Growing up, your parents probably told you a lot of things about Santa Claus. He’s that guy in the red suit who brings the presents, eats the cookies, and loves a good laugh. He’s also the guy that keeps the list. You know the list—the one that says who’s good and who’s bad. It may sound silly, but the truth is, we all have similar lists. Whether we want to admit it or not, we have a list of who we think are good—our friends—and who we think are bad—our enemies. Yes, that’s right... enemies! We all have them—people we don’t like, people who make us mad, or people we fight with. Those are our enemies, and if we’re being honest, we’d all probably love nothing more than to never have to deal with those people ever again. But the reality is, there are always going to be people we don’t like…we’re going to have to learn to deal with them. Jesus had to learn that lesson firsthand during His time on Earth. And if we can apply His seemingly upside-down approach to His enemies, we’ll discover that, with God’s help, we can look on our enemies with forgiveness and compassion.
Reconnect with each other, share a high and a low from the past week.
How do you typically act when it comes to people you don’t like?
List some ways you respond to people who don’t like you.
New International Version
32 Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. 33 When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
When Jesus walked the Earth, there was a “normal” way people reacted to enemies. In your observation, how do most people react to their enemies today?
How would you expect someone in Jesus’ circumstance (unfairly tried and sentenced to death) to respond to His enemies?
Why is it so hard to pray for your enemies? In what ways do you think it would help you?
Everyone who hurts you is hurting in some way. How does that help you when it comes to the way you think about them?
What would it practically look like for you to show your enemies compassion? What’s the one thing that would hold you back from doing that?
O God, our true life, to serve you is freedom, and to know you is unending joy. We worship you, we glorify you, we give thanks to you for your great glory.
Abide with us, reign in us, and remake this world for your divine majesty, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
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."
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Each week we will post one or more blogs related to our ministries for High School youth and families. Check back often and leave a comment!