Youth Sunday School

Feasting On The Word

Feasting on the Word provides  opportunities for youth to explore
their personal and communal identity in Jesus Christ.  Students will learn to approach God’s word in each lesson using the following:

      • What is Important to know?
      • Where is God in these words?
      • So what does this mean in our lives?
      • Now what is God’s word leading us to do?

Biblical stories will come alive in new and creative ways. In response to God’s amazing, unconditional love, youth will be challenged to put their faith into action as they grow to understand themselves as Christ’s disciples. Each session includes a media connection section that ties the week’s Scripture passage to a film, song, or Web site.

Prayer

O God, help me understand what it means to give wholly to you and to others.

Amen.

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You Choose?!

If you could choose between two gifts for you that are placed in front of you, one is big and the other is small, which would you choose? Why?

Do you think there is a relationship between the size of a gift and its value?

 Your Gifts  

What is the best gift you have ever received?
What are the best gifts you have ever given?
What made those gifts so special?

CAN YOU OFFER THESE GIFTS?

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Why are these Gifts Appreciated by Others?

Pray

O God, thank you for gathering us together to learn from your Word.

 Amen.

Chapters 11 and 12 of the Gospel of Mark include many teachings given by Jesus in the temple in Jerusalem. This happens just before Jesus is arrested, and Jesus spent that time teaching the crowds and trying to help his disciples prepare for what was about to happen. The story begins with some rather harsh words from Jesus about some of the Jewish scholars.

Mark 12: 38-44
New International Version

Warning Against the Teachers of the Law

38 As he taught, Jesus said, “Watch out for the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, 39 and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. 40 They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely.”

The Widow’s Offering

41 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.

43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”

What does Jesus notice about many of the givers?
What does he notice about the offering of the widow?
 What does Jesus point out as the main difference between the two kinds of offering t many of the givers?

Some of the money from the temple offerings was meant to help look after widows and orphans. Unfortunately, some religious leaders misused their positions and took advantage of the people who were poor rather than helping to care for them. In pointing out the widow’s offering Jesus might have been saying that it wasn’t so much the quantity of her giving that counted, but the quality. She gave the prescribed amount even though she didn’t have much to live on.

Think About It

 Think about the message of the story of the widow’s gift related to your own life.
We sometimes hear the phrase, “It’s not the size of the gift that matters. It’s what’s in the heart.”

  What does the above statement mean?

 Who are the “widows” in our community who teach us about what it means to give? Who are people that you know that give unselfishly?

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Another definition of STEWARDSHIP can be:

“Using all the gifts that God has given us to do the work God is calling us to do.”

 HOW ABOUT YOU?

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What are some of your Talents that you can share to help others?

  How can your Talents be used in STEWARDSHIP to do God’s work?

Let’s Watch some STEWARDSHIP Examples

How Will You Be a Good Steward for God?

 Use this as a guide:

This day I will give a gift of time to . . .
This week I will give a gift of talent to . . .
This month I will give a gift of money to . . .

 Prayer

God of love, remind us of what’s really important. In Christ’s name.

 Amen

REFLECT

What does it mean to have a foundation for a house, building, or in your life?
What is the purpose of a foundation?
Is a foundation usually strong?
What would it take to make a structure strong?

(THINK ABOUT A BUILDING YOU ARE FAMILIAR WITH)

Do you know of any contemporary structures or building that seem strong but that were destroyed or almost destroyed?

(Ravaged by hurricanes, floods, or tornadoes and the World Trade Center towers destroyed on 9/11/01 or almost destroyed on January 6, 2021)

What can destroy a foundation in a building or structure?
What would happen if there were no foundation?

PRAYER

Generous and graceful God, focus our hearts and minds on you as we gather around your holy Word. Amen.

Today’s Scripture passage is about the temple in Jerusalem that Jesus’ disciples seemed to think was indestructible

SCRIPTURE:  Mark 13:1–8

The Destruction of the Temple and Signs of the End Times

13 As Jesus was leaving the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!”

“Do you see all these great buildings?” replied Jesus. “Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.”

As Jesus was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John and Andrew asked him privately, “Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that they are all about to be fulfilled?”

Jesus said to them: “Watch out that no one deceives you. Many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and will deceive many. When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come. Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places, and famines. These are the beginning of birth pains.

Background Information about the Temple in the Scripture

      • The Jerusalem temple was the center of Jewish worship.
      • It was originally built in 953 b.c., destroyed in 587 b.c., rededicated in 515 b.c., and expanded beginning in 20 b.c.
      • The temple was still under construction during Jesus’ life on earth.
      • The design for the temple came from God who revealed the plans for the temple to King Solomon.
      • The temple was both grand and ornate.
      • Jewish people believed that as long as the temple foundations stood strong, God’s promises and protection would hold

This Scripture is an apocalyptic writing meaning, it talks about endings

IF YOU WERE THERE AT THE TEMPLE FROM MOUNT OLIVE  .  .  .

Imagine

Read Mark 13:1–2 above and then imagine what it would have been like to be present with Jesus at the temple?

Read Mark 13:3–8 aloud and imagine what it would have been like to look at the temple in the distance as Jesus talked?

??? Questions About the Disciples Conversation with Jesus???

Why do you think the disciples wanted to know when the end of the temple would occur and what signs to watch for?

What signs did Jesus give them?

What is Jesus’ advice to his followers (verse 7)?

History of the Period: In a.d. 70 (about forty years after Jesus’ death and resurrection), the Jewish people rebelled against the Roman Empire. The Roman army destroyed much of Jerusalem and the temple. Imagine together how this might have seemed like the end of the world to people living in Jerusalem.

Are there things happening in the world today that might seem to some people like the end of the world?
What things going on in the world upset or worry you the most?
To what extent do Jesus’ words in this passage reassure you?
How does claiming Jesus and his teachings form a firm foundation for your life? How can you through your words and actions fulfill God’s promises for you?

LEARNING ACTIVITIES

 Illustrate in either words or drawing

YOUR FOUNDATION

What is the foundation of your life, a foundation that cannot be destroyed?
 What does it take to make your foundation strong?
Is Jesus a foundation in your life?

CLOSING

    • Identify one way in which you can claim God’s promises to you in the coming week.
    • Identify a specific time and place in which you can put the idea into action.

 REMEMBER: “As children of God, keep your focus on Jesus Christ—the one who is to come—as you seek to be a sign of God’s loving presence in the world.”

MUSIC CONNECTION

How do the lyrics to this song connect with Mark 13:1–8?
 How can the trials in life distract us from the blessing that comes through Jesus Christ?

PROVIDE SINGLE WORDS FOR WHAT IT MEANS TO BE KING?
WHAT MOTIVATES SOMEONE TO BE KING?
WHAT KIND OF KING WAS JESUS?
IS JESUS A DIFFERENT KIND OF KING?

 Today’s Scripture passage introduces us to a king motivated by the power of love

PRAY

O God most high! Everlasting Lord, mighty and lifted up! Grant to us your Holy Spirit, that our hearts might be lifted up. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

*History of the Period – this Bible story is from the Gospel of John. In the time of Jesus, the Roman Empire ruled Jesus’ homeland of Judea. The Roman emperor appointed Pontius Pilate to be the governor of Judea. It was his job to collect taxes for the Romans, oversee building projects, and maintain law and order. Pilate had complete power over everyone in Judea and an army to back him up. It was also his responsibility to watch for signs of rebellion against the Romans. As today’s Bible story begins, Jesus has been arrested by Jewish religious leaders and brought to Pilate. They accused Jesus of claiming to be the king of the Jew

John 18: 31 -37

33 Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”

34 “Is that your own idea,” Jesus asked, “or did others talk to you about me?”

35 “Am I a Jew?” Pilate replied. “Your own people and chief priests handed you over to me. What is it you have done?”

36 Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.”

37 “You are a king, then!” said Pilate.

Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.”

Read and Focus on John 18:33–37.

What kind of king and kingdom was Pilate talking about?
What kind of king and kingdom was Jesus talking about?

LEARNING ACTIVITY

KING/QUEEN FOR A DAY

Think about the dimensions of two kinds of kings:

  1. A King/Queen who loves power
  2. A King/Queen who uses his power for love.

Ask half of the participants to make a list and describe what a King/Queen would do as ruler of the world guided by the POWER OF LOVE. Ask the other half to make a list of what a King/Queen would do as the ruler of the world if guided by the LOVE OF POWER and when finished read each list aloud.

      1. What characterizes the decisions your group made according to the power of love? The love of power?
      2. In your opinion, do world leaders tend to make decisions according to the power of love or to the love of power?
      3. What evidence do you have to support your opinion? What steps could we take to help elect a leader (in church, community, country) who is guided by the power of love?

MUSIC CONNECTION

“King Jesus” by the Oak Ridge Boys
(Lyrics below)

All the armies of the world will someday gather
and they’ll pass before the great reviewing stand
And they’ll beat their swords and weapons into plowshares
and the Prince of Peace shall give the last command

When King Jesus comes to live with us again
He will show His righteous love to every man
Wars and strife will all be passed
there’ll be peace on earth at last
When King Jesus comes to live with us again

Unobscured the sun will drive away the shadows
At the dawning of that great eternal day
and there’ll be no sounds of crying in the ghetto
for all grief and pain and death shall pass away

When King Jesus comes to live with us again
He will show His righteous love to every man
Wars and strife will all be passed
there’ll be peace on earth at last
When King Jesus comes to live with us again

Repeat When King Jesus comes to live with us again
He will show His righteous love to every man
Wars and strife will all be passed
there’ll be peace on earth at last
When King Jesus comes to live with us again

Think About These Questions related to the lyrics of the song:

Which phrase of the song gives you the most hope?
Which phrase of the song is most different from how leaders usually lead?
Which phrase of the song gives you suggestions for how you might follow Jesus?

CLOSING

As the leader, say each line below and have participants repeat after you:

Lead us, O God,
to embrace your kingdom
of love, justice, and peace.
Keep us faithful in your service
until Christ comes in final victory.
Amen

PRAYER

God of love may your message of hope resonate in us as we navigate our world today.

Amen.

Today’s Scripture Jeremiah 33: 14-16, offers a message of hope.

Jeremiah was one of God’s prophets or messengers. He lived about 600 years before
Jesus was born. He lived and worked in Jerusalem.

READ: Jeremiah 33:14-16
New International Version

14 “‘The days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will fulfill the good promise I made to the people of Israel and Judah.
15 “‘In those days and at that time
I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David’s line; he will do what is just and right in the land.
16 In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. This is the name by which it[a] will be called: The Lord Our Righteous Savior.’

What Do You Think?

What is God promising the people who are living in exile in Babylon?

Jeremiah warned God’s people that if they did not change their ways, a foreign army would conquer the nation of Judah. The people worshiped other gods. They did not treat one another with justice or respect. Their leaders behaved in ways that showed they distrusted God.

The people did not change, and Jeremiah’s words came true. The Babylonian army destroyed Jerusalem and the temple and forced many citizens of Jerusalem to go into exile in Babylon.

REMEMBER

What did God tell Jeremiah in our Scripture for today that helped them when bad things happened?

Watch the Video to remind yourself.

How can Jeremiah’s hopeful message bring justice to people today?

LISTEN

Is there a phrase from this song that has meaning for you?

In what ways does this song connect with the message about Hope found in Jeremiah 33?

How will you use the Hope that God promises us, that he will take care of us?

 Will you worry less? Will you Pray more? Will you trust God just as Jeremiah did?

REMEMBER

Follow the light of hope that comes from God’s promised justice.

 Amen

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