Week 4: Love All the People
- Paper and colored pencils, markers, or crayons for the letters
- Boxes to pack with resources or goodies for care packages
- Contents of care packages. (See suggestions below.)
For health-care workers or essential workers:
- travel-size box Kleenex®
- small hand Sanitizer
- candy or other snacks
- travel-size packet of cleaning wipes
- pair of comfortable socks
- hand lotion or Chapstick
For homeless or displaced people:
- fresh socks
- bandages or small first-aid kit
- bottled water or reusable bottle
- $5 food gift cards
- new shirt
- sunscreen or deodorant
For someone ill in the community:
- fresh comfortable socks
- a candle
- face mask or hand lotion
- small games such as Sudoku or crossword puzzles
- travel size box of Kleenex®
Note to the Teacher:
This final week of our four-part series focuses on the idea of loving all the people! We will discuss how the final part of building community and the kingdom of heaven involves loving our neighbors and those around us. For the ice breaker, we will write notes of appreciation and gratitude to add to the care packages we will make at the end of the lesson. This will connect with our closing activity. For the discussion, we will consider what loving people looks like and how we can learn how to love from a God who loves us fully and completely. We will also explore what loving people looks like, even when we disagree with them. The final activity will give us ways to tangibly show love by creating care packages for people in need (elderly, people who are ill in our community, the homeless). We look at how love is more than just words, but also action.
This lesson should take about fifty minutes but can be adjusted as needed.
Total Time: 50 minutes
1. Ice Breaker: “Thinking of You” Cards (10 minutes)
Providing a handwritten card is a wonderful way to cheer someone up and bring a little bit of love to them. Today, we will write letters to put in some care packages that we will make at the end of our discussion.
Feel free to encourage the youth to draw pictures, write encouraging thoughts of love or gratitude (depending on who will receive the care packages: a homeless person or a health worker on the front lines or a person who is ill in your community).
Setup: Get pieces of blank paper or template cards/letters and allow the youth to draw, color, and decorate the notes in whatever manner they like. Explain to them that the notes will be added to the care packages that will be made at the end of the time together. Talk about who will receive the care packages to help give the youth some direction. You can disclose this information as they begin working.
Instructions: Today, we will be talking about loving all people. Love is not just a word you say to your family or friends. Love is action! One of the best ways to love people is to show them that you care and support them in whatever way you can. We will be making care packages for _______ (organization, person, whomever you all chose). Later, we will be putting together the care packages; but now, we are going to create cards and letters of encouragement to add to the packages. Feel free to draw a picture or tell people how much we appreciate them. (Be careful with this instruction if these packages go to people in despair or need; appreciation is best for care package letters going to health professionals or people who provide services that often go unseen.)
2.Read Scripture (5 minutes)
Our scripture reading today comes from Matthew.
Read Matthew 10:40-42.
3. Discussion (15 minutes)
- What is love? Can you define it in your own words?
- What are some examples of love that you have experienced?
- God is a God of love! God loves us all so dearly and wants us to know we are loved and wants us to love others in return.
- How is God one of the examples of love in our life?
- Love gives us the power to mend and build wholesome communities. When we love people, we are more able to see them and hear them. How do you think we can practice loving people better? What are some of the ideas that come to mind as we are talking about this?
- Loving people isn’t just about telling them that we love them. Love isn’t just words. Love is action! Love is seeing all people Love is hearing all people.
- How can we better love our siblings or our classmates?
- Can you imagine a world where we love one another more? Think back to the first lesson of this series when we talked about community. How would our communities look if we loved as God loves us?
4. Activity and Discussion (20 minutes)
This activity will focus on putting love in action and creating care packages for people who could use some love from the group. Set out all the care package contents on a table and allow each person to take a box and put one item from each pile into the box. If you have extras, feel free to add a couple of extras in each box.
If the boxes are not being shipped, consider putting a new Bible in each one. Encourage the youth to decorate the outsides of the boxes. Make sure the youth place their letters on top of their care packages. Seal the packages and distribute them in whatever way is best for the community.
If you are meeting virtually, you can deliver the contents of the boxes to students’ homes before the lesson or invite them to purchase items for the box ahead of time.
Close in the manner that is typical for you. Consider taking joys and concerns from the students; then ask for a volunteer to close in prayer.