Give Advice to a Trusted Friend

“Make big things from small beginnings.”

First Read Titus.

The letter from Paul to Titus is very short and was written (around 66 AD) to a Church leader who did not become very famous. And yet a passage from this letter (Titus 2:11-14) is used every year at Christmas midnight Mass. Four little verses that are read at Mass begin with, “Beloved: The grace of God has appeared, saving all and training us to reject godless ways and worldly desires” (The Lectionary, p. 106).

The Christmas story itself has other examples of God making big things from small beginnings. Mary is just a young girl – a teenager – and she becomes the mother of God. Bethlehem is a tiny town, not very well known for anything, and it becomes the birthplace of our Messiah.

God is very good at making surprising things happen from humble beginnings. So don’t ever doubt the importance of whatever you do for God. Even if you think it is small, God can make very big things come from it.

Second, take note of specific passages that Paul offers as advice to Titus.

Consider these themes:
1. What makes a worthy church leader? (Titus 1:5-9)
2. What tips are offered for living the Christian life? (Titus 2:1-8)
3. How can people, in general, be good in every way? (Titus 3:1-11)

Finally, write your own letter to a trusted friend. Modernize it. Make it real, convincing, believable for the 21st century.

Consider these themes:
1. What advice could be offered to a teenager looking at their personal future as an adult citizen (or a leader) in Canadian society?
2. What advice could be offered to a teenager struggling with peer pressure and social media or struggling with the temptation of drugs and alcohol?
3. What advice could you offer a teenager who struggles with relating to adults in authority: teachers, parents, police, politicians, TAs, … referees?

Format your letter using the same business letter guidelines you have mastered in ELA 9. Use your own address and the address of a friend in class, (or invent a realistic looking address).

©2019 Mr. D. Sader | World Religions | All Rights Reserved

Titus 2:11-14
View in: NRSV

11For the grace of God our Saviour hath appeared to all men;
12Instructing us, that, denying ungodliness and worldly desires, we should live soberly, and justly, and godly in this world,
13Looking for the blessed hope and coming of the glory of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ,
14Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and might cleanse to himself a people acceptable, a pursuer of good works.

Titus 1:5-9
View in: NRSV

5For this cause I left thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and shouldest ordain priests in every city, as I also appointed thee:
6If any be without crime, the husband of one wife, having faithful children, not accused of riot, or unruly.
7For a bishop must be without crime, as the steward of God: not proud, not subject to anger, not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre:
8But given to hospitality, gentle, sober, just, holy, continent:
9Embracing that faithful word which is according to doctrine, that he may be able to exhort in sound doctrine, and to convince the gainsayers.

Titus 2:1-8
View in: NRSV

1But speak thou the things that become sound doctrine:
2That the aged men be sober, chaste, prudent, sound in faith, in love, in patience.
3The aged women, in like manner, in holy attire, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teaching well:
4That they may teach the young women to be wise, to love their husbands, to love their children,
5To be discreet, chaste, sober, having a care of the house, gentle, obedient to their husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
6Young men, in like manner, exhort that they be sober.
7In all things shew thyself an example of good works, in doctrine, in integrity, in gravity,
8The sound word that can not be blamed: that he, who is on the contrary part, may be afraid, having no evil to say of us.

Titus 3:1-11
View in: NRSV

1Admonish them to be subject to princes and powers, to obey at a word, to be ready to every good work.
2To speak evil of no man, not to be litigious, but gentle: shewing all mildness towards all men.
3For we ourselves also were some time unwise, incredulous, erring, slaves to divers desires and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.
4But when the goodness and kindness of God our Saviour appeared:
5Not by the works of justice, which we have done, but according to his mercy, he saved us, by the laver of regeneration, and renovation of the Holy Ghost;
6Whom he hath poured forth upon us abundantly, through Jesus Christ our Saviour:
7That, being justified by his grace, we may be heirs, according to hope of life everlasting.
8It is a faithful saying: and these things I will have thee affirm constantly: that they, who believe in God, may be careful to excel in good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.
9But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law. For they are unprofitable and vain.
10A man that is a heretic, after the first and second admonition, avoid:
11Knowing that he, that is such an one, is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned by his own judgment.

Titus 2:11-14
View in: NRSV

11For the grace of God our Saviour hath appeared to all men;
12Instructing us, that, denying ungodliness and worldly desires, we should live soberly, and justly, and godly in this world,
13Looking for the blessed hope and coming of the glory of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ,
14Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and might cleanse to himself a people acceptable, a pursuer of good works.

Titus 1:5-9
View in: NRSV

5For this cause I left thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and shouldest ordain priests in every city, as I also appointed thee:
6If any be without crime, the husband of one wife, having faithful children, not accused of riot, or unruly.
7For a bishop must be without crime, as the steward of God: not proud, not subject to anger, not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre:
8But given to hospitality, gentle, sober, just, holy, continent:
9Embracing that faithful word which is according to doctrine, that he may be able to exhort in sound doctrine, and to convince the gainsayers.

Titus 2:1-8
View in: NRSV

1But speak thou the things that become sound doctrine:
2That the aged men be sober, chaste, prudent, sound in faith, in love, in patience.
3The aged women, in like manner, in holy attire, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teaching well:
4That they may teach the young women to be wise, to love their husbands, to love their children,
5To be discreet, chaste, sober, having a care of the house, gentle, obedient to their husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
6Young men, in like manner, exhort that they be sober.
7In all things shew thyself an example of good works, in doctrine, in integrity, in gravity,
8The sound word that can not be blamed: that he, who is on the contrary part, may be afraid, having no evil to say of us.

Titus 3:1-11
View in: NRSV

1Admonish them to be subject to princes and powers, to obey at a word, to be ready to every good work.
2To speak evil of no man, not to be litigious, but gentle: shewing all mildness towards all men.
3For we ourselves also were some time unwise, incredulous, erring, slaves to divers desires and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another.
4But when the goodness and kindness of God our Saviour appeared:
5Not by the works of justice, which we have done, but according to his mercy, he saved us, by the laver of regeneration, and renovation of the Holy Ghost;
6Whom he hath poured forth upon us abundantly, through Jesus Christ our Saviour:
7That, being justified by his grace, we may be heirs, according to hope of life everlasting.
8It is a faithful saying: and these things I will have thee affirm constantly: that they, who believe in God, may be careful to excel in good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.
9But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law. For they are unprofitable and vain.
10A man that is a heretic, after the first and second admonition, avoid:
11Knowing that he, that is such an one, is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned by his own judgment.

Original post by Mr. D. Sader

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