Read the following paraphrase of Mark 8:27-38.  

Jesus and his disciples were going on toward the villages of Caesarea Phillipi when on the way, Jesus asked his apprentices, “who do people say that I am?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, and still others one of the prophets.” Then Jesus asked them: “what about you, who do you say that I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Messiah.”

Jesus ordered them not to tell anyone about this as he began explaining to them that the Human One must under go great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and on the third day rise again.  He said all this quite openly. But Peter took Jesus aside to correct him.  Clearly Jesus didn’t understand what he meant by Messiah.  Jesus turned back to his other apprentices and tried to set Peter straight.  “Get behind me, Satan.  You are not setting your mind on God’s reality.  You only see the human things around you.”

So Jesus called a crowd together to join those apprenticed to him as he began to teach: “If any of you want to come after me, you will have to let me take the lead, first by turning from doing things your own way, then by embracing my way, which includes carrying your own cross.  You see, if you try to hold on to your life as it is, it will slip through your fingers.  But if you let go of your own control over your life by releasing it to me and to the way of life I am showing you, suddenly you will find your true life, your real self.  What good would it do you to conquer the world and lose your life?  What would you give up in exchange for your real life, your true self?  If you’re embarrassed to let anyone see your true self, if you’d rather make a good show with your fickle friends who are all about themselves, then you will be an embarrassment to the Human One when he comes in his glory with his Father and the Holy Angels because of the dramatic difference between the life you ended up living and your real life that showed so much promise.

Mark 8:27-38

This passage is about Jesus.  Even his disciples, who walked with him, did not know exactly who he was.  God is even harder to describe.  Have a conversation inviting each person in your family to respond to the question, “What do you think God is like?”  Feel free to draw use images or phrases and share them if that is helpful.  Don’t worry about getting it “right,” just invite each person to describe the God you know (and not just appearance).

During the week, youth: ask friends, other family members, and others to describe God using a question like, “What do you think God is like?”  Write “This is a Rumor” at the top of a blank piece of paper. Write or draw pictures of responses you get.  What do you notice about what people say?

Sort through all of the “rumors” that you have heard and discussed and come to a conclusion for yourself of “who is God?”  Write or draw your ideas on the other side of the Rumors page.

As you reflect on who God is for you, ask yourself, “How has God made me in the Divine image?” “How does my life reflect who God is in my everyday relationships?” Spend some time journaling about these questions, or have a conversation with your family.