Large Group – Forgiveness, March, Week 5

by Ryan Timpte

Categories: Children's Ministry

The week of March 29th – During the month of March, we are focusing on the virtue of forgiveness.

Find a time this week to gather as a family, read a Bible passage, respond as a family to what you have heard, and pray together.


March Virtue                Forgiveness: Deciding that someone who has wronged you doesn’t have to pay
What is a virtue?          A virtue is something that God does in us to change the world around us.

Bible Story:                   I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing (Father and Older Brother) • Luke 15:21-32
Bottom Line:                 When you don’t forgive, you miss out.
Memory Verse:             Put up with one another. Forgive one another if you are holding something against someone. Forgive, just as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:13 (NIrV)
Basic Truth:                  I should treat others the way I want to be treated.


 Have one person in your family read Luke 15:21-32 (NSRV):

21 Then the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 But the father said to his slaves, ‘Quickly, bring out a robe—the best one—and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. 23 And get the fatted calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate; 24 for this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found!’ And they began to celebrate.

25 “Now his elder son was in the field; and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 He called one of the slaves and asked what was going on. 27 He replied, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has got him back safe and sound.’ 28 Then he became angry and refused to go in. His father came out and began to plead with him. 29 But he answered his father, ‘Listen! For all these years I have been working like a slave for you, and I have never disobeyed your command; yet you have never given me even a young goat so that I might celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours came back, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fatted calf for him!’ 31 Then the father[b] said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32 But we had to celebrate and rejoice, because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life; he was lost and has been found.’


That’s where Jesus ended the story. He didn’t say if the older son listened to his father. It’s up to us to imagine it for ourselves.

I wonder . . . did the older son join the celebration with his family and friends? Did he give up on the jealousy and hurt he felt? Did he choose to forgive his brother?

Or did he stay outside? Did he stay angry because he didn’t think his father was being fair? Did he stay mad at his brother because he didn’t think his brother DESERVED to have a party?

The problem with choosing NOT to forgive is that we miss out on the good things God is doing in our lives and in the lives of the people around us. [Bottom Line] “When you don’t forgive, you miss out.

It can be tough to forgive . . . because if we’re honest, we want things to be fair. It’s tough when we feel like someone doesn’t DESERVE to be forgiven. But the truth is, ALL of us have messed up. All of us need forgiveness. When you choose to forgive someone, it’s an amazing way to [Basic Truth] treat others the way you want to be treated.



  • What can it cost you to hold a grudge? For example, what might you miss out on if you decided to hold a grudge and not forgive a friend?
  • What if a friend says something unkind to you and they never say they are sorry? Do you still forgive them? Do you only forgive someone if they ask you?
  • Is forgiveness always fair? How does it make you feel when it’s not fair?

Justice – the quality of being just, impartial, or fair
Mercy – compassion or patience shown to an offender (someone who has wronged you)

God asks us to treat others with fairness. To show love and compassion and patience to one another, even those who hurt us. Why? Because that’s exactly how God treats us! God treats us fairly. God is loving and patient and kind.

On a piece paper, rewrite today’s memory verse (Colossians 3:13) in your own words. Feel free to use the words in the definitions above or to look up the verse in different translations. You could even go (with an adult’s permission) to read this verse in different translations.



Dear God:

Thank you for your forgiveness and your love. We want to show others your love! So, God, please give us the courage and the strength to forgive others. Help us to let go of anything we may be holding against others. Show us how to forgive others so we can love each other more deeply.  We love you, God. In Jesus’ name we pray.  Amen.

©2020 The reThink Group, Inc. All rights reserved. • Adapted by Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church.