That was the common refrain at the Confirmation retreat while we talked about what made Jesus important.
This was very funny (and a little annoying) to me.
Why, you ask?
well, because the Bible Study unit we're working on is about Jesus' LIFE and TEACHING!
I finally told my group: Jesus died for 6 hours. He lived for 33 years. He was resurrected and has been hanging out "at the right hand of the Father" for about 1980 years (ish). And the only thing you can talk about is that he died for your sins? Which sins are you even thinking of?
It's great that the confirmands have a really good sense of forgiveness--I love that they feel forgiven and loved and covered by grace. What we're working on is seeing that Jesus LIVED for us and ROSE for us, not just died. (come on, Romans 8, come on!! You can help us!)
The group planning our worship at the retreat (which included communion) decided they wanted to do a baptism/footwashing-like forgiveness ceremony. During the silent prayer of confession, everyone used a red dry-erase marker to write a sin (or a reminder of a sin or other thing they feel guilty about) on the palm of their hand. We then passed around a bowl of water and each person washed the hand of the person next to them, saying the words "you are forgiven." (the text was Matthew 18.21-22, about forgiving someone 77 times, and also the forgive-and-you-will-be-forgiven thing.) At the end we said the "usual" declaration of forgiveness, ending with "know that you are forgiven and be at peace"--and then passed the peace. We sang Jesus Loves Me, then had communion together. It was actually a really beautiful 20-minute worship experience. I am really proud of each group planning devotions/worship and that we set aside 10-20 minutes three times during a 24 hour retreat. The youth seemed to really enjoy it too. I've had lots of positive feedback from parents already. Impressive since I just sent really tired kids home 13 hours before the Sunday thing started!
Other memorable moments...let's see....being asked if rock-climbing would be okay during their nature walks. when the response was no, being asked if "stone climbing" would be okay instead. ha! ....finding out that one of the youth stole the pinto beans of another youth (we were playing a game with them) in order to win....watching eighth graders get to know each other better....watching two people dive for the last cookie, both screeching as only teenage girls can as they grabbed for it (the cookies were REALLY good!)....having one of the moms drop the bag containing 2 dozen eggs (to be used to make breakfast) as we were packing the cars to leave....me, wishing that I had stuck to my original plan to have a two-night retreat.
and now, worn out from that and worship with Amazing Grace (twice) and youth Sunday planning and a baby shower and some time missing my mom really a lot, I must sleep. I was trying to stay awake until 9.30. My computer clock says 9.34. It's time for bed.