We’re starting a new series for 6th, 7th, & 9th-12th graders on January 6th called Through the Darkness. Have you ever turned on the news only to wish you hadn’t? Or answered a phone call only to wish you could un-hear the news on the other end? Whether it’s a global disaster, a school shooting, your parents’ divorce, or the death of a friend, there’s nothing fun about tragedy. It can make us feel like we’re walking around in total darkness—where nothing seems quite right and there are more questions than answers. At some point, we‘ll all find ourselves in or around a tragedy, but being there doesn’t mean we have to stay there. There’s a way through the darkness to the other side, to healing— and we’ll get there by trusting the One who is leading us.
Series dates and previews:
January 6 We’re all going to find ourselves facing tragedy at some point during our lives. We’re all going to walk through seasons of darkness. And when we do, it’s important to know how to respond. While most of us are taught what to do with the good things in life, very few of us are taught what to do in the face of tragedy. And because of that, we often find ourselves covering it up, lashing out, or ignoring it all together. But what if there was a better way to deal with tragedy? The good new is that there is, and it’s found in the Bible. The Bible not only shares stories of people just like us facing tragedy, but also shows us how to face it and move toward healing. This week we’ll take a look at how Jesus walked with and responded to someone going through a serious tragedy. Through that story we’ll discover that the first step toward healing is acknowledging our feelings.
January 13 When it comes to tragedy, there’s often a ripple effect. Some people are directly impacted by a tragic event or circumstance, and the ripples of that tragedy impact those around them. Being caught in the ripples of someone going through the darkness can be difficult and confusing. It can leave you feeling incredibly helpless, wondering what to say, what to do, and how to best be a friend to them in the midst of their darkness. Ruth, a woman who walked alongside a friend in the midst of terrible tragedy, gives us a great example to follow in the Old Testament. As we watch how she walked with a friend through the darkness, we’ll see that sometimes the key to responding to the ripples of tragedy isn’t really about fixing the problem, but sitting with them in the midst of it instead.
January 27 Sometimes struggling through the darkness can feel a lot like floating out to sea. We feel hopeless, adrift, disconnected, and out of control. It leaves us looking for anything to hold us steady—an anchor to keep us from getting lost in the sea of darkness. And while we might hope that anchor would be God, sometimes tragedy leaves us wondering if God is even with us anymore. The apostle Paul had reason to feel the very same way. He faced hardship, suffering, and loss throughout his life and ministry, yet somehow managed to never lose his anchor of faith in God. As we look at what Paul tells us about finding faith in the midst of the darkness, we’ll see that there’s no amount of tragedy that can separate us from the God who loved us enough to experience it here on Earth alongside us.
Parents Here are some great resources to start and continue the conversation about this series and navigating crises in general: