Jesus Heals the Sick. Where You ll Find Today s Story. Summary of Today s Story

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1 Lesson 19 Jesus Heals the Sick This lesson contains several stories and can be divided into two or more lessons. Summary of Today s Story In chapters 8 and 9 in the Gospel of Matthew, we hear many stories of Jesus healing people: A leper (Matthew 8:1-4) A Roman centurion s servant (Matthew 8:5-13) Peter s mother-in-law and others (Matthew 8:14-17) The Gadarene demoniacs (Matthew 8:28 9:1) A paralyzed man (Matthew 9:2-8) A dead girl and a hemorrhaging woman (Matthew 9:18-25) Two blind men (Matthew 9:27-31) A mute man (Matthew 9:32-34) Where You ll Find Today s Story In the Bible We recommend the New Revised Standard Version Bible. Matthew 8 9 In Children s Bibles If you plan to use a children s Bible for storytelling, write the page numbers of today s story in the space below. In Our Sunday Lectionary Today s stories are told in church from the other gospels, not from Matthew.

2 2 Lesson # Title Weaving Our Faith, YEAR 1 Weaving Our Story with the Biblical Story Both Jewish (Talmudic) and early Christian sources agree that Jesus performed miracles and healing during his lifetime. In Matthew, Jesus healing ministry follows his preaching of the Sermon on the Mount in which he proclaims the kingdom of God. Then he brings the kingdom to earth by bringing people to wholeness, which is the beginning of bringing all of creation to wholeness. Having shown Jesus as Messiah of the word, Matthew now presents Jesus as the Messiah of the deed. Jesus healing power does not prove that he is the Son of God. He is not the Son of God because he healed the sick. Rather, his healing is a sign of God s presence in him, God working in him as in no other person. The healings are a sign that God, through Jesus, is healing God s creation, which God promised to do in the fullness of time. Jesus is God with us. Remember, in the Old Testament, we learned that God stays with us no matter what. Here, Jesus shows himself as the abiding presence of God, making us whole. The Episcopal Thread Episcopalians take a holistic approach to healing. We ask for healing, not curing, knowing that God s way of healing may not be our way. When praying for someone and confused about what to ask for, we often say, We entrust all who are dear to us to your never-failing care and love knowing that you are doing for them better things than we can desire or pray for (BCP, p. 831). However, the church also recognizes the need to ask God for healing, following Jesus ministry of healing. The sacramental rite of Unction of the Sick, also called Ministration to the Sick (BCP, p ), involves anointing the sick with holy oil or the laying on of hands to summon God s grace in healing the spirit, mind and body. This suggests a holistic approach to healing, asking God not so much to cure our disease but to make us whole. Many Episcopal churches also offer anointing or laying on of hands at regular services, including Sunday services. Special services of prayer and healing are also offered at times of critical need. For prayers for the sick or for use by a sick person, see The Book of Common Prayer, pages And who are those that are healed? In these stories, they are often the outcasts those who are by Jewish law unclean because of their illnesses. There is the leper, a demoniac, a woman with a hemorrhage. There is also the servant of a Gentile soldier, a nod to Jesus reaching out to the whole world. Jesus allows access to salvation to all, including those we consider to be outcasts. As we follow Jesus, we, too, can offer our hospitality and open our arms to all people.

3 3 Lesson # Title Weaving Our Faith, YEAR 1 Gathering As children begin to arrive have them share stories about hurts that they have had or that other people whom they know have had. This will be a lesson on compassion, so be gentle with this sensitive topic. Primary children are often eager to talk about illness and injury. Preschool children would enjoy a box of play medical equipment. If an additional activity is needed, have them draw a get-well card for the homebound in your church or for someone they know who is sick or injured. Older children may also use this time to catch up with each other on the past week s events and enjoy a brief time of fellowship, which is important for building friendships and community. When everyone has arrived and you are ready to begin the lesson, gather the children together and say a simple opening prayer, such as: Dear God, bless those who are here today [ add names], and those in our class who are absent. And bless this hour that we have together learning about you, Lord, and with your Son Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. Amen. Telling the Story Today s stories there are nine or ten of them are wonderful stories about healing miracles. Read them aloud from a children s Bible or tell them in your own words. Here are a couple of different ways you might tell these stories. Drama: Pick the stories you want to focus on and write the titles in large letters on separate pieces of paper. You might also add a short summary of each story under its title. At the beginning of each story, hold up the title, then tell the story and invite the children to act it out. Assign the parts or ask for volunteers. Give the children who will be playing the parts the paper with the story title to use as a guide and/or as an opening marquee. You ll find several suggestions of ways to dramatize a story on pages 6-7 in the Appendix at the end of this document. Expressive storytelling: Put yourself in the place of the afflicted people. Imagine and express their sense of gratitude and awe at being made well! The Story of the Gadarene Demoniacs (Matthew 8:28-9:1) is a good story for a different kind of expressive storytelling. This story is the closest the Gospels come to comic storytelling and could be told with great fun and imagination! To the Israelites, pigs were not only unclean but funny. To Gentiles (non-jews), the Jews horror of pigs was a subject for laughter and teasing. Some people jokingly call this the story of deviled ham! A few props might make this story even more lively. For ideas, see Storytelling Enhancements on pages 2-3 in the Appendix on the Website. After telling the stories, proceed to Prayer, saving any discussion for later, while having snacks or doing an activity. You may pick a few stories to tell or you can spend two or more weeks on this lesson and tell all the stories. Jesus healing ministry is an important part of his work and reflects the importance of making people whole and curing the sick, so feel free to expand on this lesson.

4 4 Lesson # Title Weaving Our Faith, YEAR 1 Prayer Set up a small worship center in your classroom. Materials small table with a cloth to cover it 2 candles or a single large Christ candle matches Bible cross optional: flowers (real, fake or handmade by the children) Have the children set up a simple altar with the materials listed above. Invite them to place on the altar any drawings or crafts that they created during Gathering time. Then light the candles. Read one or two verses from today s scripture to help the children connect the story that they just heard with the Bible. If working with older children, you might expand the reading to several verses. Suggestions for the reading: For younger children: Matthew 8:14-15 ( Jesus heals Peter s mother-in-law) For older children: Choose a story of a single healing. See the section Summary of the Story for Bible verses. Help familiarize the children with our liturgy by doing the reading as it is done in church. Read as follows: Reader: A reading from the Gospel of Matthew: (Read the selected passage.) Reader: The word of the Lord. All: Thanks be to God. Invite the children to sit in a circle and join in prayer. Say a brief prayer yourself then invite prayers from each child in the circle: Invite prayers for those who are sick or injured. Encourage the children to offer prayers for anyone they know who is sick or injured. Add your own prayers for members of your church who you know are not well. Invite prayers of thanks for God s work in our lives during the past week. Ask children to remember when God has guided them or helped them, whether in school or at home, with friends or family or strangers. Encourage praise and thanksgiving! Ask if anyone has had a birthday or celebrated a special day during the past week and give thanks for these special times. End the prayer time by praying together the Lord s Prayer. Carefully extinguish the candles.

5 5 Lesson # Title Weaving Our Faith, YEAR 1 Sharing Pass out snacks and say a simple grace, such as: Give us grateful hearts, O Lord, for all your gifts, and make us mindful of the needs of others, in Jesus name. Amen. Or: For this good food and for the people who made and brought it, let us thank the Lord. Amen. Or invite children to share favorite table graces from camp or home. This is a good time, while sharing a snack, to discuss the stories that were read or told or acted out today. Remind children that the people in the stories had long-lasting or permanent illnesses. Encourage children to put themselves in the places of those people. You might ask: How does it feel to be sick for so long? How do you think it felt to be made well? What would you do if you were made better by someone? Children can easily connect these stories of illness and healing with their own lives. Jesus heals our hearts and our minds as well as our bodies. Ask: What are times that we have felt sick in heart (heartbroken), in mind (anxious or worried, afraid), or in body? How can Jesus make us well? Can we trust him in the way that the hemorrhaging woman or the centurion did?

6 6 Lesson # Title Weaving Our Faith, YEAR 1 Activities: Arts, Crafts, Games, Drama, etc. After Sharing, begin an activity to supplement and enhance today s story. While the children are doing an activity, talk about the story so that they make the connection. Activities for This Week s Session Suggested story-related activities are provided at the end of this lesson on pages Additional activity ideas can be found on pages 3-6 in the Appendix where we ve provided suggestions and directions for a variety of general activities that can be adapted to any lesson. Also included are outreach and service projects that can be done at any time.

7 7 Lesson # Title Weaving Our Faith, YEAR 1 Memorization Encourage the children to continue to memorize the Lord s Prayer and the Beatitudes. You ll find suggestions for ways to help the children with their memorization on page 15 in the Appendix on the Website. Weaving Our Faith As the class draws to a close, help the children weave together the lesson and say what they learned today by asking questions such as: What were today s stories about? Who was in all of these stories? What did he do for all of the people? Closing Prayer Before the children leave, say a closing prayer to send them into the church worship service or back to their homes with God s love and blessing. The prayer can be very simple, such as this one: Thank you, God, for being with us when we are sick and when we are well. Be with us this week and guide us in whatever we do and wherever we go, in Jesus name. Amen. End the class with a dismissal that is used in church, such as: The peace of the Lord be always with you. The children respond: And also with you. Encourage the children to recall key words or phrases from today s stories such as: healed, miracle, thankfulness.

8 Stick Puppets for Preschool, Primary Children make stick puppets. Materials: people patterns (p. 9) or make up your own craft sticks crayons or markers scissors glue Preparation: Make a copy of the people patterns for each child. Directions: Invite each child to make a stick puppet. Help the younger children as needed: 1. Let the children color the people as they wish, and then cut them out. 2. Glue the people onto the craft sticks. 8 Lesson 19 Jesus Heals the Sick Weaving Our Faith, YEAR 1 Craft

9 9 Lesson 19 Jesus Heals the Sick Weaving Our Faith, YEAR 1 craft

10 Clayworks for Primary, Elementary Children discover what it s like to create with clay, without the benefit of sight. Materials: clay, either air-drying or nondrying markers Directions: 1. Give each child a lump of clay. Ask the children to close their eyes and keep them shut. Have them fashion a bowl or other utensil. A coil bowl can be made by rolling a long rope-like piece and winding it around. 2. Alternately, you might want to have them divide their clay into two equal pieces, making one item with eyes closed and the second with eyes open, and then comparing the differences. 3. If using Crayola Model Magic air-drying clay, let the finished items dry until the following week, and then children can decorate. 10 Lesson 19 Jesus Heals the Sick Weaving Our Faith, YEAR 1 craft

11 Children learn about and use the Braille alphabet. Materials: copies of Braille alphabet, (p. 12), 1 per child safety or straight pins stiff paper rulers pens or pencils black markers Braille Exercises for Elementary, Intermediate Directions: 1. Have the children write one of the following scripture verse in Braille. Show them how to use a pen or pencil to make dots before pricking the holes with a pin. Your eyes are healed because of your faith. Love one another. 2. Here s a tip: Write the verse on the paper, leaving enough space between the letters and an inch above each word, to fit the Braille. Then make dots of each letter, following the guide on the next page. The dots need to be able to be seen on the back side. Note that the dots for the letters are in grids of two columns across, and three rows down. Students may use a pencil and ruler to make light dividing lines above the printed letters, which will make it easier to get the dots straight. 3. Turn the paper over and mark the dots again, so they re easy to read. 4. Have children turn the paper over to the back side and push the pins through the paper at each dot marked, so the dots will be raised on the front side. 5. Have students write something else of their own in Braille on another piece of paper. Encourage them to share their creations. 11 Lesson 19 Jesus Heals the Sick Weaving Our Faith, YEAR 1 activity

12 Braille Alphabet Courtesy of 12 Lesson 19 Jesus Heals the Sick Weaving Our Faith, YEAR 1 activity

13 Flip People for Preschool Children make people that appear alternately sad and then happy, according to Jesus healing touch in their lives. Materials: craft sticks (large ones work well), 1 per child small pieces of fabric, 1 per child pens or markers glue scissors Directions: 1. Give each child a craft stick. 2. Let them decorate both ends of the craft stick with faces one happy, the other sad (see illustration). 3. Cut a piece of fabric to fit over and cover half the craft stick (like a skirt, such that it can cover one face, and then the other, when flipped back and forth). Glue this on the stick halfway down. Let dry. 4. When telling a story of Jesus healing a sick person, show the puppet with a sad face when the person is sick. When he s healed, turn him over and show him with the happy face. 13 Lesson 19 Jesus Heals the Sick Weaving Our Faith, YEAR 1 craft

14 Book of Prayers for Intermediate Children each make a Book of Prayers to give to the homebound or sick in the congregation. Materials: copies of various prayers for different occasions, including the Twenty-Third Psalm (King James Version); prayers for the sick (The Book of Common Prayer, pp ); prayers for morning and evening (look in the Prayer Book under Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer); other prayers (Prayer Book, pp ); any other prayers/meditations you may find poster board, cut in 6" x 9" rectangles for the book cover markers assorted decorative elements, especially jewels, sequins and glitter glue hole punch (3-hole works best) thin ribbon, assorted colors, to match or complement the covers Preparation: Make copies of the selected prayers on half-sized white paper (that is, the top and bottom half of 8½" x 11" paper), enough so that each child has one of every prayer. Cut the poster board into 6" x 9" sections. Punch holes in the prayer papers for binding, and in the poster board covers, as well. Directions: Give each child two poster board covers and the selected prayers. Invite them to make a Book of Prayers they can give to someone in need: 1. Have children decorate the front cover with markers and decorative items. Let dry. 2. Assemble the book, starting with the front cover, followed by the selected the prayers in the order desired, and finishing with the back cover. 3. Align the holes in the book, and then tie firmly with ribbons. 14 Lesson 19 Jesus Heals the Sick Weaving Our Faith, YEAR 1 craft

15 Bring a Friend to Jesus for Preschool, Primary Drawing on the account of his healing the paralytic brought by caring friends, children cooperate to deliver a (balloon) friend to Jesus. Materials: towels, one for every 4 children balloons, one for every towel Directions: Invite the children to work together to help a pretend hurting friend experience Jesus healing touch. Assist the younger children as needed: 1. Divide the class into teams of four children, if possible. Give each team a towel and a balloon. 2. Tell the children that each child on a team must hold one corner of the towel, which serves as a stretcher. Explain that the balloon is their friend, who must be carried because he or she can t walk. Place the balloon in the middle of the towel. 3. At your signal, have each team carry their towel from one side of the room to the other, trying to keep the balloon from falling. If you want to make the game more challenging, you can have the team start over if the balloon falls. If there are enough children, you could even have a relay game with, for example, two teams going up against two other teams. 4. If time permits, mix it up and form new teams, and then play again. Variation: If you have enough children, or an odd number, select one child to play the part of Jesus. Have Jesus stand at the end of the room to touch and heal the balloon friend when each team reaches him. 15 Lesson 19 Jesus Heals the Sick Weaving Our Faith, YEAR 1 game

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