Theme: We serve the Lord by serving others (and don’t wait until it’s too late!)
Pre-scripture reading discussion:
Teacher to the class:
Who remembers what they did after Sunday School last Sunday?
Now, who remembers what we talked about during Breaking of the Word last Sunday?
Last week we talked about poor people and how God loves the poor and the needy. We talked about what it means to be materially poor, why people are or become poor, how God wants us to treat poor people and how you as young people can help poor people.
(Review the main points.)
Today, we will talk about WHEN or how often we should help poor people and those who may not be poor, but need help.
Scripture Reading (parable of the rich man and Lazarus):
Teacher Note: today the class will act out the King and Lazarus story using the following Bible passage from Luke as a guide or narrative. See the Class Activity below for instructions.
Luke 16: 19-31
19 “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.
22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’
25 “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’
27 “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’
29 “Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’
30 “‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’
31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”
Students act out the King and Lazarus story using the Luke 16: 19-31 Bible passage as a guide or narrative.
Divide the class into two groups. One group will act out the King’s role and the other group will act out Lazarus’s role.
In the first part of the story, those playing the King will sit on top of the classroom desks and those playing Lazarus will sit either on the floor around the desks or in the desk chairs (depending upon how clean the floors are).
Those playing the King will have biscuits to eat and those on the floor playing Lazarus will have nothing to eat.
After the death of the King and Lazarus, the students will reverse positions. This time those on the desks will have bottled water and those on the floor or the chairs will have nothing.
Actual teacher script (the King and Lazarus story has been modified for the class activity):
“Today, I want all of you to help me tell this story.”
(Divide the students up, some on the desks and some on the chairs or floor.)
“OK, let’s begin. There once was a very rich man. He was the King and ruler of the land.
Now, those of you on the desk are the King.
The King had many fine clothes and lots of toys and plenty to eat.
(Teacher aids hand out crackers to the Kings.)
You may eat your crackers.
Now, just outside of the King’s kitchen window, there was a very poor man named Lazarus. Lazarus was looking in the window.
Those of you sitting on the floor are Lazarus.
Lazarus was so poor he had nothing to eat. And the crackers he saw the King eating looked very good.
He would have been very happy to eat the crumbs left over from the Kings crackers.
(Teacher aids sprinkle cracker crumbs on the desks.)
The King knew that the homeless, beggar man was outside his window and he new the man was hungry, but he would not even give his cracker crumbs to the poor man.
What do you think of the King?
How do you think Lazarus felt?
One day, Lazarus died of starvation. (That’s what happens if you don’t have enough food to eat.) The angels came down from heaven and took Lazarus up to heaven to stand by another man named Abraham.
A couple days later, the King died. The bible doesn’t tell us how he died; it may have been because he was very old.
When the King died, however, he did not go to heaven.
He went to ‘not-heaven’ or hell.
(Teacher aids have the students switch places. Then they pass out small plastic cups and pour a small amount of water into each cup.)
Now those of you on the desks are in heaven and those of you in the chairs or on the floor are not in heaven.
Now the place that the King to went when he died was very hot and there was no water to cool his mouth.
The king looked up to heaven and saw Lazarus standing beside Abraham. The King was very, very, very thirsty, so he asked Abraham to ask Lazarus to just reach down from heaven and touch his (the King’s) tongue with cool water.
But Abraham said to the King, ‘Remember when you were alive you had many good things and plenty of food to eat and Lazarus had nothing. And you would not even share the crumbs of your food with Lazarus.
Here in heaven, Lazarus has all that he needs and now you have nothing, not even a drop of water.
Lazarus cannot come to you because people cannot travel back and forth from heaven to hell.’
The King realized the big mistake he made by not sharing what he had with Lazarus. But now it was too late.
Then the King thought about his five brothers still living on Earth.
And the King asked Abraham to send Lazarus back to earth to warn his brothers that if they continue to be selfish, they will go to a terrible place when they die.
The King thought that if his brothers saw Lazarus, a dead man, come back to earth to warn them, that they would really believe what the dead man said.
But Abraham said he would not send Lazarus back to earth to warn the Kings brothers.
Abraham told the King that his brothers had Moses and the other prophets and religious teachers to tell them how they should live.”