Happy Monday parents!
Last night in D-groups we ate some mac n’ cheese, spent time in prayer, talked about the value of the Sabbath, and then did our best to practice some Sabbath rest and delight!
The weather last night was amazing, so after some quality time outside playing crossnet and spikeball, we gathered to pray and have our large group time! After prayer, I opened with the question “what is Sabbath?” We finally concluded that Sabbath was a day of rest, but when I asked “what is rest?” things got a bit quiet. A brave soul eventually shouted “sleep!” and while they aren’t wrong, that's not all that rest can be! So I rephrased a bit, and asked “If you had a whole day where you could do anything, what would you do?” That got a better response, and answers like hunting, minecraft, and scrolling through instagram came up. When I asked “How do those things glorify God?” things got a bit quiet again :)
I wanted to make sure that our middle schoolers were also grasping the concept that Sabbath is more than a single day, so we transitioned into the Bible project video. This video does an incredible job of showing God’s intent for Sabbath, and the layered significance of the number 7 as it relates to Sabbath for the Israelites.
Every 7th day was Shabbat, but that's only the beginning of the story. The Sabbath is just one of 7 festivals that the Israelites practiced each year, each one anticipating and celebrating rest. Every 7 years, the people of God would let the land rest, forgive debts, and liberate slaves. Finally every 7x7 years, on the 50th year, they celebrated the year of jubilee, and restored land that had been lost, and took a whole year to look forward to the ultimate rest offered by Christ’s coming.
So we reflected on that for a while before I invited them to take the remaining half hour and delight in God, the beautiful weather, and the people that were with them.
I’m finally getting to the point where I know names and faces, and I am so hopeful for the relationships that will be built between students, their leaders, and God. As the schedule has leveled out a bit, I am heavily considering moving to a weekly youth group format for more consistency as the structure we hoped would pan out in D-groups hasn’t quite happened. I’ll try to keep you all in the loop as to when that shift to weekly youth group and more intentional discipleship offerings elsewhere actually happens.
Next week in youth group we return to James to talk about fighting for peace!
Thanks for checking in! I hope you have wonderful, restful weeks!