Seeds in the Dirt

The Path of the Disciple: Imagining a New Reality

Seventh Sunday after Pentecost, Year A

The theme for this part of the “Path of the Disciple” series invites us to look at potential. We are asked to imagine fruitfulness and then to work for that in the whole ministry of the church.

The key phrases for this lesson are “now and later” and “imagine.” The icebreaker invites youth to choose between something immediate and something in the future. The discussion encourages students to relate to the choices made by Esau and Jacob and the conditions of the soil in the parable. The activity engages the youth’s imagination to make something out of miscellaneous items and to celebrate and identify what potential they may have to co-create with God. Times are based on a fifty-five-minute lesson period but may be adjusted.

Icebreaker: Now and Later (10 minutes)

Option: pass out some of the candy “Now and Laters.”

Play the game: “Now or Later?” Like the game, “would you rather,” this is a choice game. Explain that one of our scripture passages is about two brothers who chose between something NOW and something LATER. Choose from the options, usually something that would be a good option now…but a better option(?) later. You might also share options that are easy work versus hard work. Share the candy as you play. After using some of the examples given, encourage youth to come up with their own examples of NOW and LATER. An active option is to have youth stand up and move from one side of the room to another as their way of choosing.

Choose from the following:

  • One doughnut NOW; a dozen doughnuts when you leave here today?
  • (Like Esau and Jacob - imagine you’re super hungry) - Choose between a delicious meal NOW or getting first dibs on your parents’ stuff when they die.
  • Five dollars NOW; or a hundred dollars in three years?
  • A first-place win in a sports tournament NOW; or an Olympic gold medal in fifteen years?
  • A beautiful bouquet of flowers NOW; or a field of flowers in your backyard in five years?
  • A fancy dinner; or a new video game (discuss why this would be a now/later situation – a fancy dinner is immediate but gone quickly; a new video game could last for years)
  • Store-bought Ice cream; or homemade pound cake
  • A fake plant; or a real plant
  • A weekend at Disneyland; or a puppy

Read Scripture (5 minutes)

Gen 25:19-34 Matt 13:1-9, 18-23

Discuss (15 minutes)

After reading Genesis 25: 19-34:

  • How would you describe Esau’s and Jacob’s relationship?
  • Which brother do you most relate to? Why?
  • What do you think each brother’s motivation was to make the choices he made?
  • How might siblings and parents find themselves in similar situations today?

After reading Matthew 13:1-9;18-23

  • Do you have any experience gardening? How might this passage be understood differently by those used to growing seeds and those who have never done it before?
  • How would you describe the different soils named in the passage?
  • Which soil do you most relate to right now? Why?
  • Have there been other times in your life when you felt like a different soil? What was going on then as opposed to now?
  • What are some daily practices or habits that lead us to be more receptive to listening/hearing God’s voice? What practices/habits distract us from listening/hearing?
  • What possibilities arise when we are open to partnering with God in co-creating the kingdom here on earth?

Active Learning Activity (25 minutes)

CREATE: Have each person choose a partner to work with to create something using miscellaneous items (see resources needed, below). Give each group fifteen minutes to create something; then have them share their creation with the group. Debrief:

  • What items did you use in your creation? What are those items normally used for?
  • How did you come up with your creation?
  • How did imagination come into play in your creative process?
  • In this activity, you got to choose how to use your items. How do you feel about your choice? What guided you to make the choices you made? What guides your choices in life?
  • Our scriptures pointed us to see beyond the present moment and reality and to imagine what God has in store for us; to consider possibilities - how can we take the ordinary miscellaneous things in our lives and co-create with God? What gifts/talents/experiences do you have to offer?
  • How else does this experience relate to our scripture today?

Close the lesson by sharing joys and concerns and praying together.

Needed Resources:

  • Items for the CREATE activity— You may choose for every group to have the same items or put a bunch of items on a table for them to choose from.
  • Option 1: every group would get craft sticks; tape; construction paper; string; beads
  • Option 2: random craft items or other office supplies/materials (item examples might include clothespins, markers, glue, tape, string, cardboard boxes, beads, poster/foam board; construction paper; scissors; craft sticks; blank canvas; paint; yarn; paper clips; string lights; push pins

In This Series...

Seventh Sunday after Pentecost, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Eighth Sunday after Pentecost, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Ninth Sunday after Pentecost, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes


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In This Series...

Seventh Sunday after Pentecost, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Eighth Sunday after Pentecost, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Ninth Sunday after Pentecost, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes