Tell in the Light

The Path of the Disciple: Learning to Grow

Fourth Sunday after Pentecost, Year A

“What you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops” (Matthew 10:27). This week, we’ve got whispers and we’ve got shouts. That seems like a common human experience, doesn’t it?

Note to the Teacher

The key phrase in the scripture (for this lesson) is, “What you hear whispered, proclaim from the housetops.” The icebreaker invites youth to work to get their light through the darkness. The discussion encourages students to think about how darkness or light is created by circumstances. The activity allows youth to share pieces of themselves and to understand that all people have darkness and light within them. God calls each of us to share the light and shine light in the darkness. Times are based on a fifty-five-minute lesson period but may be adjusted.

Glowstick Rebellion (15 minutes)

Start by giving the students a bucket of glow sticks of the same color. Have them line up at one end of the room. Line adults up who have glow sticks of another color at the opposite end of the room and give them an empty bucket. Turn off the lights, so the room is dark.

When you say “go,” the students (only a few at a time) need to take a glow stick from the student bucket and try to get it into the “adult” bucket without getting tagged by an adult. If tagged, the student must drop the glow stick where he/she was tagged and go back to the team to tag another student to get a glow stick to the “adult” bucket. This works best if you send two or three more students than the number of adults you have tagging. Once the students get ten glow sticks in the bucket, the game ends.

This game works best on a field when it is dark or in a gym or large room where the lights can be turned off.

Option 1:

If playing with a large group, break students into teams assigning each a color. Make sure each student team has the same number of glow sticks. In this version, the student team with the most glow sticks in the other bucket wins.

Option 2:

If your group is small, adults and students can tag/try to drop glow sticks into each other’s buckets at the same time. Simply provide a glow stick bucket for each side as well as an empty bucket. Make sure to tell students they cannot steal a glow stick bucket!

Read Scripture (5 minutes)

Our scripture reading today involves the stories of people who were called to follow God.

Genesis 21:8-21; Matthew 10:24-39

Discussion (15 minutes)

  • Hagar is an interesting character in this story. What kinds of emotions do you think Hagar felt as the story progressed?
  • Put yourself in the shoes of Hagar, Sara, and Abraham, respectively. Why do you think their emotions differed?
  • What was God’s response in each character’s story?
  • Share a time when you may have felt “called” to do something and the call felt like a whisper or a shout.
  • Do you think it is easier to keep things hidden or bring them to light? Explain.

Activity and Discussion (20 minutes)

Take this lesson to the next level by getting students’ hands and imaginations involved in an activity about secrets. Give each student a 4x6 notecard (or sheet of paper) and access to a stack of old magazines that you have collected. Encourage students to use the magazines you provide to create a scene using images from the magazine and cut out letters that reveal a secret that someone would possibly keep or be nervous to share with their church. This doesn’t have to be a deep, dark, personal secret. Rather, it could be a secret about insecurity or fear, and it certainly can be made up – something that youth think a person would be worried to share with loved ones or their church, but to process why the youth think those secrets and topics would be difficult to bring up or made public. The goal is for the group to not be able to identify an individual’s secret. Once students have glued the magazine pictures together on their notecards, have them bring their notecards to you. Mix the cards up and share them with the group.

Points for discussion:

  1. Sharing things that may be dark or scary can be frightening; however, God has the power to take those secrets and use them for good.
  2. Everyone has both darkness and light within them. God asks us to use God to continue to shine light in dark places.
  3. Even if you are afraid of the darkness, bring it to light.

TOTAL TIME: 55 minutes


  • Colored glow sticks - multiple colors depending on modifications to the icebreaker
  • Buckets - plastic kids’ buckets work great, but any type of bucket can work
  • Notecards - one for each child (or paper)
  • Magazines - old used magazines for youth to cut up
  • Scissors
  • Glue sticks
  • Markers or colored pencils

In This Series...

Fourth Sunday after Pentecost, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Fifth Sunday after Pentecost, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Sixth Sunday after Pentecost, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes


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In This Series...

Fourth Sunday after Pentecost, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Fifth Sunday after Pentecost, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Sixth Sunday after Pentecost, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes