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Related Bible reading(s): Matthew 11.2-11
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Warm up            5 mins ES

Bring in one bowl of sweets wrapped in blue, and another with sweets wrapped in red or orange. Take turns to share something from the past week that caused either despair or happiness. Anyone who shares something sad takes a blue sweet to cheer them up. If they share something positive, they take a red or orange sweet and pass it on, to share the joy.

Questions for Jesus            15 mins WE

The reading can be dramatised using different readers for the voices of John, his disciples and Jesus. John’s disciples can walk from him to interrupt Jesus with their question. Jesus answers and then turns to the crowd and reads from verse 7 onwards.

Questions to discuss

  • Why do you think John developed doubts about whether Jesus was the Messiah?
  • How does Jesus prove he is the promised one?
  • How would you feel if someone doubted your character?

Who does what?            15 mins WE

Look at the list of actions that Jesus refers to in verse 5. Ask the young people to think about people today who work as opticians, physiotherapists, doctors, audiologists. If you know of anyone who works in one or more of these roles, invite them in to share a little of what they do.

Prisoners            15 mins WEA

Discuss who it is who suffers when a person is sent to prison. Both the people who were the victims of the offence and the family of the prisoner suffer. Someone in your group may know someone in custody, so ensure sensitivity when discussing this.

Look up the Angel Tree Project. They support families of prisoners especially at Christmas by enabling prisoners to send a gift to their children. Consider how your group could support this work.

Preview songs on YouTube, buy online and download.

Paris (Refuge), All Sons & Daughters on Paris
Take Up Your Cross, Judicator on The Last Emperor
Cover the Earth, Kari Jobe feat. Cody Carnes on Cover the Earth

Advent anagrams            5 mins W

Make anagram puzzles in large letters on A4 paper with an Advent/Christmas theme about light and dark. Words for light: star, shining, candle, angel. Words for dark: night, Herod, myrrh, doubts. Reveal the words and see who can work out what the word is and shout it out first.

3D good news star            15 mins ES

Cut two identical stars (template) from sheets of A4 card. Cut one from top to centre and the other from bottom to centre. Slot the two together at right angles. Take turns to share some good news and staple an orange sweet wrapper – from the Warm up – to the star. Hang it up as a reminder of the good news you shared.

  • What do you see when you look in the mirror?
  • When do you experience doubt and despair?
  • What good things would you like to share?

Justice            10 mins WEA

Consider all the people involved in court cases that result in prison sentences. Write prayers for those who work in the justice system and those who encounter it as victims or offenders and their families. Someone in your group may know someone in custody, so ensure sensitivity when discussing this.

Thanks for people            10 mins WES

Provide outlines of people on paper or card (template). Encourage the young people to think of someone they look up to who is an example of good news. Write a simple prayer, giving thanks for that person, on the person shape. Hang the prayers on your Advent prayer tree.  Keep the tree to use throughout Advent (see Welcome text on p.1), as each week there are activities to add symbols/items to the prayer tree.

SA

Look up a news story this week, that involves a court case or prison sentence and pray for all those involved.

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