As students join the group time, divide your whiteboard into two sections. Create headers by writing the words “Possibilities” and “Impossibilities.”
Mention a few things that are “possibilities” but not yet “realities” in our world today. Write down any ideas students call out that are feasible although not yet part of society under the “Possibilities” header. After students have come up with as many things as they can, assure them that this is a hard concept and it is okay if they weren’t able to provide more. (Provide your own ideas if necessary; examples might be sending astronauts to Mars, a phone chip that can be installed in the ear replacing the need for a cell phone, hover cars, solar-powered cars, everyone having their own personal robot assistant, underwater cities, etc.)
Next, have students think of things that are “impossibilities.” For example, eliminating the need for healthy humans to consume food and drink and still live or for people to be able to fly without any mechanism but only by flapping their arms, etc. (This also is a difficult concept, so allow students a few minutes to come up with ideas before finishing this introductory activity.) If students mention things that fall in between “Possibilities” and “Impossibilities,” create a separate section and label that area of the whiteboard with a question mark. Some ideas might be time travel or mind control (using your thoughts to control another human being), etc. Allow for creativity and have fun.
Mention to students that some things that people one hundred years ago would have put under “Impossibilities” are now reality such as the Internet or seeing the people with whom you are communicating on the phone. We feel today that the items we listed under “Impossibilities” are just that…impossible, yet, who knows in another hundred years if that will be the case! A lot can change.
We’re going to watch a video about six people who overcame impossible circumstances to find success and happiness and achieve their goals. As you watch, think about whose story impacts you the most. We’ll share our answers when we are done watching.
Invite students to watch the following video clip [6:53].
BEATING THE ODDS | 6 Stories That Prove Anything is Possible
Invite students to share about which story impacted them the most. You may need to refresh them on the stories: the dancer who lost her leg, the boy who plays high school basketball, the blind pole-vaulter, the boy who swam from San Francisco to Alcatraz, the man with cerebral palsy who runs competitive races with his dad, and the gymnast who lost her leg to leukemia yet competes with a prosthetic leg.
- Which story seemed the most “impossible” to you? (Answers will vary. Invite various students to share.)
- What things in your life seem impossible? (Be prepared to share your own answer to get this question going. Explain that seemingly impossible situations don’t have to be about physical feats or overcoming disabilities. Some seemingly impossible situations might center around divorce/broken family, a parent without a job, being bullied, passing a class they are struggling in, etc.)
Today we’re going to talk about how nothing is impossible with God. The story of how Jesus came to be born is full of impossibilities in the world’s eyes, but was possible in God’s large plan. Let’s continue on to learn more about this concept.
Looking for Steps 2 & 3?
You can find Steps 2 and 3 in your teacher’s guide; your Step 4 appears below. To purchase a teacher's guide, please visit: Bible-in-Life or Echoes
Have your students think about the following questions related to today’s study and as they begin the Advent season. Some questions that are often asked this time of year are: “How can Jesus be both God and a human?” and “Why do we celebrate ‘God with us/Emanuel’? (Matthew 1:23). Invite students who want to try explaining what it means to celebrate The Incarnation to do so.
As we saw in today’s lesson Scripture, Luke 1:26-39, Mary was visited by the angel Gabriel who brought her the news that she, a virgin, was pregnant with the Son of God. Mary’s response was, “How will this be since I am a virgin?” That’s impossible! The angel explained that her miraculous pregnancy was possible through the Holy Spirit but he also told her of her much older relative, Elizabeth, who was in her sixth month of pregnancy. Also an impossibility! Mary’s answer, “I am the Lord’s servant,” showed that she believed the impossible to be possible. Mary trusted God in her impossibility and believed Him.
Have students get into pairs or small groups of four or less to talk about an impossible situation they may be facing—this can be one they mentioned earlier, or something different. Invite students to encourage each other that they can face these “impossibilities” with God who makes all things possible. Although their problem may not disappear, they can have assurance that God is able to do anything and He promises to be with them through all things (“God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” [Hebrews 13:5b].)
While still in their small groups, hand a piece of paper and a pen to each one encouraging them to write a plan for making their impossibility possible with God this week. For example, inviting a non-Christian friend in my first period class to a special event this month at church or trying not to be upset this weekend when I see my stepmom but instead be loving and open to having her in my life, etc. Have students take these plans and put them on a dresser, desk, or mirror where they will see them often. Have group members follow up by praying for each other this next week; you may want to have them exchange contact information so that they can encourage one another over the next few days.
- “Nothing is impossible with God.” How will this knowledge change your life this week? (If students want to share, allow them to do so as time allows.)
Close in prayer encouraging your students to trust in God’s ability to do the impossible.
Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary – Incarnation
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