Jesus often challenged people about their values. The Pearl of Great Price, the Buried Treasure, the Lost Coin are all parables about what is important to us and to our Heavenly Father. He also observed the poor widow, who gave all she had to the temple treasury. This exercise helps us consider what is valuable to us.
- pencils or pens
Have everyone find a comfortable place to sit.
Have the youth consider what they would do if they suddenly had $100,000. Maybe they won the lottery or a long lost relative left them money in a will. Have them write a list of what they might purchase.
Have them share their lists. Note any common themes or unusual items.
Read Matthew 13:44-46 (or another appropriate passage).
The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure buried in a field,* which a person finds and hides again, and out of joy goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant searching for fine pearls. When he finds a pearl of great price, he goes and sells all that he has and buys it.Matthew 13:44-46
Now have them think about if their house was on fire. They have just enough time to remove five items safely. Have them write down five specific items. Instruct them they can’t just say “photos”, they have to pick a particular one.
Now have them share these lists. Once again, look for any common themes or unusual choices.
- Look at the list of items you removed from the fire. Do you think you will still value these items in ten years?
- Look at both of your lists. Do you see any common themes? Are these things centered on entertainment, school, memories, faith, cost, yourself, others, etc. ?
Have them close their eyes and imagine that their hands are very full of all of the things they value. It may help to tell them that some of the things have been “miniaturized”! Anyway, all of these things are in their hands and Jesus is standing before them, holding a very large pearl or gem. This is something which he wants us to have and is important to Him.
Ask them to imagine taking some of the things they value out of their hands to make room for the treasure Jesus wants to give them. They should think about how they feel about giving some of their things up. Does it make them feel anxious? Sad? Upset? Free?
Close with a prayer of gratitude for all of the blessings in our lives.