High School

Mercy Makers

Lesson 13 

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Fall 2019

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By: Jill Meek 

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November 24, 2019

Lesson Focus:

God’s mercy is for everyone.

Bible Basis:

Jonah 3:1-10

Materials Needed:

Step 1:

  • Internet access

Summary & Links:

As they focus on God’s mercy being for everyone, teens will explore the dynamic between rivals or enemies by watching a video clip of rival football teams.

Memory Verse:

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
—2 Peter 3:9

Step 1:

As they focus on God’s mercy being for everyone, teens will explore the dynamic between rivals or enemies by watching a video clip of rival football teams.

Materials Needed:

  • Internet access

On Saturday while you might be basking in the warm and fuzzy aftermath of leftover turkey, family time, and Christmas shopping, college football fans will be gearing up for their biggest rivalries.  It is this weekend each year when some of the most popular college football games are played. The games are often exciting because the teams are talented and the score is close. But even when that isn’t the case, the games are exciting because of who is playing whom. College football fans can be very passionate about cheering on their own teams and even more passionate about rooting against their rivals. One storied example is the state of Alabama’s two major football programs—Alabama and Auburn. Let’s see.

Play the following video [1:44]:
Best Rivalries of All-Time: Alabama vs. Auburn – Fandom 250

  • What do you think about such rivalries? What do you think feeds the rivalry to keep it alive? (Accept all reasonable answers. The legends and stories that go along with it; the history, tradition, and family connection. There is something fun about a playful rivalry. Choosing a side provides an identity and allows you to participate in the event. We like clear lines on good/bad, right/wrong, winner/loser.)
  • Do you personally feel you have any rivals or enemies? What does that mean for you? (Accept all reasonable answers. Students may be invested in playful rivalries with other high schools or with sport teams. Others may find themselves competing with another student academically or for first chair, etc. Others may feel another group or even a teacher gives them grief undeservedly.
  • On a larger scale, what are some pairs of rivals or enemies that you see influencing our world today? (Accept all reasonable answers. The dominating narrative in American politics just now is the deep divisions and polarizations of Americans over any number of issues. Students may name this generally or more specifically, or even identify world powers or countries who have historically been enemies. There may be pop culture examples as well.)

When you’re on opposite sides, things can get very heated. Jonah had some enemies—but it was much more than a just-for-fun rivalry. He wanted to see them destroyed. But God had something else in mind—let’s take a look.

Looking for Steps 2, 3 & 4?

You can find Steps 2 and 3 in your teacher’s guide. To purchase a teacher’s guide, please visit: Bible-in-Life or Echoes.

Step 4:

Materials Needed:

  • None

God’s mercy is for everyone. But what of our own attempts to show mercy?

  • What are the challenges or risks associated with showing mercy, especially to a real or perceived enemy? (Accept all reasonable answers. Some might feel that showing mercy is a sign of weakness or vulnerability, letting the others win or get away with something, etc.)
  • Do you think there are ever situations where mercy should be withheld? (Accept all reasonable answers. Some may feel strongly that there must always be consequences and that for some folks, extending mercy isn’t fair.)
  • Do you think showing mercy means becoming best friends in the end, or what are other outcomes? (Accept all reasonable answers. Extending mercy to someone will change the relationship somehow; it doesn’t always mean the two parties becoming very close, but perhaps there are higher levels of respect, forgiveness, grace, patience, or compassion between one another.)
  • What would it look like for you to show mercy to someone this week? (Accept all reasonable answers. Students should consider the people they find themselves in competition with, or irritated by, or disagreeing with. There may be real transgressions to grapple with or more minor offenses. Each should consider their typical posture toward this person and how they might extend kindness, forgiveness, a second chance, the first turn, the benefit of the doubt, a helping hand, a listening ear, or something else whether they think that person “deserves it” or not.)

Jonah’s posture toward the Ninevites was an angry and sulky one. Based on how you answered the last question, share with a partner what you’re posture toward your “enemy” will be this week as you extend mercy. Challenge your teens to display a merciful posture this week to at least one person with whom they have been contentious.

Close in prayer.

Spread the word

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