…well and other things that don’t start with the letter P.
This week our youth lesson was about the Mystery of God. There is a verse in Jeremiah that has really been in my head lately.
Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know. Jeremiah 33:3
For an information junkie like me this really speaks to my heart. It is such a powerful invitation from God. Here is the God who created all things, the God who created the universe and everything in it, the God who is too much for us to even begin to understand inviting us to come to him and he will answer us. Then He goes even further and says that he will tell us things that we do not know. How cool is that!
I love that God is a God of mystery and at the same time is a God of answers. But for some reason traditional church doesn’t capture this mystery and wonder part of God very well. Traditional western church is better suited to a logical presentation of why we should follow him and a 3 step plan on how to live a better life than exploring the deep mysteries of God.
That is why I love working with Art in worship so much. Art is the language of mystery. Art allows us to explore beyond the facts and find the truth. It isn’t always easy to give a group of teenagers opportunities to create art. Most of them are so afraid of failure that they are afraid to even try, but it is important to me to continually remind them that follow God isn’t a science it is a relationship. So to that end this week we worked on creating some art.
Check out the idea after the jump.
I walked through some of my thoughts on Jeremiah 33:3 and then we had another more intimate worship gathering. Then we had our art project.
It worked like this. I asked them to choose 1 of 3 art option: Drawing, Poetry, or Drama. Then I gave them the assignments you will find below. After an extended period of time I had the groups present their ideas. Poetry went first. Their poems were about how God is mysterious and wild (you saw some of their work a few days ago). Drama went next. There dramatic reading was about how God invites us into the mystery. The final thing I did was have the art people share what their drawing were about. Their art was focused on how God reveals his mystery to us.
Here is How it Worked Out: I had 3 really good poems, and one person who understood the art project. The drama people refused to stop being stupid long enough to even think about the project so one girl sort of did it all on her own. So it wasn’t exactly a raging success. Part of the problem was the number of students. Up until last week we had been running less than 20 people for over a month. So I was planning on 6 or 7 people per group. Last week we ended up with 30 people so it blew those plans out of the water.
If you have a large group go ahead and plan to have multiple drawing and drama groups.
God is wild and unknowable
Create a new poem centered on this theme: “God is wild and unknowable.” Your poem can be rhyming or non-rhyming. It doesn’t even have to make sense to anyone other than you. Simply let your worship flow out onto the paper as you think about our God who is wild and unknowable.
God is inviting us into the mystery
Work together write a reader’s theater style drama centered on this theme: “God is inviting us into the mystery.” Use Jeremiah 33:3 as a jumping off point and then come up with other verses or lines until you have fully explored the idea that God is inviting us to join in his mystery. Once you have it written assign parts so that you can read your drama for the entire group.
If you get stumped try answering the following questions:
- What does it mean that God is inviting us into the mystery?
- What do you feel when you hear that God is inviting you to join him?
- In light of the greatness of God are you surprised that you are asked to join with Him?
God is…mystery revealed
Use the material provide to create an original piece of art centered on this theme: “God is mystery revealed.”
You can draw about some part of the mystery that he has revealed or about the fact that he is still shrouded in mystery or about how we interact with such a mysterious God. If you get stuck start with the simple refrain, God is…