia Middle School. The OSF Christmas party was held on Thursday December 17th this year, and it featured a performance of the Lost Son Skit (see Day #3), 2 rounds of Family Feud (featuring Christmas questions), singing of Christmas carols, and plenty of delicious snacks.

Friday Night Bible Study Christmas Celebration:

The FNBS Christmas party was on Friday December 18th. Friday Night Bible Study is held in Chia-Yi City and is a weekly English Bible study for Junior High students through adults. While some of the people who attend also go to Concordia, many do not. This makes it a great outreach to students who are not hearing the Gospel on a regular basis. Our FNBS party also featured Christmas songs and a performance of the Lost Son Skit. In addition we all went out to the streets near church to go Christmas caroling. We returned from caroling to read the Christmas story from Luke 2, and sing Silent Night. The evening ended with many delicious snacks being devoured by hungry youth and adults.

Salvation Lutheran Church Youth Group Christmas Celebration:

Youth Group had a Christmas Party on Sunday December 27th. For this celebration we sang Christmas songs and played a gift opening/exchanging game…(similar to White Elephant Gift Games). After playing the game we ate pizza and decorated Christmas cookies.

All of these activities were such a blessing because more people attended the event than normally do the weekly gathering. Christmas activities are a great outreach tool because new students come as they are curious to learn about how people celebrate Christmas. Also, many regular attendees will invite more friends to accompany them to the Christmas parties. This provides a great opportunity to witness the love of Jesus to many new people.

Prayer Requests:
1. Please pray for all of the students who attended these youth events. May they understand the true meaning of Christmas and their need for a savior.
2. Pray that God would lead the new visitors to return and continuing learning about him.

Day 9

The ninth Christmas blessing that my Lord gave to me:

Pirates of Sin Skit

Every year the students at Concordia Middle School have Christmas worship to kick off the school’s Christmas activities. The 7th graders have worship in the Luther Chapel, and the 8-12th graders meet in the gym. As part of this worship service, the school invites the American teachers who teach at the middle school to perform a skit. We perform it for the 7th graders at 8:00am and then immediately go over to the gym and perform for the rest of the school at 8:40. For worship, we create a different skit than what is used for the other Christmas activities, and this year we performed a drama called The Pirates of Sin.

The skit focused on two pirates who were slaves to Captain Sin, and worked with him to lie, cheat, and steal. Meanwhile, they continue to hear news of the legendary Treasure of Heaven. While selling stolen goods at a village, the pirates run into Jesus who decides to come aboard their ship to work.

On the boat, Jesus tells the pirates details about the Treasure of Heaven. Captain Sin overhears this and tries to end the discussion, but ultimately ends up killing Jesus with the Sword of Death. The pirates are depressed and feel the Treasure of Heaven will be gone forever. However, Jesus comes alive again and can no longer be hurt by the sword of death. He easily defeats Captain Sin and leads the pirates to the Treasure of Heaven.

In addition to the pirates, we had a parrot, a fisherman, and two wise merchants. All in all it was a very light-hearted skit, and definitely something different from our traditional Christmas dramas. Yet, the message was the same. Jesus came to free us from sin and lead us to heaven. I pray the students got the message and had a good laugh. Yargggh!!!

Prayer request:
1. Please pray the students and teachers at Christmas worship were able to understand the Gospel both through the skit and through the service.

The 12 Christmas blessings that my Lord gave to me
-Pirates of Sin skit
-8 Christmas Celebrations
-7th Grade Bible Class
-6 former students
-Bright, glowing trees
-Song Competition
-Lost Son Skit
-Water and Word
…and Messiah on Christmas Eve