Aim of the activity:
To help your children and young people think about the idea of hope. We all hope in something but Jesus is the only person who offers certain hope.
Preparation: Find three examples of good and bad things. Perhaps you could bring a torch that works well and a torch that has very weak batteries? Do you have a good solid chair and a broken chair? Do you have a old broken mobile and a nice new one? The aim of this activity is to get people thinking about some things that are a bit wobbly/dodgy/not trustworthy verses things that do their job well/that we can have firm confidence and hope in.
Ask for a volunteer. Ask them to come up front and give one pair of items to them. Ask them to try them out. Then ask them which of them they would prefer to use. (hopefully they will choose the good object). Ask them, if you had the bad one whether they could rely on it to work. Why not? Thank them and then ask them to sit back down. Repeat this process with the other two pairs of objects and volunteers.
Then ask the audience about the objects that the volunteers choose; what did they have in common? Help the audience to see that they all chose the object that worked well rather than the broken/old object. The old/broken object wasn’t reliable.
Key phrase: If you hoped the old/broken object would work you would be let down. In comparison you could have a firm confidence that the new/good object would work.
As we go through life we need to rely on things and people to help us. Learning to make a good choice about who we trust in is important. What do you think would happen in our lives if we trust in broken or bad things? What would happen if we rely on ways of living that are bad?
The Bible talks about this in Psalm 25:5 “Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my saviour, and my hope is in you all day long.”
When the person who wrote this talks about hope it’s a bit like saying that they firmly trust in God all day long.
Question: What is the result for him of hoping in God all day long?
Answer: He knows God as his saviour and God guides him and teaches him.
The truth is that as we grow up and live our lives, we will be tempted to put our confidence in lots of other things as a way of protecting ourselves. Some people try to earn lots of money, have lots of things or have amazing jobs. In one sense, having those things isn’t bad but it’s the way that we think about them. As Psalm 25:5 says, we need to ask God to guide us and teach us; to be open to him showing us how to live and putting our confident hope in him.
God loves us so much that he gave his one and only Son, Jesus Christ, to show us the way. Jesus is the way. If we look to anything else to be our hope we will be disappointed. It’s like looking to a rusty broken torch to show us the way. It won’t work. We need a powerful, full-battery torch to show us the way. Jesus is the light that we can trust and hope in.