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1 Kings 3.5-12; Psalm 119.129-136; Romans 8.26-39; Matthew 13.31-33,44-52

Young people's session

Jesus tells parables that seek to convey what the kingdom of heaven is ‘like’ or ‘similar to’. Some are about the way it grows and spreads, others stress its value compared to anything else in life.

This week we explore waiting and trusting.

Extra ideas can be found by using the Jump to this week's menu on the right.

 

Prepare
Young people Session

Read Bible notes on Matthew 13:31-33,44-52

We read five short parables in which the kingdom is described as an influence and as items worth waiting and paying for. How do you understand the kingdom of God as both something here and now and anticipated?

Ultimately, God decides people’s fates. Our role is to keep seeking and spreading the kingdom. How will you encourage trust in God rather than fear from this passage? Time is a key element in all the parables. In a time of waiting, we need to trust. The disciples answered that they understood all this, do we?

Some of the young people may be waiting for exam results. Some may be about to go on long-awaited holidays. Be prepared to share the concerns and joys of these.

Gather
Young people Session

Time to grow 15 mins S A

You will need: toilet roll tubes, compost, packet of red radish seeds, masking tape.

  • Each person seals one end of a toilet roll tube with masking tape and fills it with compost. Plant two or three radish seeds 1cm below the surface. Water sparingly. How can they be sure something will grow? Ask them to guess how many days it will take to see a seedling. Write it on their tube, keep it damp at home and wait.

 

First impressions

You could also use the image and following questions to help introduce the theme.

Click on the image to view a larger version
or use the Jump menu to go to This week's images.
For artist's details, see this issue's illustrators.

 

Questions

  • How does it feel to be waiting and trusting?
  • What everyday examples might you use to describe the kingdom of heaven?
  • What is your part in making it a reality?
Share the Word
Young people Session

Parable questions 15 mins W

  • On a large sheet of paper draw two columns, each headed with a question: What is the kingdom of heaven like? What takes time?
  • Read out each parable, allowing time for the group to write answers to the questions. Then ask: What examples of risk or trust are in these stories?
Explore and respond
Young people Session

Faster slower 5 mins W A

Think about activities taking time

You will need: six A4 sheets with images of activities on them.

  • Have sheets depicting different activities, e.g. blinking, take a bus to town, wash your hands. Lay these face down for people to select. Show one activity and ask the group to guess if the next activity will be slower or faster. Then ask someone to select a different sheet to show the group. Anyone who was wrong is out. Mix the sheets and play again.

 

Time and trust  10 minsW S

Think about trust over time

You will need: flipchart or whiteboard (or similar), suitable pens.

  • Talk together about how we mark time. Draw up a list to include ‘minutes’, ‘hours’, ‘days’, ‘weeks’, ‘months’, and ‘years’. Discuss the time taken in each of the parables, asking the young people to choose which time frame best applies to each story: growing a tree takes years, raising dough takes hours, buying a field takes days.
  • Ask: How do these stories help us trust God even if prayers don’t seem to be answered quickly? How does it help us understand God’s view of time?

 

Acrostic prayer  15 minsW E

Reflect on trusting in God’s time

You will need: folded A5 card with T R U S T written inside, pens.

  •  Play the track ‘While I Wait’, Lincoln Brewster on God Of The impossible.
  • Invite everyone to design a cover for the card around the theme of ‘trust’. In the middle of the card write five simple sentence prayers about these things, each beginning with the letters T R U S T.

 

Check-inConnecting faith with everyday, real-life issues

Available by 10 am on Thursday 27 July 2023.

Go with God

Consider together what you have explored, what that means for each of you and how it might influence your daily lives. 

Young people Session
  • Ask: When will it be difficult to trust God in the coming days/weeks? When might you need to ask for God’s help? Give everyone a calendar for August (template) and a glue stick, to stick radish seeds on significant dates.
  • Sometimes we want God to step in and make a situation better right away, waiting is difficult. Can they see growth in their seeds yet? Once a seed gets wet, the chemistry inside starts to work and it will have begun to change. We just can’t see it yet.

 

Go with God 24/7

Every day add a little water to your tube with seeds in compost. Say your acrostic prayer sentences to help you think about trusting God more. 
S A

 

Thrive

Before you finish,
give out the Thrive
resource to encourage
faith at home.

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