Wednesday, June 28, 2006
At the beginning of session two we emphasized the importance of practice in preparing for a soccer game. I lined the teams up outside and we practiced drills. These active introductions were super beneficial in successfully wearing out the kiddos enough to sit still during the discussion times.
(What the kids never found out was ... sh! I hate playing soccer. I loathe running. That's where my acting skills came in handy.)
After the drills and a race dribbling (kicking) the ball around the outside of the chapel, they returned to their seats. Practice helps prepare players for the real game. It helps them know how to react during particular situations on the field.
I shared the story about my friend C.B. when he was a missionary in Uganda. He formed a soccer team with a couple of the village kids. But they were not ordinary kids. They were orphans, unloved. No one talked to them. No one wanted to touch them. And yet, he loved them.
Here's his story:
""Soccer is the universal language spoken around the world. And so, when I began talking with Pat about starting a soccer team she was ecstatic. Just who was "Pat?" Pat was an older, retired woman from Canada who had devoted the rest of her life to the street kids of the village in Africa where I lived. The street kids (as they were affectionately known) where not only orphans, but the outcast of African society. Pat, though, would often have them stay in her home. But one past time kept them off the street and engaged in wholesome fun: you guessed it, SOCCER!
"Knowing this, Pat and I organized a makeshift soccer team consisting only of 'Pat's Kids.' After scraping together a few Uganda Shillings to buy some soccer balls and basic equipment we began to have practices at the local "pitch" (i.e.
soccer field). Needless to say, we were the talk of the town and it wasn't long before we had some formidable competition. The field was lined, the players were dripping with enthusiasm and we had one of the top referees around (me, of course) as we began our first match. I honestly cannot remember who won the game. I do recall, however, that fun was had by all.
This is the story of a couple of street kids and myself who united around a common language--soccer."
"Do you know of another person ... someone from the Bible ... that came as a "stranger" to love the unlovely, touch the untouchable, and speak to the outcasts?"
Jesus, of course.
We then read 2 Timothy 1:7-8 together followed by a discussion on what the verses mean.
7 for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God,
"Do you think missionaries are ever afraid?"
Discussed some things that may cause them fear.
"Do you think they are ever timid to live and speak the Gospel?"
First of all, what *is* the Gospel?
After the truth of the Gospel was clear, I moved the discussion toward why other people may cause missionaries to be afraid.
"They might be afraid of what others think of them."
"Yes, what else?"
"Some people might get angry and kill them."
"Sounds kind of like what the people did to Jesus, doesn't it?"
18 “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. 21 But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Whoever hates me hates my Father also. 24 If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. 25 But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: ‘They hated me without a cause.’
"But if missionaries are living and telling the *Good News*, why would people hate them? Isn't it *good* news?"
"They hate missionaries because they are telling the people the opposite of what they want to believe."
Everyone is a sinner, which is basically a traitor against the King of kings. Man has the attitude of "I'm god. This is *my* world. And I will do things my way."
Along comes a missionary and tells them, "God made the world. Jesus is King. You belong to Him. This is what He did for you. Submit to Him as Ruler. Rely on His death and resurrection."
Uh, oh. That means that they don't get to be "god" anymore.
Return to the verse and emphasize why we do not need to fear. Fear of the world is not of God.
How can missionaries (and the kids) live in power, love, and self-control?
Read the Lesson together:
Do not be ashamed of God. Do not fear the world, but obey and love God.