Season of Creation - Creation Renewed
Week 5: September 29 - Creation Renewed
Psalm 91:1-6, 14-16, Luke 16:19-31
Note to the Teacher
The key emphasis this week (for this lesson from Psalm 91 and Luke 16) is that God ultimately has acted to restore creation to its right relationship with God. The ice breaker invites youth to build a fortress out of a deck of cards. The discussion encourages students to reflect on stories prior to the cross revealing that God knew the broken relationship that would develop and all along planned to die on the cross for the sins of the world. The activity is a fun exercise challenging students to move from a starting line to a finish line in teams.
Times are based on a 50-minute lesson period, but can be adjusted.
Time Description of Activity
10 min. 1. Ice Breaker – Build Your Own Fortress
Supplies: A deck of cards for each group of students, tables to build card houses on.
This week, one of our scriptures describes God as our fortress, so divide students up into groups of 3-4 students and give them a deck of cards. They have 5 minutes to build the most “impressive” fortress they can using their deck of cards.
After 5 minutes have passed, have each group show the rest of the students their fortress then have a quick vote for which group built the most impressive fortress.
5 min. 2. Read Scripture
Our Scripture reading today will focus on Psalm 91:1-6, 14-16, and Luke 16:19-31. Psalm 91 shares that God is our ultimate refuge. Luke 16 is the story of the rich man and Lazarus. In their human lives Lazarus was a poor beggar in contrast to the rich man who used his wealth selfishly. In the afterlife the rich man is in tormented while Lazarus is comforted. The rich man desires to receive pity as well as warn his family still on earth to change their behaviors.
Read Psalm 91:1-6, 14-16
Read Luke 16:19-31
15 min. 3. Discussion
From Psalm 91
- Verse 2 describes God as a refuge and a fortress. What is a refuge?
- What do verses 14-16 say God does for those who call on God’s name?
- When are the times in your life when you seek God out as a place of refuge, safety, and comfort?
From Luke 16
- Can someone summarize what happens in this story?
- What is the difference between how Lazarus and the rich man experience the afterlife? Who does the rich man seem to see? (Abraham)
- In verse 27 what does Lazarus want to do for his family still on earth? (warn them)
- In verse 29-30 what does Abraham say and how does the rich man respond?
- In verse 31 he says that if they won’t listen to Moses and the Prophets, then they won’t be convinced even if someone rises from the dead. In this story, that is referring to if Lazarus returned, but what greater meaning does that claim have? (that eventually Christ will be raised from the dead but not all will listen or believe)
- We often read the gospels as people who already know the whole story, but before the time of Christ people couldn’t know exactly what God’s plan was. Do you think that all along God planned to redeem humanity through Christ’s life and death? How does that bring you comfort?
20 Min. 4. Activity and Discussion – Step Quick!
Bring this lesson to life with a fun exercise that will get students thinking about what it takes to get from a starting point to the finish line. You can find this and all sorts of other lesson activities at the Youth Worker Collective.
Supplies: You will need a sheet of normal printer-size paper for each student. You will need something to designate a starting line as well as a finish line such as a piece of rope or string.
Tell the group that the goal of this activity is to get everyone in their line from the starting line to the finish line, perhaps making the lines around 25 or feet so apart. Ideally each line will have around 8-10 students, so if your group is large you may want to divide into multiple teams/lines.
Each student will be given one piece of paper to start. The students will start in a single file line behind the starting line. The only way a student can move forward is by stepping on a piece of paper. If at any time the student touches the ground without a piece of paper they must return to the start. Students may not “slide” or “scoot” on the ground with their paper, they can only step on the paper where it has been placed on the ground. A piece of paper must also have someone stepping on it, if it is unattended it will be removed from the activity, which will make it harder for the team.
The role for the leaders is to make sure the rules are being followed, but also to grab any unattended sheets of paper. This is the fun part!
The students will have to be strategic as they work together as a team to complete the task and get the whole team across.
After the activity ask the students:
- What made this activity challenging?
- What was the key to getting the whole team across the finish line?
- How would you compare this to the journey of faith we are all on? (each person ultimately needs to individually cross the “finish line”, but we help one another as a community to get there.)
- What might the sheets of paper symbolize in your lives?
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.
- A deck of cards for each group of students (3-4 students per group)
- Tables to build card houses on
- A normal-sized piece of paper for each student
- Two objects such as a piece of string or rope that will serve as a starting line and finish line