Lesson Developed by
Allowing Grace to Transform Us
Tips to Prepare
- If in person, set the room with chairs or around a table for a small group conversation.
- If virtually, schedule in your preferred video platform,
- Unsweetened bakers chocolate bars for each person (in foil so that students do not see the wrappers)
- Laptop or media device with the following clip “Les Miserables – The Bishop” (YouTube clip.)
Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he said, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the law? What do you read there?” He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” And he said to him, “You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.” But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan while traveling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, ‘Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.’ Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”
Now as they went on their way, he entered a certain village, where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he was saying. But Martha was distracted by her many tasks; so she came to him and asked, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all the work by myself? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things; there is need of only one thing. Mary has chosen the better part, which will not be taken away from her.”
Introduction for Leaders
- Begin with a check in with members
- Ask a group member to read the focal Scripture
- Open with prayer
Select the option that best suits your group’s needs:
Exercise Option 1:
- Another chocolate one! (The kids will be excited about this, given that they all got to eat chocolate in the exercise from a few weeks ago.)
- Excitedly tell them that they can eat all of this that they want, and place the bar, with the wrapping opened and not visible, in front of them. The trick? It’s unsweetened baker’s chocolate.
- Ask them how it tastes, and reflect with them that cacao beans are not sweet, and yet are necessary for making delicious chocolate. (If you’re feeling generous, then give them some real chocolate to eat.)
Exercise Option 2:
Watch the video clip together (YouTube clip)
Reflect Together on the Following Questions:
1. For those who know the story of “Les Misérables,” what impact did this priest’s give have upon Jean Valjean?
2. What might it look like to have grace shown to us in our schools? In the political arena? Who would the Good Samaritan be, and who would the traveler be, depending upon who is telling the story?
3. How might an act of kindness transform us? Has anything like that ever happened to you?
4. What does it mean to consider that Samaritans were looked down upon by Jews (unsweetened chocolate)? Why did Jesus use this person to tell his story?
5. How do difficult things (unsweetened chocolate, Valjean’s past) help lead to grace?
Close the lesson in prayer (either the leader or group member)