Abiding in the Reign - Allegiance to the Reign | UMC YoungPeople
Connecting young people and their adult leaders to God, the church, and the world
October 2019

Abiding in the Reign - Allegiance to the Reign

Week 4: November 24 – Allegiance to the Reign
Colossians 1:9-20, Luke 23:33-43

Note to the Teacher

The key emphasis this week (for this lesson from Colossians 1:9-20 and Luke 23:33-43) is that God is both our King who reigns over all creation and our Savior who brought that reign to humanity. The Ice Breaker invites youth to tell a fun story using unexpected items. The Discussion encourages students to reflect upon the true nature of Jesus as well as how Jesus invites us into God’s kingdom. The Activity encourages youth to make a sign that will reflect what difference they hope they will have made in the world at the end of their lives.

Times are based on a 50-minute lesson period, but can be adjusted.

Time Description of Activity

10 min. 1. Ice Breaker – Grab Bag Story Time!

SUPPLIES – A large, non-see-through bag filled with a variety of random household items – make some of them fun/silly like toys/gag items; maybe a fun article of clothing or two; and make sure to include a couple “royal” type items like a crown or tiara as a broader tie-in to the theme of God as our King in this week’s lesson.

Explain to the students you have a bag filled with items, and you need several volunteers (one at a time) to come stand in front of the group and pull items out of the bag one at a time. As they do, the students should tell the funniest/most interesting story they can in 90 seconds based on the item they picked out of the bag. Set items to the side as they are pulled out of the bag so they don’t get reused. Have the group applaud after each student shares to show their support.

Have as many students participate as possible. If appropriate in your setting, you can give awards for funniest story, most interesting story, etc.

If you want to have a longer story, have one student begin the story after they take an item out of the bag, and then pause the story after 90 seconds and pass the bag to the next person who continues the story from that point using the item they pulled out as inspiration for the next part of the story.

5 min. 2. Read Scripture

Our Scripture reading today will focus on Colossians 1:9-20 and Luke 23:33-43. Colossians 1 is a great word of encouragement as well as theological statement about who Jesus is. Luke 23 shares Jesus’ interaction with the criminals who were crucified beside him.

Read Colossians 1:9-20

Read Luke 23:33-43

15 min. 3. Discussion

From Colossians 1

  • Read back through verses 9-14. What do these verses say God has done for us?
  • What do verses 9-14 say that God hopes we will do in response?
  • Who does verse 15 say Jesus is?
  • What do these verses say about Jesus’ relationship to God the Father?
  • Where do you see evidence in verses 15-20 that Jesus is our King?
  • Where in verses 15-20 do you see that Jesus is our Savior?
  • How can Jesus be both our King and our Savior?

From Luke 23

  • What is remarkable about what Jesus says in verse 34?
  • Why is it ironic that the soldiers mocked Jesus in verse 37 saying if he was really the king of the Jews he would save himself?
  • What does one criminal say in verses 41 and 42 about what he feels he deserves?
  • While we may not think of ourselves as criminals, how might we be similar to those two criminals on the cross beside Jesus?
  • The criminals each responded to Jesus in different ways. How do they compare to the ways we may choose to respond to Christ?
  • How does Jesus reply in verse 43 and death on the cross ultimately show he was the true King of the Jews?

20 Min.4. Activity and Discussion – What Will They Say About You?

Take this lesson to the next level by helping youth to think about what difference they hope to make during their time on earth using this activity from the YouthWorker Collective:

SUPPLIES – A sheet of paper and marker for each student.

Remind each student that a sign saying “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS” was hung next to Jesus at the crucifixion. While none of us are called to be the king of the Jews, and hopefully all of us will long livelong healthy lives – if one statement could be made at the end of your life about the difference you made in the world, what would you hope it would say?

Have the students take 5 minutes to write a phrase in large print on their sheet of paper, and if they’d like they can decorate the paper as well if there is time. Encourage them to please take this exercise thoughtfully, as everyone will be sharing their signs.

When the time is up invite each student to share what they wrote on their sign, and why they choose that phrase (this may take a while, which hopefully will be meaningful).

Conclusion: You as a leader should make a sign as well, and share your sign at the end. Remind the students that God has given each of us the blessing of one life, and so many of the small daily things we do or worry about don’t have eternal significance. Instead encourage each of them to live their lives in ways that celebrate who God is and what God has done for them, and to share the kingdom of God with others.

Close in the manner that is typical for you. Consider taking joys/concerns from the students, then asking for a volunteer to close in prayer.

50 min


  • Large, non-see-through bag
  • Several fun/random items to put in the bag
  • Sheet of paper for each student
  • Marker for each student