Here is an outline from the Sunday Connection for reflecting on this Sunday’s Gospel (Luke 4:1-13, Jesus’ Temptation) with intermediate age kids (grades 4, 5, 6).
Making the Connection (Grades 4, 5, and 6)
Older children are learning to distinguish between the things they need and the things they want. We can help them to resist negative temptations by teaching them to distinguish between needs and wants.
Materials Needed (Grades 4, 5, and 6)
- Poster with two columns: title one column “Things We Need” and the second column “Things We Want”
- Magazines or catalogues
Preparation for Sunday Scripture Readings (Grades 4, 5, and 6)
- Say: It is easy for us to confuse our needs and our wants. Many of the things we need are provided to us so readily that we seldom think about these things; we take them for granted. We sometimes wish for more than we need and are easily tempted to confuse things we want for things we need.
- Prepare a poster with two columns. Title one column “Things We Need” and the second column “Things We Want.” Tell the children to identify two or three things that they would place in each column. Distribute magazines and catalogues, scissors, and glue. Suggest that the children might find an image to represent each of these things in the magazines or catalogues. Tell them to cut out and place these images in the appropriate column of the poster. If necessary, allow them to write a single word describing what each cutout picture represents. Display the finished poster.
- Introduce today’s Gospel. Say: On the first Sunday of Lent, we hear about how Jesus was tempted by the devil in the desert. One way to think about the temptations described in this Gospel is to describe them as temptations to want more than we need. Let’s listen carefully to this reading and think about how the devil tempted Jesus and how Jesus responded.
- Ask a volunteer to read aloud this Gospel, Luke 4:1-13.
- Ask: What were the three things that the devil tempted Jesus to do? What did the devil say that Jesus would show or receive if he gave in to each temptation? (turn stone to bread to prove he was the Son of God; worship the devil and so receive power and glory; jump off a high place to test God) Did Jesus need to show or receive any of the things the devil proposed? (no)
- Say: Jesus didn’t need to prove that he was the Son of God, he didn’t need power and glory, and he didn’t need to test God. Jesus knew that God would give him all he really needed. Jesus wants us to know this, too. During Lent we can practice resisting the temptation to think that we need more than we have been given. Our Lenten practices of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving help us to correct our perceptions about the things we “need” and the things we “want.” They remind us of our dependence on God and they help us to remember that God gives us everything we need.
- Say: When Jesus rebuked the devil he quoted Scripture. Each of these Scripture quotations was about having trust in God. Is there a word or phrase that you can use to remind yourself to trust God in all things? Invite the children to identify a word or phrase that will help them remember to trust God to give them everything that they need. Suggest that they use this word or phrase as a prayer during Lent.
- Conclude in prayer. Say: When we pray the Lord’s Prayer, we ask for God’s help to resist temptation in our lives. We say, “Lead us not into temptation.” Let’s pray this prayer together remembering that God gives us everything we really need. Pray together the Lord’s Prayer.
The Sunday Connection has outlines like this one for every Sunday of the Liturgical year for primary, intermediate, and junior high as well as for families.
Have a great weekend!