Always Be Ready

A Living Hope

Sixth Sunday of Easter, Year A

What are we supposed to be ready to do? Tell our story! It’s as simple as that. And it’s as complicated as that. Peter says that we are always “ready to make your defense to anyone who demands from you an accounting for the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15 NRSV.) But what does that mean, and who demands such an account these days?

Week 2: May 17 – Come and Hear

Psalm 66:8-20

Learning Outcomes: Students will be encouraged to look for God’s blessings in their lives. They will understand the importance of acknowledging those blessings and giving God the glory for them.

The Ice Breaker will help students simulate a time of trial and problem solving.

The Activity and Discussion gives students the chance to gather and reflect on the blessings in their life, praising God for the most influential things in their lives.

Times are based on a fifty-minute lesson period, but can be adjusted.

1. Ice Breaker: Who Is It? (10 minutes)

Have all the students sit in a circle. Pick one student who will be the “guesser” who will leave the room for a minute. While he or she is out of the room, pick someone who is “it.” Once the “guesser” comes back into the room, the person who is “it” will wink at people. Once they have been winked at, they are “out” and must put their head down, go from sitting in a chair to the floor, or close their eyes. The “guesser” must try and decide who is “it.” You can do a couple rounds of this, if time allows.

If you are meeting virtually, the person who is “it” can have a code word like “berry.” Then the next person who speaks after the person who is “it” says “berry” is out.

Ice Breaker Debrief:

  • Today we are going to talk about blessings, the trials we are put through, and praising God through it all.

2. Read Scripture (5 minutes)

If you are at the church, take a walking field trip to a place that feels appropriate for prayer. If gathering online, share various pictures of temples.

Our Scripture reading today comes from Psalm 66:8-20.

3. Discussion (15 minutes)

  • Why does the Psalmist say that God should be praised?
  • Which lines of the scripture do we most identify with?
  • Verses 10-12 show tough times. Are we experiencing any tough times that make it difficult to praise God or remember our blessings?
  • How do we reflect back on tough times as times of transformation and change that we can eventually be thankful for?

4. Activity and Discussion (20 minutes)

Shoebox of Blessings

  • If you are physically together, have students bring a shoebox to your gathering (have extra just in case)
  • Provide plain wrapping paper or packing paper for them to wrap their box and lid (separately, so you can open the box).
  • Everyone needs a permanent marker.
  • Have students put their own name on the top of their box.
  • Once the boxes are wrapped, have students go around and write where they see God working in either other’s lives on each or how that person has been a blessing in your life on each other’s boxes. (Please encourage everyone to write something on each box so that students have equal number of comments)
  • Then spend some quiet time in prayer having students think about times in their life that were difficult. Can you look back now and see how God helped you through? Did God put other people in your life at those times? Were there blessings even in the rough times? These things can be written on paper or post-it notes and placed inside the box.

Blessing Scavenger Hunt

  • If you are meeting virtually, give students a set amount of time (less is more fun). Tell them they have to bring back three things that represent a blessing in their lives and/or something they makes them want to thank God.
  • Once you are all gathered back, go around and do a show and tell.

End your time together however you normally do. Consider including a time of prayer where students share a one word of praise.

50 minutes


Virtual tour links:

Shoebox Activity:

  • Wrapping paper
  • Scissors
  • Tape
  • Permanent makers
  • Small slips of paper
  • Extra boxes

In This Series...

Fifth Sunday of Easter, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Sixth Sunday of Easter, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Seventh Sunday of Easter, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes


  • Gold
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In This Series...

Fifth Sunday of Easter, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Sixth Sunday of Easter, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Seventh Sunday of Easter, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes