We're Teaching This
Have you ever thought something worked one way, only to find it didn’t? Like maybe as a kid you thought the bathtub drain was a death trap. Then you learned it couldn’t actually suck you into the sewer and that was a game changer. Or maybe you were sure that the closet should be avoided because monsters lived there. Then you learned they didn’t. That changed your morning routine for sure. Any time you learn new information, it can turn your world upside down. Jesus had a habit of doing just that with the people closest to Him. He often did or said things that were the exact opposite of what anyone expected. He’d take ideas that everyone agreed with, ideas that everyone would say, “Of course, that’s just the way it is,” and He’d flip them upside down. He would tell people to do the exact opposite of what they thought. This was especially true when Jesus talked about how we treat people, specifically people who like us, people who don’t, and people we don’t even notice.
Think About This
by Jordan Biere
We all want to be better parents.
I’ve never met a parent who didn’t want the best for their children. In fact, we all have big dreams for our children. Regardless of whether they’re in diapers or they’re about to get their diploma, we do what we can to shape the future trajectory of our kids and set them up for success in life. We enroll them in music lessons, traveling sports, tutoring classes, and competitions, and inspire them to get better at their unique talents, celebrating them all along the way. That’s what we do as parents, and it’s one of the best parts of the job.
When it comes to enriching the lives of my children, my first thought was to teach them a skill, enroll them in a sport, or get them in private lessons until I met someone who did something so drastic and bold that it got me rethinking how we shape the future.
Kirsten was living the American dream: A six figure salary, married with two kids, and living in a city that receives rewards year after year for being the “best place to raise a family.” When her children were in the 3rd and 4th grades, she and her husband made a surprising decision to move to the much less affluent area of East Aurora. Here is her story in her own words.
We moved despite warnings from friends and family that we were sacrificing our children’s safety and education; not because we wanted to “save” East Aurora, but because we wanted to “save” ourselves and our children from materialism and economic/cultural segregation.
Today my eldest son was accepted into both Yale and Stanford despite attending schools where less than 40% of students meet state standards. Both of my sons have thrived academically and learned life-lessons beyond anything they could have experienced in Naperville. We have been richly blessed by living in East Aurora.
While few will be called to relocate to an under-resourced neighborhood, we can all make engaging with the outcasts and marginalized of society a priority in our lives.
The reality is that many of us may not move out of our neighborhood and into a poverty-stricken area, but we can engage. We can…
Treat others with dignity.
Be a voice for the powerless in society.
Anytime we contribute or serve, our kids’ worldviews expand. Our kids’ faith grows, their relational intelligence and awareness increases, and a seed of generosity is planted. And, the same happens for us.
Though they’d prefer to think otherwise, your teenager still watches you and follows your lead. If you model the way by making serving a priority, your children will be more inclined to make it a priority for themselves.
A quick Google search will present dozens of organizations in your town that do all of the hard work of coordinating service projects. They just need volunteers to help. This week, try finding one way to serve others in your community and make an appointment to do so. You could…
Volunteer at a local shelter.
Organize a local food pantry.
Help with a coat drive.
Visit a nursing home.
Hand out blankets to the homeless.
Mentor children in schools.
Become a respite foster family.
However you choose to serve, be honest with your teenager about it. Tell him or her why you chose to serve and how you felt about it afterward. In doing so, you’re modeling that caring for others is a big deal to your family. And, the next time you go, your teen might just say “yes” when you invite them to come along.
©2016 The reThink Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
November 2nd- Upside Down- Friendships
November 9th- Upside Down- Fights
November 16th- Upside Down- Lives
Have you ever wished you could choose your family members? Maybe you’d pick a less annoying little brother. Or a sister who actually shares her clothes with you. Maybe for you it would be parents who had fewer rules. Regardless of what your “ideal” family might look like, we all know that we can’t choose our family. And even though we think things might be easier if we could, the truth is that, when it comes to family, there’s always going to be conflict. Why? Because the closer you are to someone, the more likely you are to fight. That’s just part of it! But we have the ability to make a powerful move in our relationships that can push us away from conflict and bring us back to resolution. Jesus points us towards exactly what we can do to promote peace in our relationships. And, even though it might not be easy, it’s the move that has the power to change our families for the better.
Share a high and a low from the past week.
Who’s your favorite movie villain?
Matthew 5:43-44 (NLT)
Teaching about Love for Enemies
43 “You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. 44 But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!
Matthew 18:21-22 (NLT)
21 Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?”
22 “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!
What do you love most about your siblings? (If you don’t have a sibling, talk about the friend or cousin you’re closest with.)
What drives you crazy about your siblings?
When your siblings make you angry, how do you usually respond?
When you’re an adult, what do you want your relationship with your siblings to be like?
How can praying for your siblings make your relationship with them better?
What’s one way you’d feel comfortable telling or showing your siblings that you love them?
This week, what’s one thing you can do to be more forgiving to your siblings?
This Week Pastor Steve joined us for Communion. Take a look at the Communion section of the Catechism and read it together. Communion is all about forgiveness, how God forgives us, and how that frees us to forgive others. It’s not easy, but it’s needed, for them and for us!
O Lord God, tireless guardian of your people, you are always ready to hear our cries. Teach us to rely day and night on your forgiveness. Inspire us to seek your enduring justice for this suffering world, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. AMEN.
Mark the Cross of Christ on each others foreheads as a remembrance of your baptism and say these words...
"(Name) you are a beloved Child of God."
What is this?
Weekly posts pertaining to the Confirmation Lessons for the week. A great way for families to have conversations of faith at home, on the road, or around a meal.