Justice Journey 2021 || May || Module 4 || From Brokenness to Reconciliation

Justice Journey, Part 4: We Can Be Whole

Week 1: Brokenness

Key Point:

Key Words:

  • BROKENNESS: Separation, something that is no longer whole or complete, something divided and different from what God wants.
  • RECONCILIATION: Working to bring back or restore relationships that are broken.
  • RESTORATION: Making something right. Returning something to the way God intends it to be.

Scripture:

Digital Resources:

Discussion Questions:

  • Who was trying to break the relationship between the children and Jesus?
  • Was that what Jesus wanted?
  • Do you think Jesus wants us to keep others out of our group, or invite them in? Why?
  • What are your thoughts about this story?
  • What would it be like to learn a new language?
  • Can everyone have dreams?
  • What can we learn from each other?
  • What could we loose if we choose to keep people out instead of inviting them in?
  • Do you think God wants us all separated or do you think God want’s us to be together? Why?
  • What can kintsugi teach us about responding to and restoring brokenness (our own, our relationship with God, broken relationships with others)?

Play/Do:

  • With a few others, make a web of connection. Move it up and down. Try to keep a beach ball up with it. Think about:
    - What were we able to do together?
    - What’s hard about being connected as one group?
    - What is good about all being a part of the group?
    - How would you have felt being left out?
    - What happened to the web when the first person let go of the yarn? How does that illustrate what happens when people are excluded from a community?
    - As more people dropped the yarn, what happened to the web? How did this affect its usefulness (or playfulness)?

Create/Make:

  • Make a paper mosaic (a little like kintsugi) from upcycled materials

Prayer:

Week 2: Right Relationship with God

Key Point:

Key Words:

  • BROKENNESS: Separation, something that is no longer whole or complete, something divided and different from what God wants.
  • JUSTICE: Restoring things back the to the way God wants them. This includes fixing broken relationships, laws, and systems that come from sin and that keep all people from enjoying the peace God created for all to enjoy.
  • OPPRESSION: When people are harmed by injustice and hurt by unfair systems and laws.
  • PRIVILEGE: An unfair advantage available to some people but not to other people.
  • RECONCILIATION: Working to bring back or restore relationships that are broken.
  • SIN: Anything that is against God’s will.

Scripture:

Digital Resources:

Discussion Questions:

  • What does it mean to be a “new creation”?
  • What are some examples of when our relationship with God is broken?
  • What is reconciliation?
  • Catholics confess to a priest because they think it is important to speak aloud the ways we are broken or cause brokenness. Name ways you have broken your relationship with God, done things your way instead of God’s way? What are things you can do to reconcile or make things right with God?

Play/Do:

Create/Make:

  • Make a chemical mixture to make a “new substance” (kitchen chemical changes that can’t be undone!) — watch this then choose your favorite recipe to make.

Prayer:

Week 3: Right Relationship With Others

Key Point:

Key Words:

  • BROKENNESS: Separation, something that is no longer whole or complete, something divided and different from what God wants.
  • JUSTICE: Restoring things back the to the way God wants them. This includes fixing broken relationships, laws, and systems that come from sin and that keep all people from enjoying the peace God created for all to enjoy.
  • OPPRESSION: When people are harmed by injustice and hurt by unfair systems and laws. PRIVILEGE: An unfair advantage available to some people but not to other people.
  • RECONCILIATION: Working to bring back or restore relationships that are broken.
  • SIN: Anything that is against God’s will.

Scripture:

Digital Resources:

Discussion Questions:

  • In the scripture, there is God, Jonah and the Ninevites… how did each feel?
  • Did Jonah like the Ninevites?
  • How did Jonah respond when God asked Jonah to help make the relationship right?
  • What do we learn about how God wants us to reconcile our broken relationships from the story?
  • Our world experiences much brokenness. Some things are not right about how we live. What are some ways you see brokenness in your community and the world? (homelessness, hard things at schools, bullying, people are mistreated because of their gender and race, people are mistreated because they are immigrants or refugees, kids are mistreated because they have a disability, people not getting jobs, jail/detention center/mass incarceration, unfair laws, hunger/lack of access to good food, not everyone gets the medicine and medical help they need, kids can’t live with their parents or are in foster care, sickness, etc.)
  • We know that God is at work fixing what is broken, and God uses the Church to help bring love and healing to the world. This is God’s work of reconciliation. God is making all things new (2 Corinthians 5:17), and God invites us to be partners in fixing what is broken. What can we do restore what is broken?
  • How could your respond in a Christ-centered way to these scenarios:
    - You got into a fight with your friend because you hurt each other’s feelings yesterday about your art projects. What can you do?
    - A classmate’s parent has to work and there is no one else home. What can you do?
    - You heard some kids at the lunch table making fun of the lunch your friend brought to school. What can you do?
    - Your neighborhood has a mini-mart on the corner and fast-food restaurants, but the nearest grocery story with fresh fruits and veggies is several miles away. Some neighbors want to plant a vegetable garden, but some other neighbors don’t like the idea. What can you do?
    - The weather is getting colder, and you get out your winter clothing. You notice that some people who are homeless in your neighborhood are wet and cold. What can you do?
    - Your parents tell you that your church is hosting a refugee family. What can you do?
  • When we see brokenness, or things that are not right in the world, we can name it. But what do we do next?
  • What does it mean to be “salt and light”?

Play/Do:

Create/Make:

  • Sometimes it is right to lament, or pray and talk to God about the thing that makes us sad and hurt our neighbors. King David did that in the psalms a lot. Lament psalms were written to cry out to God about oppression, injustice, and things that are not right, but they always ended with a praise for who God is. Psalms and songs of lament help us move from hopelessness to hope or from sadness to joy. Write a psalm of lament.

Prayer:

Week 4: Judging Others

Key Point:

Key Words:

  • BROKENNESS: Separation, something that is no longer whole or complete, something divided and different from what God wants.
  • RECONCILIATION: Working to bring back or restore relationships that are broken.
  • RESTORATION: Making something right. Returning something to the way God intends it to be.

Scripture:

Digital Resources:

Discussion Questions:

  • What are some ways we “judge” others?
  • Why is it not okay to judge others who don’t look like us or act like us?
  • Have you been judged by others?
  • What does it mean to forgive? Have you forgiven or been forgiven?
  • What are some faults we have that could hurt others? Does Jesus forgive us for our faults?
  • Does Jesus want us to keep doing the same things or does Jesus want us to care for others?

Play/Do:

  • In one moment your brain takes in 11 million pieces of information but can only process 40 — so to survive we make a lot of guesses, assumptions and judgements. It is “natural” but we need to be aware and train our brains not to accept or react to our judgements. Practice not reacting to these funny videos!

Create/Make:

  • Don’t let your eyes be the judge! Create this optical illusion to remind you that what you see, what your brain jumps to is not always the truth:

Prayer:

Week 5: Whole (Not Perfect)

Key Point:

Key Words:

  • BROKENNESS: Separation, something that is no longer whole or complete, something divided and different from what God wants.
  • RECONCILIATION: Working to bring back or restore relationships that are broken.
  • RESTORATION: Making something right. Returning something to the way God intends it to be.

Scripture:

Digital Resources:

Discussion Questions:

  • What is perfectionism? Where do you think we hear messages about being perfect? Who wants us to be/tells us we can be perfect? Why?
  • What does the scripture tell us about how to “complete” God’s desires for us and our relationship with others on our journey? Does it involve competition or perfection to be complete? What can we do on our journey to wholeness?
  • What are the two ideas behind kintsugi?
  • How is kintsugi like what God wants for us?
  • For The Harmony Tree:
    -
    Who am I in this story? Am I Grandmother Oak? Am I one of the new trees or houses?
    - What can I learn from the place I find myself in the story?
    - What does this story teach us about healing and our journey to reconciliation and wholeness?
  • How could self-care and community care lead to healing our own brokenness, returning to a right relationship with God and with each other (structural care)?

Play/Do:

  • Perfectionism sets us up for competition against each other, but if our goal is wholeness then it means we will need to work together. Try one of these cooperative active games:

Create/Make:

  • Instead of throwing out clothing, find a way to mend it, make it whole again!
  • Or do an upcycle project:

Prayer:

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Written by Lauren Gibbs-Beadle @firstpreskidshayward Children’s Ministries @firstpreshayward | educator, creative, parent | she/her

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