Faith formation is not just about giving intellectual assent to a set of principles and doctrines. It is about placing trust in a relationship. Many of the sessions I have done with young people over the years have focused on the notion of trust—an issue that young people are grappling with as they discern who it is in this world that they can rely on.
Scripture, of course, tells us that God can be trusted, which leads me to one of my favorite lessons and one of my favorite Scripture passages. I have always loved the image of Psalm 18, the Lord is my rock. It just so happens that in the alley behind my home, there is a generous supply of rocks! So, in preparation for this lesson, I went hunting for 15 or so small white rocks to bring to class. The lesson focused on how Adam and Eve chose to place their trust in themselves rather than in God (Finding God, Grade 8, Chapter 3) and how God responded by making a promise to offer Salvation. Ultimately, it is that promise that we are invited to place our trust in, and Jesus Christ, of course, is the fulfillment of that promise. The lesson culminated in the young people taking one of the rocks and prayerfully writing on it the words, “The Lord is my rock” (Psalm 18:2). The young people then took these rocks home with the instructions to place them next to their bed and to awaken each day by placing their trust in God.
Above is a picture from a similar lesson I did in which I focused on Psalm 144: “Blessed be the Lord, my rock.” Here is the outline of my #9 favorite lesson!