Life in the Trinity: Prologue to Post-Pentecost

Note to the Teacher

At this time of the year, people might find themselves in the midst of significant transition. Middle to high school. College to career. Some people might be getting married or changing jobs. Some United Methodist pastors are getting ready to start new appointments on July 1. The denomination itself is contemplating transition, having just had its first look at the report from the Council of Bishop’s Commission on a Way Forward.[1]

Transition is full of blessings and exciting opportunities, but also a good deal of questions and uncertainties, which can then fill you with worry and trepidation. Since “the only thing that is constant is change,”[2] we also need a constant that will help us face change with confidence. It is the same constant that gave the disciples their confidence as they transitioned to apostles after receiving the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. That constant is the relentless presence of our Triune God.

[1] http://www.umc.org/who-we-are/united-methodist-bishops-recommend-a-way-forward

[2] Heraclitus

Time Description of Activity
10 min 

1. Ice Breaker: Name Your Top 3

This is Trinity Sunday, the day we celebrate the mystery of our Triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. In order to get your group talking, and have fun with the idea of “three,” we’re going to play a quick round of Name Your Top Three. It’s easy. Just go around and ask each person to name their top 3…

  • places to eat
  • shows you’ve binged
  • songs to sing like nobody’s listening
  • pizza toppings
  • royal family members
  • Pixar movies
  • salty snacks
  • Snapchat streaks
  • things to do in the summer
  • super powers
  • animals at the zoo
  • cereals
5 min

2.  Scripture

In today’s passage, Paul describes the workings of all three persons of the Holy Trinity. The Son redeems us. The Holy Spirit leads us. The Father adopts us into the family of God.

Read Romans 8:12-17

15 min

3. Discussion

  • What is the most significant transition you have been through in your life so far?[1]
  • What transitions are you looking forward to as you get older?
  • What can be fun and exciting about making a transition? Is there anything that can make it worrisome or difficult?
  • What is the transition that Paul is talking about in verses 12 and 13?
  • What does it mean to live in the Spirit? How do we make that transition?
  • What might be worrisome or difficult about living in the Spirit?
  • When have you ever cried out to a parent?
  • What does Abba mean?[2] How does that term inform us of the kind of relationship God wants with us?
  • What does it mean to be a child of God? What are we inheriting?
  • How does that give us confidence in whatever life brings our way?

[1] Some of your students might talk about leaving elementary school and starting middle school. Some may have moved from one town to another. Others might give you more difficult answers involving the divorce of parents or the loss of a family member.

[2] Abba is the informal word for father. It can be read as dad or daddy. The same word appears in Mark 14:36, as Jesus is praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, before being arrested.

20 min

4. Activity –Triune Over Easy

4  Take this lesson to the next level by getting student’s mouths imaginations involved using the activity “Triune Over Easy: A Tasty Way to Explore Trinity” available online at the Youth Worker Collective:  http://www.youthworkercollective.com/triune-over-easy-a-tasty-way-to-explore-trinity

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.

55 min  

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