We started out by talking about Christmas traditions, and how, at least some of, the traditions tie back into the Christmas story.
Then we sang "Away in a Manger" (so we talked about how Jesus wasn't born in a fancy hospital, or even a house... but a cave) and "Angels We Have Heard on High." Before singing that last one, we went to the slide with "Gloria in excelsis deo!" I asked the students if any of them wanted to guess what language it is. One girl guessed Spanish, which I thought was a pretty good guess, so I said, "Good guess! But no. Older than Spanish." So then one of the boys guessed Portuguese. Eventually I explained that it was Latin, and roughly it means "Glory to God in the highest!" (which then tied into when the angels visit the shepherds).
Because here in Taiwan religion is so localized (gods literally reside in whatever temple they're currently at in many cases), I often find that my students believe that God lives in America, speaks only English, and really only cares about Americans. So, before reading the Christmas story this evening, we started by looking at a map of the Roman Empire. Jesus wasn't born the U.S. or any part of any of the Americas for that matter.I pointed to a spot on the map and asked if anyone knew what that country was/where Jesus was born. One of the senior high girls in the back answered, "Israel" and one of the boys in the front added, "Bethlehem." God knows all languages and cares about all people, that's why He sent the gift of His Son at Christmas.
We did have a lot to accomplish tonight, so we read the Christmas story in Chinese only. But I asked some questions or made some comments as we went along, which Barb translated into Chinese as necessary.
Then it was on to making cards!
因 今 天 在 大 衛 的 城 裡 ， 為 你 們 生 了 救 主 ， 就 是 主 基 督 。 你 們 要 看 見 一 個 嬰 孩 ， 包 著 布 ， 臥 在 馬 槽 裡 ， 那 就 是 記 號 了 。忽 然 ， 有 一 大 隊 天 兵 同 那 天 使 讚 美 神 說 ：在 至 高 之 處 榮 耀 歸 與 神 ！ 在 地 上 平 安 歸 與 他 所 喜 悅 的 人 （ 有 古 卷 作 ： 喜 悅 歸 與 人 ） ！路 加 福 音 2:11-14