June 2024


All-Knowing Creator

Ascribe to God

Second Sunday after Pentecost, Year B

Of course, this week’s psalm invites us to recognize that we are also a mystery to ourselves. So, how do we invite people to enter into the mystery of themselves as well as the mystery of God? Perhaps begin with singing and reading the assigned verses from Psalm 139 together.

Note to the Teacher

The goal of this lesson is to help students think through their personal belief systems, how those beliefs developed, and how they may change as they mature. Be sensitive to youth who express shame or regret over past occurrences; be careful not to allow participants to venture into judging or blaming others. Remind students that forgiveness is always available to God’s people.

1. Never-ending Story Icebreaker (10 minutes)

Option 1: Low-Tech

A leader or a student volunteer begins by telling the first sentence of a story. The criteria is that each person states something he/she believes to be true. Each subsequent participant adds a sentence that connects to what has come before and contains that individual’s personal belief. Several people collaborating on the same story results in a complex plot. Twist: have a leader or a student volunteer write down beliefs stated during the story to review during closing prayer time.

Option 2: High-Tech

Record the never-ending story on a smartphone or other recording device. Replay as a conclusion to the activity, leading into the closing prayer time.

2. Read Scripture (5 minutes)

This psalm is attributed to David and focuses on his intimate relationship with God. David acknowledges an ever-present God who knows his strengths and weaknesses.

Read Psalm139: 1-6, 13-18 CEB.

3. Discussion (15 minutes)

Nearly half of the 150 psalms – which can be sung as songs or spoken as prayers -- reference King David. More than a dozen are about specific incidents in his life. David was a flawed human who made his share of mistakes and who believed he could get right with God by repenting. Review the David/Bathsheba story from 2 Samuel 11 CEB, especially David’s deception that caused the death of Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah (2 Samuel 11:16-17 CEB).

  • What is your earliest memory of doing something you knew was wrong but decided to do it anyway? Share if you are willing. (If this question seems too personal, perhaps ask about a sibling or a friend who does not need to be named.)
  • Was your secret safe? Did you hide the evidence? Did you get caught? Did you feel the need to confess your transgression to someone or apologize to anyone you may have harmed?
  • Think about your strongest beliefs and your moral compass – your sense of what is right and wrong. Do those beliefs come primarily from your family, from society, from your friend group, or a combination of all those sources? What other sources might influence those beliefs?
  • If you write down what you believe today, how is it different from what you believed five years ago? How do you think it might change five years into the future?
  • How would you compare thinking and feeling regarding beliefs? When do you think are the right times to use “I think…” versus using “I feel…”?
  • Do you feel that God knows your thoughts, even when you don’t state them out loud?
  • When you seek forgiveness, do you feel comfortable taking your request for healing to God in prayer? Do you feel comfortable asking for forgiveness from the person or people from whom you might be seeking forgiveness?

4. Activity and Discussion (20 minutes)

The color green is used for the season of Pentecost because it represents growth, new life, creation, hope, and the transformative power of the Holy Spirit. In advance of the class, hide enough green objects so that each student can find one or more (examples: dollar bill, green stuffed animal, leaf or small plant, packet of seeds of a green vegetable, lime, avocado, pear, apple, green candy, etc.). Instruct youth that their task will be to describe their object(s) and why they believe it is worthy of being found/known/understood.

Close in the manner that is typical for this group. As time permits, include the beliefs stated or recorded in the never-ending story. Offer a prayer of thanksgiving for maturing beliefs and God’s enduring presence.

Total time: 50 minutes


  • Smartphone or other recording device for the icebreaker; several green objects for the activity.

Verses marked CEB are from the Common English Bible (CEB) Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible.

In This Series...

Trinity Sunday, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Second Sunday after Pentecost, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Third Sunday after Pentecost, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes Fourth Sunday after Pentecost, Year B - Lectionary Planning Notes