Reaching Out: Our Call To Minister: Session 3: You Gave Me Food And Drink
By the end of this session the students should be able to:
- explain how bread is an essential food of life
- compare normal bread with the 'bread of life' that Jesus talked about in John 6:35.
- list creative ways in which we can 'feed' others
- list two or three articles in the Resource Handbook that give examples of feeding the hungry
- explain why it is important to pray and plan before we run off to do pleasurable activities
Useful scriptural texts
- Luke 9:10-17; Exodus 16: 1-18; Isaiah 55:2
- pens or pencils
copies of the following Resource Handbook articles:
Orthodox Food Shelter [Volume 1, Community Service]
Saint Euphrosynus the Cook Project [Volume 2, Community Service]
Setting Up a Food Party [Volume 1, Community Service]
A Breakfast Ministry [Volume 2, Community Service]
Archangel Michael Orthodox Community Services [Volume 2, Community Service]
Working in a Russian Soup Kitchen [Volume 2, Community Service]
Start off by saying, 'One of the first things Jesus mentions in Matthew 25 is feeding the hungry. Why do you think this is so important?'
15 minutes. Make sure everyone has a Bible. Have citations from above written on a place where everyone can see them. Ask someone to read John 6:1-14 out loud. Have students recap what happened in the passage. What do the apostles ask Jesus to do? How does Jesus respond? What do the apostles feed the crowd? [Bread and fish]
Ask someone to read John 6:25-40. What do youth think Jesus means when He says He is the Bread of Life? [You may not get any responses.]
Choose people to read Exodus 16:1-18 and then Isaiah 55:2 out loud. According to these passages, what is so important about bread. [It is one of the most basic and essential foods. Point out that whole cities, like Leningrad (now St Petersburg again) during Word War II, have survived on little more than bread and water.]
Refer back to the life of St Juliana. What did Juliana make when the famine occurred? [Bread out of weeds and grass]. In essence bread sustains life. If Jesus is the 'bread of life' then HE is the one who sustains life. What are some times in Church we connect Jesus with bread? [Eucharist] Bread is a symbol for all the necessary things of life. Therefore, if we want to be really alive we need to be sure Jesus is part our our daily lives. He is our daily bread [as we pray in 'The Lord's Prayer.']
What other things do people hunger and thirst for? [Beatitudes - hunger and thirst after righteousness, companionship, knowledge, money, faith, etc] Discuss the difference between healthy and unhealthy 'hungers' [passions]. Refer back to the needs verses wants discussion in session one. How else could we 'feed' these 'hungry' people? [Tutor people, invite them to our church, collect food, vote to make the world we live in more just, direct them to get some help for addictions, etc]
15 minutes. Lending a hand. Break participants into groups of two, three, and four. Blindfold one person in your group and ask them where would they like to go? The participants who aren't blindfolded are to lead the person wherever they want. They must be back in five minutes. When everyone returns, discuss the following questions:
- Before you went anywhere what was the first thing you asked the person who was blindfolded? [Where do you want to go?]
- Did the attitude of the helpers make an difference in how smoothly the trip went? How?
- What effect did having more than one person helping have?
- How does this exercise relate to helping people we put on our list? [We need to talk to them about how we are going to help them. WE need to have a positive attitude about helping them. We need to work together as a group.]
- What do you think is a good attitude to help people?
25 minutes. Split students into groups and divide the articles from the Resource Handbook among them. Have each group read their articles, answer and discuss the following questions:
- Compare the ministry in each article with Jesus' saying 'and you gave Me food and drink,' Who are the people being ministered to in this article?
- Are there people in our community who have the same needs?
- What are some ways we can minister to people who are hungry and thirsty?
Based upon the list of people in need that we have so far, who are some people in our community who are ministering to these people? Can we help them? If so, how? If not, who can we help?
Jesus told us that when we give food or water to others, we are giving it to Him and when we don't help them we are actually rejecting Him too. Before we begin planning to do anything, however, we need to ask God for direction. To be good servants of the gifts and time He has given us, we need to think about who we are helping, what we are going to do to help them, and what steps are necessary in order to do it.
Use the remaining time to begin planning your project using the 'Making a Plan' worksheet [Worksheet 2]. Some suggested project ideas, which can be used either as one group or in teams, are: food drive, meals on wheels, prepare mail, set tables, food drive, walk for hungry, help out at a local soup kitchen, Salvation Army.