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Respect Human Life

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Dive (6-8)Year 2Unit 4 (Who's Number 1?)Session 6
6

Respect Human Life

Focus
Life is a gift from God, so I'm called to care about the well-being of others, especially those who cannot care for themselves.
Faith Nurture Goals
  • Wonder at Jesus' love and concern for others.
  • Commit to caring for those for whom Jesus cares.
  • Cultivate compassion for others.

Leader Reflection

Preparing to Tell God's Story

The Bible presents God as one who has a special regard and cares for the people in society who are most helpless and needy. The Old Testament continuously reiterates that God cares for the "widow and the orphan." In that day these two groups represented the most helpless class of people, left alone in the world with no one to care for them.

In the New Testament Jesus picks up this theme in various ways. One is his focus on children and through them on the "little ones," by whom he meant those whom society considers weak and helpless.

The disciples ask, "Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" Obviously they are thinking that one of them might receive the designation. Jesus picks up something of that Old Testament theme by calling a little child and placing him in front of them. His answer takes them by surprise: "Truly I tell you, unless you become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." Jesus first attacks their idea that greatness has to do with adult accomplishment and power. No, he says, a child is greater. The child's neediness and dependence upon others more fully expresses that for which we should all aspire in our relationship with God.

But Jesus pushes further: "Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me." In other words, the helplessness of a child is not only an example but an invitation. Welcoming them, helping them, and defending them are godlike acts, because they have a special place in God's heart.

Jesus goes on to widen the scope: "If anyone causes one of these little ones---those who believe in me---to stumble, it would be better for them to be sunk in the sea with a millstone around their neck." Here the "little ones" are not just children but anyone who is in need and wants to put their trust in him. God cares for, protects, and guards all those who need and depend on him.

The Q&A for today focuses on the value of human life, with a particular emphasis on "the unborn and helpless." No one is more vulnerable and helpless than a baby, especially an unborn baby. Yet God knows them, each one, and has called them into existence, "knitting them together" in their mother's womb, as we read in Psalm 139.

In a day when abortion is widespread in our culture, and even more so in some others (especially in terms of the abortion of unborn girls), it's important for Christians to recognize God's deep concern for them.

Of course, that concern is for all people who need the help of others---people who are poor, abused, or hungry or who have serious intellectual or physical disabilities. Following our God, and walking in the steps of Jesus, godly people must also care for people in need among us in the world and appreciate their life as a gift from God. Each life is important to God, especially those whom society might regard as of least importance.

From this teaching we also learn that the idea of human rights---the rights to life, health, and well-being---is deeply Christian, and that we as Christians are to be on the front lines in defending them.

Wondering
  • What is there about children that makes them the “greatest in the kingdom”?

  • Who are the “little ones” God may be calling you to support and protect?

  • What should Christians do in the struggle against abortion?

Teaching
  • In this lesson we are crossing into the arena of politics. The kids in your group may have a variety of responses and positions. Make sure to listen before you speak, confirming responses to ensure that you fully understand each person’s viewpoint—perhaps repeating it back to them in your own words for their agreement. Then you can offer your response truthfully but respectfully.

Steps

Step 1 Gathering for God's Story

  • body smart
Tip

Perha

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