Here is my lesson plan for this evening!
God’s Presence – Solomon’s Temple and the Temple of the Holy Spirit
Big Idea: God is present to us at all times and especially in the Eucharist
Preliminaries (10 mins)
- Collect Psalms from last week and read them anonymously as part of opening prayer.
- Opening procession and prayer ritual
Engage (15 mins)
- Show clip of Mr. Magoo Christmas Carol “Alone in the World” (2:44), in which young Ebeneezer Scrooge feels alone and abandoned.
- Use this to introduce the idea that it is not uncommon for people to feel alone and abandoned and to even wonder where God is.
- Brainstorm a list of experiences that might make people feel alone and abandoned and even separated from God. (examples: being bullied, sickness, loss of a loved one, divorce, failure, broken relationships, tragedy, loss of job, abuse, etc.)
- Explain that experiences like these cause people to question where God is and that tonight we are going to learn that God is closer to us than you think!
Explore (35 mins)
- Ask, “When did the Hebrew people feel alone, abandoned, and separated from God?” (when they were enslaved in Egypt)
- Ask, “What experience led the Hebrew people to believe that God was truly present and in their midst?” (The Exodus, crossing the Red Sea)
- Ask, “What did God give the Hebrew people to constantly remind them of his presence?” (The Ten Commandments)
- Ask, “Does anyone know what the Jewish people built to carry the stone tablets of the Ten Commandments?” (The Ark of the Covenant)
- Show the young people the model of the Ark of the Covenant. Explain that later, they will place their “valuables” within the ark!
- Invite volunteers to read Finding God p. 64-65. Emphasize that the Temple was seen as the focal point of God’s presence among the Jewish people.
- Watch video “Ark of the Covenant, 1” (10 mins) that explains the role of the Ark of the Covenant and the Temple.
- Show pictures of the Western Wall.
- Scripture Reading: John 3:13-22 (Jesus cleanses the Temple)
- Emphasize that Jesus’ action shows that God’s presence is no longer to be worshiped in a Temple but in him.
- Ask, “In what Sacrament do we celebrate the Real Presence of Jesus?” (the Eucharist)
Reflect (15 mins)
- Tell the young people that we will spend some time in the presence of Jesus in the Church during Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Review the words adoration and monstrance.
- Go to the church for Adoration.
Respond (15 mins)
- Scripture Reading: 1 Cor. 6:18-20 (Your body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit.)
- Watch “Mother Teresa: Everyone, Everywhere” (10 mins).
- As students leave, have them place their “valuables” in the Ark of the Covenant and bless themselves with holy water on the way out.