Hope

Note to the Teacher

There are signs all around us that the year is coming to an end: crops being harvested, leaves changing color, a new chill in the air, or perhaps the fact that Christmas decorations have already been on sale in the stores for a month now. Similarly, there are telltale signs that we are approaching the end of the Christian calendar. In fact, we are entering the last four weeks of the Christian year today. On December 2, the first day of Advent, the calendar will begin again. As the Christian year draws to a close, we set aside this day, All Saints Sunday, to remember those faithful followers of Jesus who came before us and made it possible for us to know him--whether it’s Stephen, or any of the early disciples who risked their lives to spread the Gospel, or our own grandmother who snuggled us in her lap and told us Bible stories. All Saints Sunday can generate some sad moments for any youth who may have sustained the death of a family member recently or for a congregation who has lost a lifelong member. But our hope is contained in today’s Scripture: our God makes all things new. Even in death, there is new life, and that is the victory we share through Jesus!

Time Description of Activity
10 min

1. Ice Breaker

Ask the students:

  • What are you known for?
  • What would you like to be known for?
  • What would you like to be remembered for?
  • How are those last two questions different?
20 min

2.  Read Scripture  & Discuss

A house may undergo a remodel or a renovation. A remodel involves a fresh coat of paint, maybe in a different color. It could involve refinishing cabinets, updating floor coverings, or swapping out furnishings. But a renovation goes beyond mere cosmetics to the very structure of the house. A renovation involves gutting the house:  walls are removed, the substructure is replaced, and the foundation is reset. After a remodel, everything looks new. After a renovation, everything is new. Our Scripture today tells us that God intends to make all things new. There will be no more crying, no more mourning, no more death, and no more pain. God isn’t promising a mere makeover, but a renewing that will go to the very core of our being.

Read Revelation 21:1-6a.

 

 

3. Discussion

  • Which part of today’s Scripture reading stands out to you?
  • What do you think the Bible is trying to tell us when it compares the new heaven and earth to a bride on her wedding day?
  • Why would God want to create and all-new heaven and earth?1
  • What are some of the biggest things that will probably be different when God lives among the people?
  • What are some things the Bible says will be different?
  • How do you think it will be existing without pain, crying, mourning, and death?
  • What do the words Alpha and Omega mean?
  • What does it mean to you that God is the beginning and the end?
  • Today is All Saints Sunday, when we remember those who have already passed from this life into the next. What comfort and hope do we find in these verses for our loved ones and for all of us?
 

1 In Genesis 3:17, during the account of the fall of Adam and Eve, God says that the ground is cursed because of their sinful actions. Imagine a beautiful mountain vista in the autumn or a stunning, brilliant sunset. The amazing beauty we enjoy is actually a hobbled version of God’s original creation. Sinfulness also introduced pain and hatred into our existence (vv. 15, 16). Moreover, humanity lost access to the tree of life (vv22, 23), causing death to become part of our reality. God intends to fully restore the original creation. It won’t be just a small change here and there. God will make all things new.

20 min

4. Activity and Discussion:

Your Faith Family Tree

Take this lesson to the next level by getting muscles involved using the activity Your Faith Family Tree  from the Youthworker Collective: (https://youthworkercollective.com/your-faith-family-tree-a-great-all-saints-activity/)

5 min  

5. Closing

Close in the manner that is typical for you. Consider taking joys/concerns from the students, then asking for a volunteer to close in prayer.

50 min

 

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