Anna's Hosannas!
Free Worship Resources for Use with the Lectionary
 
Lesson for Third Sunday of Easter  (May 8, 2011)

Scripture Reference: Luke 24: 13-35
Praise Song for May: "You Who Give Us Life"

First Thoughts:  This lesson tells the story of the road to Emmaus, how Jesus walked with the disciples and taught them, but they didn’t recognize him.  It was not until he broke the bread for them at their evening meal that their eyes were open.  How does God get our attention?  How do we learn to recognize God’s movement in our lives?

Props You Will Need:  None.

Teaching as a Team
Leader 2: You know, (name), something funny happened to me yesterday.
Leader 1:  Tell me about it.
Leader 2: I was in my backyard playing soccer, and suddenly I heard a familiar song - kinda like a lullaby I used to know as a kid.  But I couldn’t see who was singing it.
Leader 1: That’s kinda weird.
Leader 2: Yeah.  So  then I went back to playing.  But a few minutes later I smelled a familiar smell - like chocolate chip cookies.
Leader 1:  Mmmm.  What did you do then?
Leader 2: Well, I got kind of excited.  I mean, those are my favorites.  But I looked around and couldn’t find them. I decided to go inside to look some more.  And then  it happened!
Leader 1: What?
Leader 2: I heard my name - and it was my grandma’s voice!   She came for a surprise visit!  She was the one singing the song and…
Leader 1: The one who made the cookies?
Leader 2: Yes!
Leader 2: That reminds me of our story today.  A group of Jesus‘ friends were walking on the road to Emmaus, and Jesus showed up.  He talked to them and taught them, and their hearts started burning within them.  Because, in their hearts,  they knew who he was.  
Leader 2: Like me with the song and the cookies.
Leader 1: Right, but even though their hearts knew Jesus, their brains still didn‘t recognize him.  It wasn’t until dinner that night, when Jesus broke the bread, that their brains finally woke up.  They remembered how, when he ate with them, he had broken the bread just that way.   And suddenly they knew it was Jesus!
Leader 2: Like when I heard grandma say my name.
Leader 1: Sometimes our hearts know things before our minds do.  That’s why it’s important for us to pay attention to what our hearts are telling us.  Sometimes we feel curious, or joyful, or confused, or even hurt, and that’s God telling us something.
Leader 2:  So what do we do then?
Leader 1: Just what you did - we investigate.  Where does that smell come from?  What about that tune?  We pray and spend time listening to what God has to say to us. The important thing is to pay attention…
Leader 2: Cause we never know when God’s going to make a surprise visit!
Leader 1: That’s right!
 
Teaching on your Own: Hey, guys, something funny happened to me yesterday.  I was in my backyard playing, and suddenly I heard a familiar song - kinda like a lullaby I used to know as a kid.  But I couldn’t see who was singing it.  So  then I went back to playing.  But a few minutes later I smelled a familiar smell - like chocolate chip cookies.  Well, I got kind of excited.  I mean, those are my favorites.  But I looked around and couldn’t find them. I decided to go inside to look some more.  And then  it happened!  I heard my name - and it was my grandma’s voice!   She came for a surprise visit!  She was the one singing the song and the one who made the cookies.  Finally it all made sense!  That reminds me of our story today.    A group of Jesus‘ friends were walking on the road to Emmaus, and Jesus showed up.  He talked to them and taught them, and their hearts burned  with excitement because they knew who he was.  Just like when I heard the song and smelled the cookies.  But even though their hearts knew Jesus, their brains still didn‘t recognize him.  It wasn’t until dinner that night, when Jesus broke the bread, that their brains finally woke up.  They remembered that, when Jesus was alive, he served bread just like that,  and suddenly they knew it was Jesus!  Sometimes our hearts know things before our minds do.  That’s why it’s important for us to pay attention to what our hearts are telling us.  Sometimes we feel curious, or joyful, or confused, or even hurt, and that’s God telling us something.  When that happens we need to investigate it. Where does that smell come from?  What about that tune?  We pray and spend time listening to what God has to say to us. The important thing is to stay alert, because we never know when God’s going to make a surprise visit!

Closing Prayer: Thank you, God, that  you speak to our hearts and our minds - that you always give us just the right clues to know you’re with us.  Give us eyes to see and ears to hear you when you talk to us.  In Christ’s name we pray, Amen.

Follow-Up Lesson: A great way to follow up this children‘s sermon, in a classroom or home setting, is to create some of clue-finding expedition for the kids.  The first clue should give them a hint of where to find the next one, which leads to the next one, etc - until the kids find the treasure.  The treasure might be some simple cross necklaces or flowers, or bookmarks with bible verses on it.  Anything which the children can take with them to remind them that God is always with them - both while they’re looking for the “treasure” and once they find it.