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Artist: Third Day (Featuring the Blind Boys of Alabama)
Video: Lift Up Your Face
Writer: Kirk Moore
Ministry: Union Congregational United Church of Christ
Location: Somonauk, Illinois
Hope, restoration, salvation
Students will learn that God offers healing, restoration, and salvation to those who have been rejected by others.
Face Down, Face Up: This is a newly-titled version of a familiar matching game. Using a deck of cards, (any variety will do) place all the cards in the deck face down in a 13X4 grid. (If you are using a deck with less or more than 52 cards, make a grid that works with your number.) Participants will take turns flipping over cards two at a time and try to make a match. (There are many possibilities – number, suit, color, etc) Each time the cards are not successfully matched, the cards are turned back face down. Play a full round until all matches are made. Then start the game over, but this time place all the cards face up. Have students take turns making matches from the cards. They’ll find this way makes for much easier matches.
Say: It sure was easier to make all the matches when the cards were face up, right? All too often folks try to find answers to questions and problems without being able to pay close attention to what is right in front of them. But when they pay attention and look with their faces up instead of down they can see what is right in front of them. Third Day has a video for a song called “Lift up Your Face.” It’s about finding hope and encouragement in Jesus.
Play Lift Up Your Face video from Third Day (featuring the Blind Boys of Alabama)
During the song, have students draw pictures of faces with as many emotions as they see in the video.
Say: It’s a story of sadness, rejection, hope, and restoration. Is that the way Jesus really works?
Read together the following Bible passages:
Luke 7:36-50 (A woman anoints Jesus’ feet)
Luke 8:43-48 (Jesus heals a woman who had been bleeding for 12 years and raises Jairus’ daughter)
Luke 19:1-10 (Jesus and Zacchaeus. Verse 9 has an awesome flavor in The Message Paraphrase)
In each of these Bible readings, Jesus announces that the people have been saved, restored, healed, or received salvation. Salvation carries with it meaning that includes all of those descriptions.
- What do the others call the woman who anoints Jesus’ feet? What does Jesus say to her?
- How do you think the woman who had been bleeding was treated by others? What does Jesus say to her?
- How devastated do you think Jairus was because of what had happened to his daughter? What does Jesus say to her?
- How do you think the people felt about Zacchaeus? What does Jesus say to him?
In each of these readings, Jesus offers healing, restoration, and salvation to the people who had been rejected by others. The person in the “Lift up Your Face” video has been somehow estranged from his family. In all the cases Jesus’ salvation was right there with them.
What do you think holds you back from growing in your faith? How do you think you’d like to lift up your face as Jesus’ healing, restoration, and salvation calls? (This is a question to ponder rather than answer.)
Wrap-up: No matter who you are, or what your situation is, Jesus came to bring your healing, restoration, and salvation. You are precious to God and Jesus loves you – no matter what.
Closing prayer: Thank you, God, for your healing, your restoration, and your salvation. Help all of us to be willing to lift up our faces to see the life you have in store for us. Amen.