Sunday night, we kicked off a brand new, two week Christmas series with your students. “Christmas in Disguise” is designed to talk about the stuff we don’t often talk about around the holidays – the messy stuff. It is all about those awkward moments that don’t feel much like the hope and joy that Jesus brings into the world.
That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep. Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord’s glory surrounded them. They were terrified, but the angel reassured them, “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I will bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people. The Savior – yes, the Messiah, the Lord – has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David! And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger.” Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others – the armies go heaven – praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”
– Luke 2:8-14 (NLT)
We get caught up in Christmas as well decorated, beautiful trees and impressive outdoor light displays. Real life brings mess. Angels announced Jesus’ birth to shepherds in the field with dirty, smelly sheep because he meets us where we are. Jesus, the Prince of Peace – willingly laid in an animal feed trough because he is willing to step into our messes.
The beauty of Christmas is that God stepped into our messy, selfish world to pull us out of the dirty, messy lives we live. So many of our students are facing our unmet expectations or the weight of their mistakes. They wonder if they are enough. They wonder if God has a place for them – if he even knows they exist.
As parents, we have an opportunity to set the tone this Christmas. Can we take away the pressure? Can we be agents of the true peace and hope that Jesus brings for our teens? That is my prayer for all of us this Christmas.
I’d love to hear your thoughts. Comment below and let’s begin a conversation, encouraging each one another in parenting our students.