Home Education and Young People Resources Lamentations Lesson 3

Lesson 3

How Can Our Faith Help Us To Express Sadness and Move Forward?

Encounter

When people feel sad they often turn to their faith to express their sadness to help them move forward.

"Feelings are much like waves, we can't stop them from coming but we can choose which one to surf."

Think, Pair, Share - ask the children to discuss what they believe the quote means/explains.

Bible Story

Christians believe that God loves them and knows when they are hurting or upset. When they cry or feel sad, God always knows. Christians believe they are never alone and can always speak to God about how they are feeling.

Tell the story of ‘Jesus weeps at Lazarus’ tomb – John 11:28-35’. Discuss when sadness might feel overwhelming at times. How might we act? How are you affected when others are sad? How might it help Christians to know that Jesus experienced this emotion?

Grief and Bereavement

When someone you love dies, you will feel sad and there will be some days that will be really tough. The death of a friend, a relative, or even a pet can make us feel lost and unhappy. We cannot understand why it has happened. It can help to talk to an adult about the person who has died, when you are ready to talk.

Discuss: Have you lost a loved one? How did it make you feel? Has a close family member or friend lost someone? How did they act? What could you do to express your sadness? How might it help you to move forward?

The children could write a letter to someone they know who has died or that they miss to express how they feel. They could include their hopes and what they will do to cope with their sadness to move forward.

How do Christians deal with grief?

Christians believe their faith provides hope and can strengthen someone during deep sadness. No one is immune to the pain of bereavement, but Christianity teaches that death is not the end and that there is also the prospect that they will see their loved one again.

Family members usually have a funeral for the person who has died. Most Christian funerals will have a church service and will contain readings from the Bible which reflect Christian views on afterlife. Funerals are an opportunity to say goodbye to loved ones and can be joyous occasions that celebrate a persons life. This is often a comfort to those who are grieving.

Discuss the scriptures and what they might mean:

Psalm 73:26 “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever’

John 16:22 “So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.”

Retell the Easter story. Jesus' friends thought that he was gone for ever and they were sad, upset and frightened because their leader had gone. Then, three days later, he appeared to them. He was the same but not the same, he had gone through death and changed. This is what Christians describe as resurrection.

Other Faiths

Explain that in different belief systems and cultures there are different ways for how to express sadness. Provide children with a selection of religious beliefs for dealing with sadness/grief/bereavement or ask them to conduct their own research.

Discuss: Can they compare religious beliefs? What is similar? What is different? Can they reflect on their own beliefs? How do different religions deal with sadness to move forward?

Let us pray

Dear God,
We remember today all the people in the world who are feeling sad.
We remember those:
whose family or friends have died;
whose pets have died;
who have nowhere to live;
who are ill, hungry or lonely;
who have no one to talk to or play with.
Help each one of them to find a way out of their sadness,
and help each of us who knows what it is like to feel sad
to be kind to anyone we know who is feeling sad today.
Amen.

Reflection

  • Have you turned to faith when you felt sad?
  • Why might people turn to their faith when they are sad?
  • How might faith help people to move forward?
  • Reflect on your day and think about how you have felt at different times. Be curious about why you may have felt that way.
  • Don’t be afraid to talk to someone when you are feeling sad.