The Shout at Midnight

There Is Now

Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost, Year A

This worship experience is both an inspiration to live each day aware of that presence and to acknowledge that all of us are closer to the one we follow than we realize.

Matthew 25:1-13

Note to the Teacher

Be sure to lay a foundation about the return of Jesus that does not cause panic or support conspiracy theories; however, reiterate to your group, as it states in verse 13, that no one knows the day or hour and refer back to last week’s lesson about leaving a legacy and living each day to our fullest potential for Christ.

Learning Outcomes:

Students will understand the importance of always being faithfully prepared.

The Ice Breaker introduces students to the idea of preparedness by allowing them to relate to something in their own lives: a vacation. Help them draw the parallel with scripture through the discussion.

The Discussion enables students to better understand how our actions can reflect our preparedness and that preparedness correlates to our faithfulness.

The Activity challenges student’s awareness to the lesson.

Times are based on a fifty-minute lesson period but can be adjusted.

1. Opening Question/Ice Breaker (10 minutes)

Going on a vacation: Play this “around the room” game (either face to face or virtual). Explain to the students that you are going to imagine you are all going on vacation (you can also change this to a mission trip) to the beach (you can name any location, could also be the mountains, etc.).

The first person will repeat the beginning sentence “We are all going on vacation to [location]. Then that person will say something he/she is going to take. The next person will say the initial sentence, repeat what the first person will take, and add his/her own item. Induvial students continue repeating what previous people have said and adding their own item until the last person repeats what everyone else has said. If you have a small group, you can go around twice.

If you are meeting virtually, consider challenging your group to get up, go get an item, then come back to share.


  • What event/experience have you been so excited about that you started planning way ahead?
  • What things did you do to prepare?
  • What items do you pack as your “just-in-case” things? (Ideas may include a first aid kit, extra outfit, jumper cables, snacks, and so on.) It could be as simple as laying out your first day of school outfit the night before.

2. Read Scripture (5 minutes)

Our scripture reading today comes from Matthew 25: 1-13.

3. Discussion (15 minutes)

  • Jesus is telling a parable. What message is Jesus trying to teach?
  • Why do you think he uses a groom and bridesmaids as the example?
    • You can talk for a few minutes here about other parables where weddings are used to teach.
  • In what areas of your life do you make sure you are prepared? Give concrete examples. (Homework for school, instruments for band, uniform for sports, etc.)
  • How do you think you can be “spiritually” ready?

4. Activity and Discussion (20 minutes)

  • Charades: Play a game of charades. Each person can take a turn, whether face to face or virtual. Ask the youth to act out one thing that they wish they could have done last March to be better prepared for the COVID-19 quarantine.


  • It’s easy to see things in hindsight. We would have never guessed what life would be like ahead of something like a pandemic.
  • Jesus does promise that he will come again. So, what things can we be doing to prepare for that event?
  • Sometimes we get motivated/excited about an upcoming event, especially when it is on the calendar and we know it is coming up. We read today that we don’t know the day or hour that Jesus will return. How can we keep one another motivated to stay prepared?
  • What promises can we make as a group today that we will do to keep one another on track, prepared, and faithfully ready?

End with a prayer. If your group is comfortable, you can have them share their commitments of preparedness in the way of a prayer.

In This Series...

Twenty-Third Sunday after Pentecost, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Twenty-Fourth Sunday after Pentecost, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Reign of Christ/Thanksgiving Sunday, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes