Gracie Campbell — Staff Writer
On the first Friday of December, the small groups at Dordt University gathered to kick off the Advent season. Meeting in one of the lecture halls on campus, around 50 students gathered to celebrate advent by watching the Christmas episode of “The Chosen.”
Grace Winnes, a junior Social Work major and small group leader, enjoyed the opportunity to gather and celebrate Christ’s birth.
“[The] heartbeat behind why we did it was to have everybody to come together and see the broader scope…there’s a lot of people who are focused on the same things you are,” Winnes said.
The episode focused on Mary recounting Christ’s birth, beginning with the walk to Bethlehem and the search for space in an inn and ending with the Savior’s birth. The episode shifted between the birth of Christ and Mary a few years after Christ’s death and resurrection. Mary Magdalene visits Mary Christ’s mother, who sends her to Luke as he compiles accounts for his gospel.
“The reason why we chose to watch the Chosen… has to do a lot with the advent season [as] we’re anticipating Jesus,” Winnes said. “At the end of finals and everything stressed out, it’s good to come and think about preparing your heart for Jesus in this time too.”
After eating a dinner of pizza from the Grille while watching the episode, students gathered around to discuss the show and apply it to their hearts this Christmas season. Following a list of questions, the small groups looked at the themes brought out in the show, read a passage of scripture, and meditated on the importance of the advent season. One student, freshman nursing major Amanda Johnson, enjoyed this part of the event the most.
“My favorite part was probably the discussion and connecting between people and just hearing everyone’s thoughts. I like connecting in that way,” Johnson said. But she also appreciated the event overall. “Chances are, I wouldn’t have had a chance to reflect and then I would’ve gone home, and it would’ve been like December 20 or 21 and [I would have] said, ‘Oh, Christmas is in three days, Jesus came into the world, like what have I just been doing?’”
Winnes agreed with Johnson, appreciating the insights those around her drew from the episode.
“It was so fun to be able to talk to the two people I was sitting with and hear their thoughts. We talked about the passage in Luke which was so good,” Winnes said.
After the discussion ended with prayer, some students stuck around to fellowship with one another. Music played as lively conversation and enjoyment continued for a while after the event had technically ended as students applied the joy of the current season to their nights.
“Food and fellowship are always sweet.” Winnes said, glad to have celebrated the coming season intentionally as a group.
Small groups will continue to meet this advent season, discussing their respective topics with Christ’s birth and his second coming as a consistent theme.