WNL in Brief – 12/10

encounter-advent-jpegTonight was a bit more experiential. It was a nice lead-in to what will happen next week (very experiential. Very excited).

Tonight we opened with our weekly episode of From the Laptop, and from there moved into a small Q&A session about Advent. Not surprising, most of our teens (read, all but 2) could not articulate much about Advent at all. Not horrible, as it set us up to really share and educate our group about this season of waiting. From there it was a screening of the Nooma video Noise. If you haven’t seen it, the film really does a great job of challenging viewers to withdraw to solitude and rest, listening to God in the silence.

From there I invited the teens to travel across the hall to two different rooms. One room had several signs up talking about what Jesus’ birth would lead to (a kingdom falling, change throughout the world, etc.), soft Christmas hymns (David Crowder’s O’ Come, O’ Come Emmanuel is phenomenal), several baby items on the table (blankets, toys, diapers, etc.) and several pieces of paper and pencils. In this room students were to spend time reading the statements on the walls, listening to the music, and interacting with the baby items, all the while meditating on how Jesus arrived to earth as an infant. What was it like? Did He wear a diaper like this? Would He have played with this? Then they were to jot down any thoughts they had on the papers. The other room was candle-lit and quiet. There were cards to write prayer requests on, and a manger to then place those requests into. Students were challenged to not only pray for their own request, but for whatever other requests were already in the manger. Very symbolic of handing those requests over to God, even as an infant.

We then rejoined and closed with a few thoughts from me about waiting for Jesus this season. We need to remember how fragile Jesus was, the Creator of the universe placing His safety and care into the hands of His creation. Then we finished with group singing of Away in A Manger and What Child is This?

About half of our crew breezed through the rooms, leaving me to wonder what they might have truly gotten out of hte evening. But the other half really seemed to latch onto it and seemed to get a lot out of their experience. Overall the evening was a good one. My favorite moment though, was probably after the program was finished. A student who is never around on Wednesday nights dropped by to see his parents (they sing in the choir which practices on Wednesday nights), and I had a great opportunity to have a conversation with him that extended deeper than surface level.