On Behalf of You
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On Behalf of You
By Lois Parker Edstrom
Ask bilingual friends to help with this lesson.
Do any of you speak two languages? What a wonderful skill to have. It allows you to listen and be heard by people from a different country or culture than your own.
If you speak one language, as most of us do, you must depend on an interpreter to help you understand the words of those who use a different language. An interpreter speaks on behalf of you.
(Demonstrate how words said in one language are translated to another by asking bilingual friends, including bilingual children in the group, to participate. Use phrases such as, “God loves you. You are a precious child of God. Let not your heart be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me, etc.” Ask the children to offer suggestions for words or phrases they would like to hear spoken in another language.
Before Jesus went to be with God, he prayed on behalf of his disciples and for all the people of the world including each one of us. He said,“Holy Father, keep them through your name…, that they may be one, even as we are” (17:11). (Let the children hear this passage in two languages.)
Jesus asked God to protect us and to help us learn to get along together so we feel united like one family – God’s family.
As Jesus prayed he said,“I pray for them. I don’t pray for the world, but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours” (17:9).
This prayer reveals that each one of us is a precious child of God. In a way, Jesus was acting as our interpreter, taking our requests to God and asking for his blessing on behalf of you and me.
Scripture quotations from the World English Bible
Copyright 2008, Richard Niell Donovan