2018 Lenten Retreat – Class 2

Suggested ages: 9-13
Passage: John 9:1-41

Main objective: Understand that darkness comes in many forms, there is but One light that can pierce the spiritual darkness of sin.
Lesson Objectives:

  • Narrate the story of the healing of the blind man (Read the story in simple terms
    and emphasize the following points.)
  • Discuss the reaction of the Jews to the healing
  • Explain what it is to be spiritually blind – (the wrongs we do like hurting others feelings)
  • Identify a few hardships of being blind

Downloads

Also see main retreat page.

  1. Class 2 Lesson Guide (PDF)
  2. Preparation For The Sacrament of Holy Confession (PDF)
  3. Student Handout of Confession Self-Reflection Questions (from guide) (PDF)
  4. Skit Script (PDF)

Opening Activity ~ 10-15 minutes

Allow students to imagine what it is like to be a blind man by doing one or more of the following activities listed below:

  1. In a grab bag, add items for students to guess what the item is by putting their hand in the bag and with their eyes closed. Objects can be an acorn, key, a stone, spoon etc. Have students guess and draw the items they are only able to feel on paper. Then reveal and empty the contents of the bag. Start a discussion about what it is like to understand an object without the benefit of seeing.
  2. Ask the students to place a paper plate on their head and then draw a man on the plate as a challenge. The man should have eyes, a nose, ears and a body with clothing. (Depending on the interest and capability, you can make it simpler or harder) Ask students if they could draw a sun in the background and clouds in addition on the plate. Look at the drawing and have fun comparing the drawings.
    Discuss the difficulty in being able to draw without sight to guide you.
  3. Create an obstacle course that a blind man would have to get through. An obstacle course with chairs and students as blocks. A student will be blindfolded and partnered up with another student that can see as a guide to avoid harm. The blindfolded person can be provided a stick to guide him as well. Some students can act and be positioned as vicious animals on the path that the blind man would encounter on his journey. Chairs can be used for obstacles and students can be used as trees and vicious animals as obstacles. When the blindfolded student comes, the students can pretend to be a wolf that is about to attack. Or they can pretend to be a tree with a pillow for cushion support. Discuss the challenge and difficulty of not having sight to protect them.
  4. The teacher can have the students blindfolded and have their arms placed together in the human knot. This a former ice breaker activity that has been used in the past. For the blind man story, you can tailor it and have the students blindfolded. A student on the outside that can see would have to guide them and tell them which arm should be removed first to untie the knot of arms. Students can then discuss how it is difficult to do the activity without the ability to see.

After the activity have a discussion about what it must be like to not be able to see.  Introduce the idea that the story will be about a blind man.

Session 1 (~1 hour)

Read the gospel reading from John 9:1-12

There was a man blind from birth. They asked Jesus, why the man was blind? Was it because of his sin or because of his parents wrong doing?

Discuss why people might believe in the notion that sickness and adversity is a result of sin? What did Jesus say was the reason for the man’s blindness?

Jesus replied that neither this man who is blind or his parents sinned. He was born this way in order for the glory of God to be revealed.

Discuss that sometimes people suffer and God uses their situation and healing as a testimony of God’s power and healing.

Try to reinforce the positive aspects they learned – Thinking about it, a man born blind had limited scope of having sight ever. However, nothing is impossible with God.

Many miracles were performed by Jesus upon request, however this miracle is performed without a request from the blind man: Any takeaway?

Jesus proclaims, “I am the light of the world” and he heals the man.

Session 2 (~1 hour)

Continue reading from the gospel John 9:13-41

In what way were the Pharisees spiritually blind?

Encourage the children to discuss the trials that they have faced, family member has faced or a person has faced.

Were they able to overcome it?  Do the students know how they overcome it? Has it had an impact on the student?

Based on what was discussed, ask each student, what they can use for their everyday life.

The healed blind man tells the people, “I told you already, and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again?”

Are we blind to the works of God?

Christ finds the healed man to tell him, “For judgment I have come into this world, that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may be made blind.”

Conclusion

  1. Summarize the questions discussed earlier
  2. Something worse than physical blindness, spiritual blindness. When we believe in Christ, we are able to see and understand things about the world and about God that other people do not see and understand.
  3. Memory Verse:
    Psalms 119:18 “Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law

Guide For HOLY CONFESSION

Based off of the “Preparation For The Sacrament of Holy Confession: A Guide for Youth and Sunday School Students,” prepared by Fr. Dr. Renjan Mathew. Use this guide to allow you to better understand and explain the Sacrament of Holy Confession to the students.

The idea behind this part of the lesson is to get the students to start considering the idea of partaking in the Sacrament of Holy Confession. The teacher may use this as an opportunity to guide students through what may be their first confession through the use of activities, presentations, etc. utilizing the story of the leper. Through the lenten season, the idea is for all believers to go through  the journey of becoming one with God again, which calls for the divine  forgiveness of sins (John 20:23) in order to live a God-centered life following the ways of Christ in thought, word, and deed.

Confession Activity – Student Application (20 minutes)

Objective: Use the following discussion questions to guide your class to think deeper. This final discussion should start to point the class towards realization of the importance of being ‘healed’ through Jesus Christ, where the Holy Church provides an avenue to accomplish this through the Sacrament of Holy Confession.

Discussion Questions (You may add plenty to the list):

  • Have you ever been treated poorly — how did it make you feel? Have you hated another person? Have you ever treated someone poorly? How do you think it made that person feel?
  • Have you said or done something with the intention of hurting someone’s feelings?
  • Have you told your parents you were studying, when in reality you were not? Are there other times you hid the truth on purpose?
  • Have you made fun of someone even in your heart because they were different?
  • Have you been disrespectful of others or other’s property?
  • What are things that we do daily that may upset God? How do you think God may feel when we disobey His commands?

If the answer to any one of the above question is YES, it is time for a cleansing. To help us in this aspect, the Holy Church has established the sacrament of confession.

Be prepared to walk the students through the basics of Holy Confession (What is it? How to prepare? How to confess? Etc.) Use the “Preparation For The  Sacrament of Holy Confession: A Guide for Youth and Sunday School Students,” as a guide to allow you to facilitate the conversation and encourage the students to partake in Holy Confession.

Confession Preparation

This is the time for students to begin their preparation for confession. Allow the students to separate into different areas and provide the students with a piece of paper with some of the questions needed to recollect any sins they may have committed (questions provided on pages 5-8 of Preparation For The Sacrament of Holy Confession: A Guide for Youth and Sunday School Students).

Be prepared to walk around and answer any questions, support, or pray with the students as they prepare their confessions. For those who may be feeling hesitant to partake of confession, encourage them and answer any questions or concerns they have. The idea behind this whole activity is to get students comfortable and allow them the opportunity to become healed and reconciled with God Almighty.

Arts & Crafts

https://www.daniellesplace.com/html/bible-themes-miracles.html

http://www.jesus-without-language.net/bartimaeus-mark-10-make-2/

Make the following printouts and students can cut and create their own blind man box craft.

Skits

Lesson Focus: Healing of the Blind Man 

(John 9:1-25)
Act out the story using the following script. Write the names of each character on a small sign and hang over actor’s shoulders. Have the actors highlight their lines so they are ready to speak their parts on cue.

9 Characters: Jesus, disciple, Pharisee, blind man, mother and father of the blind man, neighbor, townsfolk, narrator.

Narrator: The Old Testament predicted that when the Messiah, God’s Son, would come to earth, he would heal the sick and the blind. Our story begins with Jesus walking alongside one of his disciples. Listen to what happens next.
Blind man: (sitting down and begging) Money, money, I need money!
Disciple: Jesus, why is this man blind? Did his sin, or his parent’s sin, cause this?
Jesus: No, he was born blind so that God can work a miracle in his life. Then he and others will believe and follow me.
Narrator: So Jesus spat on the ground and made mud, then put it on the man’s eyes.
Jesus: (to the blind man) Go wash your eyes in the Pool of Siloam.
(blind man goes and washes his eyes)
Blind man: (joyfully jumping up and down) Praise God, I can see, I can see!
Neighbor: Isn’t this the guy who was blind and begged for money?
Townsfolk: No, it just looks like him!
Blind man: No, it IS me! LOOK, I can see!
Townsfolk: How can you see?
Blind man: (excitedly) A man named Jesus spit on the ground and made mud. Then he put it on my eyes and told me to wash it off in the Pool of Siloam. So I did what he told me to do and I CAN SEE!
Townsfolk: Where is this man named Jesus?
Blind man: How should I know? I went to wash my eyes like he told me to.
Narrator: Then the towns people brought the man to the Pharisees, the people that are in charge of the Synagogue. They brought him to the Pharisees because Jesus had made the mud and opened the man’s eyes on the Sabbath. You see the Pharisees didn’t want Jesus doing good works on the Sabbath because they considered it to be working, and a good Jew wasn’t suppose to work on the Sabbath. However, healing someone on the Sabbath wasn’t work at all; it was a blessing for the blind man.
Pharisee: How can you see?
Blind man: Jesus put mud on my eyes, and I washed, and now I see!
Pharisee: Jesus can’t be from God because he worked on the Sabbath!
Neighbor: But how can a sinner do such an amazing miracle?
Narrator: So they didn’t know what to think and argued with one another.
Pharisee: (to the blind man) What do you have to say about Jesus?
Blind man: He was sent from God. He must be a prophet!
Narrator: The Jews still did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight, so they sent for the man’s parents.
Pharisee: (to the parents) Is this your son? Is this the one you say was born blind? How is it that now he can see?
Father: He is our son and he was born blind. But how he can see now, we don’t know.
Mother: Ask him. He’s old enough to speak for himself.
Narrator: His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews, for already the Jews had decided that anyone who believed that Jesus was the Messiah would be put out of the Synagogue.
Pharisee: (angrily to the blind man) Tell the truth! We know Jesus is a sinner!
Blind man: (to the Pharisees) Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. If this man were not from God he could do nothing! One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!
Narrator: This made the Pharisees so mad that they threw the man out of the Synagogue. But, when Jesus heard that they had thrown him out he went to find him.
Jesus: (to the blind man) Do you believe in the Messiah, the Son of God?
Blind man: (to Jesus) Who is he so that I can believe?
Jesus: You’re looking at him, it is me!
Blind man: (bows down and worships at Jesus’ feet) Lord, I believe!
Narrator: Jesus said, “…I have come to earth, so that the blind will see…”

Conclusion: There is something worse than physical blindness, and that is spiritual blindness. When people are spiritually blind they do not believe in Jesus or obey him. They will not go to heaven when they die. But when people trust in Jesus to save them, they are given “spiritual eyes” to see God’s will for their lives. They are able to see and understand things about the world and about God that other people do not see and understand. Psalm 119:18 says, “Open my eyes that I  may see wonderful things in your law.” We must ask God to save us and help us to understand his ways more clearly. The good news is that God promises  spiritual sight to those who ask for it!

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