Season of the Church Year: Great Green Growing Season/ Common Time (green)
Story in Scripture: Matthew 18: 20-35
We [4th- 5th grade students] began our time this week with a “taste test” of sorts. We sampled a variety of breads- unleavened, leavened, baked, toasted, soft, hard…. and wondered, ‘Is it really about the bread and the juice?’ What makes Communion so sacred? How are wheat and grapes different in the context of Communion than they are in a peanut butter and jelly sandwich? Having this conversation at home may also encourage the students to consider incarnation, or the understanding that the full presence of God and his kingdom can be at work in simple elements like bread and juice. In order to prepare for Communion, we will continue to think about what we believe takes place when we partake in Communion (please see the previous week’s summary for more information about this). We also discussed Communion’s role in the community of believers. Last week, we made some strong connections between Jesus’ revelation to the disciples along the road and while breaking bread in Emmaus. What a mystery it is to behold the miracle and sanctity of Communion! We read about the importance of remembering the Last Supper and the sacrifice of Jesus. Finally, much of our conversation today centered on the early church and how gathering together to pray, worship, learn, and break bread was about more than tradition or habit. This is an important aspect of Communion that we must also remember. Receiving the body and blood of Christ is a big deal and we should always treat it with respect and reverence. As you will see below, our prayer time also focused on those modern-day Christians who face oppression and must worship secretly. Next week will be our final lesson in preparing for Communion. Please let me know if you would like me to revisit or clarify elements of our learning so far as we meet this last time before participating in the entire service on October 28th. Thanks!
Guiding Questions for Discussion:
*I wonder what it must have been like for Mary to share about Jesus to the disciples and other Christians?
*I wonder how it felt to have special church services in secret?
*I wonder why the bread and the juice are so important and special when we eat them during Communion?
*People today still must worship and take communion in secret, I wonder what that is like?
*I wonder why it is so important to explain about communion each time before we take it?
“Dear God, thank you for helping Christians all over the world to meet together for prayer, worship, and communion. Please protect those who must meet in secret. We pray that the Holy Spirit would protect and guard them. Just like the early Christians meeting in the Catacombs, we pray that a place would be made for Christians to gather together. We know that you are with us when we gather with other believers. Thank you for you presence, Lord! Amen.”