Note to the Teacher
The scripture we read today is the story of Jesus’ Transfiguration. The opening activity is a fun exercise where students will design their own helpful robots. The scripture reading invites students to participate in the story by visualizing what is going on. The activity has students designing their own worship experience. Times are based on a fifty-minute lesson period but may be adjusted.
1. Ice Breaker: ‘Robot What?’ (10 minutes)
Transfiguration has a lot to do with transformation, so encourage your students to think outside the box with this ice breaker. Give students paper and crayons, pencils, and markers. Tell them that they are to design a robot that would be helpful to them, their family, the church, school, community, or world. Give students about five to seven minutes to write down and draw their robots. Ask them to label important parts of the robot. The only rule is that their robot needs to be helpful!
After everyone has finished, ask for volunteers to share and explain how their robots could transform the world around us. Transition to the scripture reading by saying, “Today we look at the story in Luke of Jesus’ Transfiguration.”
2. Read Scripture (5 minutes)
Our scripture reading today contains some pieces that seem “over the top” or even supernatural. As you read, read slowly. Ask your students to really try to visualize what is happening. Put themselves in the story. What do they see? How are they feeling? What is going on?
3. Discussion (15 minutes)
- This passage’s heading in most Bibles contains the word “transfiguration.” What do you think the word “transfiguration” means? (Use dictionaries or look online for definitions as needed.) For the original readers of the Gospel of Luke, why do you think it was important that Jesus is seen with Moses (the giver of the law) and Elijah (a major prophet)? What might this say about the ministry of Jesus?
- Does this passage have things in common with other stories you’ve read about Jesus in the Bible?
- What specifically happens to Jesus in verse 29? How would you react if you saw what Peter, James, and John were seeing? This is the moment of transfiguration. Their perception of Jesus changes! Have you experienced times where the way that you saw someone changed, or the way that you understood another person changed because of something you saw/
- What is God trying to do when God speaks in verse 35? Compare that to what God says at Jesus’ baptism from a few weeks ago. How similar are these statements from God? What does this tell us about Jesus? About the relationship between the Father and the Son?
- Have you ever had a “mountain-top” experience (an experience with Jesus that you just can’t explain)? Would anyone be willing to share?
- How did you change during that experience? What do you think God was trying to reveal to you?
4. Activity and Discussion: ‘Design a Worship Service!’ (20 minutes)
Explain to your students that today they are going to design their very own worship experience related to the big theme of this series: “Love Never Ends.”
They will design everything from the time it starts to the time it ends. You may choose to allow your group to work in pairs or larger groups, or you may decide to do this activity as one large group altogether. Choose whatever fits your group best.
Here are a few questions to get your group started; then allow them to come up with their own worship service and experience.
- Who do you want to participate in the service?
- What is the big idea or experience you want people to discover or feel?
- How long is the service? When will it meet? (Day/Time)
- Where will the service be held? What does it look like? Are there chairs or pews? Is there a stage? What do you visualize?
- Who is a part of the service? Is there a band? Pastors? Students?
- What is the main theme of the service? Is there scripture reading? If so, what? Is there a sermon? If so, what is the title of it? What songs? How many?
- What other elements would you add to your service? A person painting? A dance? A sensory experience?
- How will this service glorify God? Help lead the participants to glorify God?
Give students plenty of time to work on their worship experiences. Go around during this time and ask questions about the service. Why did they do what they did? Encourage as much detail as possible and thank them for taking this seriously.
If students would like to share, allow for plenty of time for them to do so. After each group shares, encourage them by giving each group a huge round of applause!
Wrap up with the following questions:
- How was the theme of this series “Love Never Ends” presented in your services?
- After hearing about other services, what would you change, take away, or add to your service? Why?
- How is God calling you to bring the idea of “love never ends” to the world around you?
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
- Pens or pencils
- Paper or posterboard
- Markers or colored pencils