Note to the Teacher:
This lesson concerns the question, “Can you have faith in someone you’ve never seen?” The 1 Peter passage calls us to thankfulness for what God does in our lives and also encourages us to have continued faith even though we haven’t physically seen Jesus. The icebreaker helps youth understand how they can know something without seeing it. The discussion focuses on taking a deeper look at the passage. The activity is meant to bring the courage and call of Peter to a modern-day perspective.
Have the students choose a couple of volunteers to do a blind taste test of different drinks (Pepsi, Diet Pepsi, water, coffee, lemon juice). See if they can correctly identify the drink; ask them to select the drink they liked the most.
- Is it possible to love something without physically seeing it?
- Do we need all our senses to like/love something?
1 Peter is a tiny book of the New Testament that's actually a letter. It was written to a group of Christians who lived under the fear of persecution for their faith.
- What verse from this passage stood out?
- Look at verse 3; maybe you have heard the phrase “born again” or “new birth” before in reference to faith in Christ. What do you think Peter means by this?
- How can the resurrection of Christ give us hope?
- Are trials necessary for us to determine if our faith is genuine? Why or why not?
- How do we know Christ is there even though we cannot physically see him? How do we see God in our world?
- Is it possible to love something or someone you haven’t physically seen before?
- This letter was probably written no earlier than 62 CE, thirty or more years later than Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection. Knowing this, do you think the idea of loving something you haven’t seen is important for the author of this passage? Why?
- Verse 9 says, “...the goal of your faith…” is “…salvation.” Who does the saving? Do we save ourselves, or are we saved by Christ? How does Christ save us? What do you think we are being saved from?
Activity and Discussion:
Have the students join together in groups of two or three. Tell them to imagine God asked them to write a letter to their high school peers about Christ. Have them use the 1 Peter 1:3-9 scripture as a template for inspiration.
After the students have had time to write a modern version of this passage, ask them to share with the rest of the group.
Finally, ask them to imagine what it would be like to actually deliver their letters to their schools. How much courage did it take for Peter to write what he wrote? What inspired him to speak so boldly?
At this point in history, the first time someone learns about Jesus, it rarely involves the sense of sight, since Jesus doesn’t seem to be physically walking around as much these days. What other senses do you think are most common when someone begins to learn about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit? Touch? Smell? Hearing? Taste? What can we do to make those senses pleasant experiences for others? (In other words, what can we do to help make Jesus sound good?)
Close in a manner typical for your group.
- Different drinks