New Testament Lessons

New Testament Lessons - Contents

 

Church Life

  • 6 September 2013

    Matthew, 26; Mark, 14; Luke, 22; John 12

    Children’s Illustrated Bible, p. 264-265

    Signs of God’s Love: Baptism and Communion, by Jean Fogle

    Background

    As Christians, breaking bread and sharing the cup are two of our most important ritual actions. The term “communion” means “union with.” During the Last Supper, Jesus identifies the bread as his body and the wine as his blood. He instructs his disciples to “do this in remembrance of me.” These words establish every Eucharist (Greek for “thanksgiving”) as a remembrance of Jesus’ death, resurrection, and promise to come again. When we bless and share the Eucharist, we are reminded of our connection with Jesus and one another as the Body of Christ in the world.

    The New Testament tells four different versions of the last supper. In Luke’s version, Jesus’ Last Supper the last meal Jesus eats with is disciples is Passover meal, the feast of freedom.

    Discussion

    How do we celebrate communion every week? What do you notice? What does the priest do? Say? What do the people do and say? What are some ways we can we go out into the world and follow in Jesus’ footsteps?

    For older children, compare the stories of the Last Supper in the four gospels. How are they alike? How are they different? Look at the different forms of the “Great Thanksgiving” in the Book of Common Prayer.

    Activities

    Make Communion Bread

    Coordinate with the rector to make communion bread for the following week, and with coffee hour volunteers to use the kitchen.

    The following recipe has been tested by St. Paul’s Sunday School classes.

    http://www.luthersem.edu/resources/communion_bread_recipe.aspx

    Communion Role Play

    Invite a seminarian or priest to guide this activity. Bring in pita bread, grape juice, a goblet and plate. Have children take turns blessing the bread and juice using words that Jesus said. Share the bread and juice.

    Passover Seder Plate

    Review the story of the first Passover. Jewish people celebrate Passover every year. Ask if anyone has ever been to a friend’s home for Passover. Passover celebrates the exodus from slavery and Egypt. Jesus and his friends were Jewish. The Last Supper is often thought to be a Passover meal.

    Bring in items from a seder plate and discuss their significance.

    Parsley – a spring vegetable that reminds us of the renewal of spring

    Bitter herb (horseradish) – reminds us of the bitterness of the slavery that the Israelites endured in Egypt

    Charoset – a sweet, chopped mixture of nuts, fruit and wine that symbolizes the mortar the Israelites used to build the store houses for Pharaoh

    Salted water – represents the tears Israelites shed when they were slaves in Egypt; parsley is dipped in the salt water

    Hardboiled egg – represents the cycle of the seasons and wish for a fruitful spring

    Matzoh – unleavened bread the Israelites baked before leaving Egypt

    • Author :
    • Updated : 6 September 2013

Introduction

  • 17 August 2013

    Children’s Illustrated Bible, p. 182, Jesus of Galilee, p. 206-207 and Daily Life, p. 208-209

    Who wrote about the life of Jesus?

    The four gospels are about the life of Jesus and his teachings. Acts of the Apostles tells the story of his early followers.  Many authors wrote about the life of Jesus, but only four gospels are included the New Testament. These gospels were written by the Evangelists: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.

    The Lost Gospel of Judas and the Gospel of Mary Magdalene were presumably known at the time but were not included. Other stories about Jesus that are not in the New Testament appear in Gospel of Thomas, a book of proverbs, cryptic metaphors and advice. A narrative of Jesus’ childhood, The Infancy Gospel of Thomas (another Thomas), tells stories of the boy Jesus with super-powers who could turn pebbles into doves and kill bullies with a glance.

    All four gospels in the New Testament include the Last Supper and Jesus’ death and resurrection.

    Who was Mark?

    Mark’s gospel is the earliest – and shortest – of the gospels and is believed to have been written around 70 A.C.E. Mark was one of the original disciples, having possibly been a servant at the miracle at Cana and who later carried water to the house where the Last Supper took place. He was present at the Pentecost and helped found the early Christian church Alexandria, Egypt. His symbol is the Lion. He is the patron saint of lawyers and of the city Venice.

    Who was Matthew?

    Like Mark, Matthew was one of Jesus’ original followers. As a tax collector and a Jew, he most likely worked for Herod and was a symbol of Roman oppression. His was the 2nd gospel to be written, sometime in the 80’s A.C.E. Matthew relied on the writings of Mark. In his gospel, Matthew describes his first encounter with Jesus. He was sitting in the Custom House when Jesus called him to follow. Matthew witnessed the Resurrection and other events in Jesus’ life. After Jesus’ Ascension, Matthew preached to Hebrew audiences. His birth story includes a lengthy genealogy and references to Hebrew scripture designed to convince the reader that Jesus is the Messiah whose coming has been foretold.

    Matthew is the patron saint of accountants and bankers. His symbol is the Angel.

    Who was Luke?

    Luke traveled with Paul and Timothy and wrote his gospel to tell the story of Jesus to a wide audience of people well beyond the Holy Lands.  Unlike the other three evangelists, Luke was not an eyewitness, but he has set down “an orderly account” from those who were eyewitnesses. His gospel was written 3rd, in the mid 90’s A.C.E.  Luke addresses his Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles to Theophilus.  Theophilus may have been an individual.  However, since Theophilus is Greek for “lover of God,” Luke also may have been writing for all people who “love God.”

    Of the three synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke), Luke’s contains the most vivid descriptions and dramatic writing style. He was believed to be a well-educated Greek. In Colossians (4:14) Luke is called “the beloved physician.” Though it has not been proven that Luke had medical training, his writings show compassion and knowledge of healing. Luke’s emblem is the ox. He is the patron saint of doctors and artists.

     

    Who was John?

    Like Matthew and Mark, John was one of Jesus’ followers, and is mentioned frequently in the stories of Jesus’ ministry. His gospel was written last, in the early 2nd century. John was a follower of John the Baptist. As a son of Zebedee and younger brother of James, he was a fisherman and one of the first four disciples. John was present at the Last Supper and the Crucifixion, where Jesus spoke to him from the cross, telling him to care for his mother Mary. He and Peter were the first to be alerted by Mary Magdalene that Jesus’ body was no longer in the tomb. John was a founder of the early church at Ephesus, in modern day Turkey. His symbol is the Eagle. John is the patron saint of authors, editors and government officials.

    What else is included in the New Testament besides stories of Jesus? 

    The rest of the New Testament is made up of the stories of Jesus’ followers and the Book of Revelation.  The Acts of the Apostles tells stories about the founding of the early church and is attributed to Luke.  The New Testament also includes the epistles, letters that Paul and leaders of the new church wrote to the Christians.  The letters to the Romans, Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, Thessalonians and those to Timothy, Titus and Philemon are attributed to Paul.  The Book of Revelation tells the story of Jesus’ second coming. It is attributed to John the evangelist, yet the writing style and subject matter are quite different from John’s gospel.

    A time of oppression

    When Jesus was born, Judea was a Roman colony. The emperor appointed local leaders. As long as they carried out the wishes of Rome, they were free to govern as they wished. Herod taxed his subjects heavily to build palaces. Those who couldn’t pay taxes would have to sell all or part of your land, be sold into slavery, or forced military service. Families lost farms and became day laborers; free people became slaves; families that once had lived in the same place for many generations became fragmented across the kingdom.

    After Jesus’ baptism and healing miracles, he gained followers. He expounded on his philosophy through parables and teachings. He communicated a message of hope and a vision of the Realm of God not only to those who were downtrodden, poor and rejected, but to members of the establishment – people like Zaccheus, the tax collector, the centurion who asked Jesus to heal his servant, and Matthew – one of the evangelists. The parables gave people hope and a different way of looking at their lives.

    Jesus’ public ministry spanned three years. Gospel stories tell of his evolution from exorcist to healer to activist with the power to raise people from the dead. His increasing influence caused fear and concern among those in leadership – both in government and religious circles. It is little wonder that such a figure living under Roman occupation in a hierarchical society would be crucified.

    In Roman times crucifixion, the most shameful form of execution, was used for slaves, pirates, revolutionaries and enemies of the state. Rising from the dead on Easter morning, Jesus was reborn in a final miracle. St. Paul saw the crucifixion as a powerful symbol of rebirth. He traveled far and wide to tell the story of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. As a result, St. Paul is considered the founder of Christianity. 

    • Author :
    • Updated : 17 August 2013
  • 6 September 2013

    Before the service, clues will be hidden at various locations throughout the church. Assemble into groups. Each group will be given a team name and number and their first clue.

     

    The clues are in the correct order for Team 1. (Attached document contains numbered clues for 4 more teams.) Create 5 envelopes for each station. Label each with the team name. Insert the numbered clue for the next station in the proper envelope.The team to pick up all ten envelopes first wins. The youngest children should be given a head start.

     

    1. The altar guild is always able to find a cloth to set the table. (sacristy)
    2. The acolytes climb out of bed and dress themselves in robes of red. (chapel)
    3. To welcome our new sons and daughters we douse their heads with chilly water. (baptismal font)
    4. When the priest goes up to preach a little dog is within reach. (lectern)
    5. This instrument sings “praise the Lord” when it belts out a mighty chord.  (Organ)
    6. After the communion celebration we store the bags of food donations. (food pantry)
    7. In St. Paul’s fire the glass was lost and then remade into this cross. (chapel)
    8. He talked to God and felt his power.  Now he comes to coffee hour (Moses)
    9. The costumes neatly hanging here wait for Christmas every year - (Lichtenberger room)
    10. Early Christians drew a secret sign with two simple curving lines. (fish in the kitchen)
    11.   

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    • Updated : 6 September 2013

New Testament Lessons

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Parables

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Teachings

  • 6 September 2013

    Beatitudes

    Matthew 5, 7; Luke 6

    Children’s Illustrated Bible, pp. 214-215

    The Book of Common Prayer or the weekly service print out

     

    Background

    The Sermon on the Plain and the Sermon on the Mount are similar, but there are some differences. Matthew places Jesus on a mountain, evoking a comparison to Moses receiving the Ten Commandments. In Luke, Jesus preaches on a plain at the same level as his listeners. In both stories, Jesus condemns social injustice and the pursuit of wealth, a revolutionary message about his vision for a new society. And, in both stories Jesus is outside the temple healing, preaching and teaching.

     

    Discussion

    Ask students to recall the story of the Golden Calf. What were the people worshipping? What are ‘golden calves’ that people sometimes worship today? What part of the story sounds like something we say in church every week? (Lord’s Prayer)

    What does Jesus say we should pray for? (forgiveness, daily bread)

    What does Jesus say about poverty? Wealth?

     

    Activities

    “Blessed” Collage (Tissue paper, stickers, words, images)

     

    Before class, print “God blesses people who….” and key words from the Beatitudes. Cut into pieces. Cut images from magazines that represent different actions described in the Beatitudes or bring in magazines for children to find their own images.

    Distribute a piece of poster-board to each child. Using colored tissue, stickers and words, create a collage by layering papers to the board and painting over with Mod Podge or Elmer’s glue mixed with water.

    For younger children, this activity can be done with clear Contact paper. Lay out tissue paper, stickers and pictures on construction paper. Tack to paper with glue stick. Laminate using clear Contact.

     

    What’s Important? Classroom posters

    Take three pieces of illustration board and label them Want, Need and Important.

     

    Cut images from magazines and catalogs and draw pictures to cut out pictures of things that people want, the things people need to survive, and the things that are important. Discuss the pictures and then decide where they belong.

    • Author :
    • Updated : 6 September 2013
  • 6 September 2013

    Sermon on the Mount/Plain

    Lord’s Prayer Part 1

    Matthew 5, 7; Luke 6

    Children’s Illustrated Bible, pp. 214-215

    The Book of Common Prayer or the weekly service print out

    Background

    Over the course of the year, teach children The Lord’s Prayer as part of this year’s focus on the service. Over the next two weeks, make a classroom poster. During the school year, read the prayer aloud each day before class.

    Reread the Sermon on the Mount in which Jesus tells the people how to pray.

    Discussion

    Ask children to think of any prayers they can think of that we say each week in church.

    As you come to the section in which Jesus teaches the people to pray, ask if the words “Our Lord who is in Heaven….” are familiar. Explain that the prayer we say in church each week is the prayer that Jesus taught us. Discuss the first lines of the prayer. Show the prayer as it appears in the print out and Book of Common Prayer.

    Our father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.

    What does this mean? We call on God our father, and say “your name is holy.” We want got do listen to us as we pray. We remind God that the things we do each week – like helping other people – are ways that we keep God’s name holy.

    Thy Kingdom come, will be done

    On Earth as it is in heaven.

    What do these words mean? We are saying to God that we are waiting for his Kingdom to come, a time when there will be justice for everyone. In the meantime, we will do the things Jesus is telling us to do in the Beatitudes like being a peacemaker so that we can help make the earth as much like God’s kingdom as possible.

     

    Activities

    Say the Lord’s Prayer in Church

    For children who are reading - distribute copies of the Lord’s Prayer and discuss the importance of reading it in church today.

     

    The Lord’s Prayer Classroom Poster

    Begin a classroom poster with the lines of the prayer you have discussed. Depending on classroom level, bring in large words that are already printed. Illustrate “earth” and “heaven.” Leave the bottom half of the poster empty and complete it next week.

    Make Pretzels

    Option 1

    Make real pretzels with purchased dough.

    Option 2

    Make colorful clay pretzels with drying clay.

    What are ways that people pray? Show how people pray with hands folded up to heaven, with hands open to heaven – as the priest does during the service when blessing bread and wine. Cross your arms across your chest and explain that this is another way people pray. Ask if children have ever noticed this way of praying during church. (When people at communion ask for a blessing instead of communion.)

    A long time ago, pretzels represented the act of praying because pretzels look like arms folded across the chest.

    • Author : Domain Administrator
    • Updated : 6 September 2013
  • 6 September 2013

    Sermon on the Mount/Plain

    Lord’s Prayer Part 2

    Matthew 5, 7; Luke 6

    Children’s Illustrated Bible, pp. 214-215

    The Book of Common Prayer or the weekly service print out

     

    Background

    Unpack the challenging words in the things we ask of God – forgiving trespasses and daily bread – to make the words more relevant. Refer to the Beatitudes poster made previously to find examples of forgiveness and “daily bread” from every day life.

     

    Discussion

    Reread the Lord’s Prayer. In the first two lines, we call upon God (Our father who art in heaven) and praise him (hallowed by thy name) as a way of getting attention. Then we ask God for help. The things we ask for are petitions. What do we ask for?

     

    Give us this day our daily bread.

    What is our daily bread? (Food and things we need)

     

    Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.

    What are trespasses? (Sins)

     

    Why do we say “forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us?” (To show that we are trying to make the kingdom of God here on earth; forgiving each other is a way of being a peacekeeper)

     

    Lead us not into temptation.

    What are temptations? Things we want to do but know that we shouldn’t. We can pray to God to resist doing things that we want to do, but know that we shouldn’t. Explain that in newer tanslations, the line “Lead us not into temptation” is translated as “Save us from the time of trial.” This means that we ask God to be spared from terrible events.

     

     

    Deliver us from evil now and at the hour of our death. Amen.

    What is evil? Evil things and bad things happen all around us. When bad things happen, we pray to God to save us from those things and give us the courage to face the bad things that happen.

     

    Activities

    Say the Lord’s Prayer in Church

    Make an illustrated version of the Lord’s Prayer to say in church. Older children can write their prayers and illustrate some of the things we ask God for.

     

    Classroom poster

    Complete the classroom poster by adding the last lines of the prayer. Hang the poster in the classroom.

     

    Heart Snacks

    Make heart cookies or use heart cookie cutters to make cut-outs of cheese slices. Talk about hearts symbolizing our love for each other and our willingness to forgive people as God forgives us. 

    • Author : Domain Administrator
    • Updated : 6 September 2013

The Life of Jesus

  • 6 September 2013

    The Annunciation  

    The Life of Jesus

    Luke 1

    Children’s Illustrated Bible p 186; Family Story Bible p 156; The Beginner’s Bible p 266

    Background

    Surprisingly little is known about Mary. She was a young, Jewish girl living under Roman occupation and betrothed to Joseph. Girls born to poor families were often abandoned and left to die either at birth or as small children; they could also be sold as slaves. Both Roman and Jewish laws forbid this practice and yet it went on. The practice led to a shortage of marriageable women (age 12 or older) so by this point in her life, Mary would have been a valuable commodity. Her father would ask a bride price for her. A man who had saved money for years would pay the bride price and the couple would be considered betrothed. Such marriages could be arranged through a matchmaker, or between the groom and a male relative of the bride. Often when the betrothal took place, the girl would go to live with members of the man’s family until she was of age to marry.

    During the betrothal, a woman could be dismissed by the groom. If she was dismissed for cause, the money would be returned to the groom. If it was simply his whim, the woman’s family would keep the money already paid. Upon learning of Mary’s pregnancy (Matthew 1) Joseph’s decision to “dismiss her quietly” might indicate that he was compassionate and generous, willing to forfeit the dowry he had paid.

    The “Magnificat” of Mary has as its root Hannah’s prayer in 1 Sam 2:1-11. Hannah, more closely resembles Elizabeth than Mary. Like Hannah’s son, Samuel (who went to live with the priest Eli as soon as he was weaned), both John and Jesus were dedicated at the temple and went on to prophetic ministries.


    Discussion

    Note: Before doing the reading, look at pictures of Mary and angels from art and discuss what the children know about Mary. Then begin the activity, giving the glue time to dry as you read the story so you can complete the details at the end of class.

    Many of early artists like Giotto painted on wood panels or wet plaster. Byzantine artists made icons with paint and gold leaf. Look at images of the annunciation, Mary and angels from art. (Sister Wendy’s – need to make sure there are some books on the shelves.)

    What do you know about Mary from the Christmas pageant?

    Who are the characters in the story in the pictures? How does Mary look? How does the angel look? How is the Holy Spirit represented in the painting?

    How did Mary feel when she learned that she would have a baby who be son of the most high and his kingdom will have no end?

    Activity

    Decoupage Icons

    Step 1. Distribute pieces of chipboard, wood shingles or foam core. Draw an outline of an angel or of Mary. Use a mixture of Elmer’s Glue and cut out pieces of tissue paper and gold foil to paint shapes onto the chipboard.

    Step 2. After the piece is dry, use metallic markers and sharpies to outline details.

     
    • Author : Domain Administrator
    • Updated : 6 September 2013
  • 6 September 2013

    Healing the Sick

    Life of Jesus

    Matthew, 8,9; Mark, 1,2; Luke 5

    Children’s Illustrated Bible p. 216; the Beginner’s Bible p. 328; The Child’s First Bible p. 180

    The Centurion’s Servant

    Matthew, 8; Luke 7

    Children’s Illustrated Bible p. 218

    Jarius’ Daughter

    Matthew, 9; Mark 5; Luke 8

    Children’s Illustrated Bible p. 222

    Background

    Jesus’ ministry began with action in the form of miracles. In a society where special powers came from God or from demons, Jesus’ ability to heal the sick and cast out devils would have been exciting to some and disturbing to others. Even more alarming would have been his tendency to break taboos by working on the Sabbath and by touching the “unclean” (lepers and the hemorrhaging woman).

     

    Touch is a life-giving force. Newborn animals that are not touched by their mothers don’t develop properly. When someone is sad or hurt, the simple act of hugging them or patting them on the back can make them feel better.  When athletes make a big play, they slap each other in celebration. Jesus healed through touch, in one case by mixing spit and dirt in his hands to heal the eyes of a blind man. When the hemorrhaging woman touched Jesus’ cloak, he feels his power going into her and she was healed. Over 50 verses in the Gospels refer to Jesus healing people.  

    In the Centurion’s Servant and Jarius’ Daughter, Jesus goes beyond healing and begins to raise people from the dead.

    Discussion

    Before class, decide which readings you will do. For older children, you may be able to do all three.

    When you are sick, who takes care of you? Have you ever had an injury or illness that was cured?

    What do you think would be easier, casting out demons, healing or raising people from the dead?

    In many of these stories, people approach Jesus and ask him to help someone else (paralyzed man’s friends, the centurion, Jarius). Have you done something special to help a friend or family member?

    How do you think the healings affected the way people felt about Jesus?  Would people have listened to his message and followed him if he hadn’t performed miracles?

    After raising Jarius’ daughter from the dead, Jesus tells the witnesses not to tell anyone what he has done. Why do you think he did this? Do you think they would do as he asked?

    What do the characters in each story have in common? (the friends of the paralyzed man; the centurion; Jarius)? They have faith in Jesus.

    The centurion was a Roman, one of the powerful people who ruled Israel. Many of Jesus’ friends would not have liked the centurion. The fact that he asks Jesus to heal his servant shows that everyone has the possibility of goodness.

    Activities

    Make me better

    For younger children

    There are many medical professionals in the parish. Invite a clinician to assist with this activity and share their knowledge. Bring in a first aid kit, including many colorful band-aids, gauze bandages, tongue depressors and sterile tape. Using dolls first, and then in role-playing, take turns as healers, taking temperatures, looking in throats, feeling lymph nodes and “cleaning” wounds and applying band-aids. Ask “how are you feeling?” and “where does it hurt?” Have children demonstrate ways to heal by touching and asking “where does it hurt?” “I’m sorry that happened” and “are you feeling a little better now?”

     

    Blog Post

    For older children

    Write a blog describing the miracles that Jesus performed. Write about them historically, and then if they happened today. Illustrate and assemble stories onto larger piece of illustration board or foam core. Display in Lichtenberger Room.

     

    Diorama

    Pre-prepare a cutaway of the room with a roof.  Cut a slit in the roof. Have children make paper dolls or cutouts of the characters from the story on sturdy paper or illustration board, and decorate. Paint the walls of the house as a back-drop and re-enact the story. For added drama, use flash lights to light the scene, and shine light through a back window.

    Alternately, use a dollhouse with a removable roof and action figures to re-enact the story. (There is a Jesus action figure available.)

    Make me better

    For younger children

    Invite a clinician to assist with this activity and share their knowledge. Bring in a first aid kit, including many colorful band-aids, gauze bandages, tongue depressors and sterile tape. Using dolls first, and then in role-playing, take turns as healers, taking temperatures, looking in throats, feeling lymph nodes and “cleaning” wounds and applying band-aids. Ask “how are you feeling?” and “where does it hurt?” Have children demonstrate ways to heal by touching and asking “where does it hurt?” “I’m sorry that happened” and “are you feeling a little better now?” (If you do not do this activity for this lesson, it will work for the Good Samaritan.)

    Mosaics

    The centurion was a Roman. Romans decorated their floors and walls with mosaic tiles. Use cut pieces of bright art-foam to make a mosaic self-portrait. Glue to black illustration board. Leave lines between each piece to highlight the mosaic pattern. 

    • Author : Domain Administrator
    • Updated : 6 September 2013
  • 12 August 2013

    Luke 2; Children’s Illustrated Bible, pp. 200-201

     

    Background

    Occurring during Passover, it foreshadows Jesus’ ministry and passion. It suggests that, even as a child, Jesus knew he was the son of God and possessed and understanding of his destiny. His response to his parents, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” is both prophetic and adolescent.

     

    Discussion

    Before the reading, ask the students what we do at St. Paul’s each week. What do we learn? What do we talk about in Sunday School? What do we do together as a community? What do kids do together?

     

    After the reading, ask:

    Do you think Mary and Joseph made Jesus go to temple? Do your parents make you go to church? What do you like about coming to church? What don’t you like?

     

    In the story, what do people do in the temple? (learn, discuss things, ask questions, talk about scripture)

     

    How do people from St. Paul’s:

    ·       Help each other? (make food for people when they are sick, talk to people when they are said, help people find jobs)

    ·       Help people outside the parish? (Goat basket, Walk for Hunger, Honduras, Food Pantry, Common Cathedral)

    ·       Worship and learn? (Sunday services, sermons, Sunday School, Christmas Pageant, retreat, adult ed)

    ·       Work together? (do coffee hour, have yard sale, clean up)

     

    Activities

    Hey, what’s up?

    Put up a poster-sized Post-it.

    Have students ask questions and make observations about St. Paul’s – anything they want! These can be about why we do things a certain way, suggestions about doing things differently, the architecture or decorations in the church – anything! Record answers on the Post-it. At coffee hour, post the questions on the walls and invite adults and students from other classes to talk about your questions.

     

    Jesus, Mary & Joseph Puppet Video

    Use popsicle sticks to create Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Re-enact the story in your own words. Then make a video of the story to post on St. Paul’s facebook page to share with the parish.

     

    Life of Jesus

    John Baptizes Jesus

    Matthew 3, Mark 1, Luke 3, John 1

    Children’s Illustrated Bible p.202; Family Story Bible p. 174; The Beginner’s Bible p. 303

     

    Background

    The Christian practice of baptizing new members as a rite of initiation developed from Jewish roots. The practice of baptism or ritual cleansing was common among Jews. From the Dead Sea Scrolls found at Qumran, scholars know that the Essenes, a Jewish sect of ascetics, were baptized regularly and not just once. Some scholars believe that John the Baptist may have been a member of a sect like the Essenes.

     

    Baptisms had two meanings in Jesus’ lifetime, first as a bath for ritual purity and second as part of preparation for a religious service.  In the story of John the Baptist, John is concerned with the way God’s people have turned from God (sin) and calls them to be baptized. Through baptism, we commit to a new lifestyle, receive support form the Holy Sprit in a community of faith, and live in expectation that we will be part of God’s promised reign.

     

    Doves are powerful symbols in many cultures. In Greek tradition, the dove represents the human soul. In China, the dove represents peace in the next life. What do doves mean to you? What other bible stories contain doves? (Noah’s Ark) What does the dove in that story represent? Is the dove a good symbol for the Holy Spirit? Why or why not?

     

    Discussion

     

    What baptisms have you seen or been a part of? What happens in a baptism? Do you remember being baptized?

    The gospels of Mark and John both begin with his baptism. What has already happened in Matthew’s story? In Luke’s?

     

    In some churches, people are baptized when they are babies and so they don’t remember. In other places, people are baptized when they are older.  Baptism is a way to welcome someone into a community. It is a team effort. One person baptizes another. In our church, godparents promise to help raise the baby spiritually. Jesus was baptized into a community. John was a part of Jesus’ family as his cousin, and spiritually.

     

    Activities

     

    Baptismal Names

    Bring Lives of the Saints and Pick a Baby’s Name books. For younger children, look up names of students in the class and discuss their meanings. For older classes, this can be done as a confirmation activity. Confirmation is a renewal of baptismal vows that were made for us. Some Christians who are getting confirmed choose a name that represents an aspect of their spiritual growth. What name would you choose? What does it represent about who you are becoming?

     

    Hanging Doves

    Make hanging doves. Check the links below to see details to make two types of doves.

    Create a sturdy cardboard template of a dove’s head and body. Use the template to make a dove bodies of white cardboard, or let children trace the template and cut out their own dove. Make a slit in the dove’s body. Show children how to pleat white tissue paper to make a fan. Decorate the dove by drawing or gluing eyes, beak and feathers. Slide the pleated paper through the slit to make wings.  Punch a hole in the body and thread a white ribbon through it for hanging. Hang in the class or in your room.

     

    Detailed instructions

    Dove 1

    http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/dove_of_peace_craft.htm

     

    Dove 2

    http://www.kids-crafts-and-activities.com/homemade-christmas-decorations-dove.html

    • Author :
    • Updated : 13 August 2013
  • 6 September 2013

    John Baptizes Jesus

    Matthew 3, Mark 1, Luke 3, John 1

    Children’s Illustrated Bible p.202; Family Story Bible p. 174; The Beginner’s Bible p. 303

     

    Background

    The Christian practice of baptizing new members as a rite of initiation developed from Jewish roots. The practice of baptism or ritual cleansing was common among Jews. From the Dead Sea Scrolls found at Qumran, scholars know that the Essenes, a Jewish sect of ascetics, were baptized regularly and not just once. Some scholars believe that John the Baptist may have been a member of a sect like the Essenes.

     

    Baptisms had two meanings in Jesus’ lifetime, first as a bath for ritual purity and second as part of preparation for a religious service.  In the story of John the Baptist, John is concerned with the way God’s people have turned from God (sin) and calls them to be baptized. Through baptism, we commit to a new lifestyle, receive support form the Holy Sprit in a community of faith, and live in expectation that we will be part of God’s promised reign.

     

     

    Doves are powerful symbols in many cultures. In Greek tradition, the dove represents the human soul. In China, the dove represents peace in the next life. What do doves mean to you? What other bible stories contain doves? (Noah’s Ark) What does the dove in that story represent? Is the dove a good symbol for the Holy Spirit? Why or why not?

     

    Discussion

    What baptisms have you seen or been a part of? What happens in a baptism? Do you remember being baptized?

    The gospels of Mark and John both begin with his baptism. What has already happened in Matthew’s story? In Luke’s?

    In some churches, people are baptized when they are babies and so they don’t remember. In other places, people are baptized when they are older.  Baptism is a way to welcome someone into a community. It is a team effort. One person baptizes another. In our church, godparents promise to help raise the baby spiritually. Jesus was baptized into a community. John was a part of Jesus’ family as his cousin, and spiritually.

     

    Activities

    Baptismal Names

    Bring Lives of the Saints and Pick a Baby’s Name books. For younger children, look up names of students in the class and discuss their meanings. For older classes, this can be done as a confirmation activity. Confirmation is a renewal of baptismal vows that were made for us. Some Christians who are getting confirmed choose a name that represents an aspect of their spiritual growth. What name would you choose? What does it represent about who you are becoming?

     

    Hanging Doves

    Make hanging doves. Check the links below to see details to make two types of doves.

    Create a sturdy cardboard template of a dove’s head and body. Use the template to make a dove bodies of white cardboard, or let children trace the template and cut out their own dove. Make a slit in the dove’s body. Show children how to pleat white tissue paper to make a fan. Decorate the dove by drawing or gluing eyes, beak and feathers. Slide the pleated paper through the slit to make wings.  Punch a hole in the body and thread a white ribbon through it for hanging. Hang in the class or in your room.

     

    Detailed instructions

    Dove 1

    http://www.activityvillage.co.uk/dove_of_peace_craft.htm

    Dove 2

    http://www.kids-crafts-and-activities.com/homemade-christmas-decorations-dove.html

     

    • Author : Domain Administrator
    • Updated : 6 September 2013
  • 6 September 2013

    The Birth of Jesus

    Life of Jesus

     

    The Birth of Jesus

    Matthew 1; Luke 2

    Children’s Illustrated Bible190-197; Family Story Bible 156; Beginner’s Bible 266; Three-Minute Bible Stories 88.

    Note: This activity should be done over a two-week or three week period

     

    Background

    Although the story of Christmas is probably one of the most familiar stories,students may be surprised to learn that the story we tell it is an amalgamation of two accounts, one from Luke and the other from Matthew. (Neither Mark nor John mentions the birth of Jesus.)

    Matthew covers stories of Joseph, the Magi, and King Herod. Luke writes about Mary, Elizabeth and Zechariah, the trip to Bethlehem, the shepherds, and Jesus’ presentation at the temple. Almost nothing, other than his parents’ names, is corroborated in these two versions.

    Matthew emphasizes that Jesus is the Messiah, the fulfillment of the Hebrew prophesies.  Luke stresses that Jesus came to help the unclean and oppressed. In Luke’s story, there are many unclean or oppressed people: Elizabeth, a childless woman past child-bearing age; Mary, an unwed mother; shepherds; Simeon an old man near death; Anna, elderly widow.

    Discussion – Before the reading

    On a flip chart, make a list of the roles everyone has played in the pageant. Brainstorm other characters they may have missed including sheep, angels and innkeepers. For younger children, ask what parts are in the Christmas pageant. What part do you want to play? Why?

    Activities

    For older children

    Who wrote the story of Christmas?

    Who are the evangelists (gospel writers.) (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John)

    Divide the class into four groups. Assign each group one of the gospels. Ask them to find the Christmas story. Two groups will not be able to find it. Reassign these groups to the Matthew and Luke groups. On a flip chart in two columns, list characters under the heading Luke and those under Matthew.

    What are the differences? What are the similarities?

    Week #1

    Crèche Making

    Crèche: Begin to make crèche characters from Sculpy or use crèche-making kits in the supply closet

    Week #2

    Paint the characters. Using the crèche figures, videotape a re-enactment of the story and post on St. Paul’s facebook page. During Christmas, display crèches in the Lichtenberger room.

    • Author : Domain Administrator
    • Updated : 6 September 2013

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