Activities based on the metaphor of "sight" (Spiritual Sight) for Teens
(very applicable to children as well)
The story of Jesus healing the blind man came up in a teen class taught by my daughter at our church. Here is the basic "activity" she and I came up with, and I have no doubt it is very applicable to children's classes as well.
After the Bible Study... We explained to the kids that we were going to do a series of activities that work on the metaphor of "sight". We also reminded them that the first sermon Jesus every preached was Isaiah's proclamation of sight to the blind. Jesus healed several 'blind' people, but did not make the curing of physical blindness his main work. Like many miracles, they were "signs" ...teaching devices. Yes, he was sometimes moved by compassion, but most healings were occasions for teaching. Jesus frequently said, let those with ears hear, and eyes, see. Spiritual sight was what he was driving at. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Etc etc.
This is a sketch of what took place. Plenty of teacher patter and presentation to be filled in by you.
- Tell the story of the blind men trying to describe an elephant. (If you're unfamiliar, here it is in brief: One grabs the trunk, another grabs a leg, another the tail, and each describes what they think an elephant is -based on their limited grasp of the elephant.). The point: trying to describe God or figure out life is a lot like the blind men trying to describe the elephant. Ask: How could they have come up with a better description? Answer: By sharing what they knew. This is what church does. This is also what Jesus did, helping "the blind" (metaphor for all of us) "see" God and the things of his Kingdom.
- Continuing with this metaphor, students take turns being blindfolded and being given various objects to examine. The last object is a Bible. Now the blindfolded student will probably figure out that it is a book, and probably the Bible given where they are! But push them to tell you what's in it, or to find something in it. The point: we need "eyes that see" to read the Bible. To some people it is just words, but here at church we develop spiritual eyesight.
- Pass around a pair of glasses that have been heavily fogged. You can use goggles or a cheap pair of sunglasses which you have sprayed with hairspray. Pass around scripture, pass around a picture of Jesus, pass around a picture of Jesus on the cross.... making observations as you do about how we all need our eyesight 'corrected' to understand Christ, scripture. Who gives us this correction? Church can help, but it is God who gives "sight to the blind".
- What clouds our vision? At this point in the discussion, we gave each student HEIR OWN strip of white cloth to make their own blindfold. Put them on and pass around some more objects, asking the question, "what kinds of things "cloud" a person's eyesight? "Gets in the way of seeing what's really there?" Quickly we had them lay their blindfolds on the table and use permanent pens to WRITE on their blindfolds some of the things we were talking about: lazyness, coldness, uncaring attitudes, thinking its not important, being selfish. We came up with examples for each thing that contributed to our spiritual blindness, WITH real life examples, then had them write them on their blindfold.
With the older kids, we also interjected the idea of the "blind leading the blind"....which is a good concept for how a child's peers can try to steer them away from proper behavior, or from believing in God.
These blindfolds went home, and we told the kids that we didn't expect them to wear them, but hang in their room, or perhaps stick it in their sock drawer to become an occasional surprise reminder.