12

February 2023

Feb

But I Say

Glimpses of the Kin-dom

Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany, Year A

Relationships within the body are important, but so is the relationship of the church with the wider community. How can you lift community concerns or needs in your prayer time? What acts of service within the community are already in place that you can celebrate? What additional needs could be met, or invitations issued? Who is missing from the body of the church? Jesus calls us to go above and beyond in our attempts to see all the people.

Note to the Teacher

The scripture we read is a part of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. The opening activity has students coming up with a list of “relationship rules.” The discussion encourages students to think about their relationships and how they can be more forgiving and strive toward reconciliation. The activity and discussion has students participating in an object lesson called “the cup that can do anything.” Times are based on a fifty-minute lesson period but may be adjusted.

1. Ice Breaker: 'Relationship Rules' (10 minutes)

Start by explaining to your students that they are going to be coming up with a list of relationship rules. Every good relationship has an unsaid set of rules, such as, “If you’re at a friend’s house, you get to play the video game first.” Or another rule may be that “the person with the car gets to choose where you go for ice cream.” If you could come up with a list of “relationship rules,” what would they be? Work together as a large group to write these rules on a dry-erase board or a flipchart. What are some traits of a good relationship?

  1. What are some “Dos” and “Don’ts” in a relationship?
  2. What is one thing you look for in a friend?
  3. What is the hardest part about being a friend?

Transition by sharing with your students that today you will be continuing to read from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount, where Jesus gives us a reinterpretation of the rules from the Ten Commandments. We won’t cover all the commandments today; but as we read, look for any similarities and differences you notice.

2. Read Scripture (5 minutes)

Our scripture reading today is from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. Today, Jesus shares with us a few things we should not be doing. Pay attention to those things and any similarities you may notice from the rules we came up with earlier.

Read Matthew 5:21-37.

3. Discussion (15 minutes)

  • Do you ever get angry with your friends? What kinds of things make you angry? What do your friends do that makes you angry? (Note: This may be a difficult topic for some, so remind students that this is a safe space to have real and meaningful conversations.)
  • What does our passage say about anger and how we should resolve it?
  • Would you say it’s easy or hard to forgive someone? Why?
  • Is it easier to give forgiveness or to be forgiven for something? Why?
  • How do you react when someone apologizes to you?
  • How does our passage tell us we should go about reconciliation?
  • Why do you think Jesus says in verse 25 to “Come to terms quickly with your accuser”?
  • What does this passage tell us about maintaining peaceful relationships? How can we use what we learn in this passage with our families? Friends? Teachers? Enemies?
  • Why do you think reconciliation was so important to Jesus?
  • What happens when we don’t practice forgiveness?
  • What would happen if we were never forgiven?
  • How can we be better about forgiving others this week? What is one thing we can do to help make this an active practice in our lives?

4. Activity and Discussion: 'The Cup That Can Do Anything' (20 minutes)

Explain to your students that today they are going to do a brief writing exercise. Hold up a plastic cup and ask students to come up with creative and unique uses for this cup. It could be anything. Have students do this on their own without seeing what other people are going to do with their cups. Ask your students to share what they would do with the cup. After they have shared, write down what they said on a dry-erase board or large sheet of paper. Ask the following questions and discuss:

  1. How many uses did you come up with on your own?
  2. How many uses were you able to come up with as a group?
  3. After seeing what everyone said they would do with the cup, could you come up with a few more uses for the cup?
  4. What do you think the point of this exercise is? (We come up with more ideas when we work together as a group. We can’t do everything on our own.)
  5. What does this tell us about our need to be in relationship with other people?
  6. Thinking back to our list of rules we made at the beginning of our time together, which rules relate to the rules we read today? Which ones are similar? Are there any that our reading suggested that we didn’t originally write down?
  7. Reread Matthew 5:21-37 and ask your students to write down one “rule” they would like to get better at. For example, you may want to try to reconcile a relationship (verses 23-24) or you may want to try to stop swearing. (verse 36).
  8. If time allows, have students work in groups to summarize each of the sections we read today (verses 21-26, verses 27-30, verses 31-32, verses 33-37). Have students share their summaries and invite students to ask any questions or add anything to the summaries.

This week, challenge your students to reread this passage every day and be reminded of the one thing they’d like to do better so that their relationships will be better and more purposeful.

Close your time together in a manner that is typical for you. Consider taking joys and concerns, then asking for a volunteer to close in prayer.

Total time: 50 minutes

NEEDED RESOURCES:

  • Pens or pencils
  • Paper
  • Dry-erase board (with markers) or large sheet of paper

In This Series...


Baptism of the Lord, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Second Sunday after the Epiphany, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Third Sunday after the Epiphany, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Transfiguration Sunday, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes

Colors


  • Green

In This Series...


Baptism of the Lord, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Second Sunday after the Epiphany, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Third Sunday after the Epiphany, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes Transfiguration Sunday, Year A - Lectionary Planning Notes