Happy Monday parents!
Last night the middle schoolers ate some pizza, met some new friends, and talked about how Jesus is alive!
After our usual food and hangout time, we gathered for prayer requests and prayer, and dove into our lesson for the week!
I began by asking if anyone had ever been surprised by something on a hike. There are loads of things in nature that have the potential to catch us off guard. Students shared some interesting stories about stumbling across deer skulls, roadkill, and all sorts of other things that surprised them in nature. I took the time to share a story about my friend Danny, who was the quintessential “snake guy.”
When I was about 14, Danny and I were walking through some woods at a campground, and I stumbled across what I thought was a dead snake. It was upside down, coiled in an unnatural position, and smelled quite badly. I went to move the snake off the trail we were on with a stick, but Danny saw what I was doing and called out to stop me.
He ran up and to my horror picked this snake up. He started to try and tell me that this was a hognose snake, but I only heard about one word before I properly screamed. The snake was very much alive, had fanned out its neck like a cobra, and was making a sound that my brain interpreted as a rattlesnake’s rattle. Danny giggled, and put the snake back on the ground where it dramatically flipped onto its back, and stuck out its tongue again. You can imagine my surprise, and subsequent embarrassment.
This story has an interesting parallel in Luke 24, where the disciples were certain that Jesus was dead. A group of women come and tell them that the tomb is empty and Jesus is alive, and the 11 struggle to believe them. Our lived experience tells us that dead things stay dead - this is simply a fact of life. Despite all of Jesus’ reassurance that he would rise again, the disciples couldn't shake their unbelief. Peter finally goes to the tomb, but even then we read that he leaves wondering what could have happened.
We know the answer, and we celebrated it just 8 short days ago! Jesus is risen! Like Eric said, we know that is true because he didn’t do it in a corner. We hear this good news every year around Easter, but it’s not just good news once a year - it’s the best news, all the time. I encouraged students to remember that Jesus is alive, and that if we truly believe that, it changes everything.
We broke into our small groups, where my boys compared Jesus defeating death to a fortnite match, and talked about how our lives might be different if we were more conscious of the reality that Jesus is Alive!
Next week, we will spend some time in the book of John to talk about how Jesus can be trusted!
Have a wonderful week!