Friday, May 22, 2009

Sunday School Lessons

On Sunday mornings, I teach a Gospel Lectionary Class using movie clips to help the class focus on the themes. I subscribe to Wingclips which is a terrific resource for downloading short clips. The subscription is about $15 a month. I use about 3-4 clips a lesson.

Here's my lesson for this coming Sunday:

Opening Prayer

Intro: John 17 contains the prayer that Jesus made on behalf of His disciples and future Church. He is interceding for the protection of His followers who are going to be persecuted when they go out into the world. We should be mindful that John’s Gospel was written about 50 years after this event took place, so this prayer would be highly relevant to the Mediterranean Christian Church which was beginning to be heavily persecuted by the Roman Empire at this time.

Clip #1 China Cry – Yes or No (3.33)

First reading - John 17:9-11

9 I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours.

10 All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them.

11 I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name-the name you gave me-so that they may be one as we are one.


Q:        Why do you think Jesus didn’t pray for the world at this crucial time? How does the Church bring glory to Jesus? Why does Jesus pray for the Church’s protection through the Holy Spirit? Is that prayer still relevant today? How do we pray for the Church today?

Clip #2 – Knowing – Highway Crash (1.38)


Second reading – John 17:12-13

12 While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.

13 "I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them.


Q:        How does Christ’s Name protect us? Have we experienced this in our lives? Who was the one doomed to destruction? Does this seem fair? Does this confirm predestination and, if so, how does that affect our own lives? How do we experience Christ’s joy in our lives today?


Clip #3 – UP – Russell (1.04)


Third Reading – John 17:14

14 I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world.


Q:        Why did the world hate the First Christians? What was so radical about their message? Does the world still hate the Church today? Why/why not? What do you think it means to be ‘not of the world?’ How do we apply that principle in our faith today?


Featured Trailer – Earth (2.10) – we may not be of this world, but we are certainly stewards of the planet.


Closing Prayer

John Stuart (aka Stushie) is the pastor of Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee. He writes the daily devotional podcast "Heaven's Highway."

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