Season of Sundays: March 26, 2017 – Fourth Sunday of Lent


 

Here are ideas for you to use in reflecting on the upcoming Sunday’s scriptures with your classes.

Readings for March 26, 2017 – Fourth Sunday of Lent:

  • 1 Samuel 16:1b, 6-7, 10-13a
  • Ephesians 5:8-14
  • John 9:1-41

“He is a prophet.” (John 9:17b)

It takes courage to be a prophet and to stand with one.

Teaching for Primary Grades:

  1. Tell the story from this Sunday’s Gospel. Children will delight in hearing about a healing that happened from clay made with spit! But then talk about the courage of the healed man. Jesus’ enemies didn’t want him to heal people on a holy day. But the man said God must have approved of Jesus or the healing wouldn’t have happened. His words made the critics angry, but the healed man defended Jesus anyway.
  2. Let the children draw pictures of the story. They could make a small booklet with several pages showing their favorite parts. How can they show Jesus and the blind man as the heroes? How will they depict the Pharisees? Display finished booklets for a while before the children take them home.

Teaching for Intermediate Grades:

  1. Tell the students about prophets in Israel. Include these characteristics:
    • They challenged whatever in their society was hurting people.
    • They were unpopular with the country’s leaders because of these challenges.
    • They were often persecuted.
  2. Tell the story in Sunday’s Gospel. Discuss why the healed man called Jesus a prophet. How did Jesus and the blind man both show courage?
  3. Direct the students to draw pictures of their impressions of the blind man in his interactions with the Pharisees and of Jesus as a prophet. Let volunteers explain their drawings to the class.

Teaching for Secondary Grades:

  1. Give the students a few quiet moments to recall a time when they exhibited real courage. Perhaps they stood up to a bully, spoke out in defense of an ideal, challenged unfairness, or helped someone that others looked down on. How did they feel? Where did their courage come from? Invite the students to share their experiences in small groups. Then gather the class and get feedback about what it takes to be courageous in the cause of good.
  2. Divide this Sunday’s long Gospel reading among several students to read to the class. There are two courageous men in this story: Jesus and the blind man. Why did it take courage for Jesus to cure on the Sabbath? Why did the Pharisees’ strict interpretation of religious laws need to be challenged? How did the man born blind show courage in his verbal exchange with them? This man called Jesus a prophet. What did prophets in Israel do and how were they treated?
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