Are We There Yet? - Peace
Week 1: December 1 - Peace
Matthew 24:36-44 - Nobody knows the day or hour, so stay alert!
Note to the Teacher
This lesson is aimed at youth thinking about the themes of journey and peace. When we go on a trip/journey/adventure, there are things we do to prepare for it. Youth will begin by thinking about how they would prepare for different journeys, how we pay attention to God’s presence in the daily routines of our life journey, and living a journey that promotes and offers peace to others.
Time Description of Activity
10 min. 1. Ice Breaker - Packing for a Journey
As the theme of this Advent season is about journey, here the group will begin by sharing how they would prepare and pack for a variety of different journeys/trips. Invite the group to think about some of their favorite trips they have gone on with family, friends, and/or the church. List the following examples and ask the youth to share what they would need to pack and do to prepare for going on the following journey’s/trips:
- Going on a family vacation
- Moving off to college
- Going on a summer mission trip
- Doing a cross country car trip with a few friends
- Going to visit another country
Once they have made their lists, ask them which item is the thing on each trip that would be the most difficult to live without?
5 min. 2. Read scripture
Our scripture is part of a larger discourse where Jesus is sharing about his second coming. Only God knows the time though, but we should stay alert, pay attention to the world and signs around us, and live faithfully while we wait.
Read Matthew 24:36-44
15 min. 3. Discussion
- Who are the main people in the Matthew Bible passage and what are they doing? (Unnamed people are doing the tasks of everyday life: eating and drinking, they are sharing in committed relationships, and they are working - doing what is necessary to live and provide life’s necessities for themselves and others).
- Why do you think Jesus mentioned ordinary people doing everyday tasks? What are some of the everyday, routine/ordinary tasks that you do?
- In the midst of their everyday activities, Jesus tells them to “stay alert, you do not know what day the Lord is coming.” What do you think he meant by this?
- What should we ourselves be alert to? And how can we be alert in our everyday lives? How can we pay attention to Christ’s presence in our everyday lives and everyday activities?
Read Isaiah 2:1-5
- What vision does Isaiah give for God’s future for us?
- What do you think it would look like if God was the judge settling disputes between conflicts countries have with each other in our world today?
- What do you think it means when Isaiah says, “they will beat their swords into iron plows and their spears into pruning tools”? (They are turning their weapons which destroy life into agriculture tools to produce life, vegetation and food. They used tools for violence to create tools for peace.) What might that look like today?
20 min. 4. Activity
Part one of the Advent journey is peace. For this activity youth will be invited to make an individual and/or contribute to a group peace flag.* You can give youth individual pieces of paper or construction paper, or you can use a large piece of butcher paper for the whole group.
Invite youth to write and/or draw their prayers for peace. They can be prayers for peace in their homes, in their communities, peace in their online worlds (we know social media is seldom a peaceful place), and peace in and around the world. They can write or draw prayers for more peace in our schools and neighborhoods, and in our local and federal governments to create policies built on peace. As Jesus says in Matthew, “blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.” Youth can also write/draw their prayers for how they would like to be peacemakers in the journey of their lives.
If time permits, you can invite youth to share about what they wrote and drew. You can also hang up the flag(s) in the youth room.
Close your time in group prayer asking for prayer requests and also asking for where youth would like to pray for more peace in our world.
- Butcher paper or regular paper
- Pens, markers, pencils