Friday, January 23, 2015

    Are You Beloved?

    Invite your youth to claim their identity as beloved children of God with this simple activity. 

    I have to wonder that the world would be a better place if more people actually believed they were worthy to be called the beloved of God. 

    Teens particularly are constantly bombarded with explicit and implicit messages from peers, family, teachers, and consumer culture telling them they don't quite measure up. Yet, the gospel of Mark paints a portrait of a Jesus who claims his own belovedness in his baptism and then spends the rest of the book trying to help others claim their belovedness, too. 

    Spend some time with your youth discussing Mark's particular take on the baptism of Jesus. Invite your youth to consider what it would mean to truly believe we are loved by God and how trusting this might impact the way we live in the world.  What would it mean to treat all other persons as if they were beloved of God, too. How could they live in such a way that would help others to claim their belovedness? 

    Conclude your time by giving each youth two name tag stickers like the one pictured here. Challenge them to wear their name tag in proudly in public -- at school or work or a trip to the mall, for example.  Encourage them to be ready to share with others what the name tag is all about. They might even want to take a selfie while wearing the name tag and post it on social media. Additionally, encourage them to gift the other name tag to someone in their lives who really needs to know they are "beloved," whether this means giving them the name tag in person or dropping it in the mail.