Week 4: The Blessing of Home
Note to the Teacher
One of the biggest blessings of home is the experience of being known. That same experience can happen at youth group as well. This lesson will focus on the power of being known and validated while giving students a chance to expand their knowledge of one another.
1. Ice Breaker: Christmas Interviews (10 minutes)
Begin by having students get in pairs. Explain that they are going to interview each other. Once everyone has had a chance for the interview, each person will report back to the group one thing he/she learned about the person interviewed. Since it’s Christmas, we have some great interview questions to get them started:
- What was the most expensive gift you ever returned to a store?
- What was the biggest thing you ever asked Santa to bring you?
- If a house doesn’t have a chimney, how does Santa get in?
- What is your favorite family tradition during Christmas time?
2. Read Scripture (5 minutes)
Before reading this scripture, remind the group of the setting. Mary has just been told she will give birth to the Messiah. All of that is swimming around in her head when she arrives at Elizabeth’s house.
Read Luke 1:39-45.
3. Discussion (15 minutes)
- How do you think Mary would have felt on her way to Elizabeth’s house?
- How do you think Elizabeth felt when Mary arrived?
- How do you think Mary felt when Elizabeth confirmed what Mary had experienced, with the angel telling her she was going to give birth to the Messiah?
- Being known and loved is an experience that many people associate with home. How does it feel when you know you are known and loved?
- On the flip side, why might it feel uncomfortable to be known? Are there times where you may not want to be known?
- Who else besides your family knows you well?
- Why is it important for youth group to be a place where we know one another?
4. Recipe for You (20 minutes)
Being known is an important part of community building in youth group. One of the most attractive pieces of being part of a youth group is finding a place where you are known and loved and accepted just as you are. This activity will help students know one another better by creating a recipe for someone in the group.
Begin by putting the group into pairs and letting them know that they are each going to create a recipe for the other person. We are all made of big and little things, and this activity will help them find out both big and little aspects of their partners. If there is a smaller group, or if there are an odd number of youth, adult leaders can participate.
Tell students that they will ask about three types of “ingredients” for their partners. First, they will ask about the big things, perhaps the most obvious or primary attributes, that make them up. Maybe they play sports and love to sing, for example, and these would be measured in cups. Second, they will ask about other things their partners enjoy but aren’t the main part of who they are. Perhaps they have a favorite television show or book series. These would be measured in tablespoons or teaspoons. Third, they will ask about small things. Someone may love tea and not be able to stand ketchup on a hamburger; these are measured out in dashes or pinches. After collecting all the information, the students will create a recipe with ingredients at the beginning and instructions at the end. The final recipe might look like this:
- 3 cups football
- 1 cup singing
- 2 tablespoons of The Voice!
- 1 teaspoon of Narnia
- A dash of tea and hatred for ketchup on hamburgers
Begin by mixing singing with the Voice. Slowly stir in Narnia and add a dash of tea and hatred for ketchup on hamburgers. Simmer all of that in 3 cups of football and serve hot over a bed of snow skiing.
Once all the recipes are complete, go around the room sharing the ingredients and narratives. Close by saying something like, “Who we are obviously is so much more than what we can name here and create within our recipes. Likewise, the expectations of who Jesus would be and who Jesus can be for us are huge and complex faith mysteries that can take a lifetime to explore. If we were to create a recipe for Jesus, how do you think it would look?” As time allows, lead a group discussion about how a recipe for Jesus might read. “What about Jesus makes us curious to know more about him and about God?”
Total time: 50 minutes
- Recipe cards