Here are ideas for you to use in reflecting on the upcoming Sunday’s scriptures with your classes.
- 1 Samuel 3:3b-10, 19
- 1 Corinthians 6:13c-15a, 17-20
- John 1:35-42
“We have found the Messiah.” (John 1:41b)
Finding a leader worth following can shape our lives for good.
Teaching for Primary Grades:
- Tell the story of John the Baptist baptizing Jesus and encouraging people to follow Jesus. Some of Jesus’ first apostles, such as Peter and Andrew, came to Jesus because John pointed him out to them. Have the children act out this scene from today’s Gospel. Prepare them to do this by talking about how we sometimes need encouragement from friends before we feel like we can do something. The apostles weren’t sure whom to follow, but they were searching for someone they could look up to and imitate.
- Talk about people the children look up to. How do they know what is good to imitate and what isn’t? Who are the people who have led them to do good things? Who are the people who have taught them about God? Learn and sing an appropriate hymn such as “Come Follow Me” by Barbara Bridge (available in Rise Up and Sing, a young people’s music resource published by OCP).
Teaching for Intermediate Grades:
- Tell the children that today they are going to write want ads for leaders who will accomplish something very good for the world. Students will work in groups of three, and each group should decide what they need their leaders to achieve. The ads they create should list qualities and characteristics expected of the leader. These ads can be prepared on the computer. Encourage creative formats and logos as part of the design.
- When students are finished and have shared their ads, tell them to imagine that they have found the kind of leader they advertised for. Do they think people will want to follow this leader? Why? Read today’s Gospel and speculate about what Andrew and Peter found so compelling about Jesus. What might John have seen in Jesus that led him to “advertise” him to others?
Teaching for Secondary Grades:
- A good leader is one who points the way. Have the students read the first reading and the Gospel to discover how Eli and John the Baptist both fulfilled that role. Give them some background first on the stories of Eli and John. Then tell them to explore, discuss in small groups, and jot down ideas about how Eli and John enabled Samuel and the apostles to discover how God was calling them. When Andrew and Simon Peter felt sure they had found the Messiah, they embraced another leader who would show them the Way.
- Give poster materials to the same groups and tell them to use words, phrases, pictures, and drawings to illustrate something they learned from the Scripture about how leaders point the way. List on the board these ideas for poster
■Here I am, Lord!
■Speak, your servant is listening.
■Behold, the Lamb of God.
■Come and see.
■We have found the Messiah.
■I am the Way!
Sr. Karen Berry is a Joliet Franciscan, a former teacher of high school religion and director of family programs of Religious Education, and currently a teacher of adult religion classes in several parishes in Tucson, Arizona.