Week 5: Lost at Home
Note to the Teacher
This week digs into the experience of being lost and found. The story of the boy Jesus being lost is flipped on its head by some scholars who suggest that maybe it is Mary and Joseph who are lost. By the end of the lesson, we begin to look outward, thinking about how we might “find” youth in the places we started our series thinking about.
1. Ice Breaker: Finding the Words (10 minutes)
To prepare for this, choose a verse of scripture (you might choose one from today’s lesson like part of Luke 2:49). Write one word per card on the center of several 3x5 cards using black ink. Then, using a yellow (or other light color) marker, write the next word in the verse on the bottom. For example, if the part of the verse you are using says, “Why were you searching for me?” the first card would have “why” written in black in the center and “were” written in yellow at the bottom.
Once you have your cards ready to go, give one per student. (Make sure to count the number of students in the room beforehand and use only that many of the cards you prepared, making sure all the cards you are using are in order.) Explain to the students that they need to stand in order of the verse, and explain about the two colors of words, and how those two colors will help them to put the verse in the correct order. Give them a time limit and have them recite the verse afterward by reading each word in order. See how close they can get to recreating the actual passage that you had chosen. This works online as well, using chat features to send the word pairs that you want to assign to students.
2. Read Scripture (5 minutes)
Invite students to listen to the verse first as if they were Jesus’ parents. Try to imagine how they were feeling and what they were thinking. Then read it again and ask them to imagine themselves as Jesus the second time around.
Read Luke 2:41-52.
3. Discussion (15 minutes)
- How do you think Jesus felt in this story?
- How do you think Mary and Joseph felt in this story?
- Some people think that in verse 49 Jesus was implying that he wasn’t the person who was lost, but it was his parents. What do you think they mean by that? How are Mary and Joseph lost?
- How does that idea of Mary and Joseph being lost change our understanding of the story?
- When you feel like you are lost, what are you wanting to happen?
- How does it feel to be found when you are lost?
4. Activity and Discussion: Finding Our Friends (20 minutes)
Think back to the beginning of this series. Remember the list we made of places that feel like home for teens? Let’s revisit that list today. We want to think about the people who are in those places. Let’s imagine they are members of our “family” (think church family) who are “lost” and need us to find them. What are ways that we can invite teens who spend time in those spaces to be part of our youth group that doesn’t involve shouting at them or leaving a random card somewhere telling them about our church? Split into groups of two to three students. When students have finished, ask them to report back to the group and process with even more questions.
Is there an event or program we could or should host in that space? Why should we consider doing that?
Is there something we have that we could let those people or places use or borrow (like hosting a concert with local high school bands and let them use our facility and sound system for free)?
Is there a way to develop a relationship with the owners of those spaces (like sharing their products with our people or buying whatever they are selling)?
Once you have finished processing, make plans to implement some (or all) of the ideas. Consider inviting youth to continue to refine these ideas and possibly present them to church leadership as a way to connect with the broader community.
Total time: 50 minutes
- Bible verse written on 3x5 cards per instructions in ice breaker.