Album: Ending is Beginning
Song: Here I Am
Writer: Kirk Moore
Ministry: Union Congregational United Church of Christ
Location: Somonauk, Illinois
In this study, students will discuss God’s call to share the good news of Jesus with all the people. They’ll also be encouraged that God’s call extends to us just as we are, warts and all.
Airmail: You’ll need paper, (8½ X 11 sheets work best) a paper airplane making instruction book (or an expert in making a few types of planes) pencils and a wide open area (gym, sanctuary, balcony). Ask students to take their pieces of paper and write a message of life, hope, love, forgiveness and compassion from God. It should be a short sentence, “I have come to bring you life- Jesus.” After students write their short sentence, have them fashion the paper into a paper airplane. If there’s time students can make more than one. After students have finished making the planes, take them to the wide open area and see how far they can send their messages via airmail. Encourage all and remind them that no matter where the planes land, the airmail message has gone. When enough airmail messages have been sent, gather the students back in you meeting place.
We flew a whole bunch of different paper airplanes – carrying all kinds of different messages of life, hope, forgiveness and compassion from God. Imagine if instead of writing the message and sending it on a paper airplane, you took the message and let yourself be sent. Downhere’s song, “Here I Am” is all about that.
Hand out Student Guides and then play “Here I Am” from downhere. (Leaders will notice the very “Freddy Mercury-ish” vocal quality of downhere’s lead singer. Students probably won’t notice at all.)
During the song, invite students to write more messages of life, hope, love, forgiveness and compassion.
This song is about being willing to follow God’s call in our lives even though we struggle, have weakness and live with failure. Let’s look at some struggling weak failures from the Bible who were willing to respond to God’s call with the words, “Here I Am.”
Have selected students read the following verses aloud:
The call of Isaiah – a man of “unclean lips.”
1 Samuel 3: 1-10
The call of Samuel – a boy apprentice to a Rabbi.
The call of Ananias – the one who was the first to encounter Paul after he saw Jesus on the road to Damascus.
Say: In each of these Bible readings, a person who was somewhat unlikely for a call from God heard that call and responded with “Here I Am.”
What do you think would hold Samuel back?
Samuel was a mere apprentice but he was willing to respond to God’s call.
What do you think would hold Isaiah back?
Isaiah didn’t think he was good enough but he was willing to respond to God’s call.
What do you think would hold Ananias back?
Ananias was afraid of Paul’s reputation for killing Christians but he was willing to respond to God’s call.
Say: Take a look at the messages of life, hope, love, forgiveness and compassion that you wrote on your paper airplanes and in the student guides. What did you write? (Allow time for students to respond.)
It may be easy for you to think of reasons why it is too hard, too scary or why you feel inadequate to share those messages of God’s life, hope, love, forgiveness and compassion with folks you meet each day. Think about them just a little. As you’re doing that, we’re going to read one more verse:
Read 2 Corinthians 12:9 and have the students repeat this line several times;
My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.
In our weakness, with our struggles, and through our failures, God calls us to share his hope, love forgiveness and compassion. Let’s respond, knowing God’s grace is sufficient, with the words of Isaiah: "Here I am. Send me!"
We fail, we doubt, we’re weak and we’re broken, God. Here we are – send us! Amen.