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This week’s lesson is from Mark 5:21-24; 35-43
During the month of January, Sunday School lessons will focus on individuals whom Jesus touched and impacted in a variety of ways. Sometimes they were healed. Sometimes Jesus focused on clarifying God’s word. At other times, he used miracles to open people’s eyes. Whenever Jesus encountered someone, that person’s life was changed forever.
One of the many people whose lives were changed by such an encounter was a man named Jairus. He was a wealthy synagogue leader who was desperately concerned about his daughter’s health. Jairus had heard that not only was Jesus a teacher, but he was also a healer. Finding Jesus amidst a large crowd who were eager to see what he would do and say, Jairus fell to Jesus’ feet, begging him to come to his house to heal his daughter. Jesus went with him bringing three disciples, Peter, James and John, along with him.
While Jesus was making his way to Jarius’s house, a messenger stopped them to say that his daughter had died. Jesus responded to Jairus “Don’t be afraid, keep trusting” (Mark 5:36).
When they were close to the house, they heard people crying loudly. Jesus assured them that the daughter was not dead, only sleeping. At this, the crowd laughed. Despite the growing awareness of Jesus’ miracles, there were still plenty of people who either hadn’t heard or didn’t believe.
Entering the house, Jesus sent away everyone except Jairus and the three disciples. Then Jesus took the girl’s hand and commanded her: “Young woman, get up”(Mark 5:41). At the touch and words of Jesus, she was healed and began to walk around normally.
In this story, Jesus showed people the power of God. When all efforts of human beings have been exhausted, God’s power is still available. Jesus said “Don’t be afraid. Just keep trusting”. This miracle shows us that faith in God can work in what might seem like hopeless situations. Jesus calmed and reassured people in the story just as Jesus can do in our own lives.
Please enjoy next Sunday in worship as part of your family time as there is no Sunday School on February 18th. As always, there will be pew activities and plenty of various leveled books for kids to read.
Sunday School will be back in session on February 25th.
This Bible story can be found in Mark 4:35-41.
By the time Jesus and the disciples got into a boat to cross the Sea of Galilee, the disciples had already witnessed Jesus perform many spectacular feats. From the miraculous catch of fish, to the large number of people he had healed of diseases, Jesus had shown himself to be at least a very special teacher. People began to follow Jesus wherever he went, seeking a glimpse of him or wanting to touch his robe. Surely Jesus became tired, beleaguered by the crowds, needing time alone. For that reason, Jesus and the disciples found themselves seeking solace in a boat on the Sea of Galilee.
It is not unusual for storms to brew up over the Sea of Galilee because of it being surrounded by low mountains. Wind currents passing over the area suddenly descend, after crossing the hills, to the sea level. These forceful winds stir up strong currents and storms on short notice. Perhaps it was one such storm that caught the boat and it’s inhabitants off guard that afternoon.
While on the boat, Jesus went to sleep in the bottom of the boat, sleeping so soundly that he needed to be woken in the face of a storm. (Interestingly, this is the only place in the Bible that talks of Jesus sleeping). At last he awoke and shocked the disciples by going up to the top of the boat, making a stand and speaking with authority to the storm to “Be Still!” This shows the divine nature of Jesus – that he is so powerful that even the winds and rains obey him. Jesus does not speak softly or quietly, but loudly rebukes the storm. Jesus is not afraid of telling the storm to settle down because Jesus is aware and secure in the power of God.
Jesus shows us that faith is the answer to fear. Jesus lets us know that if we have faith in God and in God’s powers to settle the storm, then the storm will be still. Faith can make us powerful and strong. Jesus shows us that he will never leave or forsake us in the middle of a storm. Jesus is with us and all we need is faith.
This story can be found Mark 2:1-12.
The Gospels contain many stories of Jesus healing people. In this week’s story, we hear of Jesus helaing a man who is paralyzed. This man’s friends brought him to Jesus to be healed. An important aspect of this story is that the man could not have obtained helaing himself. He was paralyzed, unable to walk to where Jesus was teaching. It was faith of his four friends that made the healing possible and what faith and persistence they showed!
First, the friends decided to carry their friend to Jesus, presumably because they had heard he was in town and had haerd of the miracles and healings he had performed. When they got to the house and discovered that the crowds were too thick, it would have been easy for them to give up. They could have decided it was not meant to be or that they would have to try to reach Jesus another day. Instead, they looked for another way to get to Jesus. They went through the roof! In Jesus’ time, most people lined in a simple, one-room house. Roofs were usually flat and were sometimes used for gardening and for a sleeping area when it was hot. There was often a set of stairs or a ladder leading to the roof. Roofs were made of layers of branches packed with mod, making it possible for friends to make a hole in the roof and lower their friend to Jesus. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic “Child, your sins are forgiven!” (Mark 2:5).
The Pharisees began to grumble and mutter among themselves. These legal experts knew that according to their law only God could forgive sins. Jesus recognizes right away that the Pharisees were discussing his actions. Jesus asks them why they are questioning him and his motives. Then Jesus says something else – “Which is easier – to say to a paralyzed man ‘Your sins are forgiven’ or to say “Get up, take your bed, and walk’?” he then turned to the man who was paralyzed “Get up, take your mat, and go home” (Mark 2:8-11).
The Gospel of Mark tells this story as a combined healing and pronouncement story. Jesus heals the paralyzed man, but he also uses this as an opportunity to give people gathered in the house a glimpse of who he is. Jesus responds to the questions about whether he can forgive sins by asserting his authority to do so and by healing the man who was paralyzed. Jesus’ ability to heal people shows us God’s power.
Having children in communion is an important part of their spiritual formation. As Jesus said, “Welcome the children and do not turn them away for they are part of the kingdom.” While they may not fully understand the meaning attached to the bread and the juice they do know what it is to be included. They also can see, taste and touch the elements and can catch the symbolism and what it points to. Families are invited to take communion together as part of their worship experience this Sunday.
This story can be found in John 6:16-25.
In biblical tradition, water is often seen as representing chaos. The only one who has power over this chaos is God. In the Old Testament, God is described as controlling the water during Creation. During the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt, God’s power is displayed in the parting of the Reed Sea. When Jesus walks across the water, it’s a sign that he has God’s power over the water, proving that he is God’s son.
This miracle takes place at night on the Sea of Galilee. It immediately follows the story we heard last week of Jesus feeding a multitude of people. Jesus had been teaching on the shore. Jesus has his disciples get in the boat and set sail without him while he dismisses the crowds. Meanwhile, strong winds came up on the lake and the boat was battered by waves. Storms are common on the Sea of Galilee because it is almost completely surrounded on every side by mountains. While the disciples were in the boat rocked by the waves, Jesus walked across the water to them. The disciples were afraid when they first saw him, then were awestruck by the miraculous feat of Jesus walking on water.
As Jesus approached the disciples, he identified himself using the divine name, “I Am”. This is the name God used in the Old Testament. Jesus also sensed the disciples’ fear and reassured them, saying “Do not be afraid”. Jesus’ miracle of walking on the water revealed his divine nature as it showed he had God’s power over creation. The miracle came to an abrupt end as the disciples’ boat suddenly reached shore. The next day, the crowd that Jesus had been teaching on the shore were confused about how Jesus crossed the lake.
January 28th 4:30-5:30 - All are welcome to participate in TCC's family pool party at Shawsheen Tech. This is a free event to all families and friends. For safety of all, RE will ask that you sign up so that we can hire the proper number of life guards. SIgn Up here!
Do you have a large collection of Bible bucks accumulating in your house? If so, Sunday, January 22nd, youth can cash in their church money. Hours of the store will be before church service from 9-9:30 as well as after service.
Please keep in mind:
• Any real money earned by a child can also be combined with Bible Bucks for more purchasing power.
• Youth can work together, as a family, class or with friends to buy items. As in real life, it is up to the youth to determine how they would like to spend/save their money.
• In order to spread the giving to various organizations, only so many items in a particular category can be purchased. Once those items have been bought, it will be removed from the list.
• Bible bucks can be saved and used over the year. They do not expire and can roll over from year to year.
This program year, the RE committee has been laying the groundwork for updating both the Sunday School curriculum and the educational wing. We now need individuals who are interested in helping to design the space including researching and buying new furniture, purchasing new audio-visual equipment, picking a color palette and painting the educational wing, updating artwork/signage for the walls, etc. and then help executing the project. The goal is to be painting the space by April vacation. Being involved does not require a child in the youth program – all are welcome to be part of this renovation! First meeting is scheduled for Monday, January 22nd, 7:30pm in the parlor. Please reach out to Sue Panilaitis (firstname.lastname@example.org ) and let her know you are interested. Can’t make the meeting but want to be involved? Talk to Sue!
This story can be found in John 6 : 1-14.
This story is set during the time of the Passover. Jesus and his disciples were on their way to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover, one of the high holy days of the Jewish faith. They went up onto the mountain so that Jesus could talk with the disciples, but a large crowd soon followed. These people were hungry to hear the words of Jesus, the man who spoke with the authority of God.
While the thousands of people had certainly packed enough food for their journey, when it came time to eat, they were reluctant to let others know what they had. Worried they would not have enough to finish their journey, they were unwilling to share.
Jesus and his disciples were faced with a dilemma – how could they feed all these people? The disciples were instructed to see to the peoples’ needs and could only think as humans do, recognizing that it would take more than half a year’s salary to buy a little bit for each person. One boy, obviously not rich, gave his small lunch – five barley loaves and two fish. While the disciples were less than enthusiastic about the gift, Jesus blessed the food. Instructing the people to sit down, he took the small amount of food and thanked God for them. Then he passed out what was there, which not only fed 5,000 men plus women and children, but produced 12 baskets of leftovers.
Through God, Jesus did many remarkable things. Jesus knew the power that God gave him could easily be used to draw crowds. It is worth noting that Jesus was cautious and used God’s power only among his friends or in exceptional circumstances to help others. Also of note is that this Bible story is found in all four gospels, which is a rarity. Perhaps this shows us how important this Bible story is.
It is key to know the importance of sharing and working together. The boy knew his two fish and five loaves of bread couldn’t feed everyone, but he knew Jesus could use his gift, no matter how small it was. God can take any of our gifts and multiply them to great proportions. Moreover, God understands our need for nourishment – both physical and spiritual.