Christ Episcopal Church
May 8, 2016
Introduction for Teachers: In today’s Gospel, Jesus is speaking with our Father in Heaven about the relationship we all have as children of God. Jesus says, “As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” Jesus continues his prayer asking that all of God’s children be one just as he and the Father are one. In Jesus’ words, the glory of God is revealed when each individual is joined in love with the Father as one. The kingdom of God has many parts, each unique, each equally important. One part reveals a glimmer of God’s love. Joined as one together, God’s love is revealed in whole. In talking about today’s Gospel lesson we will use the example of a puzzle (Each classroom will have it’s own puzzle box.)
Welcome: Children will enter quietly and sit together on the floor around the puzzle box. Welcome all children and ask if there are any new friends today.
Preview the Story: How many of you like to work puzzles? Puzzles can be a lot of fun, right? (Open the box to reveal the pieces of the puzzle.) Wow! Look at all the pieces of this puzzle. The pieces of this puzzle are in many different sizes, shapes, and colors. Each of the pieces shows a bit of the picture and each piece is important. When the puzzle pieces are all joined together and become one, they show the entire picture. Let’s listen to the story from the Gospel of John.
The Gospel Story: John 17:20-26
20”I ask not only on behalf of these, but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, 21that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, 23I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
24Father, I desire that those also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. 25“Righteous Father, the world does not know you, but I know you; and these know that you have sent me. 26I made your name known to them, and I will make it known, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”
Respond to the Story: In the Gospel story today Jesus talks to God in heaven saying that just as He and the Father are one, so too are each of us one with the Father. Like the pieces of this puzzle, the members of God’s kingdom come in different sizes, shapes, and colors. Jesus himself prayed that each person would be joined as one with the Father so that the world would see God's love in us. You and I are part of the picture that is the kingdom of God. When we love one another, help one another, and serve one another we become one, just as Jesus prayed we would be, and when we are one, the world can see God's love in us.
Pray: Thank you God for making us each unique and thank you for making us each one with you. Help us to be kind and helpful to one another so that your love may be seen by the world as we are joined together in you.