Sunday, June 27, 2010

Lesson 2, July 4

I woke this morning eager to print the pages for Sunday School class. We have a new Youth Minister who is completing a series of lessons for all youth.

Since this first lesson came in on Saturday, all I had for information on next Sunday’s lesson 2 is the scripture. I don’t know where the focus will be – just four verses, Ephesians 1:3-6. I came up with activities, including writing answers in a journal we provided for them.

I like the Sunday School Journal idea. A place to make personal notes, a place to write their prayer lists. That’s something we encourage, not only to keep their list in mind but to track answered prayers. Giving thanks for them is often overlooked. That’s one reason for prayers to be specific.

To say “Praying for Lisa Fish” is so general, when what we’re really doing is “Praying that Lisa Fish will make the best decision for her stem cell transplant.” The second prayer is definable while the first is on-going.

Another good use for such a Journal is for our girls to be able to look back and see their progress in understanding scripture; to connect train of thoughts through different references, different books of the Bible; to see the relationship between books. This book of Ephesians follows some time after Luke wrote in Acts 19 about Paul’s trip to Ephesus. A fuller study will show that relationship.

This morning’s lesson is on the first two verses:

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. [Ephesians 1:1-2 KJV]

Let me assure you, by the time we explain that Ephesus was the second largest city in the Roman empire, that it was the second largest seaport, that it held the largest temple to Diana (and explain who that was) then cover why Paul was writing to them and what the words apostle, saint, mercy, grace and the will of God mean, we will run out of time. Think all of our girls should know these things by the 7th grade?

Not hardly. That is why I’m thinking about today is all about my junior high girls. Here’s what I’ve asked them to do this coming week for preparation for July 4, when we study the next four verses:

Monday, June 28 – Take a moment to write Ephesians 1:3-4 in your Journal. What does the word “BLESSED” mean?

Tuesday, June 29 – Pray to God that you will understand His word. Take a moment to read Ephesians 1:3-6. In your Journal, write what comes to your mind after reading.

Wednesday, June 30 – Read Ephesians 1:3-6 again. Write in your Journal what blessings God has given to you today.

Thursday, July 1 – Read Ephesians 1:4 and John 17:24. What does “before the foundation of the world” mean? Write that in your Journal.

Friday, July 2 – Read Ephesians 1:5. What does the word “ADOPTION” mean?

Saturday, July 3 – Read Ephesians 1:3-4 from your Journal. Can you say it from memory? Read what you wrote on Tuesday about the thoughts that came to you while reading. Have your thoughts about this scripture changed?

Prepare to share with the Sunday School class how God has blessed you this week.


  1. I am curious. What ages do you have in your class? Do you separate girls from boys? It sounds like you do. I have never been able to get my teens to journal, but I think that having mixed genders contributes to that. The boys want to retain their image of being macho, and the girls want to impress the boys. That's quite a bit simplistic, but the bottom line is that the hormones come to class along with the teens!

  2. Thank you so much for reading -- and for asking questions!

    We do separate boys/girls so our class is 7th and 8th grade girls only. We used a journal last year, with mixed results. All but one of our girls are new to the class this year and this is their second class so we passed out the journals yesterday. All were writing in them during class. As I wrote, we encourage them to use the journals for their prayer lists, and each Sunday we ask for prayer requests. That at least puts the journals in their hands. It will take a while to see if they will use them during the week.


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