We always start class with prayer. On the rare occasion that someone has to remind me then everyone gets a lollipop. That'll keep me honest. Nothing gathers the class' focus like the sign of the cross. BAM. In a loud clear voice I begin, "In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit." AMEN. It never fails. I've told myself that when this mini-creed no longer gathers us at the foot of the mountain it's my sign that it's someone else's turn to lead them into the Promised Land.
My favorite devotional and theirs, is a book named Jesus Calling by Sarah Young. I can't count how many times the words have leapt off the page and met us EXACTLY where we are. It is truly uncanny. What the author has done is bold. She's reworded Scripture, and if that weren't daunting enough, she's written the devotions in the first person, in the voice of God! Who does that? Can you imagine speaking or writing as though you were God? She did it, and no doubt with the help of the Holy Spirit. Other than the Bible itself, and another devotional called My Utmost For His Highest, I have never experienced words coming alive like that, running after me, grabbing hold of me. Very cool.
Since singing is praying twice we often start with a song. And NO, I don't sing to them. Ewww. Thank God for YouTube. Very often students will recommend a song that I haven't heard before and I will check out the lyrics and the video before sharing it with the class. Don't EVER show a video without previewing it! I've been burned on that not once, but twice, and of course it was with the same class. After the second time I held my breath waiting for phone calls from parents... Grace, gotta love it.
Recently students started asking for the same song. The first time I heard it, it rushed passed me, never touching me. The second time I heard it, it tickled my toes as I waded into its message and melody. The third time I heard it, my spirit swam in it. In one particular class I KNOW that I felt the Holy Spirit moving through the room. It is a supernatural stillness not often experienced, most especially in a room full of teens.
I hope you enjoy it. I recommend starting with the sign of the cross of course, and then reading Matthew 14:22-33:
Then he made the disciples get into the boat and precede him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When it was evening he was there alone. Meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore, was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it. During the fourth watch of the night,* he came toward them, walking on the sea. When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified. “It is a ghost,” they said, and they cried out in fear. At once [Jesus] spoke to them, “Take courage, it is I;* do not be afraid.” Peter said to him in reply, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw how [strong] the wind was he became frightened; and, beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith,* why did you doubt?” After they got into the boat, the wind died down. Those who were in the boat did him homage, saying, “Truly, you are the Son of God.”
If you're a teacher, or a student, I recommend writing a reflection at this point. What are the waves in your world? What threatens to drown you? What scares you? What keeps you from living the miraculous life God has planned for you? Empty it all on paper. Purge it. Then pray this song:
Jesus is Calling... Can you hear him? Call on his hame and you too will walk on water.