New Testament Lessons

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

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