13

February 2022

Feb

The First Fruits

Love Never Ends: Being the Body of Christ

Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany, Year C

Jesus is the model of living and loving and dying and rising. And while we may not really know what happens at that threshold moment between this life and eternity, we embrace the promise and the hope wholeheartedly.

Note to the Teacher

The scripture we read encourages us to consider the power of the Resurrection. The opening ice breaker is a fun way to get students moving around by having them wrap a teammate up in toilet paper as fast as they can. The discussion encourages students to think about the power of the Resurrection and how that should encourage us to give our first fruits to Jesus. The activity invites students to draw a mural of the Resurrection and the hope we find there. Times are based on a fifty-minute lesson period but may be adjusted.

1. Ice Breaker: ‘Break Free’ (10 minutes)

Have students break out into pairs. If you have students joining digitally, ask them to find a parent or sibling to help for this opening game. Hand each student a roll of toilet paper and instruct them that the goal of the game is to see who can do the most complete toilet paper wrapping job on their partner in five minutes. (They will likely need several rolls). Remind students to leave faces uncovered for easy breathing. Turn on some upbeat music and give the countdown.

After five minutes, have students or leaders vote on who they think did the most complete wrapping job; then instruct students to break free from their wrappings!

Ask everyone to take a minute to clean up and then ask the following questions:

  1. How hard was it to wrap your partner? Did you take your time?
  2. Did you honestly do your best? Why or why not?
  3. How did it feel to be wrapped up? How did it feel to break free?

2. Read Scripture (5 minutes)

The scripture reading today talks about the resurrection of Christ and how that relates to Resurrection or new life in our own bodies. This was apparently very important for the church in Corinth, because Paul spends a lot of time arguing why Resurrection is such an important concept. Paul’s words hint at the idea of “incarnation”—that we embody the spirit of the risen Jesus—that we can live new lives, free from death and sin, because Jesus overcame death. This is one way of saying that life and how we live are important and that you matter to the church.

Read 1 Corinthians 15:12-20.

3. Discussion (15 minutes)

  • Why do you think some members of the church in Corinth (the Corinthians) had a hard time believing in the resurrection of Jesus?
  • What are all the things that Paul says would be different or useless if Jesus had not been raised from the dead?
  • What does the word “Resurrection” mean? Is it the same as “raised,” or is there more to it?
  • Does the idea of an everlasting life help us live as Christians each day? How can we begin to live in an “everlasting way” right now?
  • When Paul talks about “first fruits” in this passage, he is referring to the practice of giving the best parts of a harvest to God as an offering, and doing that first, before keeping any for oneself. Often today, this idea gets talked about with tithing and giving to the church. Are there times that you have given your “first fruits” to God? Are there times that you have set aside money, spiritual gifts, time, or energy to dedicate to God and you did that as a first priority? How does giving our first fruits reveal our dependency on God and display how we are beginning to live as if we will one day experience everlasting life?
  • Who do you know that regularly sacrifices their own comfort for others? Explain. Do you think this is an important part of the Christian life, or not?
  • By staying active in our faith life, we avoid “falling asleep in Christ.” Paul’s version of staying active seems to hint at living “sacrificially” by asking us to give to God first and to ourselves second. What are some ways that you could show that God is a first priority in your life?
  • How might living sacrificially change the way you see yourself? Your community? How might living sacrificially, prepare us to live as if the resurrection is true?

Transition by giving students a brief two- to three-minute break. Have them stand up and do a few stretches to get their minds and bodies moving.

4. Activity and Discussion: ‘Chalk Resurrection’ (20 minutes)

Take your group outside with a plenty of sidewalk chalk. Explain to your students that they are going to paint a picture of the Resurrection using chalk. However, to do this they will answer a few questions first to guide the design and drawing. Depending on the weather and the size of your group, you may want to have your group work together or break into small groups. If your group is online, have them work on their own, and then everyone will share their work on their screens to make a giant Resurrection mural.

If outside is not an option, you can either use regular computer paper or even posterboard and use crayons, colored pencils, and markers.

Have students come up with images, themes, words, and phrases as they answer the following questions:

  1. When I say, “Jesus is risen,” what images, special days, or things come to mind?
  2. What does the resurrection of Christ mean to Paul, based on today’s passage? What words or phrases can help describe that meaning? What does the Resurrection mean for the way we can live our lives because we do not have to carry the fear of death with us?
  3. How would you draw the resurrection of Jesus? How would you draw a Christian doing “sacrificial living?”
  4. What words and phrases could we draw that remind us of giving “first fruits” to God?
  5. How are faith, hope, and love obvious in our shared mural?
  6. If we are drawing in chalk, our art is not permanent. What can we include about everlasting life that reminds us that our shape and form may not always look the same?

Make sure to take lots of pictures of your students working and/or their finished products! Remind them that we too are called to live sacrificially and to give our first fruits to Jesus. The concept of Resurrection and what it means for daily living is a key distinctive in the Christian identity.

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
  • Toilet paper (1 roll per person)
  • Sidewalk chalk or something to draw with

In This Series...


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

Colors


  • Green

In This Series...


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