By Alison Noll
2018 has been off to a great start for the Youth Group! Here are some highlights:
Like the adults, we have been exploring the topic “When Walls Come Down.” The last two weeks we have had exciting discussions about God’s movement in the Bible to break down walls—from Jesus’ baptism, to the tearing of the temple curtain, to the gift of the Holy Spirit to all people.
The youth were particularly excited to learn and start using a new Greek vocabulary word—schizo, meaning to cleave or to split—which appears in both the story of Jesus’ baptism (Mark 1:9-11) and the tearing of the curtain in the temple (Mark 15:37-38). When Jesus was baptized, the heavens were torn apart and the Spirit descended like a dove. When Jesus was on the cross, the curtain of the temple was torn in two and God’s spirit rushed out into the world.
One youth exclaimed, “When the sky breaks open the wall between God and the people is torn down!” When discussing the layout of the temple and its many walls (between God and the people, between men and women, between Jews and Gentiles) there were many exclamations of, “That’s not fair!” And when we began talking about the Holy Spirit spreading to all people, not just Jewish prophets and kings, the youth immediately made connections to the Cornelius story they had heard before in RiverKids (Acts 10).
We have also been enjoying some fun new games this year! At RiverKids/Youth we believe that fun is the love language of children. This seems to be especially true for youth! So, every week at the Youth Group, we make it a point to play an organized game before moving into our discussion time. When we play together, I see the youth visibly relax and begin to open themselves up to connection. The youth love this special time and regularly rush into the Gym on Sunday mornings asking questions like: “What’s the game today?” “Is it a running game or a sitting game?” “Have we played it before?” Last week we tried out a new game called Seated Basketball!
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