Archive for the ‘New Creation’ Category

Imagine you entered a contest and won a big bag of Skittles.  I mean, huuuuuge.  We’re talkin’ 41oz of pure, fruity sugar.  A-mazing.

But, what if you only wanted a handful of your super-delicious prize?  You ate a few and said, “Okay, I’m satisfied.  I don’t want any more.”  You’d have to be nuts!  That whole bag is for you!  It’s yours!  How can you only be satisfied with a handful?!

I think this is a picture of how some of us treat our relationship with the Lord.  We’ve won the prize–an ABUNDANT relationship with Christ–but we settle for less.  Maybe that’s only attending church on Sunday, and going through the motions.  Stand up.  Sit down.  Sing.  Read a prayer.  Shake hands.  Go to lunch.  Maybe for others it’s listening to lessons at CORE, but not involving ourselves in the discussion.  If I say the “right” answer, maybe Kelsey will stop talking.

Consider this: Maybe a relationship with Jesus is more than focusing on all the “Shall not”s of the bible, and more about getting to know God.  Who is He?  What is important to Him?  Are those things important to us?

In the same way we long for the whole bag of Skittles, I think we should long for more of Christ.  Curious about what that might mean?  We’ve got ideas.  Snag a volunteer if you’re interested in exploring this topic.  Keep in mind: We’re not going to shove the Skittles down your throat.  Once you’re ready for them, we’ll help you savor and enjoy them by the fist-full.

 

How do you feel about the John 4 transformation story?

What caused the woman to run into town and tell everyone what just happened?

Where did the woman get her courage from to tell others what happened?

What made the Samaritans believe the woman—believe a woman with such a reputation?

What was different about the woman that caused the other Samaritan’s to believe her, to meet Jesus themselves?

Where do you see yourself in this transformation story?

Are you touched by this transformation story?

Do you know of another transformation story that inspires you?

Does this case study help you understand spiritual transformation?  How so?

What was the woman being transformed from?

What was the woman being transformed to?

Why does Jesus care about this Samaritan woman so much?

What does this transformation story have to do with you?

CORE

Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Listen: Woman at the Well (John 4:4-30, 39-42)

Focus:

    • Case study of someone directly transformed by meeting Christ.
    • Educate students on Samaritan history.
    • Teach students to identify the unique circumstances of the passage.
    • Teach students to identify the unique characteristics of Jesus.

What is a Samaritan?

    • Identify what the students know about the Samaritan people
    • Identify what the Bible says about the Samaritan people (2 Kings 17:1-23, 24-41
      • mixed race of Jewish and Gentile
      • considered unclean by both Jews and Gentiles
      • anyone who associated with S. would also be unclean
      • traveling through Samaria was avoided, period
      • had own version of Pentateuch
      • had own temple to worship God and other gods
      • had own version of Israelite history
      • worship was based on ritual and tradition, often putting other gods first

Read aloud John 4:4-30

What unique circumstances can we identify?

    • Jesus chose this route through Samaria
    • time of day
    • they were alone
    • nothing to draw the water
    • disciples don’t ask any questions

What unique characteristics of Jesus can we identify?

    • Jesus speaks first
    • Jesus uses an earthly concept to explain spiritual concept
    • Jesus wants to talk about the woman, even after she tries to change the subject

Woman’s Monologue:

I am a broken woman.  I have developed a horrible reputation.  I am hated; I am despised by my own people.  I hear the whispers of everyone in town.  The weight of my shame causes me to withdraw.  Isolation is my only solace.  I’ve taken to only drawing water for my family at noon from Jacob’s well.  Even though it’s so hot you feel as though you are suffocating, it’s better than facing the glares and stares from everyone in town.  No, it’s better at noon…no one there to judge me, and tell me I’m worthless.

 One day, it all changed.

 As I got close to the well I saw a man sitting there, waiting.  I decided to keep my head down and mind my own business—he was a Jew, anyway, so I thought he would keep to himself.  What is he doing here, anyway?  As I began to draw water, he spoke to me.  Honestly, I didn’t know how to react.  No one speaks to me.  Sure, they speak about me behind my back, but no one speaks to me.  I was stunned.

 He started talking about living water.  I didn’t understand what he meant, but he described it as water that would cause me to never be thirsty again.  As bizarre as that sounded, I liked the idea of never being thirsty.  If I wasn’t thirsty I would never have to draw water from the well and have everyone make me feel like the broken, wretched woman that I was.  So I said, “Give me this water—whatever it is.”

 His words cut me to the quick.  “Go. and. get. your. husband.”  Each syllable leveled me.  I dropped my head in shame as my sin, my reputation, hung in the air between us.  I choked back the tears as I answered him.  “I have no husband.”

 In that moment, it all became real.  He was no longer a stranger or a Jew.  His response was strong and confident, but without hatred.  “I know.  You have had five husbands, and the man you live with now is not your husband.”

 I could see he was not just a man—he was some kind of “holy man.”  If he knew these things about me, what else did he know?  I had to change the subject.  I asked him some “holy question” in hopes that he would focus on something—anything—other than me.  I couldn’t handle it. 

 But this “holy man” was no fool.  He knew what I was trying to do.  Instead of looking at me with the same hatred and contempt I had been met with daily, he looked at me with love.  He looked at me with compassion.  He looked at me with tenderness.  I’ve never experienced that before.  His eyes were clearly communicating that I had value and worth.  Then he revealed himself to be the Son of God, the one I had hoped and prayed would save me from my shame and mistakes.  I knew it was true—I knew He was legit.  This man was who He said He was.

 The moment I knew He truly was the Son of God, I bolted.  I sprinted the whole five miles into town to tell anyone, everyone, what had happened.  I must have sounded crazy talking to the people who hated me openly.  And yet, I did not care.  I was overwhelmed by my experience, changed by being in the presence of the Son of God.  I was no longer the same woman.  This transformation caused the people in my town to be curious enough to seek out this man.  They spent a couple days with Him, listening and learning from Him.  They came back changed themselves. 

 Being in the presence of the Son of God changed me forever.  He gave my life value and purpose.  He made me a new creation because the old is gone.  Praise God.

Read aloud John 4: 39-42

Q: What was she being transformed from?

Q: What was she being transformed for?

Q: What are you taking away from this case study of transformation?

Q: How did the monologue make you feel?

Q: What gave the woman courage to share her experience with those who harassed her?

Q: What caused the people to listen to this woman of questionable reputation?

Send questions via facebook to any adult leader to be discussed next Wednesday.

Challenge for the week:

What examples of transformation have you seen in your life, or in the lives of people close to you?  (Send a private message to Kelsey via facebook.)

A Modern Day Teenager (or Randy Jackson) Writing Psalm 103.

YO! LISTEN UP SOUL!
Why are you so freakin’ hard headed?
Praise God with all you got dawg!
He is Holy!

YO! LISTEN UP SOUL!
Don’t forget how good He is! Don’t you do it.
Don’t forget that He forgives ALL your sin.
Yeah, even that one.

YO! LISTEN UP SOUL!
Don’t forget that He heals you, from everything.
From all your addictions…
and all the painful crap that’s been done to you.
He’s the one who does it, not your will power.

YO! LISTEN UP SOUL!
Your life was a wreck. You were a bum.
And he went and made you a prince (princess).
He wore thorns on His head on the cross
so on your head, you could wear a crown of His love.

YO! LISTEN UP SOUL!
You looked for life in places
that left you empty and unsatisfied.
He is the only one who satisfies.

You traded your childhood for regret
and grew up too fast,
but guess what?
God is good. He loves you so much
that He lets you become a child AGAIN,
HIS child.
Don’t forget that, soul. Don’t forget it.
Or I’ll punch you in the face.

c/o Young Life Leader Blog

http://www.younglifeleaders.org

Don’t forget to “JAM THE SANCTUARY” in support of CORE Youth Ministry this Sunday @ 9:45am.  Bring your friends and family!

Questions from the thoughtful mind of Lee Rempe:

 

I have questions for myself. Ask yourself the ones that apply.

1. How can I be sure my faith is my own and not an imitation of the faith of one of my Christian heroes?
2. Who can I confide with about my faith-related concerns?
3. I know God loves me, but does he like me a) when I’m alone or b) when i’m with others?
4. Concerning the mountain top experience: it is one I can have alone or in company with others. The thing about the mountain top is that it is isolated and away, a secluded spot from which I can contemplate little other than God’s grandeur. It is when I come down from the mountain top to the lush valleys of verdant green that there is much for my senses to take in and get lost in. Then temptation and confusion can set in and take me from being the man Jesus likes. That is when I need to remember what it means to stand alone.

John 15:5

Saturday (June 18) is when Team Colorado takes off for their adventure of service.  Students will join 100 others from across the U.S. and be placed on a team meeting various needs in Denver.  Examples include working with kids at Day Camps, Habitat for Humanity (sorting and unloading), gardening food for homeless, painting/weeding for a therapeutic horse ranch, landscaping for non-profit organizations or senior citizen housing facilities, food packaging and sorting at local food banks or any other opportunities that may come our way.

 

Please join us in prayer as we ask the Lord to give us a heart to serve, a spirit of flexibility, and an open heart to grow in Christ.  Pray safety over our travels (and we’re whitewater rafting!) as well as our health.  In Christ, we can do all things!

Theme verse: “I am the vine; you are the branches.  If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.”  John 15:5

Team Colorado:

Addison Schrader

Caria Philgreen

Jimmy Gelwicks

Kristy Reth

Mark Gelwicks

Mary Piegors

McKenna Brown

Megan Offerman

Melissa Curtis

Sydney Litterer

Dave Gaskill

Kelsey Anderson

Laura Gelwicks

Tina Mead