Matthew 5:9; John 14:27
To help students think about what Jesus said about peace and what they can do to work for peace in their own situations.
Things you’ll need
- Clipboards and pens.
- Small prizes for each of your volunteers (small chocolate bars etc).
1 Tell the students that you are going to play Blankety Blank (like the TV quiz show), teachers versus students.
Note: if it isn’t appropriate to ask teachers to be involved, have two groups of students competing against each other instead, for example boys versus girls.
Ask for three volunteers for each ‘team’ (or select team members).
2 Give both teams a clipboard and pen. Tell the students that you are going to read out a phrase and they must write on their clipboard what they think should go in the blank. Round one is for student one, round two for student two etc.
The phrase for student one is ‘Happy [_____]’. (Answers could include: birthday, Christmas, New Year, Easter, anniversary, hour, go-lucky.)
When the student has written their answer, ask your teacher team to consult together and decide what they think the student has written, then write their answer down.
Now, get the student to show what they’ve written. Then, ask the teachers to show what they’ve put. Did the teachers get it right? Award them a point if they did.
Talk about the word ‘happy’. Say that everyone likes feeling happy! It usually means everything is going well for us. It’s been said that ‘happiness’ is about ‘happenings’. If what happens to us is good, we are happy; When bad things happen to us, we are not!
The phrase for student two is ‘War [_____]’. (Answers could include: correspondent, head, dance, lord, time, crime, cry, paint, memorial.)
As for round one, when the student has written their answer, get the teachers to write down what they think the student has written. Get them to show their answers and award the teachers a point if they get it right.
Talk about the word ‘war’. Comment that there is a lot of conflict in the world today, not just between countries. There are all kinds of conflict between different groups of people: different communities, neighbours, family members, even friends. When conflict happens, it brings lots of unhappiness to many people. The opposite of war is peace.
The phrase for student three is ‘Peace [_____]. As before, ask your student volunteer to write their answer. (Answers might include: talks, maker, pipe, time, offering, treaty.) Then continue as for rounds one and two.
Talk about the word ‘peace’. Peace is a great thing if you have it or can get it. Peace is the opposite to war. It also can mean the absence of noise. And, it can be to do with the way we are feeling on the inside, meaning an absence of turmoil, anger, unrest, panic and unhappiness.
6 How well did the teachers do at guessing what the students wrote? Give small prizes to the winning ‘team’ (or to all your volunteers!). Thank your volunteers and ask them to sit down again.
1 Ask the students to think about peace for a few moments:
• Would you say you have got peace in your life?
2 Tell the students that you are going to read some words from the Bible that Jesus said about peace:
God blesses those people who make peace. They will be called his children.’ Matthew 5:9 (CEV)
3 Comment that ‘Peacekeepers’ are people who keep the peace whatever the cost! Peace makers are people who make peace where there is trouble and disagreement.
4 Ask students to think about:
• Are you a peacekeeper, or a peace maker?
1 Get everyone to close their eyes. Spend some time in silence. Enjoy the peace, the tranquillity and absence of noise.
2 Ask them to think about what needs to happen for there to be peace in the world, in situations where they know there is conflict. What needs to happen for them to have peace in their own lives? Say that Christians believe that God gives peace.
3 Now ask students to think about how they could help to bring ‘peace on earth’ in the different situations which they are involved in.
4 As your conclusion, say that you are going to read some more words from the Bible which Jesus said to his disciples when they were frightened and worried. Encourage students to remember anything which is troubling them at the moment and then to imagine that Jesus is saying these words to them:
‘I leave you peace; my peace I give you. I do not give it to you as the world does. So don’t let your hearts be troubled or afraid’ John 14:27 (NCV)