Image by Jess Bailey

When Has God Shown Up?

Lesson 2

 

Lesson Intro for Leaders

God is always with us and in all of creation. We can see God in the beauty of the sky and in the rage of a storm. We hear God in the rustling of the leaves and crashing of the ocean waves. We see the presence of God when we see healing of loved ones and the helping hand given to those who need it most. We see God in the ordinary of every day. We must choose to seek God in the mundane, in the everyday, business and in the stillness. God is always there.

 

Gathering Questions

This lesson is about asking the question, When has God shown up? We want to start our time together talking about when we have seen God. Share a time when you have seen God? If you can't think about a time when God has shown up can you think of a bible story where God shows up?

Let’s go in this order: 

  • Green Shirts 

  • Red Shirts

  • Tie Dye shirts

  • Anyone left? 

 

Opening Prayer

Supplies: Candle (optional)

As a family/group- have one person read the “leader” parts, and the rest of the family/small group respond in the following call & response prayer below adapted from Psalm 136:1-9. Instruct the person leading the prayer to read the leader part and have the rest of group respond with the response “For God’s love forever!”


Leader: O give thanks to the Lord, for God is good

All:         For God’s love lasts forever!

Leader: O give thanks to the God of gods, O give thanks to the Lord of lords

All:         For God’s love lasts forever!


Leader: Who alone does great wonders and by understanding made the heavens

All:         For God’s love lasts forever!

Leader: Who spread out the earth on the waters and made the great lights

All:         For God’s love lasts forever!


Leader: Who made the sun to rule over the day and the moon and stars to rule over the night

All:         For God’s love lasts forever!

Leader: O give thanks to the God of heaven


All:        For God’s love lasts forever!

 

Alternate Opening Prayer

Gracious God, we know that you are good and that you love endures forever! We give thanks, for we know that you are the Lord of lords, the one who does great wonders throughout heaven and earth. You are the creator of all things and for your creation, we give thanks!

Bless this time together that we might be reminded of your love for us, a love that lasts forever! Amen!

 

I Spy!

The game starts with a simple declaration by one player: “I spy something _____.” The blank is filled in with any adjective (i.e., purple, fuzzy, tall, square). It is up to the opposite player(s) to guess what it is the first player spies. If you are playing through an online platform such as Zoom have a player pick an item in another persons window. 

Play for five minutes or until everyone gets a turn. 

 

Scripture Background

These verses below are part of the Parable of the Bags of Gold. It is good to remember and remind the students that God will reward those who serve without thinking of a reward. Jesus is always caring and always present with the poor and the suffering. Caring for someone who suffers is like caring for Jesus and is a special means of grace. God is in all things and in all people. Jesus implores us to recognize the divine in those who are least. We do not have to help them for them to experience God. Yet, we are still called to show God’s love for us by caring for those suffering.

 

Scripture Reading

Matthew 25:34-40 (ESV)

 

(Bible background for students:  Jesus left the temple in Jerusalem and went to sit on the Mount of Olives.  The disciples came to Jesus asking questions.  Jesus taught them about the end of the age and the coming of the Son of Man.  Then, Jesus told several parables, including this one)

34  Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? 38 And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ 40 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

 

Discussion Questions

  • In what ways do you see God in other people?

  • How do others see God in you?

 

Digging Deeper Questions

Surface: 

  • Where do you see God in this passage?

  • This passage focuses on how when we help others, we serve God, share a time you’ve seen this happen.

  • Where do we see God in everyday life? (crashing of ocean waves, vibrant colors of a sunset, the smile of a stranger, healing of loved ones)

  • In what ways do you experience God in your everyday life?

Deeper: 

  • Reread verse 40. The king responds about the “least of these.” Who do you think the “least of these” represent in this story? How about in our lives today?

  • What does helping the “least of these” look like today?

  • How could you seek to see God every day? How do you seek to see God in others?

Deepest: ​

  • If we read verses 42-45, we would find that there are those who ignore others and fail to respond to the need of others. There are times we do not help others. Why don’t we always help?

  • Do you think there is a difference between ignoring people and not seeing them? Why or why not?

  • How can learning more about God help us to really see other?

 

Seeing God in everything...

Visit this website below to see a random selection of items. Have someone select an item. After they have selected an item, give them a few minutes to think about how God is like the object or how you can see it as biblical; then allow them to share. Refresh the page for a new list of items. (You can also have participants work in teams if that works better.)

For example: A magnifying glass is picked from the list of items and the student says:  God helps us to see things we cannot see with our own eyes.

 

Closing Discussion

Spend some time discussing and reflecting on this lesson and then close with a prayer below.

  • After this lesson, how would you answer the question: When has God shown up?

  • What can we do to see God more in the everyday?

What to Remember:

God shows up even when we least expect it!

 

Getting Ready for Prayer

(Optional)

 Given that God shows up even when we least expect it:  

  • If you close your eyes, can you picture how God is revealed in a sunset?  Try.

  • If you close your eyes, can you picture how God is revealed in an ocean wave?  Try.

  • If you close your eyes, can you picture how God is revealed in the face of someone you love?  Try.


While you think about these questions:  Raise your arms over your head, palms out, in a gesture of blessing or benediction.

 

Closing Prayer

Invite the students to pray with you as you read the prayer below.


Gracious God, 

We praise you for the sky and sun, for both reminding us of our daily challenge and chance to chase and seek you. Thank you for reminding us that you are always with us in all you have created. Bless us with eyes to see you in everyone we meet. 


In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 
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