Here are ideas for you to use in reflecting on the upcoming Sunday’s scriptures with your classes.
Readings for March 12, 2017, Second Sunday of Lent
- Genesis 12:1-4a
- 2 Timothy 1:8b-10
- Matthew 17:1-9
“Jesus … led them up a high mountain by themselves.” (Matthew 17:1)
Lent prepares us to go where Jesus leads us.
Teaching for Primary Grades:
Choose a student to be Jesus, and tell him or her to lead the class in a march around the classroom. Tell the class to imagine being followers of Jesus as he leads them up a mountain. While they march, they can make climbing gestures with their hands. After circling around the room and weaving through the rows of desks, the leader can settle the students in a prepared open space. Let students share ideas about why they think Jesus has led them to this mountaintop.
Tell this Sunday’s Gospel story and talk about how Peter, James, and John might have been feeling. Have the children close their eyes and imagine listening to Jesus. What might Jesus be telling them about where he wants to lead them? If he leads them to someone who needs their help or kindness, would they follow? Sing “Come, Follow Me” by Berberick and Walker (OCP).
Teaching for Intermediate Grades:
Read this week’s Gospel and use a map of Palestine to show the region of Galilee where this event happened. Find pictures of that region today, showing the Church of the Transfiguration that has been built on Mt. Tabor. If the children have access to classroom computers, let them Google that site.
Lead the students to talk about the reasons Peter, James, and John might have had for following Jesus up that mountain, how they felt during the vision, and why Peter wanted to stay. Ask, “Can we know when Jesus wants to lead us somewhere? Does it take courage to follow Jesus when we don’t know where he might lead?” Discuss what Jesus sometimes calls people to do. Then have students write individual notes to Jesus expressing their willingness, doubts, fears, and excitement about following him wherever he wants to lead them.
Teaching for Secondary Grades:
- Assign students to small discussion groups of four or five, then give them copies of Genesis 12:1-4a and Matthew 17:1-9 and the following questions:
- What might Abram have been thinking and feeling when God gave him traveling orders?
- Could Peter, James, and John have known why Jesus wanted to take them up a mountain? Why did they go and what might they have been thinking and feeling as they came back down?
- How does God let you know where to go in your life? Do you ever have a sense of being led? Is it scary? Exciting? Challenging?
- Let the groups report on their discussions. Suggest that Lent is a good time for praying about where our lives are going and seeking God’s guidance. Sing “Come, Follow Me” by Berberick and Walker (OCP).