CURRENT EVENT – DECEMBER 25, 2011
Session Text: Luke 2:1-20
Session Title: The Nativity
An Inspirational Teacher
Patty Berge, who teaches earth science and biology at East Chapel Hill High School in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City school district, was recently chosen to be the 2011-2012 Teacher of the Year. Berge will go on to enter the state and regional Teacher of the Year competitions for the next year, and she also won several prizes, including a check for $1,000. Her principal, Eileen Tully, said, “What’s nice is that Patty is a very humble person. She does not draw attention to herself. She takes great joy and pride in her work, and she works hard.”
Berge was selected as Teacher of the Year by her colleagues at the high school through anonymous nomination and secret ballot. Her co-workers noticed her hard work and enthusiasm. Berge also has an impressive website, where she posts information for her students, letters to parents, and games to review lessons. People also talk about her warm personality and that it is obvious that she cares about each one of her students. Since Berge believes her students can be successful, this helps her students believe they can be successful too.
Berge graduated from the College of New Jersey, and she also has a master’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Before she taught at the high school, Berge taught middle school for seven years.
Dan E. Way, “Science teacher named best of the year,” HeraldSun.com
Connection to the Lesson
When Patty Berge was named Teacher of the Year for her district, people said that the qualities that led them to pick her for this award included her humility and enthusiasm. Although Berge does not brag about her work, people notice it because she is dedicated to inspiring her students. Because Berge is able to help children learn on their level and in a way that makes sense to them, she is extremely effective. The combination of joy in teaching, passion, humility, and understanding is making an impact on the way her students learn. One of the most important qualities of a good teacher is to also be a humble life learner, to continue to try to gain more insight to use in everyday teaching.
In the story of Jesus’ birth told in Luke’s Gospel, we see the role reversal that God used to bring the Savior into the world. While God could have easily sent his son to a famous family already on a throne, Jesus was born to a poor, humble young family in a manger instead. Although the Roman government could have announced that Caesar was their king, the angels sang a joyful song of celebration to lowly shepherds that the Son of God had arrived. In our own culture, there are people with massive amounts of power in the world, as well as those who seem to have no voice. People with influence and status stand in sharp contrast to the most vulnerable and marginalized.
As we celebrate Christmas today, we have a choice about how we will respond to Jesus’ birth. Will we approach the manger with pride or humility? We can come to see the king with entitlement or gratitude, with selfishness or with a willingness to share the story with others. The vulnerability of Christ as a tiny baby reminds us that we can be open and humble before God as well. Thankfully, God wants to come into our hearts in a new way this season. Let us rejoice and worship the Savior who has come for all people!
Questions for Discussion
• How was the way Christ entered the world different from how people expected him to be born?
• Why do you think God chose such a humble birth for the Savior of the world?
• How can you share the Christmas story in new ways this season?
Stephanie Ezell teaches reading at Plainview Elementary School in Ardmore, Oklahoma, and also writes missions and Sunday school curriculum for adults and children. Her husband, Leonard, is senior pastor of Northwest Baptist Church, and they have a four-year-old son. She enjoys traveling, exercising, reading, and spending time with friends and family.
Session Text: Luke 2:1-20
Session Title: The Nativity
1 In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. 2 This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. 3 All went to their own towns to be registered. 4 Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. 5 He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. 7 And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. 8 In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see–I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: 11 to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, 14 “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!” 15 When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. 17 When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; 18 and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. 19 But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. 20 The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.