Grade Level or Age Group: I have used this approach with junior
and senior high school students and with adults in RCIA sessions.
Lesson Objectives: The participants will reflect on a scripture passage and be invited to respond by writing a short prayer to Jesus.
- A sufficient number of "Notes from Jesus".
- A selection of appropriate passages from the gospels.
- One Bible per participant.
- Gentle background music.
1. Prepare the Notes from Jesus in the following fashion:
- Find as many different scripture passages as required. These can be any sayings of Jesus in the gospels. You can find these passages using the online New American Bible. You can choose to pick passages on a specific theme or have a random selection of themes depending on the outcome desired. Type these passages out so that you can then cut and paste them (manually or on your word processor).
- Print out one of the two templates of "Note from Jesus". Photocopy as many of these as required. If you feel comfortable doing so, you could also simply copy the image of Christ you prefer as many times as needed onto your word processor and add the texts you have chosen beside each of them.
- Photocopy each of these completed "Notes from Jesus" - as many copies as required of each.
- The notes could be inserted in individual envelopes. Here
is an example of what a completed note could look like:
1. Set the notes attractively on a small table with an open Bible and possibly a lit candle. If the notes are not in an envelope, they should be folded so as to hide their content.
2. Remind the students or the participants that Jesus speaks to us personally through the scriptures. He has something to tell each of us today.
3. Invite them to pick one of the notes that you have set on a table.
4. The next step could take a variety of forms:
- Each participant could look up the passage on their note in their Bible, read the chapter from which it comes so as to understand the setting of the passage. From there they could quietly reflect on the meaning of the passage.
- If you have selected verses on a common theme, you could have small groups of participants read each of their passages and have the group discern what common threads they see between them.
- In a large group, you could have the same scripture passage on 3-4 notes and have the participants with the same note get together to read the context in the bible, and to discuss the possible meaning of the scripture passage on their note.
5. Invite the participants
to take a bit of quiet time to "listen" to what Jesus might be saying to them
personaly in the scripture passage they selected. Gentle background music
might help this transition from discussion to quiet reflection/meditation.
6. Invite the participants to jot down, either below the scripture passage on the note or on the back of the note, their "response" to what they believe Jesus might be saying to them.
7. As a closing to this activity, you could invite the participants to read the scripture passage they selected and, if they feel comfortable doing so, the "response" they wrote down as well.
©Gilles Côté, 2001 - Please feel free to copy and use this material for non-profit educational purposes. Please acknowledge your source if you do so.