At Good News Club last Monday, we started a new unit called “Jesus: God Who Came to Earth.” The kickoff lesson, was as you might imagine, the Christmas story. Fresh from winter break and right on the heels of Epiphany, it was perfect timing.

We never take for granted that any of the kids have heard any of the bible stories, not even the biggies, Christmas and Easter. I suppose we should never assume anyone of any age has heard those stories. And we should never assume that anyone who has heard them ever tires of hearing them again. I know I never do.

Anyway, we got to the part of Christ’s birth where the angel tells the shepherds that they will find the baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger. None of the kids knew what swaddling cloths were, so I explained that it’s wrapping up a baby like a burrito. If you do it well, the baby feels snug and secure and drifts off to sleep.

At the mention of burrito, the room came alive. Everyone wanted to share their favorite burrito. From Moe’s to Chipotle to Qdoba to Taco Bell, everyone wanted to tell me where they liked to get burritos. Every once in a while you strike a nerve, and a disinterested room suddenly erupts with excitement.

I don’t know if I have a favorite burrito restaurant, but I do have a friend who attacked and conquered one of the biggest burritos I’ve ever seen last Sunday at Mr. Pancho in Palm Coast. It was the size of a log you’d toss on a fire on a cold night. It must have weighed at least two pounds. And it must have been delicious, because it was soon just a lunchtime memory.

But I digress. When you’re telling stories, sometimes you hit it and sometimes you miss. When you hit it, it makes it all worthwhile!

The room suddenly got very quiet.


(Not our club, just a random pic)

Last Monday afternoon’s Good News Club was, let’s say, “spirited.” Anytime you get within spitting distance of Christmas, there will be a surplus of kid energy filling any size room. It was review week, which brings out the highly competitive side of the group as well.

So we reviewed our bible stories from the last five week: Jesus turning water into wine, meeting with Nicodemus, talking to a woman by a well, healing a nobleman’s child and restoring sight to a blind man. I am always impressed at how much they remember, because sometimes it doesn’t seem like anyone is paying attention at all.

Then, after a few songs, the room suddenly got quiet. I know, I was shocked, too, as well as the rest of our team. Review weeks include a Gospel spotlight, and the room-hushing moment was when I told them that God knows everything about them, including all the bad things. We’ve told them that before. Plenty of times. As a group and individually. Maybe some secular holiday influence helped me out here. I don’t know. All I know is that you could her a pin drop, and that never, ever happens in our club.

“God knows everything about you. He knows everything you’ve ever done.” The look on the their eyes and the silent words on their lips said, “What? Are you kidding?” More than a few adults react the same way.

“Even all the bad things…” When the Law does its work, it is a powerful moment because it sets up the Gospel so perfectly. “But he still loves you.” How do I know? It says right here “God so loved the world…” And there’s that powerful and humbling moment when you get to talk about Jesus.

Your experience may be different, but those moments don’t come around very often for me. The story is more often punctuated by “Hey, zip up” and “Is anybody sitting up?” “No, you can’t have more candy,” and “No, it’s not time to go home yet.” When those moments do happen, I know it’s the Holy Spirit at work. No doubt in my mind. I’ve proven that I can’t make it happen, so I’ll gladly give Him all the credit. And I’ll always be thankful that I can be there to see those moments happen.

Next week I’ll be teaching the Christmas story. I’ll let you know what happens.