Image Credit: otherthings on Flickr
This is part of an 11-session series for 11-14 year olds, teaching our mission statement and the importance of it’s values:
We exist to learn to follow Jesus, to show honour to God, to use our gifts to serve, to support each other, and to share our faith.
Session Aim: To find out how we can live our lives to honour God better
Activity: Left Behind
Ask everyone to imagine that were stranded alone on a desert island. Instead of asking what items they would want to bring with them, ask them what things they would miss most from their life. Allow lots of discussion. Some people may go for family and friends while others may say particular objects. Explain that these are the things we find hardest to give up. Ask them if they would be willing to give them up if God asked them to? This is called sacrifice.
Read: Romans 12:1
So brothers and sisters, since God has shown us great mercy, I beg you to offer your lives as a living sacrifice to him. Your offering must be only for God and pleasing to him, which is the spiritual way for you to worship.
Illustration: Mother Teresa
Use the story of Mother Teresa to show how it is possible to live your life for God as Paul suggests in Romans.
Mother Teresa of Calcutta was a Roman Catholic nun and founder of the Missionaries of Charity. She was born in 1910 to Albanian parents in Skopje, Macedonia. In September 1946, while riding in an Indian train from Calcutta to Darjeeling, she received a divine calling from God “to serve Him amongst the poorest of the poor”.
She served as principal of a Roman Catholic high school in Calcutta, and was moved by the presence of the sick and dying on the city’s streets. In 1948 she was granted permission to leave her post at the convent and begin a ministry among the sick. In serving the people abandoned by society, Mother Teresa put love into action. Her spirit of giving inspired many to follow her, and her work eventually expanded to many other parts of the world. Today over 5000 sisters, brothers, and volunteers run approximately 500 centers worldwide, feeding 500,000 families and helping 90,000 lepers every year.
On September 5, 1997, at the age of 87, the best loved woman of the century passed away.
There are literally thousands of stories of her work, here is one in her own words:
Some of my sisters (Nuns) work in Australia. On a reservation, among the Aborigines, there was an elderly man. I can assure you that you have never seen a situation as difficult as that poor old man’s. He was completely ignored by everyone. His home was disordered and dirty.
I told him, “Please, let me clean your house, wash your clothes, and make your bed.” He answered, “I’m okay like this. Let it be.”
I said again, “You will be still better if you allow me to do it.”
He finally agreed. So I was able to clean his house and wash his clothes. I discovered a beautiful lamp, covered with dust. Only God knows how many years had passed since he last lit it.
I said to him, “Don’t you light your lamp? Don’t you ever use it?”
He answered, “No. No one comes to see me. I have no need to light it. Who would I light it for?”
I asked, “Would you light it every night if the sisters came?”
He replied, “Of course.”
From that day on the sisters committed themselves to visiting him every evening. We cleaned the lamp, and the sisters would light it every evening.
Two years passed. I had completely forgotten that man. He sent this message: “Tell my friend that the light she lit in my life continues to shine still.”
I thought it was a very small thing. We often neglect small things.
For more information on Mother Teresa, visit Wikipedia. Explain that there are millions of Christians who do the same thing at school, home and work Ã¢â‚¬â€œ you donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have to become famous because God sees what you do.
- What does it mean to be a Ã¢â‚¬Ëœliving sacrificeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢? How did Mother Teresa show this?
- Do you think that your life (your offering) is pleasing to God? Why or why not?
- What could you do to make it more pleasing to God?
- Pray that God will let you know that He is pleased with you. Ask Him to challenge you to make changes that show him more honour.
- Pray for any issues affecting the group this week.
This week, try going without something you enjoy and spend time with God instead. This is sometimes called Ã¢â‚¬ËœfastingÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ but is a way of showing honour to God.
Further Reading: 2 Corinthians 7:1
Dear friends, we have these promises from God, so we should make ourselves pureÃ¢â‚¬â€free from anything that makes body or soul unclean. We should try to become holy in the way we live, because we respect God.