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November 20, 2011–Sleeping Under the Stars So Kids Can Reach Them

Contributed by Angie Larson, Clive, IA

Warm-up Question

Would you sleep outside in a box? In the rain? In Iowa? When the weather is only 30 degrees?

Sleeping Under the Stars So Kids Can Reach Them

This past October 29th nearly 1,000 Iowans abandoned their warm beds and homes.  They left their dinners and Halloween parties to head to Drake University’s outdoor stadium to sleep in cardboard boxes or on the ground.  Does it sound like a crazy thing to do?  Especially when the temperature neared 30 degrees and it began to rain.  Reggie’s Sleepout ( began in 2001, after Reggie Kelsey died in the Des Moines River, three and a half months after he aged out of the foster care system.  During those months Reggie (who suffered disabilities) battled homelessness, stayed in shelters, and slept outside.  He was ill-equipped to live on his own.  After his tragic death, Des Moines took a hard look at itself and how it handled its over 3,000 homeless youth.  Reggie’s Sleepout was developed.  It’s not only a fundraiser for the Iowa Homeless Youth Centers but an awareness project for the community.  Participants spend one evening in the cold, raising awareness, learning, and listening to stories of youth who depend on shelters for survival in the cold Midwest.

When Mackenzie Devoto, a participant at Reggie’s Sleepout, was asked about why she chose to spend the night in a box she replied, “Helping others is part of who I am.  Learning about homelessness and the people it affects reminds me how lucky I am and also reminds me that because I’m so lucky I get to help them also.” After sleeping in the cold, participants reflect on how long the night feels when you have so little and how exhausted they are after just trying to stay warm.  It causes them to ask questions like, “What would it be like if I had to do this every day?” and “How would I be able function at work or get an education if I weren’t able to get a warm, soft night’s sleep?”


Discussion Questions

  •  Have you ever spent a night in the cold?  How did you feel the next morning?
  • What awareness projects are there in your community for youth homelessness?
  • How would you respond to Reggie Kelsey’s death?
  • At 18 years old would you be able to survive in the “real world”?  What resources would you use?

Scripture Texts (NRSV) for Sunday, November 20, 2011 (Christ the King Sunday)

 Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24

Ephesians 1:15-23

Matthew 25:31-46

(Text links are to Oremus Bible Browser. Oremus Bible Browser is not affiliated with or supported by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. You can find the calendar of readings for Year C at Lectionary Readings.)

For lectionary humor and insight, check the weekly comic Agnus Day.


Gospel Reflection

In Matthew chapter 25 Jesus brings us three different views of what to expect and how we are to be:   the Parable of the Ten Bridesmaids, the Parable of the Talents, and today’s text, the Judgment of the Nations. The king separates the sheep from the goats.  He tells the sheep that they will “inherit the kingdom prepared for them from the foundation of the world.”  He tells them that they clothed him, fed him, visited him, took care of him, gave him something to drink, and welcomed him.  The “sheep” are surprised and ask when they did this; surely they would have remembered serving the king.  The king responds that when they do it to anyone they do it to him. For the people who are the sheep, serving seems to be woven into the very fabric of who they are.  They serve others because they can and because they understand the importance and humanity in the service.  The giving is a reflection of their character.

At Reggie’s Sleepout the participants slept outside to better serve and understand homeless youth in their community.  They spent time, energy, and resources to provide clothing, food, visitation, welcoming, and safety for the teens.  They responded not only to learn, but to experience what it was like to be homeless; to walk in their shoes, if only for one evening.  There are many reasons why people from Des Moines participated in Reggie’s Sleepout, but for many of them it was a reflection of who they are and how they desire to help make the world a better place for others.

Discussion Questions

  •  How does your group or congregation live out their faith without even knowing it?
  • What are some things that you do to help others?
  • Who are some people who are under-served in your community?

Activity Suggestions

  •  Brainstorm ideas for your group to clothe, feed, visit, care for, or welcome someone in your community.  Implement that idea.
  • Host your own “Homeless Night Out.” Start by visiting a homeless shelter in your area, discover what their needs are and learn about the people they serve.  If you get the chance, visit with the homeless that use that shelter, get to know their stories.  Next develop your plan for your “Homeless Night Out.”
  • Listen to Ben Harper’s “Picture of Jesus” while looking at pictures of people in your community.

Closing Prayer

Dear Lord Jesus, Thank you for blessing us with this time together.  Open our hearts to your scriptures and our eyes to your people in need around us. Help giving and servanthood to become part of the fabric of who we are as people, so that when we respond, we continue to see the face of Jesus in all who surround us. Please use us Lord for your kingdom. Amen.

November 6, 2011–What Makes Success?

Contributed by Brian Hiortdahl, Chicago, IL

Warm-up Question

Who do you admire and why?

What Makes Success?

The recent death of visionary Apple, Inc. co-founder, chairman and CEO Steve Jobs has spawned a national wave of mourning and reflection, not to mention iPhone sales. Consultant Carmine Gallo has identified “seven secrets” to Jobs’ success, summarized in an article from ABC News:

  1. Do what you love no matter what it happens to be.
  2. Put a dent in the universe.
  3. Say no to 1000 things.
  4. Kick start your brain by doing something new.
  5. Sell dreams not products
  6. Create insanely great experiences
  7. Master the message.

It is natural and common for us as mortal human beings to reflect at times of death on the significance and meaning of life, whether one individual’s story or the collective experience.  Deaths of public figures enlarge the conversation, especially figures who are young and creative–who appear full of life, making their death feel like a surprise, even though we know that, ready or not, death will come at an undisclosed time for us all.   For some, the dread and certainty of death provides motivation for living life to its fullest and/or chasing after success while there is still time.


Discussion Questions

  • How do you define success?
  • Which of Jobs’ “seven secrets” most resonates with you?  Which one would you like to emulate more, and why?
  • Have you experienced the death of someone significant in your life?  How did you and others react?  What meaning did you make of their life?
  • What do you hope will be written about you after you die?

Scripture Texts (NRSV) for Sunday, November 6, 2011 (Twenty-First Sunday After Pentecost)

Amos 5:18-24

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

Matthew 25:1-13

(Text links are to Oremus Bible Browser. Oremus Bible Browser is not affiliated with or supported by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. You can find the calendar of readings for Year C at Lectionary Readings.)

For lectionary humor and insight, check the weekly comic Agnus Day.


Gospel Reflection

The parable in this week’s gospel looks forward to a decisive ending.  Jesus changes his standard introduction “the kingdom of heaven is like…” to “then the kingdom of heaven will be like…” so that the disciples gathered around him will know that now he is talking future, not present.

The story focuses on readiness for the coming of the bridegroom, which the disciples would recognize as a symbol for God’s Messiah, the one for whose arrival Israel waited eagerly.  By presenting ten bridesmaids instead of one, Jesus shifts the focus from the community as a whole to individuals, who might (and do) prepare and respond differently.  Five bring extra oil along with their lamps, five do not.  The bridegroom is so delayed that all of them fall asleep.  A shout comes at midnight that the bridegroom is coming, so everyone scurries to light their lamps.  The five without oil ask for help from the five with oil, but all they get is bad advice:  “go to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.”  In the frenzy of excitement, nobody stops to consider that the streets are dark and the dealers are probably closed, so the five “foolish” bridesmaids miss the bridegroom on their frantic wild goose chase for unavailable oil.

The first three of Steve Jobs’ seven secrets give us an interesting lens through which to look at the success or failure of our bridesmaids.  A heart (and a vision) clearly set on the bridegroom, even if not prepared with extra oil, would not settle for chasing after supplies or anything else when what it most truly wants is at hand.  And it is the wise bridesmaids, not the foolish ones, who say, “no.”  They are the ones who are ready for the “insanely great experience” of the wedding banquet, the kingdom come.

Yet this story doesn’t only teach us about ourselves, but also about the bridegroom for whom we wait and hope.  For one thing, our bridegroom doesn’t come on our terms or timetable.  Jesus is certainly taking his sweet time to return and end the human story, and most Christians in history will see death before they see Him.  With such a long wait, even the wisest of us fall asleep.  The story ends with a true warning that “you know neither the day nor the hour” (there are so many things we don’t get to know!), but it does give us a valuable clue about Jesus’ arrival.  The bridegroom comes at midnight, an hour of darkness when it is nearly impossible to see.  Two weeks from now, we will experience another story from Matthew 25 in which Jesus is hidden from view, and neither of its two groups (sheep nor goats) see him hidden in “the least of these.”  Could it be that the bridesmaids need the oil not so that they will see him, because they won’t, but so that he will see them?  (Notice how the foolish bridesmaids know the bridegroom, but he says he doesn’t know them…even though they were invited!)  Could it be that our hope is ultimately not in our hands, but in Christ’s eyes?

Discussion Questions

  •  Where, when, and how do you see Christ?  How does Christ see you?
  • Do you see other connections between Steve Jobs’ secrets for success and the behavior of the ten bridesmaids?
  • To what requests and suggestions should you say “no”?
  •  How does thinking about the fact that life and history will have an end make a difference for your life in the world right now?


Activity Suggestions

  •  Ask a signficant, trusted older adult in your life (a parent, a grandparent, etc.) to share with you about preparations they have made for their death.  Have they written a will?  Have they made arrangements for a funeral?  Who and what have they identified as important after they die, and why?
  • Write your own epitaph.  Assume that your gravestone is small, so your epitaph will have to fit in a Twitter post!

Closing Prayer

Come, Lord Jesus.  Focus us on what is most important, prepare us for your appearance, find us wherever we are, look upon us with compassion and understanding, and bring us at last into your joy.  Amen

October 16, 2011–Gonna Serve Somebody

Contributed by Bob Chell, Brookings, SD

Warm-up Question

What do you want from your life’s work?

Gonna Serve Somebody

Forbes magazine (‘information for the world’s business leaders’ is how it defines itself) recently published a list of the Ten Most Hated Jobs and the Ten Happiest Jobs. It took me less than five minutes on Google to find competing lists where one person’s ‘happiest’ was listed as another persons most ‘hated.’

As our son headed off to the university this fall I paid close attention to the articles Time and Newsweek publish nearly every spring listing the best jobs—meaning those with high salaries and lots of job openings.

Whether it’s the happiest, the hated, or the best, chances are good you can find your career of choice on at least two out of the three lists.


Discussion Questions

  • Generations of young adults have despised the question, “What do you want to be/do when you graduate?”  How and why does the opening question above differ from this conversation stopper?
  • What is your greatest fear as you consider career options? Does your family raise your confidence or your anxiety as you contemplate your choices? Has anyone suggested how faith may shape your choice?

Scripture Texts (NRSV) for Sunday, October 16, 2011 (Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost)

 Isaiah 45:1-7

1 Thessalonians 1:1-10

Matthew 22:15-22

(Text links are to Oremus Bible Browser. Oremus Bible Browser is not affiliated with or supported by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. You can find the calendar of readings for Year C at Lectionary Readings.)

For lectionary humor and insight, check the weekly comic Agnus Day.


Gospel Reflection

As a college student I loved the liberal arts and feared the hard sciences. (There’s a reason they’re called hard sciences, I figured.) I loved essay tests and loathed multiple choice and fill in the blank which required me to know the answer. With essay tests if I had only the sketchiest notion of what the question was asking I began: This question is best answered by looking at the broad context… On the other hand, if I knew but one detail I would begin by writing: This question is best answered by examining a microcosm…. With essays I was in control and could lead the professor wherever I chose.

I loved the courses where there were no answers: philosophy, English literature, sociology, psychology. Any class where the teacher said, “Well, it could be this, but on the other hand…” Ah, ambiguity! It was precision I feared.

It was only when I became a campus pastor, and later when I married, that I realized what St. Paul meant about each of us having different gifts.  I married someone who loved the hard sciences; chemistry, math, biology; classes where there is one correct answer. Today she administers drugs which can kill or heal. Precision makes the difference and she gets the details right every time.

I love the diversity of students I work with as they discern where their personalities and passions (their gifts from God)  meet the wide variety of opportunities available to them.

You may wonder what this has to do with paying taxes (the issue in the gospel text). I think Dylan says it best. (For folks of my generation Bob Dylan always says it best.) In his song. Gotta Serve Somebody he writes

You may be a state trooper, you might be an young turk

You may be the head of some big TV network

You may be rich or poor, you may be blind or lame

You may be living in another country under another name.


But you’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes

You’re gonna have to serve somebody,

Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord

But you’re gonna have to serve somebody.

Jesus told the Pharisees to give the coin to the emperor because it had the emperor’s image on it, and to give to God those things which were God’s. The Pharisees were detail people, masters of minutiae, and it sprang to mind immediately, where God’s image could be found. They knew what was to be given to God. They knew it by heart, “So God created humankind in his image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Gen. 1:27

You, too, have been created in the image of God and marked with the cross of Christ forever.

Discussion Questions

  •  Is God giving you a clue to your vocation hidden in your hobbies and interests? (For example,  if you love to figure your batting average you may be called to be a baseball player…or an accountant…or a statistics teacher…or a manager. You get the idea)
  • Where would your friends and family say your gifts and interests might lead you vocationally?
  • In Forbes’ list of the happiest and most hated jobs, most of the happiest were lower in salary and status than those which were hated. Does this surprise you? Just how important is money when choosing a career?
  • Lutheran’s celebrate two sacraments, places where Christ promises to be present: Holy Communion and Baptism. Can you name two other places Christ promises to meet us? (See Matt. 18:20 and Matt. 25:37-40 for two answers—are there others?)

Activity Suggestions

Ask each person in the group to make their own list of  five jobs they would most like to have and five which they most most hate.

  • Have each person share their list with at least one other person.  If your group is small, each can share with the whole group; you may want to break a large group into smaller groups.
  • Next, tally all the individual lists into group lists.  Is there a clear consensus on what is viewed as desirable and disgusting.
  • Look at the top jobs on each list; what characteristics do they share?  (For example, top jobs may pay well or offer a lot of flexibility in working hours, while unpopular jobs may pay poorly or involve a nasty work environment.

Closing Prayer

O God, we feel more confused than gifted when we think of the future. We love the security money which routine provides and are anxious about what it would mean for us if we trusted in you completely. Guide are hearts and minds as we explore the future and keep us open to those things which stretch our boundaries and push us to lean on your promises. Help us to let go of our comfortable security that we may grasp the exciting opportunities you call us to.  Amen.

June 16-22, 2010–Evil at Work?

Contributed by Scott Mims, Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Virginia Beach, VA 

Warm Up Question

 As a group list your answers to the following: 

  • When you think about the world today and about your future, what are some of the things that make you most anxious or afraid? 
  • What are some of the things that make you most optimistic or hopeful? 

Evil at Work?

On June 2, 2010, something went terribly wrong in the life of Derrick Bird.  Bird, a taxi driver, drove his taxi down England’s northwest coast on a three and a half-hour shooting spree that left 12 people dead and 25 others injured before turning his gun on himself.  Many of the shootings appear to have been completely random.  This rampage in the county of Cumbria was Britain’s deadliest since 1996, and is especially shocking in a nation where such events are very rare. 

Although the actions of Derrick Bird have deeply shaken the surrounding community, the reasons behind his behavior remain guesses at best.  Like other such attacks, investigators are able to piece together possible factors, symptoms, and signs, but only after the fact.  How then can we understand such things?  Are such seemingly random yet devastating events, as one commentator put it, the acts of greatly disturbed people “gripped by uncontrollable primitive urges,” or are they evidence of the forces of evil at work? 

Discussion Questions

  •  Do you believe in the existence of unseen evil forces at work in the world and in people’s lives?  If so, what evidence is there that suggests you are right?  If not, why not?
  • Do you believe we have “free will?” What place does human choice play in the events of the world that we would call evil or wrong?  What are some of the circumstances, factors, or situations that might not leave people free to choose?
  • Regarding what makes you most anxious of fearful for the future, what part, if any, do random uncontrollable events such as terrorism or war play?
  • Regarding what makes you most optimistic or hopeful, did you include God on your list?  Why or why not? 

Scripture Texts (NRSV) for Sunday, June 20, 2010 (Fourth Sunday After Pentecost)

Isaiah 65:1-9 

Galatians 3:23-29 

Luke 8:26-39 

  (Text links are to Oremus Bible Browser. Oremus Bible Browser is not affiliated with or supported by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. You can find the calendar of readings for Year C at Lectionary Readings.) 

For lectionary humor and insight, check the weekly comic Agnus Day. 

Gospel Reflection

 Our gospel lesson this week might well be entitled, “Dialoguing with Demons,” as Jesus confronts the forces of evil at work in the life of a man in the non-Jewish territory of Gerasa. Having recognized Jesus for who he is, the “Son of the Most High God,” the unclean spirits (for it turns out that there are many) submit to Jesus’ command to come out of the man, begging Jesus not to send them back to the abyss but, rather, to allow them to enter into a large herd of pigs nearby.  Jesus gives them permission to do so and the pigs are destroyed.  The man, on the other hand, is made well. 

So what is the miracle here?  How we understand it may have to do with our worldview.  That the man’s behavior is abnormal is not in doubt.  However, the cause behind his actions is.   For many modern readers the surprise in this story is its talk about demons and unclean spirits.  We are perhaps uncomfortable thinking in terms of unseen forces of evil being at work in people’s lives.  Scientific and psychological approaches to this event are much more comfortable for us, and so it is not surprising that many modern interpreters equate the “demons” of this story with some form of mental illness.  The miracle, then, is Jesus’ ability to heal a mentally ill man, restoring him completely to his right mind, something that even the wonders of our modern medical science are often unable to do. 

The surprise in this story for people from earlier times may well have been different.  For them, the existence of evil powers was not in doubt.  What is extraordinary here is the universality of Jesus’ power.  Jesus has, in effect, entered enemy territory.  Yet even here, he has the power to heal, save, and to defeat the powers of darkness with a word.  Not only does Jesus’ ability to defeat evil on its home turf confirm his identity as “Son of the Most High God,” it also demonstrates that God’s saving and healing love are for everyone – Jews and Gentiles alike. 

But there is yet another surprise in this story.  Those who witness these things and the people that they go and tell do not react with joy and thanksgiving over what Jesus has done.  Having seen the power of God at work, they all ask Jesus to leave—all except the man who was healed.  He begs Jesus that he might be with him.  Jesus instead tells the man to go back to his family, friends, and community and to share with any who will listen how much God had done for him.  “So he went away, proclaiming throughout the city how much Jesus had done for him.” 

Discussion Questions

  • Given your discussion on the presence of evil and the two different perspectives offered in the reflections above, what do you think is the most important point this story makes?  If you were to share it with a friend, what would you say about it?
  • How do you feel about Jesus’ power as God’s Son to bring healing and renewed life to people? What does this gospel lesson say about Jesus’ ability to deal with some of the “darkness” and the issues or problems in your own life? 
  • How important to your faith is it to hear what Jesus has done in the lives of other people?  In terms of being able to share the gospel with those do not know about Jesus, how important is it to begin with being able to share Jesus among ourselves?

Suggested ResourceThe Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis: a fun yet perceptive take on the forces of evil at work in our daily lives.  

 Activity Suggestions

  • Remember your baptism!  Use parts of the Affirmation of Baptism service from Evangelical Lutheran Worship to remind one another of God’s saving and redeeming love in Jesus Christ, and of the Spirit’s renewing power.  Notice, too, the “renunciation of the forces of evil” which begins the Profession of Faith.  You might gather around a bowl of water, blessing one another with the sign of the cross, or, if available, around the baptismal font.
  • Share the faith.  How have you seen God at work in your life?  In the world?  Share your personal faith stories of with one another.  Perhaps have an older member of your church or faith community through whom you see God’s presence come and share their faith story.
  • Pray for the world.   Using newspaper our other articles that highlight situations of evil and need in your community and in the wider-world, pray together for these needs and for the lives of the people involved.

 Closing Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ, as you overcame the forces of evil and darkness and brought healing to many, so deliver us and our world from all that would overcome us. In the power of your Spirit, heal and renew us that we may with good courage and great joy share all that God has done for us.  Amen.

September 16-23, 2009 – Grandfather of the Green Revolution dies

Contributed by Erik Ullestad
West Des Moines, IA

Warm-up Question: How would you define greatness?

Dr. Norman Borlaug, "grandfather" of the Green Revolution.

Dr. Norman Borlaug

Dr. Norman Borlaug, a man who is credited with saving the lives of over 1 billion people and being the “grandfather of the Green Revolution,” died last week at the age of 95. Most of Borlaug’s life was spent finding new ways to increase grain yields in developing countries. His discovery of new type of hybrid wheat strains helped nations avoid widespread famine in the 1950s and 1960s. He was awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize in 1970 for increasing food security in Mexico, Pakistan, and India. Some call Borlaug “the most important man you’ve never heard of.” 

Borlaug grew up on a farm in northeast Iowa, the great-grandson of Norwegian immigrants. His grandfather was instrumental in founding a Lutheran church in their community. As he grew, Borlaug developed a love of agriculture and science. He took what he learned in the field and applied it in the labs at the University of Minnesota. From there, he studied how various seeds and fertilizers responded to different climates and geographies.

In addition to the Nobel Peace Prize, Borlaug has also been awarded with the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal. The only other people to receive all three honors are Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Elie Weisel, Nelson Mandella, and Martin Luther King Jr. In 1986 Borlaug established the World Food Prize which acknowledges people who work to increase the quality and quantity of food in the world.

People close to Dr. Borlaug described him as humble, gracious, and unassuming. In one of his last interviews, Borlaug summed up his efforts by saying, “You can’t build peace and tranquility on empty stomachs and human misery.”

Discussion Questions

  • What, if anything, did you know about Norman Borlaug before reading this article?
  • How are people in your community working to feed hungry people?
  • Think of your definition of greatness. Does this definition apply to people like Dr. Borlaug? Why or why not?
  • How important is it for great people to also be famous? What are the benefits? What are the drawbacks?

Scripture Texts (NRSV) for Sunday, September 20, 2009.

(Text links are to oremus Bible Browser. Oremus Bible Browser is not affiliated with or supported by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. You can find the calendar of readings for Year B at Lectionary Readings.)

For lectionary humor and insight, check the weekly comic Agnus Day.

Gospel Reflection

Jesus and his friends are taking a long walk (30+ miles) from Mount Hermon to Capernaum. As with any road trip, there were lots of different conversations along the way. One discussion centered on the topic of greatness. The disciples were arguing about who among them was the greatest.

Before we become quick to judge their selfishness, let’s remember the life they had been living for the past few years. Most of these men were from humble origins. They literally dropped everything when Jesus told them to “come and follow me”. This ragamuffin group walked from town to town, not knowing where they would sleep or what they would eat. They had lived as peasants alongside a man who called himself the King of Kings and Son of God. Wouldn’t we be tempted to have a similar conversation about who was the best, the favorite, the most loved, or the greatest disciple?

We learn that Jesus chose not to engage the disciples in the conversation until after they had arrived at Capernaum. Instead of privately addressing his friends, he chose to publicly admonish them for their egocentric chat earlier in the day. Jesus’ decision indicates that he is really angry with his friends and he wants them to be humbled, or perhaps he thinks that there might be others in the room that have had similar discussions with their friends. Siblings that argue about who is the favorite. Servants that claim to be the most dedicated. Carpenters who think they are the best at their craft.

Jesus tells everyone that being great requires becoming a servant; being powerful means becoming childlike. In saying this, Jesus not only reminds his disciples about the foolishness of their argument, but he also is telling people about himself. Jesus’ greatness is not exhibited by military might, shrewd political strategy, or the ability to wave a hand and make things happen. His greatness is manifested in serving others and caring for those in need.

Earlier in Mark 9 we hear Jesus tell his disciples not to tell others about the amazing things that happened on the Mount of Transfiguration. Those words, along with the appointed text from today, give us a clear indication of how Jesus chooses to function. He preferred to teach, heal, and preach quietly and faithfully instead of boasting about his importance. Jesus’ greatness is seen in his service to others and not in making a public spectacle of his mighty acts.

Discussion Questions

  • Have you ever argued with your friends, classmates, siblings, etc. about who is the smartest, best-looking, or greatest? Why? What difference did it make?
  • Why do you think Jesus doesn’t want to draw a lot of attention to himself?
  • What do the images of “servant” and “child” tell us about how Jesus defines greatness?
  • Does Dr. Borlaug fit Jesus’ definition of greatness? Why or why not?
  • Who is someone you know that seems to exemplify this kind of humble greatness?

Activity Suggestion

(Check with your worship committee or pastor before doing the following activity… or at least give them a heads-up.)

Give each student several colorful index cards or sticky notes. Set out colored pencils or markers for everyone to share. Have people write an affirming statement or scripture verse on each of the papers. (Example: “Jesus loves you” or “Romans 8:38-39”.)

Go to the sanctuary and place these notes into the pages of the hymnals. If a worship service is taking place after your meeting time, stick the note in the page of one of the hymns that will be sung during worship. That way, you know someone will read it!

Closing Prayer

God, help me to serve you by serving others. Give me grace to be humble in my serving. Thank you for sending your son to make the ultimate sacrifice so that we might live eternally with you. Amen.