This lesson refers to God’s love and patience with us in the face of our sinfulness.
The room can be set up however you’d like. Be sure to provide space for youth to look through magazines as they find their collage images and space to make the large group collage
Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard, “Jesus is making and baptizing more disciples than John” —although it was not Jesus himself but his disciples who baptized— he left Judea and started back to Galilee.
But he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a Samaritan city called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired out by his journey, was sitting by the well. It was about noon. A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” (His disciples had gone to the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?” (Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” The woman said to him, “Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well, and with his sons and his flocks drank from it?” Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.” Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come back.” The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; for you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband. What you have said is true!” The woman said to him, “Sir, I see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you say that the place where people must worship is in Jerusalem.” Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When he comes, he will proclaim all things to us.” Jesus said to her, “I am he, the one who is speaking to you.”
This session aims to provide youth with the opportunity to look into their hearts and to see how their lives are directed away from God. By practicing confession, youth will own their failings as a way to both crucify the false self while also reorienting the heart toward God.
Youth will examine their hearts to see what keeps them from God. They will see how confession to another harnesses the impulse for self-expression in a way that unites them to Christ. They will also explore the things that block an honest confession and practice confessing these blocks.
Gather (5 minutes)
Greeting One Another:
Go around the circle and say their best and worst parts of the week. If the youth are not familiar with one another, use this time to repeat names and/or ages.
Introducing the Session:
Christ desires to be the center of our lives, to be the one toward whom all our love is directed. Often, we put other things first. This makes sense, because we live in a world that encourages us to do so, promising that those other things will give our lives meaning and value. It could be being popular, or it could be getting the best grades, or it might even be needing to look really good. Whatever these things are, we may prize them as ultimate, as being what our lives really are about. When these things are central, Christ becomes displaced. We construct false selves that over-identify with these things, and the thought of putting those things aside is actually really painful. These things become idols to us, and in order to tune into Christ, we need to confess this idolatry to another person, but to do so is actually really hard. It involves a kind of death. It is a voluntary putting to death of this false self.
Engage (30 minutes)
Activity 1: Selecting Images
Activity 2: Creating the Collage
Reflect (20 minutes)
Activity 3: Reflecting on the Scripture
Activity 4: Confession of Sins
Send Forth (5 minutes)
Lord Jesus Christ our God, we give thanks to you that you know the depths of our hearts, and that you are waiting to meet each of us at the well of our desires. We have shown you, Lord, what each of us loves and the ways that we have turned from you. And we ask for your forgiveness as we pursue alternate loves. O Lord, as you invited the woman at the well to receive living water, we now ask that you fill our souls with that same water, that you embolden us to continue to confess our sins and to turn to you, the only true lover of our souls, trusting that you will meet us in our shame and empower us to live in your light. Have mercy on us, O Lord, and save us, for you are a good God and the lover of all people. Amen.
This resource includes supplementary materials: