MEETING AIM: To identify what fruit is lacking in our lives and begin to grow it.
BIBLE PASSAGE: Galatians 5:22-26
BACKGROUND: The Galatians liked the law. Everything in their church had to be right and proper. They needed to be reminded that a life led by the Holy Spirit has little need for laws. Paul used the metaphor of fruit to illustrate this need. This session is more meditative in approach. It encourages the young people to develop the fruit of the Spirit in their own lives.
One thing to remember is that this is more than just being nice people. The fruit of niceness comes from the Holy Spirit and it is this fruit that holds us together and shows our faith.
Start by inviting the group to share what they have been doing during the past seven days. As they share you might want to ask if they have seen, read or heard about any acts of kindness, where one person, or community, has helped another. If appropriate you can add that this session is about how a life with the Holy Spirit guiding us is one that displays plenty of good acts.
You will need: pens and paper
Split the group into teams or pairs. Let the teams confer and then write their answers down. Explain that we all need vitamins and minerals for a healthy life, but what are the top ten essential vitamins and minerals that we need? Give the group a few minutes to write a list of ten vitamins and minerals.
The winning team is the one closest to this list: Vitamin A; B Vitamins; Vitamin C; Vitamin D; Vitamin E; Vitamin K; Folic acid; Calcium; Iron; Zinc.
Explain that in today’s session you’ll be looking at what is essential in our own lives using Paul’s fruit of the Spirit metaphor.
You will need: Bibles; pens and paper Explain that you’ll be exploring today’s Bible passage through the ancient Bible engagement tool of Lectio Divina. This process is a quiet approach and one that the young people can do on their own when they are reading the Bible. Find a translation of the Bible passage that is easy to understand, ie one that uses patience instead of forbearance*.
Ask the group to get comfortable. They will be sitting still for a while. However, you don’t want them to relax too much and fall asleep. Lying down is used in many meditation techniques but it is not advised for this.
Explain that the first step is to just listen to Bible passage. Ask the group to focus on each word and sentence as you read and to hear the passage as a complete unit. Read Galatians 5:22-26 through slowly. Repeat it twice more.
The second step is to meditate on the Bible passage. The aim of this step is to let certain words stand out to the listener. Having heard the whole passage, it is now time to focus in and let elements stand out. Ask the young people to think deeply, or meditate, on each of the fruits as they are read out.
Read Galatians 5:22-26 through slowly but this time stop after reading each of the fruits out. Wait for about ten or 20 seconds before continuing.
The third step is to pray as the passage is read. Before reading explain that you will stop several times. When you stop invite the young people to pray for each of the fruit in their lives.
Read Galatians 5:22-26 through stopping at each of the fruit as before.
The final step is to think deeply or contemplate what the passage is saying and apply it to our lives. Explain to the group that for the final read-through they are to think about which fruit is missing or lacking in their lives. You’ll return to this in ‘Creative response’.
Read Galatians 5:22-26 through for a final time, again pausing as you mention each fruit. Leave some silence at the end for the group to reflect on this before moving on.
Use the following questions to start a discussion about the Bible passage:
- What does it mean to live by the Spirit?
- How can you do this? What things can you do and what things should you avoid?
During this time, it is OK for there to be moments of silence as the group think. Gently prompt them but don’t force any replies. This is a time to let the Holy Spirit speak quietly to each individual as much as individuals speaking out loud.
You will need: paper and art materials
Give everyone an A4 size piece of paper and access to a selection of coloured felt- tip pens and pencils. Ask them to choose a literal fruit and draw it on the paper.
They should then think about the fruit of the Spirit that they would like more of more of in their lives. They can write the name of fruit of the Spirit in their actual fruit and then colour in and decorate what they have created. As they do this encourage the group to think about:
- What do they need to do to stop and / or change the lack of this fruit in their life?
- What can they do more of or begin to do, in order to grow the fruit in their life?
- How will they show this fruit in their life?
Let them keep their art and encourage them to use it as a visual reminder in their own private prayer time.
As this session has been quieter you might consider finishing by praying in song. You could use the simple meditative refrain “Oh Lord hear my prayer” or you might prefer something a little more upbeat for contrast. Finish by saying the grace together.
*The Greek word for ‘forbearance’ begins with the transliterated word makro, from which we get macro, so it literally means big or large patience.
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