Peer pressure can often prevent us from speaking up when a group starts suggesting selfish behavior. What do you think you might do to help your friends when they demonstrate selfish attitudes? In groups of four, role-play the following scenarios where one person needs to speak up for the right thing to do.
a. the group decides to shoplift some DVDs in the local store
b. the group decides to let the air out of a teacher's tires
c. the group decides to pick on a small boy after school
We may often feel like a "voice crying in the wilderness," but even one voice may be all that is needed.
Lift High the Cross
Give each child a piece of heavy paper such as oak tag with the outline of a cross on it. Ask the children to draw pictures on their cross of things they are grateful to Jesus for, and then cut out the cross. Gather the children around your prayer space. If available, play the hymn, Lift High the Cross, while the children raise their crosses in the air. End with this short prayer, "Thank you, Jesus, for dying on the cross for us."
Ask the children to think about all the people they know who are suffering. Explain how because of their suffering, we say they are each carrying a cross. It might be family members, people in the neighborhood, or others they've seen on TV. As they name each of these cross-bearers, write that person's name or category (e.g., soldiers in war) on a large outline of a cross. Mount the cross in a special, prominent place and lead the children in prayer that God will help each of them carry their crosses.