Note to the Teacher:
This week’s focus will be on “mercy” and how God shows an unbelievable amount of mercy to us through Christ. The icebreaker ahead of this lesson is a game that’s quite without mercy. It will open students up to the importance of mercy in a fun way. The discussion focuses on the passage from the Psalm and seeks to engage the students in thinking about how God’s mercy is relevant and needed in our lives. The activity is a brainstorming session for the students to consider ways they can participate in acts of mercy during their week.
Play a couple rounds of the classic youth group game, “silent football.” If you don’t know how to play this one, you can find instructions here: https://www.youthworker.com/silent-football.
- What irritated you in this game?
- What seemed unfair in the game?
- Did you see mercy in this game?
- Turn to a neighbor and see if you can come up with a definition for “mercy.”
- Note of support: dictionary.com says, “compassion or forbearance.”
- Once students have had time to discuss, ask them to share their definitions.
- David says in verse 1, “I love the Lord because he hears my requests for mercy” (CEB). Do we need mercy from God? Why? For what?
- Can you think of a time in your life when you did something you knew you’d get in trouble for and yet your parent/teacher/guardian/friend showed you mercy?
- Have you ever shown mercy to someone? How did that feel? Provide as much detail as you are comfortable with.
- Can you think of a movie you have seen where someone was shown mercy?
- How do people tend to respond when mercy is shown to them? Why do you think this is?
- God has shown each one of us mercy. How are we called to respond to this truth?
- Is there someone in your life right now who needs mercy?
Activity and Discussion:
Have the students compile a list of different acts of mercy they could do during their week. Write them down on a board or flipchart. What opportunities are at school for them to offer mercy? What about offering mercy to their siblings and parents in their homes? How could they show mercy in their friend groups or sports teams?
Compile a big list and challenge the students to all pick one they plan to do. Once the students have finished choosing, go around the room and ask them to share which item on the list they chose and why. Then, invite students to get into pairs and decide how each member of the pair will remind the other throughout the week of the mercy task.