Season of the Church Year: Great Green Growing Season/ Common Time (green)
Story in Scripture: Luke 22: 7-23
This week, we [4th- 5th grade students] began by reviewing the topics we discussed last week. Then we went on to learn about Communion’s roots in the Last Passover Supper of Jesus. Although the season of Lent is still several weeks away, we explored the days and hours prior to Jesus’ crucifixion to provide a context for the importance of the last meal that Jesus shared with his friends. An important element of this discussion will be the mystery that surrounds the sacraments of “body” and “blood.” This is a difficult concept to understand for 4th & 5th grade students, much less adults. In a simplified way, we unpacked the idea that yes, before Communion, the bread and juice are made of the same grapes, water, wheat, etc. that all juice and bread are made of. In the mysterious and sacred act of Communion, however, Jesus’ body and blood are infused within the bread and juice. I will be quite earnest with the students in sharing my own difficulty in truly understanding this, yet I will talk and pray with them about the importance of living in mystery and trusting the miraculous work of God. I appreciate this explanation from our Pastor, Kris McDaniel:
“And, it's important to note that we don't believe in transubstantiation or consubstantiation (that the elements literally, physically become the body and blood of Christ). We do believe that the elements are, however, no less significantly transformed. That they would spiritually become the body and blood of Christ is just as significant in terms of impact. Only recently has [the church body] made a distinction between physical and spiritual, making the physical somehow more real... moving back from consubstantiation reminds us a spiritual transformation is not less significant than a physical transformation!”
Please do not hesitate to let me know if I can help clarify this or talk through this further with you or your child. We will also be talking about another great mystery- Jesus’ appearance to the disciples on the Road to Emmaus and his breaking of bread with them. This story can be found in Luke 24: 13- 32.
Guiding Questions for Discussion:
*I wonder if Jesus’ friends, the disciples, knew how important this Passover meal really was?
*I wonder what Jesus means by “my body” and “my blood”?
*I wonder why Jesus’ friends repeated this special meal and the words that Jesus said?
*I wonder what you think of when you see symbols in the church like the cross, or the communion table?
*I wonder what is must have been like for the disciples to realize that the traveler on the road to Emmaus was Jesus?
*I wonder about other times when we are with friends and all along Jesus is there?
“Dear God, thank you for the mystery of Communion. We know that there are many things that are difficult to understand and we are so grateful that you will walk along side us as we learn and grow in wisdom. Help us to turn to your and your words in the Bible for truth. Just like the disciples on the Road to Emmaus, we pray that you would reveal yourself to us so that we may better know, love, and serve you everyday. Amen.”