Youth Bible Study – A Potato and My Identity
Description: a Bible-based interactive event, indoors or outdoors, for any sized group.
Purpose: to provide them some time on and examination of the idea of Jesus’ self-identity and each young person’s growth toward his/her own Christian (etc.) identity.
Equipment: more than enough washed unpeeled potatoes for each to have one, Bibles for at least every two young people, seating enough for all – on chairs or on ground.
Group young people in a circle of about 15 participants, with enough potatoes for one each piled in center of the circle. (Multiple circles are fine if you have a larger number in attendance.
Let a leader or pre-practiced youth reader read the Bible passage of Lk. 4:16-21 outloud. Let the entire group read it responsively or outloud together.
Elicit some responses to this Scripture. If helpful, leader can say, Jesus is speaking of himself here! Leader can then ask content-leading questions, such as: How could Jesus be so sure of his (God-appointed) job? About what age is he in this example? When do most of us get absolutely certain about what God wants us to do while we’re here on earth? Were his hometown people impressed by his self-knowledge? When, do you think, did Jesus become so sure of his identity? (When do each of us, these days, get sure of who and what we are – physically, emotionally, socially, intellectually, sexually, spiritually?) Jesus knew his Scriptures pretty well; do you realize where he got the words he used to describe his future “work” or “mission”?(Take a quick look at his ‘sources’.)
When group members seem engaged with the Scripture and seem to have some understanding of it, invite group members to pick up a potato from the center of the circle, take it back to their place, and examine it thoroughly, – contour, blemishes, color, size, smell, bumps, etc. When each reports that she/he knows her/his potato well, let the leader pick them all up, stir them around to mix up their order, and place them again in a pile in the center of the group circle. The leader can then proceed with passing each potato to the circle of participants. Each is to claim his/her potato as it comes by. (Not all will be able to recognize theirs! Some potatoes may have to go around the circle a number of times.)
Any two potatoes exactly alike? How did you know yours? Any two people exactly alike? Do you know of some way that you and/or the person beside you is unique?
(If every ordinary potato is unique . . . .?)
How do you become sure of your identity? How does anyone, in these years after Confirmation, become directed and even certain of their Christian identity? How can you ‘listen for’ God’s Call for you? How can you distinguish a Call to a Christian vocation or ‘mission’? How can you let Christ’s presence and example guide and assist you in these multi-cultural days?
Conclude with an appropriate group song and a prayer which underscores Jesus having walked the earth before us, and his obedience to his Call as our Brother, Friend, Example, Lord, and Christ. Amen!
Coralyn and Laslo Medyesy