When all students have arrived, mention that today’s lesson won’t be starting for five minutes. Set a five-minute timer.
Tell students that they are not allowed to look at their smartphones during this five minute waiting period. (If students are still getting on their phones during this time even though you have asked them not to, gently ask them to get off of their phones and mention that by doing so they will better understand today’s lesson.)
Encourage students to raise their hands and suggest things they can do to pass the time. One suggestion might be to share a favorite childhood memory or play a group game like Concentration (where a leader leads a clapping sequence in front of the group and the class tries to follow/clap along).
When the timer goes off indicating the five minutes is up, ask your middle schoolers if they thought it was hard to wait those five minutes; invite various responses.
Share this video with your class [1:45]:
Family Returns Home a Month after Fire and Finds Their Dog Waiting for Them
The Gaylord family had to abandon their dogs when the Paradise fire in 2018 overtook their home. A month is a long time to wait to hear news about property or pets.
- How might you have reacted if you were waiting to find out if your home or pets had survived a catastrophe? (Answers will vary. Most students would mention that this would be a very difficult thing to go through.)
- How do you think Andrea Gaylord felt when, after worrying for a month, she drove up to the property and found one of her dogs waiting for her? (Answers will vary. Students may mention a feeling of great relief knowing the wait to see her pet was over.)
- How hard do you think it was for the dog to wait for its owners to return home, especially after enduring a terrible fire and losing its brother? (Answers will vary. People can’t know exactly how a dog would react but the dog was likely very anxious, especially since its brother had been rescued and taken away.)
- How do you react when you have to wait for something and you don’t know what the outcome may be? (Answers will vary.)
If time permits, have student volunteers share about a time in their lives when they had to wait a very long time. Have them explain where they were, what happened, how long they had to wait, and how they felt when the wait was over. Ask them if they used that waiting time constructively or wasted it.
The people of Israel waited for many years, even centuries, for a promised appearance. That’s what today’s lesson is all about.