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.
Failure and Forgiveness
HAVE YOU EVER FAILED AT SOMETHING?
WHAT DID YOU DO ABOUT IT? WHAT DID YOU LEARN FROM IT?
What did you hear on the video that was a new way of thinking for you? Did it change the way you think about Failure?
Today’s lesson will explore failure and the power of God’s grace to restore the one who has failed.
Meet us where we are, O God, and send us where you would have us go.
Today is a continuation of the season of Easter:
The celebration of Jesus’ resurrection goes on, tempered by the realization that Easter doesn’t keep us from failing or from the hard work of following Jesus. These themes are front and center in the Scripture passage for this lesson, but so is God’s redeeming grace.
An apparently short time has passed since the day of Jesus’ resurrection and since his two appearances to the disciples in their locked room in Jerusalem (John 20). The location shifts to the shore of the Sea of Tiberius (also called the Sea of Galilee); some of Jesus’ disciples have returned home and to their former work.
New International Version
Jesus and the Miraculous Catch of Fish
21:1 Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Galilee.[a] It happened this way:
2 Simon Peter, Thomas (also known as Didymus[b]), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together.
3 “I’m going out to fish,” Simon Peter told them, and they said, “We’ll go with you.” So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
4 Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus.
5 He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” “No,” they answered.
6 He said, “Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.” When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.
7 Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water.
8 The other disciples followed in the boat, towing the net full of fish, for they were not far from shore, about a hundred yards.[c]
9 When they landed, they saw a fire of burning coals there with fish on it, and some bread.
10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught.”
11 So Simon Peter climbed back into the boat and dragged the net ashore. It was full of large fish, 153, but even with so many the net was not torn.
12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” None of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord.
13 Jesus came, took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish.
14 This was now the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples after he was raised from the dead.
Jesus Reinstates Peter
15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.” Jesus said, “Feed my sheep.
18 Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.”
19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”
LET’S WATCH THE BIBLE STORY
Listen to this statement: “In the midst of our labor, Jesus calls us and feeds us.” In how many ways does Jesus call and feed his disciples on the beach in this Scripture?
In what ways does Jesus call and feed us EVERYDAY?
What do you make of Jesus’ three questions to Peter?
Why do these questions make Peter feel hurt and sad?
Why do you think Jesus especially asked Peter these questions?
Does Peter deserve a second chance? Why or why not?
Jesus asks Peter three times, “Do you love me?” In so doing, what is Jesus offering Peter, and what does he expect from Peter?
Do you agree with the statement that “Feeding the Lord’s sheep is . . . the surest way to express our love for Jesus”? Why or why not?
In what ways do you hope to deepen your relationship with God by serving others from now on?
Gracious God, like Peter we don’t always know how to confess where we’ve gone wrong and to fix what we’ve broken. But we do love you, and we want to feed your lambs and tend your sheep. Help us to follow Jesus faithfully. AMEN!
(In exploring this lesson and Scripture about inclusiveness, help each of us to be sensitive to each other and to hold in confidence anything that be may said within the group.)
O God, open my spirit to follow the leading of your Holy Spirit so that I can see beyond the boundaries of expectations and prejudice. Amen.
D I F F E R E N C E S
This week’s Bible reading in Acts explores some assumptions that one group of people had about another group.
INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT THE BOOK OF ACTS
- Acts is also known as “The Acts of the Apostles”
- Acts begins by describing Jesus’ presence with the disciples for 40 days after his resurrection, and then tells the story of Jesus’ ascension into heaven
- Acts also tells stories of the disciples, now called apostles, who spread Jesus’ message from Jerusalem out to many of the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, and all the way to Rome.
- In this lesson, Cornelius was a Roman centurion who lived in Caesarea, about thirty miles north of Joppa. He and Peter each had a vision with a message from God.
- Because of these visions, Peter felt called to baptize some Gentiles (non-Jewish people).
Acts 11: 1 – 18
New Revised Standard Version
(Read out loud)
Peter’s Report to the Church at Jerusalem
11:1 Now the apostles and the believers[a] who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles had also accepted the word of God.
2 So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers[b] criticized him,
3 saying, “Why did you go to uncircumcised men and eat with them?”
4 Then Peter began to explain it to them, step by step, saying,
5 “I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision. There was something like a large sheet coming down from heaven, being lowered by its four corners; and it came close to me.
6 As I looked at it closely I saw four-footed animals, beasts of prey, reptiles, and birds of the air.
7 I also heard a voice saying to me, ‘Get up, Peter; kill and eat.’
8 But I replied, ‘By no means, Lord; for nothing profane or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’
9 But a second time the voice answered from heaven, ‘What God has made clean, you must not call profane.’
10 This happened three times; then everything was pulled up again to heaven.
11 At that very moment three men, sent to me from Caesarea, arrived at the house where we were.
12 The Spirit told me to go with them and not to make a distinction between them and us.[c] These six brothers also accompanied me, and we entered the man’s house.
13 He told us how he had seen the angel standing in his house and saying, ‘Send to Joppa and bring Simon, who is called Peter;
14 he will give you a message by which you and your entire household will be saved.’
15 And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them just as it had upon us at the beginning.
16 And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’
17 If then God gave them the same gift that he gave us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could hinder God?”
18 When they heard this, they were silenced. And they praised God, saying, “Then God has given even to the Gentiles the repentance that leads to life.”
Circumcised Believers – disciples who were Jews
Uncircumcised Believers – disciples who were Gentile (non-Jews)
- In verses 1 – 3, what were the Disciples criticisms about Peter?
- In verses 4–18, Peter’s vision helped to open his mind about who could be included in God’s kingdom.
- What did Peter learn about God from his vision and from his time with Cornelius?
- Did the symbol of animals help Peter be more open in responding to Cornelius?
Complete this acrostic poem.
An acrostic poem spells out a word with the first letter of each line of the poem. Write a line or a statement beginning with each letter and create a prayer of WELCOME. For example:
We are sorry you feel left out.
Everyone can share at our table.
Life is better together.
Come and join us.
One person can Make a difference.
Each person is loved
- Who are some of those who might feel excluded from churches today?
- Who might feel excluded in the community?
- How do you understand your role in God’s vision of inclusive love?
INCLUSION AND EXCLUSION
Think again of your experiences of exclusion and inclusion.
How does being excluded and included make you feel?
Think of someone or some group you may have seen excluded.
Invite each person to silently think of a way they could offer God’s inclusive love to that person or group. REMEMBER GOD LOVES EVERYONE.
Christ is alive in you! Go out to spread Christ’s love and care in the world. AMEN
BUILD A COMMUNITY OF INCLUSIVENESS
Discuss who was welcomed and whom the bouncers excluded?
How would you display hospitality and welcome in our church?