• Pastor Andrea Myers

Confirmation Mentor Assignment #2 (for January 2022)




This year, each Confirmation Student will meet up with the Faith Mentor for two discussions that explore Christian faith and life. Students: Schedule a time when you and your mentor can meet (preferably in person) sometime in the next month. When you’re finished, email the church office (zioninfo@zionluthlakecrystal.org) with your answers to the closing reflections (by the end of January).


MENTOR CONVERSATION THEME:

Jesus says in Matthew 22:36-40 that the Greatest Commandment is to love God with our whole heart, soul, and mind, and to love our neighbor as ourselves.


This mentor conversation will last about an hour and help you explore prayer together:

What does love look like? What are the differences between “charity” and “justice”?

How might we love our neighbors in practical and local ways?


OPENING PRAYER:

Look with mercy, gracious God, upon people everywhere who live with injustice, terror, disease, hunger, and death as their constant companions. Rouse us from our complacency and help us to eliminate cruelty and neglect wherever it is found. Strengthen those who seek equality for all. Grant that everyone may enjoy a fair portion of the abundance of the earth; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (Evangelical Lutheran Worship, page 79)


PART 1: WARM UP

  1. Highs/Lows: Think about the last week, and share something that was a high point, and a low point of your week.

  2. Would you rather:

  3. Would you rather watch a show OR listen to music?

  4. Would you rather be invisible OR be able to read minds?

  5. Would you rather be stranded on a desert island alone OR with someone you don't like being around?

  6. Would you rather see the future OR change the past?

  7. Share something you did recently that gave you joy!


PART 2: GETTING TO KNOW YOU

Pick 2 or 3 of these to discuss briefly:

  • If you had to describe yourself using 3 words, what would they be?

  • What is something you dream of doing or accomplishing in the next 10 years?

  • What’s something that makes you sad when you think about the world today?

  • If you had the power of a magic wand, what’s one thing you would fix for someone else?


PART 3: WHAT DOES LOVE LOOK LIKE?

Share an experience when you met or saw someone in need, and you were able to help. What was their need, and what did you do?


Share an experience when you met or saw someone in need, but you struggled to know how to help. What was their need?


What problems seem “too big” for one person to be able to make a difference?


PART 4: BIBLE STUDY

  1. Read Matthew 22:34-40 (have one person read it to the other), then discuss:

  2. What word or phrase catches your attention in this reading? Why?

  3. Jesus sets a high standard for who and how we are to love. As you look at your life and the world around you, where have you seen this kind of love in action?

  4. Read Luke 4:16-19, then discuss:

  5. What word or phrase catches your attention in this reading? Why?

  6. Some people think that being a Christian is just about believing in Jesus so we can go to heaven. But here, Jesus is very concerned with what happens in the here and now. Read the passage again and ask yourselves: what would "good news to the poor" look and sound like today? What would "freedom for poisoners," "sight to the blind," "freedom for everyone who suffers" look and sound like today?

  7. Read Proverbs 31:8-9.

  8. What word or phrase catches your attention in this reading? Why?

  9. When have you seen someone use their voice to "defend those who are helpless"?

  10. What do you think it means to "give justice to the poor and homeless"? What does "justice" mean in this context?

  11. Reflection: Based on the three passages you've read together, what does "love your neighbor" look like?

PART 5: CHARITY AND JUSTICE: THE TWO FEET OF LOVE IN ACTION

When we seek to serve and love our neighbor, we can focus on two kinds of action:

1. Acts of service (or charity) that address immediate pain and suffering, and

2. Working to address the root causes of suffering through social change (or justice).


This image shows how Charity and Justice work together:



To further explore this distinction, watch this video:



Discussion questions:

  • Where have you seen someone "working upstream" to respond to the need of a neighbor?

  • For this lesson, we're calling Charity and Justice the "two feet of love in action." Why do we need BOTH of these "feet"? (i.e., what happens if we focus exclusively on charity? or exclusively on justice?)

PART 6: HOW MIGHT WE LOVE OUR NEIGHBOR IN PRACTICAL AND LOCAL WAYS?


For this activity, you will focus on one kind of need in our community, and consider what it looks like to love this neighbor.


The need: A neighbor doesn't have access to sufficient and healthy food.

  • Try to imagine yourself in their shoes. What is this person's life like? What might their typical day look like? What are their fears? Hopes?

  • What are some reasons WHY this issue/need might arise?

  • What help is needed in this situation?

What does "love your neighbor" look like in this situation? Work together to name specific ways to love and help this neighbor in need:

  • Name one or more acts of "charity" that might help this person.

  • Name one or more acts of "justice" (working for change) that would help this person and others like them.

  • Consider making a plan to do one or both of these things as part of your mentor relationship.

Close your time by praying for those in need, and for ourselves as we seek to love them. Then pray the Lord’s Prayer together.


CLOSING REFLECTIONS:

Send an email to the church office (zioninfo@zionluthlakecrystal.org) by January 31 that answers these three questions:

  1. What was the theme of this Mentor Conversation?

  2. Where and when did you meet with your mentor?

  3. What NEW thing did you learn about your Mentor during this conversation?

  4. Share 3 things you learned from your mentor about the THEME and how it connects to their life and faith.

  5. What’s one thing your mentor said that you want to remember later?

Good work!

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