A Thanksgiving Meal in the Kingdom of God
In the Kingdom of God, we pay attention to each other's needs. Serve one another as I have served you.
Galatians 5:13 "serve one another humbly in love"
John 13: 14-16 I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you. Very truly I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.
This is an old youth group idea from way back that kids still love to participate in. Lots of ways to modify it and draw out talking points.
It goes something like this:
- A group sits down to a breakfast table on which you have placed a variety of appealing breakfast foods and drinks.
- Each place has a plate, fork, cup with a straw, and napkin.
There are just two rules:
- You can't talk or make any noise.
- You can't feed yourself.
The people around you have to take care of your needs.
A few things to ask about:
- Did you notice when you started to "tune in" to other people's needs?
- How did it make you feel meeting another's needs?
- How did it make you feel when others took care of you?
- Did you pick up any clues about serving others by watching what other people did?
- How is this meal like... your family, your church, God's Kingdom? (what lessons can you draw from it?)
In one version of this meal, after eating for a while, we LABELED all the food bowls, cups, and plates with "things we need others to feed us" to nourish our spirit.
- Being Helpful
- Praying for
- Going the Extra Mile
Then after a while, we asked the kids what all those labels were about.
Always wondered how we could set a place at the table, but leave it empty, and then discuss WHO and HOW we could invite those people. And what are we inviting them to? A meal of friendship, forgiveness, empathy, helpful, prayer, extra mile, etc etc. It's a visual parable.
An idea originally posted by Neil MacQueen
In a "similar vein" there's an interesting video on YouTube for OLDER kids called the Allegory of the Long Spoons. It may or may not be worth adding to this parable-meal. The animation style is a bit creepy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhU5JEd-XRo