3/20/08

Lesson of Love for Balcony Girls

Your friend, who you’ve known and trusted for years, has betrayed you. You are shocked and cannot believe it has happened. The daggers go deep into your heart and it really hurts. Betrayal separates, divides and causes strife. It’s very painful when a friend betrays you. It hurts even worse when it is someone whom you consider to be a best friend!

Yesterday my Balcony Girls learned a lesson on Love. It was so appropriate to learn on this Maundy Thursday, as we talked about the feelings of betrayal that Jesus experienced.

Our lesson started off with a bag of money.

After I picked the girls up from school, we came to my home, took our shoes off and sat in a circle. I find it essential to start our lesson right away, while the girls are fresh and ready to listen.

I randomly handed each girl an item to hold. A bag of money, a small donkey, a plastic rooster, a cross, a sign (Jesus, King of Nazareth), a crown of thorns, a very large nail, and a small rock. These items, with symbolic meaning, would lead our Balcony Girls group into another life lesson.

I asked the girls how it feels to be betrayed by a friend? We talked about how, when you are sometimes at your weakest (tired, weary, exasperated), it’s easy to pick apart a friendship - to find things irritating to you. It’s easy to disagree with your friend and argue – and then your emotions get the best of you. You start having bad feelings toward that friend and before long, bitterness and unforgiveness have crept in – and division starts taking place in your friendship! A friend, who you once stood by, you have now turned on.

This happened to Jesus, starting on this Maundy Thursday, when Judas, once a very close friend, let resentment and disagreements settle in his heart. It mounted to hatred toward the person that he once loved, where he eventually sold his Master for a bag of money.

Betrayal happened in a very evil way.

As we moved through the group and discussed the rest of the Easter items in their hands, and their meanings, we walked through the Easter Story like we were there. The girls, having something tangible to hold on to, didn’t take their eyes off of me while I explained the symbolic meanings and how they related to Easter.

The lesson of love ended with the stone. And the stone ended with resurrection! The story of death, forgiveness and life was perfect for illustrating our friendships with one another. Sometimes we let things get blown out of proportion in friendships, and then we find ourselves in betrayal and disloyalty.

I encouraged the girls in the group, who may have felt betrayed by a friend, to learn to choose the route of forgiveness. To remember the bad feeling of betrayal, but to also know the beautiful impacting lesson of forgiveness.

It’s something we can all experience because of the example shown to us on Easter.

(Abby and her friend made the Easter cupcakes with peeps on top, and we played an Easter theme game of Pictionary using our large white board, today at Balcony Girls. Check out Crosswalk.com Easter Resurrection Cookies, here. And Lis Garrett interviewed me, featuring a profile of my blog, (4 Reluctant Entertainers) over here. If you want to know more about the woman behind this blog, check it out! She asked me some fun questions. Thank you Lis!)

14 comments:

Dee Ann said...

I love this hands on activity and the way the girls could each hold on to a piece of Easter. I'm sure the experience will stick in their memories. I also appreciated the way that you described the betrayal, "let resentment and disagreements settle in his heart. It mounted to hatred toward the person that he once loved, where he eventually sold his Master for a bag of money." It brings it close to home.

Elizabeth said...

I love the activities you come up with Sandy! So meaningful and important for the girls. Happy Easter to your whole family!

ValleyGirl said...

Another great lesson, Sandy! You're so creative with planning your lessons!!

Hope you and your family have a wonderful Easter weekend!

Kirstin said...

Great idea Sandy and great illustration for betrayal and friendship.

Dawn said...

Your girls are learning such wonderful lessons. Happy Easter Sandy!

Mocha with Linda said...

Wow. How creative -- and so meaningful for the girls.

Have a blessed Easter.

Org Junkie said...

What a great interview, that was fun!!

Lisa said...

A great lesson. What a great cupcake topper idea, gonna borrow that idea for sure! Have a wonderful weekend.

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

What a great idea!

I learn so much from your blog.

a Tonggu Momma said...

Thanks so much for posting all of the lessons you use with your Balcony Girls. We are on hiatus this year, but my husband and I led two small groups (he had boys, and I girls) where we saw them through seventh to twelfth grade. They graduated last June. I am writing notes for my index card file. When we begin with a new group (in a few years), I will definitely be referring to my notes.

The Tin House said...

Hi Sandy - thanks for visiting me! Thought I'd return the favour and have a snoop around! Enjoying what I'm seeing. I hope your girls got a kick out of our little Australian term "patty" cakes - they certainly look wonderfully colourful. Lisa x

Jen said...

Brilliant. My husband teaches 5th grade boys on Wednesday nights at church. What a struggle. I admire you for this.

becky said...

Fabulous illustration. I was wondering if Balcony Girls is something you started yourself or if it is a established ministry. I have been contemplating with the Lord's guidance of course, starting a girl's "Bible study" for middle schoolers. I knew that you would be the perfect source, as your material is always outstanding!

mykidsmom said...

I love the idea of this group for girls. My daughter is too young to be a part of it now, but I am seriously considering starting a similar group at our church.

I am concerned that, though they are being taught basic Christian beliefs and ideals, they seem to be missing so many other things: how to treat others, good manners, ect. And I am noticing they leave other girls out who aren't "up to their level" because they don't come from as good of homes (or so they think). Have you ever addressed that issue? I know, I should probably check old posts, LoL. Thanks for the inspiration!