“Under Wraps” Advent Study
Over the four-week Advent season, the Youth Group participated in the same “Under Wraps” Advent Study as the rest of the church. The Youth learned about the not-so-common characteristics of God, which were tailored for their age group.
Week One: God is Expectant
The Youth focused on understanding that God is an Expectant God. Kicking-off the Christmas season can be an exciting time, but the goal of this study was not to focus too much on the festivities of the season, like the anticipation of what one will receive or what parties they’ll be invited to. Instead, we moved the focus from us, to Him. Our goal during the next few weeks was to unwrap God, not presents. This week we learned that God is expectant of us, but we too can be expectant of God. The only reason we have that great privilege is because of what Jesus did on the cross for us. Because of this act, grace entered the world and we’re thankful for it.
The Youth brainstormed all the names Jesus is called in the Bible (and there’s a lot), decorated the Youth Christmas Tree, created ornaments of what they’re expectant of this Advent season and helped make Chrismons for the Christmas tree in the sanctuary.
Week Two: God is Dangerous
We often don’t think a loving and forgiving God can be dangerous, but He is exactly that. In the Old Testament, we see countless examples of God being dangerous. God is dangerous to those who insist on being unjust and evil. God goes to extremes to save His people, thus making him “dangerous.” When we only recognize Jesus as loving, quiet and helpful, we rob Him of His true power and hunger for justice. God becomes dangerous when holiness is threatened- when injustice takes place and when the innocent are abused. Holiness reflects God’s perfect intentions, and sin hinders those intentions.
The Youth talked about this difficult principle outside in front of a crackling fire pit. What yells dangerous more than Youth sitting around a fire?! When the lesson was over, the kids enjoyed hot cocoa and s’mores.
Week Three: God is Jealous
Jealousy is always portrayed as a big green blob of muck. However, we don’t see God as that…yet He calls himself a “jealous God.” This week we juggled understanding how God can be jealous but that as humans, we’re not supposed to be. The reasoning behind God’s jealousy is that He is the force behind all wonders and provisions for us. God doesn’t do the work of saving us for us to worship something or someone else. And if we were really to think about it, we want a jealous God. We want a God that is jealous for us, that doesn’t want us to go down a wrong path. We dug deeper to realize that nothing compares or competes with God. There is nothing else for us to worship, than Him.
The Youth demonstrated the ability not to get jealous by building four different gingerbread houses. Each was unique and charming in it’s own way- just like we are in the eyes of God.
Week Four: God is Faithful
It’s easy to recognize what faithfulness is, by what unfaithfulness is. The most extreme example of God’s faithfulness is the birth of Jesus. God fulfilled a covenant He made with Abram over a thousand years earlier, to make him the Father of all the nations. Jesus is the promise to that covenant. Although we are not the most faithful people to God, God remains faithful to His people by His covenant he made long ago. God works in and around human decisions to tell the marvelous story of redemption.
To wrap up the Advent Study, the Youth had a fun time unwrapping a candy bar covered in multiple layers of duct tape, saran wrap and tissue paper. The catch: ski gloves. Yup, it was an awesome way to unwrap the Christmas story this year!