An Edge Issue Night on Theology of the Body
Edge Night Outline
Goal of this Night
The goal of this Edge Night is to make the middle school youth aware that our bodies speak a language through our body language, facial expressions, and the way we present ourselves.
About this night
This Edge Night is adapted from Theology of the Body for Teen: Middle School Edition from Ascension Press written by Brian Butler, Jason Evert, and Colin and Aimee MacIver. Copyright © 2011 Ascension Press
This is an extraordinary resource for those of you wanting to do Theology of the Body with your middle school youth. It is not simply a discussion on sex and sexuality – it is a discussion of the whole person. The curriculum can be purchased at www.ascensionpress.com.
Edge Night at a Glance
“The human person, created in the image of God, is a being at once corporeal and spiritual…”(CCC 362). We are created body and soul – a visible body and an invisible soul. Often times we see our soul as being good and perfect, but our bodies as being bad and even sometimes sinful. However, our bodies are not valuable because of height, weight, color, etc., rather, the human body is good because in its union with the soul. Our bodies reflect the light of our souls; our souls give life to our bodies and reveal our true beauty. The language of our body helps to reveal the invisible part of ourselves – our souls. With our bodies, we convey our emotions, how we are feeling, as well as the health of our souls.
This Edge Night starts with a fun game of charades to illustrate the importance of our body language. The Proclaim will help the middle school youth understand that we are body and soul. The talk is a little bit longer than usual, but it presents great information that is all connected and important for the youth to know. During the Break, small groups will have an opportunity to discuss the teaching and create silent skits. The night will end with a closing prayer based on Psalm 139.
Before The Night
This would be a great opportunity for the entire Core Team to come together for some personal development. Discuss, as a team, what Theology of the Body is and what we can learn from it.
*From Theology of the Body for Teens: Middle School Edition. This is from the Parent’s Guide.
The Word (Spiritual)
Made Flesh (Physical)
When God became man, the Word made flesh; the God who is pure spirit took on a physical body. Indeed, God took on a fully human nature. Here is something that may surprise your middle schooler: Jesus did not skip puberty! He experienced adolescence within the context of his culture just as your middle schooler experiences adolescence within the context of our culture. Yet, because He was like us in all things but sin (see Hebrews 4:15), Jesus responded with perfectly ordered love in every situation. Your child’s struggles and temptations can be overcome through Jesus’ grace, which we receive in a special way when we meet Him in the sacraments.
The Theology of the Body gives us words to guide us to the truth of love, the truth of being human, the truth of being happy. He first points us to the One, Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Son who shows us what it means to be fully human. St. Irenaeus said, “The Son of God became human so that humans can be come sons [and daughters] of God.” This is the essence of Christianity, which means it is the essence of life: union with Christ and His Bride the Church.
Prayer for Your Child
Dear God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,You have given us [name of your child] and we are called to love and care for him/her with our whole body and soul. Help us to show [name of your child] who he/she truly is in You! Amen!
Questions for Your Middle School Youth:
- What does your Core Member do that tells you he/she is angry? What is the language of his/her body? What about when he/she is happy? What do I do when I am mad?
- When did I not pay attention to the language of your body when I should have? What can I do to be more sensitive to you?
- I know sometimes kids are mean, make fun of each other, and point out what appear to be flaws in someone else’s body. Who gets picked on in your class: Why? Are you ever made fun of? How does it make you feel?
- When you think of Jesus, do you think of Him as only God? What are some things that Jesus – who was totally human with a body – went through that you may never have considered before?
Around the room, put up pictures of people with varied facial expressions. If you find great pictures in a magazine or newspaper that also say a lot, those would be good to place around the room as well. Intersperse words such as “happy, sad, mad, funny, etc.”
As a Core Team, learn how to say, “I love you” and “Welcome” in sign language. As the youth enter the room, use the sign instead of talking as much as possible.
• Note cards with clues
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