Note to the Teacher
Today is a great day to remind youth that Christmas is still here, and it lasts for another week or so. This time of year, people rush to clean up from Christmas and are eager to begin a new year. For those of us who follow Jesus, let’s remember to take time and celebrate Emmanuel, a name that means “God with us.” This lesson invites participants to sing and celebrate one more time before putting Christmas aside until next year.
Icebreaker (5-10 minutes)
Sing a few Christmas carols together; have hymnals or copies of some familiar tunes for the group to sing. Another option would be to have copies of “Joy to the World” or another familiar hymn and some colored pencils or crayons for participants to draw pictures on top of the hymn.
Read Scripture (5 minutes)
Isaiah 61:10-62:3; Galatians 4:4-7; Luke 2:22-40
Discussion (10 minutes)
- What does Isaiah give thanks for? Have you ever given thanks for something similar?
- The Galatians passage tells us that God has adopted us – we are children of God! What does this mean for you and your life? How do you express joy/gratitude for this gift? (Recall in a previous week when we asked the question about why we include ourselves in the “us” that Isaiah called on to share the good news.)
- What characteristics does the passage give to Simeon and Anna? How do you think they felt when he finally saw Jesus? How did they express what they were feeling?
- Talk about a time when you experienced God’s presence and how it made you feel. How did you respond? Whom did you tell? How did it change you? Do those experiences seem easier or more difficult during the Christmas season?
Activity and Discussion (15-20 minutes)
Play “Guess that Christmas Song.” Have four pieces of paper for each person. Invite each person to write down one Christmas song/hymn on a piece of paper; put all the pieces of paper into a basket. Play three rounds of “Guess that Christmas Song.”
Have a fifteen-second timer ready to go. Start the basket with one person and give that person fifteen seconds to give as many clues as possible, then pass the basket to the next person. The round is complete when all the songs have been guessed.
First Round: Participants can explain using words concerning what the song is about (without using any of the words from the title of the song)
Second Round: Participants can use only one word.
Third Round: Participants act it out; no words.
Note: You can play two games; one with only religious songs and then one with secular songs
Total Time: 45 minutes
Pieces of paper and a writing utensil for each person; optional for the icebreaker: copies of Christmas hymns and colored pencils/crayons