Move

Note to the Teacher

This week we live in love by moving.  This image-rich passage calls us to action to put on the armor of God.  Though the act of putting on armor draws up imagery of going to battle, the way in which this passage talks about the armor indicates it is preparing us to do a wholly different kind of work. 

For example, the shoes which would be carrying the Roman soldier into a battle where he would fight to the death at the direction of his commanding officer play a different role in these verses.  Here the shoes carry us out to share the “gospel of peace.”  This dramatic imagery invites compelling discussion as to how this passage calls us to live in the world.

To that end, it is important to note that the text doesn’t end with the sword (Ephesians 6:17) but with prayer (vv. 18-20).

Time Description of Activity
10 min 

1.  Superhuman Aspiration

Take each of these questions on their own allowing the group to share an answer before continuing to the next one.

  • What typical super power would you most like to have?
  • What typical superpower would you least like to have?
  • What is a superpower you have never heard of a fictional superhero having that you would like to have?
  • What would you call yourself with this atypical superpower?
5 min

2.  Read Scripture

This scripture passage is full of imagery.  Consider inviting students to close their eyes and visualize the scripture as someone reads it.

Read: Ephesians 6:10-20

15 min

3. Discussion

Before you begin the discussion, take a moment to talk about how this passage ends with prayer and in some ways subverts the violent war-focused side of the metaphor. 

  • Make a list of each piece of armor and what it is symbolizing.
  • What do you think could have inspired Paul to choose this metaphor?
  • Which of these pieces of armor seem to be defensive and which are offensive?  What does that aspect of the armor say about the symbol?
  • The sword is a dangerous weapon especially in the hands of a skilled warrior. Swords can inflict all kinds of damage (both good and bad).  How can Christians use the Bible in the same way (both good and bad)? Where have you witnessed the good and the bad use of the Bible?
  • The whole book has led up to this image.  In a way this is how Paul summarizes all he was saying. How does this echo the themes we have discussed: being built up in love, learning to live in love, always giving thanks in love empowered by the Holy Spirit?

Have students look at the list and reflect personally on these questions.  Then give them time to share with the group some of their thoughts:

  • Which of these pieces of armor seem most confusing?
  • Which of these seem to bother you?  What about them makes you uncomfortable?
  • Which of these resonates with you?  How can you build on that and improve using this aspect of faith?
20 min

4. Activity and Discussion:

Take this lesson to the next level by getting students’ whole bodies involved using the activity “Armor Prayers” from the Youth Worker Collective available at www.youthworkercollective.com/armor-prayers-a-creative-prayer-activity-to-explore-ephesians-6  

5 min  

5. Closing

Close in prayer spending specific time thanking God for things that have happened in the present and past.

55 min  

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