< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: Youth Service on Peace

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Youth Service on Peace

Start with everyone in a circle around a lit candle. We also had lots of other lit candles scattered around the room. Otherwise the room is dark. Say:

There are different kinds of peace. There’s spiritual peace – meaning we are at peace with God. We’re believers – we’re reconciled. There’s emotional peace, which is an internal sense of well being and order. And relational peace – peace with other people.

Right before Jesus went to the cross, He said in John 14:27 “I leave behind with you peace. I give you my own peace and my gift is nothing like the peace of this world.”

It’s a gift. And it’s different. God’s peace allows us to be tranquil in the midst of trouble. In order to have this kind of peace we must obey His principles, found in the Bible. When we’re cheating on something or not getting along with someone we are not at peace at all. But, when we’re doing what’s right and know it, we can feel peaceful even when everything else is coming unglued. We need to be in harmony with God. We need to do what He tells us to do. Our life will run more smoothly if we live it according to God’s design as presented in His Word. It’s that simple.

Guilt is a peace destroyer. We need to accept that He’s forgiven our past. Only God can give us a clean conscience. In the book of Micah it says God delights in showing mercy. He is willing and waiting and likes to forgive. What we can do immediately in any stressful situation is take a deep breath, let it out and focus on God’s presence surrounding us. God says be still and know.

And then trust His purpose.

All of our questions won’t be answered in our lifetime, but God never says, “oops!” because He never makes a mistake. All He expects from us is to trust Him and acknowledge that He’s in control. If we do this He’ll direct our life. He’ll make our paths straight. The safest, most serene place to be is in the center of God’s will.

Ask the kids to close their eyes. (My husband started to play the piano softly as back ground music.) Say:

Peace does not necessarily mean a world without problems, pain, or imbalance. Peace is a state of being. While it may sometimes seem impossible, inner peace is possible despite the emotional influences from world events, media, negative people, and our own judgments. We can access this state when we cultivate peace from the inside, rather than looking for it externally.

Ask yourself, what does peace mean to me? Is it long stretches of quiet time, or just feeling less stressed? Is it a hike in the woods, a day by the ocean or perhaps time alone to enjoy a book or a movie? What would your daily life look like if it was peaceful? Think about this a minute - what does peace mean to me?


How am I inviting and embracing the wholeness and peace God intends


Peace comes with gratitude. Think about everything good in your life. Think about things you are grateful for and thank God for them.


We are called to be peacemakers. Sharing your love and your kindness is not always an easy task, but it is one of the most powerful ways to create peace. There is a great reward each time we greet another human being, or a situation, with love instead of anger, resentment, and fear. Think of ways you can spread peace this week. This Christmas season.


Now that you’ve come up with some ideas, commit to God that you will do this.

Closing Prayer:

(Girls read lightface type; guys read bold.)

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console,
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.

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