I’m going to try and explain sin to 8th graders for Christmas.
My beautiful Confirmation schedule is a mess, so I can’t spare a week of Christmas frivolity, which, I’m well aware, is a stance that requires its own confession. This part of the Brief Statement of Faith was supposed to get covered in November, but the parade of Autumnal weeks followed their own route, not the one I had carefully mapped. So here we are at Christmas, talking about sin.
It’s actually not the worst point of entry you could find. The message of the annunciation is that Jesus will save his people from their sins. The census that sends Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem to be registered is a helpful peek into structural sin as oppressive power. The slaughter of the innocents is the whole horror show. The reality of sin drives the Christmas story.
The main tool I’m using is a “10 Propositions” post by Kim Fabricius on the Faith and Theology blog, later published in a terrific little book. I used one of these posts to teach the resurrection, too. They need a heavy editing hand for teenagers (their intended audience is theologians and pastors), but my students have appeared to respond well to them.
Here’s the presentation I’ve put together for it, to which I am most open to comment.