Note to the Teacher
The scripture we read is from the Gospel of Luke and is a conversation between Jesus and the Pharisees. The opening activity has students working together to make an amazing piece of art. The discussion encourages students to think about all the different aspects of God and how they can know that they are loved despite their shortcomings. The activity and discussion has students retelling the scripture reading by drawing a comic strip or writing a children’s book to retell the story. Times are based on a fifty-minute lesson period but may be adjusted.
1. Ice Breaker: ‘Giant Word Art’ (10 minutes)
In this opening ice breaker, your group will make a giant piece of art using only words. Buy a couple pieces of poster board and gather markers of all colors and sizes. This could become a cool art piece to hold on to for years to come. Ask your students to come up with as many words as possible to describe God. These could be adjectives that describe God or even names of God that are used in the Bible (Yahweh, Lord of Lords, Powerful, Mighty, Graceful, etc.).
After you have compiled your list of words that name and describe God, start with a longer word, and print it in the center of your art. From that word, you will use one or two other words that will use a letter from the first word and continue until all your words are used up, essentially building a crossword puzzle. For example, your piece of art may look something like this:
Encourage students to curve their words around to give interesting shapes and more options for connections between words. As the art gets created, there may be creative energy flowing, so allow folks to add additional names and adjectives for God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit as time allows.
If you have students joining digitally, allow them to create their own word art using paper and supplies at home. This should be a fun activity for the entire group! Once students have finished, make sure you place the piece of art somewhere everyone will be able to enjoy it. Digitally, there are also apps that allow for the creation of word clouds, so consider searching out and using one of those.
Transition to the scripture reading by telling the youth that in today’s passage Jesus refers to gathering his children like a hen gathers her brood of baby chicks.
2. Read Scripture (5 minutes)
Our scripture reading today is a conversation between Jesus and the Pharisees. While we read the scripture, listen for how Jesus responds to the Pharisees when they tell him to “get away from here.”.
Read Luke 13:31-35.
3. Discussion (15 minutes)
- What do you know about Pharisees already? (If it’s not much, allow some internet searching!) Does this knowledge help you understand how Jesus and the Pharisees address each other?
- In verse 31, do you think the Pharisees telling Jesus to basically “get out of here” was out of genuine concern? A threat? Something else?
- In verse 32, Jesus tells them to go and tell the “fox.” Why would that be a derogatory name for Herod?
- In 34b, Jesus says, “How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings.” What is a hen doing when she gathers her chicks? Say something like, “There’s an old saying about ‘a fox in a henhouse’ that is used when a person has power and abuses that power instead of protecting the ones in care. At this time, Herod is in charge of the government in Jerusalem, so Jesus seems to imply that Herod (and the Pharisees for that matter) does not have the best interest of God’s people at heart. Do you think that people of faith today still struggle to be together and run around in confusion like baby chicks?”
- Verse 34 hints at love and protection, as a mother for her young. Have you experienced this kind of love and protection? How can we show others the kind of love and security that we find in a relationship with Jesus?
Transition to the closing activity; however, if your group would like to continue to work on their “Word Art” then you may want to allow for some time to complete this project.
4. Activity and Discussion: ‘Fox and Hen Story Book’ (20 minutes)
Explain to your students that they are going to create a comic or children’s story book from the Luke 13:31-35 passage. They can choose to use any type of creative writing, drawing, comic style or children’s book style they would like. Hand out pens, paper, markers, colored pencils, and anything else they may need to create these story books.
After the youth have completed their books, ask those who want to share to do so. Then, encourage those with younger siblings to share their books with them.
Close your time together in a manner that is typical for you. Consider taking joys and concerns, then asking for a volunteer to close in prayer.
Total time: 50 minutes
- Pens or pencils
- Crayons or colored pencils