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.

REAL WORSHIP

What common themes or ideas did you hear in each other’s answers to the questions in each block?

What surprised you about what others had to say?

Prayer:

Come close to us, O God, as we study your Word and seek to grow in faith and community. Amen

JOHN 12: 1 – 8
(New International Version)

12:1 Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead.
Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him.
Then Mary took about a pint[a] of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, 
“Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.[b]
He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.
“Leave her alone,” Jesus replied. “It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial.
You will always have the poor among you,[c] but you will not always have me.”

Generous

             Lazarus

Martha, Judas

Mary,

                       Worship

Bold acts of worship that express deep and

extravagant devotion to God

R E F L E C T

Tell us about the bold acts of the main characters in the Scripture:

MarthaLazarusMaryJudas

Which characters play the most important roles in this passage?

What hints about Jesus’ future are given?

Of these, what surprises you—and does not surprise you

(What is “nard”?)

A costly perfumed ointment that would

have been imported from the Himalayan Mountains of Asia.

Why do you think Mary does what she does?

What details in the passage illustrate the depth of her devotion to Jesus?

 In what ways do Mary’s actions combine worship and generosity?

Do you think Judas was beyond the saving grasp of Jesus? Why or why not?

Do you think that Lazarus being raised from the dead worked toward giving glory to God and increasing the faith of Jesus’ followers?

 What do you think Jesus means when he says, “You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me” (verse 8)?

If Jesus came to save the lost, who do you think in this gospel story is more lost than anyone?

GENEROUS WORSHIP

After you answer the questions on the Resource Sheet describe your vision of what “Generous Worship” or  “Generous Deeds” are?

LIST 10 CREATIVE WAYS TO SHOW YOUR LOVE FOR GOD.

CLOSING/REFLECTION

Following Jesus means acting as Jesus acted toward others, reflect on how
YOU MIGHT DO THIS IN YOUR LIFE.

Prayer: Gracious God, because you loved us, you sent Jesus to walk among us and show us the way. Inspire us—by your Spirit, through the examples of Mary, and through the Marys in our own lives—to grasp our need for you and to give you our devotion. Amen

Palm/Passion Sunday

Did You know?

Palm/Passion Sunday” marks the beginning of Holy Week. The church remembers THIS as it lifts up the last days of Jesus’ life before his death and resurrection. On Palm Sunday, Scripture IN THIS LESSON tells us that Jesus enters Jerusalem after teaching in the area around the city. He knows that in Jerusalem he will have to face his enemies. But the story begins with a celebration.

 Leadership

(This week’s Bible reading explores the kind of leadership that Jesus offered during his life and leading up to his death.)

 What are some characteristics of a LEADER?

List some of these characteristics.

How did Jesus lead and teach?

Prayer: O God, open our minds to understand more deeply what waits to be discovered today. Amen.

Luke 19:28–40
(New International Version)

Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King (Read aloud)

28 After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 
29 As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, 
30 “Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 
31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it.’”
32 Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. 
33 As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?”
34 They replied, “The Lord needs it.”
35 They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. 
36 As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road.
37 When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:
38 “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”[a“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
39 Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”
40 “I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”

      • What does the people’s reaction say about the kind of leader they wanted Jesus to be?
      • What do Jesus’ actions say about the kind of leader he saw himself to be?

(This part of the Scripture takes place after Jesus has been arrested by those who were afraid of his popularity and did not like his teaching.)

LUKE 23: 1-49
(New International Version)

23:1 Then the whole assembly rose and led him off to Pilate. 
And they began to accuse him, saying, “We have found this man subverting our nation. He opposes payment of taxes to Caesar and claims to be Messiah, a king.”
So Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?”  “You have said so,” Jesus replied.
Then Pilate announced to the chief priests and the crowd, “I find no basis for a charge against this man.”
But they insisted, “He stirs up the people all over Judea by his teaching. He started in Galilee and has come all the way here.”
On hearing this, Pilate asked if the man was a Galilean. 
When he learned that Jesus was under Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at that time.
When Herod saw Jesus, he was greatly pleased, because for a long time he had been wanting to see him. From what he had heard about him, he hoped to see him perform a sign of some sort. 
He plied him with many questions, but Jesus gave him no answer. 
10 The chief priests and the teachers of the law were standing there, vehemently accusing him. 
11 Then Herod and his soldiers ridiculed and mocked him. Dressing him in an elegant robe, they sent him back to Pilate. 
12 That day Herod and Pilate became friends—before this they had been enemies.
13 Pilate called together the chief priests, the rulers and the people, 
14 and said to them, “You brought me this man as one who was inciting the people to rebellion. I have examined him in your presence and have found no basis for your charges against him. 
15 Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us; as you can see, he has done nothing to deserve death. 
16 Therefore, I will punish him and then release him.” 
[17] [a]
18 But the whole crowd shouted, “Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us!” 
19 (Barabbas had been thrown into prison for an insurrection in the city, and for murder.)
20 Wanting to release Jesus, Pilate appealed to them again. 
21 But they kept shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”
22 For the third time he spoke to them: “Why? What crime has this man committed? I have found in him no grounds for the death penalty. Therefore I will have him punished and then release him.”
23 But with loud shouts they insistently demanded that he be crucified, and their shouts prevailed. 
24 So Pilate decided to grant their demand. 
25 He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, the one they asked for, and surrendered Jesus to their will.

The Crucifixion of Jesus

26 As the soldiers led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. 
27 A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him. 
28 Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. 
29 For the time will come when you will say, ‘Blessed are the childless women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ 
30 Then
“‘they will say to the mountains, “Fall on us!”
and to the hills, “Cover us!”’[b]
31 For if people do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”
32 Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. 
33 When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. 
34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”[c] And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
35 The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered Messiah, the Chosen One.”
36 The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar 
37 and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.”
38 There was a written notice above him, which read: this is the king of the jews.
39 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”
40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 
41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”
42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.[d]
43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

The Death of Jesus

44 It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, 
45 for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 
46 Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”[e] When he had said this, he breathed his last.
47 The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.” 
48 When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. 
49 But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.

Reread Luke 23:1–12 and Luke 23:13–25 and respond to these questions:

What does Jesus’ response to Pilate mean when Pilate asks him if he is the king of the Jews?
D
o you Think Pilate wanted Jesus to die? Why or why not?

(Read each verse on the sheet)

Jesus is one who rebels against, resists, subverts, and disturbs anything that oppresses or hurts God’s people.

 How should we Christians today, as Jesus’ disciples, follow his kind of leadership and kingship?

R E f L E C T

Reread Luke 23:32–34 and identify how Jesus offered forgiveness instead of anger and hate.

Think about things for which you would like to ask forgiveness.

Spend a few moments in quiet prayer, asking for help to you practice forgiveness as Jesus did.


CLOSING

HOLY WEEK CELEBRATION

Prayer:

Leader: O God, be our companion as we follow Jesus into this Holy Week.

(All: Jesus, remember me.)

Leader: Give us courage for the hard times we meet.

(All: Jesus, remember me.)

Leader: Fill us with caring for your world and the people in it.

(All: Jesus, remember me. Amen.)

 

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Background: Harry Potter is an 11-year-old wizard at the Hogwarts School. During their first year at the school, Harry and his friends, Ron and Hermione, discover that something suspicious is going on. In their attempt to prevent the philosopher’s stone from being stolen, the three friends face a series of obstacles.

      • Why do you think Ron decides to sacrifice himself?
      • What does this story, and the story of Jesus’ sacrifice, say about the cost of love?

WATCH THIS

What makes something EASY or HARD to BELIEVE?

LET’S THINK ABOUT IT AND DISCUSS

 This week’s Bible reading describes something that happened on the first Easter Sunday that was hard to believe.

PRAY

Holy God, be with us in our questions, and open us to wonder and awe this day.

Amen

 After Jesus’ death, some women wanted to finish preparing Jesus’ body for burial. However, they had to wait because the next day was the Sabbath, a holy day when work was forbidden.

READ

Luke 24:1-12
New International Version

Jesus Has Risen

24:1 On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 
They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 
but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 
While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 
In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 
He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 
‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” 
Then they remembered his words.
When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and to all the others. 
10 It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. 
11 But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. 
12 Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.

LET’S TALK ABOUT IT

Why do you think it was so hard for the other disciples to believe what the women were saying?

 Do you think the women were surprised when no one believed them? Why or why not?

What might be some reasons that Luke decided to tell the story through the eyes of the women?

WATCH

Before his death, Jesus had told his followers that no matter what happened, they would see him again, but it seemed to be an impossible thing to believe. There are many different beliefs about what happened, but everyone agrees that something happened to change the lives of Jesus’ family and followers.

WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO YOU?

 Think about some significant events that have happened in lives. Name one event and in what ways did this event change your life?

 Sometimes in the dead places of our lives it is hard to remember that there can be new life. Then Easter comes, reminding us that there is always hope. In Christ’s rising, we remember that new life is possible.

 

SING ALONG!!

PRAY

Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

JESUS CHRIST IS RISEN TODAY (Song)

What would you Say about PEACE?

“My definition of peace,”
“A time I’ve felt at peace,”
“What it would take to achieve peace on earth,”
“What are barriers to peace.”

 While there may be a variety of definitions of peace, today’s session will explore
Jesus’ gift of God’s peace, as well as other divine gifts.

 Pray:

O Christ, be with us today. Calm our fears, direct our thoughts, open us
to your Spirit.

 Amen

Even though a week has passed since the joyful celebration of Easter Sunday, we are still in the season of Easter. The celebration of resurrection continues, though life as we know it—in a world that can be dark and frightening—continues.

Our Scripture lesson explores this tension, showing that while nothing seems to have changed, everything has changed!

   READ

This Scripture takes place on the evening of Easter Sunday: just half a day has passed since Mary Magdalene discovered Jesus’ empty tomb.

John 20:19-31
New International Version

Jesus Appears to His Disciples

19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 
20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.
21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 
22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 
23 If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

Jesus Appears to Thomas

24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus[a]), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 
25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 
27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

The Purpose of John’s Gospel

30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 0
31 But these are written that you may believe[b] that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

WATCH

What gifts does Jesus give his followers? (his peace, joy, and the Spirit)
Why do these gifts matter to the disciples?
What is the relationship between Jesus breathing on the disciples and his words, “Receive the Holy Spirit”? (In ancient biblical languages, the words for “spirit and “breath” are the same.)

Look again at John 20: 24-30

Thomas has a reputation as a “doubter” because of this passage; in what ways is Thomas
different from or like the other disciples?
 What does Jesus expect his followers to do from this time forward?

JESUS’ GIFTS

How does Jesus expect each specific gift (his peace, joy, and the Spirit) to be used by his followers?

How might these gifts benefit individuals? Communities? Explain to a friend or your family members!

 LET’S THINK

Read John 20:30–31 Again

 The author suggests ONE further benefit to US
Discuss the importance of this gift. 
Do you think that Jesus’ gifts to his first followers continue to belong to his followers today. 
Do you think that the gathering of disciples in John

20:19–31 can be thought of as the first gathering of Christ’s church?

While Jesus is no longer
physically present, perhaps the other gifts that Jesus bestowed were meant not only for them but for the church in every age and even Today

 Talk About It

Can we claim the gifts of peace, joy, and the Holy Spirit even in our messy lives and troubled world? Why or why not?
What is the role of belief (verses 30–31) in claiming these gifts?

Listen to the next Song: Breathe On Me Breath Of God

What does it mean to live as people who possess Christ’s gifts of peace, joy, and the Holy Spirit?

Review the words of the Song “Breathe on Me Breath of God” and write your own verses based on the gifts you have learned that God gives!

Charge and Prayer

Go out into the world as people who rightfully possess—and are called to share—the gifts of joy, Christ’s peace, and the Holy Spirit. Blessed are you who have not seen and yet have come to believe.

 Amen

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