Solomon’s Temple: Where Do We Experience the Presence of God?

Here’s my lesson plan for Monday evening (Dec. 17)

Session 12: Solomon’s Temple

BIG IDEA:  God’s presence is found, not in a building, but in the People of God and in the Eucharist.

Preliminaries (20 mins)

  1. Advent Procession – O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
  2. Tribute to those who died in the CT massacre – ring chime 26 times…one for each victim
  3. Video: We Can Build a Beautiful City

Engage (10 mins)

  1. Play “Where’s Waldo?” game.
  2. Explain that the goal of that game is to find Waldo, who is not easily recognizable.
  3. Today we are going to focus on “finding” God who is not always easily recognizable, especially when times are hard.

Explore (25 mins)

  1. Show a jewelry box – explain that this is where valuables are kept.
  2. Explain that the people of Israel had a very large “box” in which they kept their most valuable things: the stone tablets of God’s Law. The son of David, Solomon, built a Temple in Jerusalem, and within the Holy of Holies, the Ark was placed and above it, the mercy seat, where they believed God’s presence existed. People would travel to Jerusalem to worship God, present in the Temple.
  3. Read Finding God p. 64-65 about Solomon’s Temple.
  4. Reading: Jn 2:13-22 (Jesus cleanses the Temple and says “destroy this Temple and in 3 days I will raise it up.”
  5. Explain that Jesus is telling us that we no longer worship God in a building but in him.
  6. Jesus, in turn, gives himself to us in the Eucharist…we are now “temples of the Holy spirit.”
  7. Read 1 Cor 19-20.
  8. Show video: “Everyone, Everywhere” – Mother Teresa; teaches us to find God’s presence in all people.

Reflect (10 mins)

  1. Sacred Space – we find God right here in the quiet of our sacred space.
  2. Lead guided reflection, Finding God p. 66.

Respond (10 mins)

  1. Have the students complete BLM “What’s in Your Ark?”
  2. Closing Prayer
About Joe Paprocki 2742 Articles
Joe Paprocki, DMin, is National Consultant for Faith Formation at Loyola Press, where, in addition to his traveling/speaking responsibilities, he works on the development team for faith formation curriculum resources including Finding God: Our Response to God’s Gifts and God’s Gift: Reconciliation and Eucharist. Joe has more than 35 years of experience in ministry and has presented keynotes, presentations, and workshops in more than 100 dioceses in North America. Joe is a frequent presenter at national conferences including the Los Angeles Religious Education Congress, the Mid-Atlantic Congress, and the National Conference for Catechetical Leadership. He is the author of numerous books, including the best seller The Catechist’s Toolbox, A Church on the Move, Under the Influence of Jesus, and Called to Be Catholic—a bilingual, foundational supplemental program that helps young people know their faith and grow in their relationship with God. Joe is also the series editor for the Effective Catechetical Leader and blogs about his experiences in faith formation at


  1. Hi Joe
    Love the Ark of the covenant lesson. I actually made one from an adidas shoebox. (Thanks Adidas!) and painted the advetisement on the box so it came to be an entire black box then I took 4 empty paper towel rolls and covered them with glue and rolled them in gold glitter and hot glued to side of the box. I had little ceramic angels on my entry hall at home so I just used them to sit on top of the box. It went so well!

    • Very cool Geri! I just picked up a couple of plastic angels to glue to the top and some gold spray paint to paint the whole thing gold!

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