My friend and co-worker, Kate, has a hilarious habit of zipping by my cubicle in a feigned huff and claiming, “You don’t care!” Before I can even respond, she’s gone! While we laugh at Kate’s antics, the truth is, too many people feel as if no one cares about them. The story of Abraham teaches us that God indeed cares! In fact, God has a plan for us that has our best interests at heart. It’s important for us to know that and to communicate it to others, especially those in despair. With that in mind, here is my lesson for tomorrow night, Tuesday, November 12, 2013:
BIG IDEA: Abraham trusts in God’s plan because God cares.
As kids arrive, have them cut out little circles and shapes from colored cellophane and tell them that they can take these home and stick on a window using a dab of soapy water to create a stained-glass window.
- Write the word cellophane on the board and explain that it is a transparent sheet of plastic. Point out that we’ll be coming back to that idea in a minute.
- Opening procession and prayer ritual
- Repeat the definition of cellophane and then explain that you’re going to show them a short clip from a movie called Chicago in which a character named Amos feels like he’s made of cellophane.
- Show the clip of Mr. Cellophane (3 minutes, 15 seconds). Consider providing the lyrics to assist their comprehension.
Note: in the movie, the song includes a couple of dialogue scenes which this clip deletes except for a couple of seconds which are actually in spanish. In the first, Richard Gere’s character is asking “Are you still here, Andy (wrong name)?” to which Amos replies, “Yeah, I’m still here…I think” and at the end, Amos says, “I hope I didn’t take up too much of your time.”
- Explain that sometimes people can feel like they are invisible when they think that nobody cares and that they don’t matter.
- Say, Today, we’re going to learn that God cares deeply about us and that he has a plan for our future that has our best interests at heart.
- Scripture reading: Jeremiah 29:11-14a (I know the plans I have for you)
- Read Finding God, chapter 4 (pgs 22, 23, and 25) using the ball toss to select readers.
- Arrange the young people in groups of 3 and provide them with Bibles, and instruct them to work together to read, take notes (using the Abraham Trusts in Gods Plan Worksheet) and to prepare to report on TWO of the following passages: (Worksheet Answer Key)
- Gn 12:1-8 (God’s call and migration)
- Gn 13:1-18 (God’s promise of land/a home)
- Gn 15:1-18 (God makes a covenant with Abram)
- Gn 17:1-9, 15-22 (God changes Abram’s and Sarai’s names)
- Gn 18:1-15 (3 visitors and the promise of a son)
- Gn 22: 1-18 (God tests Abraham’s faith)
- Then, do a jigsaw activity: arrange 3 new groups consisting of 1 student from each of the previous 3 groups and have them report to the others on the 2 stories they read…when finished, each student should have all 6 stories summarized.
- Invite volunteers to tell the entire story of Abraham without using notes
- Introduce Pinocchio pictures to show that we are sometimes tempted by “plans” that do not have our best interests at heart. Emphasize the following:
- Pinocchio was created by Gepetto who wanted the best for him and had a plan for him (to go to school and learn and grow)
- Pinocchio was tempted by Honest John who had his own plan that did not have Pinocchio’s best interests at heart but rather his own.
- Pinocchio was persuaded to buy into Honest John’s plan to take up acting and he came under the control of Stromboli who, again, had plans that did not have Pinocchio’s best interests at heart.
- Jiminy Cricket represents Pinocchio’s conscience – trying to remind Pinocchio who had his best interests at heart.
- Explain that Abraham was able to place his trust in God’s plan because he had faith that God had his best interests at heart.
- Play a recording of A Song of Hope (John Foley, SJ) and encourage young people to remember that God cares for them.
- Lead a guided reflection My Vocation in Life from Guided Reflections for Children: Praying My Faith.