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.

Y_01022022 - Living In Harmony

“Living in Harmony”

What do you think this means?

How can groups come together to LIVE in HARMONY?

Y_01022022 - Teens-parents-rich-poor

TEENS/PARENTS
RICH/POOR
DIFFERENT RACES
MEN/WOMEN
DEMOCRATS/REPUBLICANS

Today’s Bible reading speaks about the importance of living harmoniously!!

Pray

Loving God, thank you for the people in this group. Help us to know that we are your children and that you are always there for us. Amen.

Read Ephesians 1: 3-14

The letter was written to Christians who lived in Ephesus and in other communities in Asia Minor. The apostle Paul stayed in Ephesus for over two years with his friends Prisca and Aquila. Their house was a meeting place for the Christians who lived in Ephesus.

Ephesians 1:3-14
New International Version

Praise for Spiritual Blessings in Christ

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 

For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love

he[a] predestined us for adoption to sonship[b] through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 

to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 

In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 

that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, 

he[c] made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 

10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.

11 In him we were also chosen,[d] having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 

12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 

13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 

14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

Let’s Talk About It

 What kinds of emotions or feelings are expressed by these words? 

Why do you think the writer decided to start a letter to a group of Christians by describing God’s great plan and purpose?

Look again at verses 4–5.

 The writer of this letter tells us that God has had us in mind since
the beginning of the universe and has named us beloved children of God.

 How would these words be encouraging to the first Christians in Ephesus?

 How can these words be encouraging today?

The reading from Ephesians is a reminder of God’s blessings, our connection to Jesus
Christ, and our call to live faithful and harmonious lives. Verse 10 speaks about Jesus Christ
bringing together everything in heaven and on earth.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

 Gary confronts Julius about his lack of effort for the team’s sake. How does Julius  respond?

How is this confrontation the beginning of true community?

 What does this film say about the work of living harmoniously with others?

HOW CAN YOU CONTRIBUTE TO LIVING HARMONIOUSLY WITH SOMEONE OR SOMETHING IN YOUR LIFE?

PRAY

Loving God, may we go out into the world, knowing that we are your children. Open our hands to new ways of caring. Open our hearts to practice living in harmony with all creation. Amen

Ebony and Ivory by Paul Mc Cartney and Stevie Wonder

God Loves You Unconditionally

On this first Sunday following the Christmas season the church celebrates the baptism of Jesus

BAPTISM

Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist at the Jordan River, and this is a major event in the life of Jesus

The baptism tradition of Jesus’ time involved full immersion in a river or lake. Today different denominations have different rituals for performing baptism.

Do you know anything about your baptism?
Do you know how and where you were baptized?

What difference do you think baptism can make as you make choices about the direction of your life?

REMEMBER:  In our Confirmation Classes we explored what it means to be baptized and a member of the church.

If you participated in Confirmation classes, think about that experience and your discussion about baptism

PRAY

God, we gather here in your presence as your beloved children. Be with us as we open our hearts and minds to hear your voice. Amen

 Today’s Bible reading explores a time of blessing and affirmation for Jesus.

 

Luke 3:15–17, 21–22
New International Version

15 The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Messiah. 
16 John answered them all, “I baptize you with[a] water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with[b] the Holy Spirit and fire. 
17 His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”

The Baptism and Genealogy of Jesus

21 When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened 
22 and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

Definitions:

      • Messiah: “the anointed one,” who would free the people from Roman oppression.
      • “Untie his sandal”: the duty of a slave.
      • winnowing fork: harvesting tool used to toss grain into the air, separating it from the husk that blew away.
      • Chaff: the dry husk around the usable part of the grain.

Crowds of people came to hear this preacher John the Baptist and be baptized. John the Baptist tells people to repent of their sins and turn their lives around; then he baptizes them in the Jordan River.

 Why do you think people wanted to hear this preacher?

Re-read Luke 3:15–17.

How does John answer the question about whether he is the Messiah?

Who does John say that he is?

Re-read Luke 3:21–22

Imagine being at the Jordan River as you read Luke 3:21–22.  Think about the sights, sounds, and smells

Why do you think Jesus decided to be baptized along with everyone else?

 What was different about Jesus’ baptism?

 Do you think the other people saw the Holy Spirit as a dove and heard the voice? Why or why not?

Re-read Luke 3:22

How do you think Jesus felt as he heard these words?

 Why are these words so important to this story?

LEARNING ACTIVITIES

Respond to the questions at the bottom

Describe what Baptism signifies?

MEDITATION

Words of Meditation – “You are a beloved child of God”

Remember, these are words of affirmation

What Do you Think?

What difference can it make in your life to know that you are God’s beloved?

 Think about how you are God’s beloved in your daily life.

Think about the times when you feel unloved and let yourself hear God’s words of affirmation.

 

      1. Think about situations in which it might be difficult to believe that God loves you
      2. When these situations come up in your life learn to say some words of affirmation to yourself, such as, “I am a child of God. I’m God’s beloved.”
      3. Print these words on small piece of card stock to keep as reminders of God’s love.

 

CLOSING Prayer

God says, “You are my beloved . . . with you I am well pleased.” Go out into the world, carrying these words deep in your hearts

Y_01092022 - Closing Prayer

Signs of God’s Grace

REFLECT

Are there signs of things in your life that give you purpose?

Are there perhaps hidden meanings that you see in your dreams or some sign in your day that give you purpose?

In today’s Scripture lesson, the transformation of water to wine provides an extraordinary sign of God’s abundant grace.

SIGNS FROM GOD

Read the story aloud. What is the takeaway from this story?

PRAY

God, thank you for providing new opportunities to know your powerful presence. Amen

In this Scripture Jesus performs his first public miracle.

John 2: 1-11
New International Version

Jesus Changes Water Into Wine

On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. 

When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”

“Woman,[a] why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.”

His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.[b]

Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim.

Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.”  They did so, 

and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside 

10 and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.”

11 What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him.

IDENTIFY THE SIGNS

FROM EPHIPHANY (Matthew 2:1–12)
 TO
THE BAPTISM OF JESUS (Luke 3:15–17, 21–22)
TO
JESUS’ FIRST MIRACLE (John 2: 1-11)

WHAT WERE SOME OF THE SIGNS IN EACH OF THE ABOVE SCRIPTURES?

Respond to these questions from the Scripture:

How does the transformation of water into wine serve as a sign of extraordinary or ordinary grace?

What does the transformation signify about Jesus and his life and ministry?

What people in the story could be described as “transformed”?

 In what ways might the transformed people be signs of God’s love and grace

 

HOW CAN YOU BE A SIGN OF GOD’S GRACE?

By helping other people

When have you sensed God’s grace when you’ve helped someone in need?

How have you helped others?

How were you changed by serving others?

 What role does serving others have in your continued transformation as a sign of God’s grace?

Take the Challenge

Commit to three simple acts of helping others this week. Describe one of those acts and how it could help to signify God’s abundant grace for others.

 CLOSING

Ask youth to cup their hands together and imagine they are holding water. This water represents life, baptism, God’s call to ministry, and God’s gifts to each person. Encourage them to imagine that the water turns to wine, overflowing their hands, a sign of God’s abundant grace and gifts.

Think of a gift God has given them and how they use that gift to point to God’s amazing grace.

PRAY

God, give us opportunities to respond in grace-filled ways at home and school so that others may know your abundant grace. Amen

ENHANCEMENT

Bruce has suffered a horrible day and is looking for divine help.

Discuss comparisons between the movie and John 2:1–11.

What is God trying to tell Bruce through the signs?

Do the signs in the movie point to God’s abundant grace?

Why or why not?  Why do you think Bruce doesn’t recognize the signs?

WHAT DO YOU THINK IS YOUR PURPOSE IN LIFE?

Think of a word or phrase that could best describe your purpose in life in one or more of the boxes above.

Today’s Scripture passage tells how Jesus understood the purpose of his life.

PRAY

Holy One, tune our ears to listen to your voice. Work in our hearts as we speak and hear one another today.  Amen

After the baptism by John the Baptist, Jesus was led into the desert wilderness by God’s Spirit for 40 days where he was tempted by the devil. When he left the wilderness, he went to Nazareth, his hometown. This story begins at Luke 4:14.

 

READ

Luke 4:14-21
New International Version

Jesus Rejected at Nazareth

14 Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside. 

15 He was teaching in their synagogues, and everyone praised him.

16 He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read, 

17 and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:

18 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me
    to proclaim good news to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,

19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”[a]

20 Then he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on him. 

21 He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

Read Luke 4:18–19 again, to discover what Jesus was saying about his calling and ministry. Read each part of each verse and answer this after each verse:

What do these words tell you about Jesus’ ministry or purpose?

WATCH

Let’s Think

Look again at the first activity we did for today and review/remember what you said was your Purpose in Life.

How would Jesus have described his purpose in life?

  How might you re-think or re-phrase what you said is your purpose in life to be more like or to take part in the purpose that Jesus described for himself?

Let’s Write

Based on your answers to the previous Questions, WRITE a Mission Statement for yourself (only to be seen by you unless you choose to share it with someone).

A mission statement shows what a group or a person believes and how it hopes to act on those beliefs.

What does your Mission Statement say about who you want to be as a follower of Jesus Christ?

 How can you put this Mission Statement into practice in your life?

 How do you see your PURPOSE in life based on your own personal Mission Statement?

PRAY

The Lord God’s spirit is upon me because the Lord has anointed God wants me to bring good news to people who are poor, to bind up those who are brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom to prisoners, to proclaim the year when God looks kindly upon us.  Amen

Why do you think Jesus was being excluded/pushed away?

How do you think it made him feel when others didn’t understand him?

What are examples of people being excluded from groups today? 

 

 Listen for Jesus’ handling of being in and out in today’s Scripture passage.

Pray

God of Creation, be with us as we continue to grow in our understanding of you and the life you are calling us to lead. Amen

Luke 4:21-30
New International Version

21 He began by saying to them, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”

22 All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his lips. “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” they asked.

23 Jesus said to them, “Surely you will quote this proverb to me: ‘Physician, heal yourself!’ And you will tell me, ‘Do here in your hometown what we have heard that you did in Capernaum.’”

24 “Truly I tell you,” he continued, “no prophet is accepted in his hometown. 

25 I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land. 

26 Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon. 

27 And there were many in Israel with leprosy[a] in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed—only Naaman the Syrian.”

28 All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this.

29 They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him off the cliff.

30 But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way.

LET’S TALK ABOUT IT

What do you think happened to make this friendly crowd so angry by verse 28?

What was the point of Jesus mentioning the stories of miracles performed by the prophets Elijah and Elisha?

 Why would the stories make people angry?

What did the crowd want Jesus to do?

How did Jesus handle being excluded/pushed away?

 

Jesus was being rejected because the crowd did not understand entertaining them with his powers was not what God intended for him to do. Jesus always sought to do the Right Thing.

Use this guide to help you make a commitment this week to seek not to exclude anyone before you try to understand them and then be tolerant of differences.

GOD’S LOVE IS AVAILABLE TO EVERYONE!

PRAY

Loving God, thank you for our time together this morning. Help us remember to seek ways to include others, and to trust that we are never excluded from your love.

Amen

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