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One Body (Last Supper 2)

August 11, 2010

This lesson focuses on the symbol of food in the Eucharist (rather than on social eating as in the last one). It is my hope that you will be able to make simple unleavened bread with your students. If, however, that is not possible you can make playdough bread. You can even make the playdough in class or simply bring in store-bought clay of your choice.

You may still, of course, need to adjust some of the language around the Eucharist to make it fit with your church’s tradition and the particular experiences of your students.

Things to know about this lesson:

  • If you will be baking/cooking, make sure your kitchen is equipped with everything you will need.
  • If you make the bread, consider arranging to use it for Communion.

One Body

Materials

  • see recipes below

Open with prayer. (see tip sheet)

Introduce the Story

Who remembers what church season we are in right now? (Lent)

And what is Lent for? (getting ready for Easter by focusing on God and thinking about how God wants us to live)

And who can tell me what happens at Easter?  (Jesus dies and is raised to life again.)

Jesus knew that he was in danger because the leaders of the temple and the city did not like what he was teaching people.  He also knew that his disciples – his friends –  did not understand everything that he had taught them and that they would need help if he died.

One of the things he did just before he died was share Passover dinner with his disciples.  Passover is a holy day in the Jewish religion and Jews, like Jesus and his disciples, gather to eat and pray together.  At this dinner, Jesus did something special with some of the food they shared.

Are there any foods that are special to you? Things you eat only on special occasions or things that remind you of someone special?

Let’s listen to the story about this very special dinner.


Read the Story

When it was evening and everything was ready for the Passover dinner, Jesus sat at the table with his  twelve disciples.  While they were eating, he told them, “One of you will betray me.” This upset the disciples a lot and they all said, one after another, “Surely not I, Lord?” Jesus answered, “One who has eaten with me will betray me. That this would happen to me is written in the scriptures, but the one who betrayed me will certainly suffer!” Judas, who was the one who betrayed him, said, ‘Surely not I, Teacher?’ Jesus replied, “That is what you have said.”

While Jesus and his disciples were eating the Passover dinner together, Jesus took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you; for this is my blood of the new covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will never drink wine again until that day when I drink it with you in my Father’s kingdom.”

When they finished their meal, they sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives.

(Matthew 26:20-30)

Discussion

What did Jesus do with the bread and wine?

Have you seen anyone do something that looks or sounds like that?  Who?  Where?

Do you know why we have Communion?

Communion is a sacrament which means that is a sign for the amazing work that God is doing.  There are lots of ways to understand Communion and I’m not sure anyone really understands it completely – like so many things about Jesus it is a mystery and a miracle.

(Last week, we talked about how Communion is like sharing a special dinner with each other, with Jesus, and all other Christians.) Another way to think about Communion is to focus on the food.

What is food for? (staying alive, being healthy, having energy, growing,etc)

What happens when we eat food? (we digest it, break it down and use it for our bodies, it becomes part of us)

What would happen if we didn’t have food? (we’d die, get sick, get weak)

Jesus told us that the bread was his body. When we eat the bread, it is Jesus who becomes part of us and makes us healthy and gives us energy. This is another part of the amazing work that God does – giving us what we need to become more like Jesus so that, after church, we can go live the way Jesus taught us to live.

How did Jesus teach us to live? (with love, in peace, serving others, etc)

Introduce the Activity

We’re going to make some bread (out of playdough). While we do it, let’s remember that we need regular food to be healthy and strong but we also need Jesus.

*If you are simply using store-bought playdough, I suggest asking the students to make lots of different foods, including bread. Otherwise, the activity will be very short and rather dull – loaves of bread are not a sculpting challenge! You may find this is also necessary even if you make your own playdough in the class.

Breadmaking

Unleavened Bread Recipe (makes 30-50 small pieces for communion)

If you have time, you can share some of the bread in class or you can save it for after church or to send home with the kids or you can use it for a (same-day) communion service. Make sure the kids know which you will be doing before you get started.

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 1/2 to 3/4 tsp of salt
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 3/8 to 1/2 cup of oil (olive oil is best but vegetable oil would work)

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Whisk salt, water, and oil together with a fork until frothy.  Add flour and mix until it is a dry dough – try not to overmix as that will make the bread tough.

Put the dough onto a cookie sheet.  Roll/pat the dough out as thin as you can, even to the point of pie crust thin (you may want to distribute portions of the dough for individuals or small groups to work on).  Score the bread to prevent bubbles from forming.  You can score it into the shapes you want to cut it into afterwards.

Bake for about 10 minutes.  You don’t want it to brown, much less burn, so watch carefully towards the end.


No-Cook Playdough Recipe (or have a look at the many other recipes, including microwavable, traditional, and tarter-free, here)

  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 cup of boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons of cream of tartar
  • a half cup of salt
  • 1 tablespoon of oil

Simply mix all the ingredients together! Be careful as it can be quite hot. Once mixed (and slightly cooled), knead the playdough to get the right consistency. Share it around and start making “bread”.

Regrouping

Admire the finished products. Eat some of the bread, if appropriate (perhaps using the closing prayer as a grace).

Closing Prayer

Dear God, thank you for Jesus and the gift of communion. Thank you for food that makes us healthy and strong, in our bodies and our minds and our souls. Amen.

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