Household Faith | First Communion Preparation - Lesson Four

Updated: Mar 22

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Household Faith Series - First Communion
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About the Household Faith Series

Calvary’s Household Faith Series is a collection of lessons on a series of important faith formation topics designed for parents to lead their children through as they teach them the faith. God has given every parent the gift of being the greatest influence on the faith life of their children. The church’s role is to partner with them as they pass on the faith to their children. This Series is an attempt to do that by equipping parents with the necessary resources and lessons.


The Household Faith Series includes:

  • First Communion Preparation

  • Reading the Bible

  • Learning the Liturgy

  • Remembering Baptism

  • Learning to Pray

About First Communion Preparation

First Communion preparation consists of five lessons following the questions and answers Martin Luther puts forth in his Small Catechism.


These lessons seek to help children and students learn what Holy Communion is, what its benefits are, how Holy Communion can do what it does, and who is worthy to receive Holy Communion. It also aims to teach them about various aspects surrounding Holy Communion, like the other names it is called and what other Christian traditions teach about Holy Communion.


Each lesson makes use of readings from the Bible and Martin Luther’s Small Catechism, videos, important vocabulary words to know, and questions to reinforce and solidify learning.


In the end, we hope these lessons will help parents prepare their children and determine if they are ready to receive their first communion.

Lesson Four: Other Things To Know About Communion

Review the following before you begin Things you’ll need for this lesson:

  • Bibles for those going through the lesson

  • NO CATECHISM READING FOR THIS LESSON

  • An electronic device that can play YouTube videos. We’ll be using videos from BibleProject www.youtube.com/c/bibleproject/

  • A pen or pencil for recording your student’s answers at the end of the lesson

LEARNER GOAL: At the end of this lesson, students should know the orthodox Lutheran teaching of Jesus’ real presence in Holy Communion and be introduced to what other Christian traditions teach about Holy Communion. They should also understand that Jesus’ real presence in Holy Communion is a continuation of Jesus’ earthly ministry as recorded in the Gospels which is a continuation of God’s ministry in the Old Testament.

Introduction

PARENTS SAY: PARENTS SAY: So far, in our lessons, we’ve learned that in Holy Communion we receive Jesus’ body and blood under the bread and wine for the forgiveness of our sins through the power of Jesus’ word. Despite Jesus telling us what this meal is and what it’s for, there have been many disagreements throughout the church’s history over the nature of Holy Communion and how Jesus’ body and blood are truly present under the bread and wine or whether or not he is present at all.


In this lesson, we’ll learn about God’s holy presence and how sinful people have eaten meals in his presence. We’ll learn what other Christian traditions teach about Holy Communion. We’ll also learn what a sacrament is and why we use bread and wine (or wafers and grape juice) in Holy Communion and not other food or drink.


Bible Reading - Luke 5:27-32

Grab your Bibles and turn to Luke 5:27-32. Read it aloud, either you, your child, or take turns; then, review the vocabulary word below and discuss what you read using some of the following questions.


Review the vocabulary word below, then ask the following questions:

VOCABULARY: Real Presence, The belief, based on Jesus’ word, that the Holy Communion is his true body and blood of Jesus under the bread and wine
  • What did Jesus do in this story?

  • Why were the Pharisees and scribes upset by Jesus’ action?

  • What did Jesus say to them and how might it help us understand Holy Communion?

PARENTS SAY: In this story we see Jesus eating with sinners. This was something he did all the time. In Jesus’ day, sharing a meal with someone showed acceptance, friendship, and unity. Who you ate with said just as much, if not more, about who you liked to hang out with as it did about what food you liked to eat.

But Jesus was doing more than just eating with sinful people. He was doing something God had been doing throughout the Bible, bringing his very real presence to his people.


BibleProject Video

Watch the Heaven and Earth video on the BibleProject YouTube page (https://youtu.be/Zy2AQlK6C5k). This video explores the surprising biblical viewpoint that heaven and earth were meant to overlap, and how Jesus is on a mission to bring them together once and for all. If your student has a smart device like a tablet or Chromebook, you can have them look it up; then, watch it together.

Discuss what you saw in the video. If you need to, you can use some of the following questions:

  • In the Biblical world, where did you experience God’s presence?

  • Where do heaven and earth overlap now?

  • Where did Jesus absorb our sin and create a clean space?

  • What was something new that you learned?

  • Parents, feel free to share something you learned

  • Was there anything in the video that was weird, confusing, or that you didn’t understand?

  • Parents, don’t hesitate to share something that was weird or confusing to you or that you didn’t understand.

  • Also, feel free to write down these questions and try to find the answers throughout the week.

Bible Reading - Exodus 24:1-11

Grab your Bibles again and turn to Exodus 24:1-11. Read it aloud, either you, your child, or take turns; then, discuss what you read. Use some of the following questions:

  • What did Moses do in these verses?

  • What did Moses, Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel do when they went up the mountain?

  • In what ways is this story similar to Holy Communion and what might it teach us about Holy Communion?

PARENTS SAY: How exactly Jesus’ body and blood are truly and really present under the bread and wine is ultimately a mystery, one our reason or senses (which God has given to us), nor science can explain. But because Jesus says it is and his word is trustworthy, we believe it is. But that hasn’t stopped people from trying to explain it and when we try to go beyond what God’s word says, we can easily get things wrong.


There are four different views of Holy Communion. Let’s review them below:

  • The Catholic Church teaches that Holy Communion is no longer bread and wine, but transformed into Jesus' body and blood.

  • This view is called Transubstantiation

  • Most Evangelical churches in American (Baptist, Methodist, etc.) teach that it is only a symbol that points to or reminds us of the work Jesus did.

  • This view is often referred to as the symbolic or memorial view

  • Evangelical churches that follow John Calvin’s teaching (Reformed, Presbyterian) teach that Jesus' body and blood are only present in a spiritual sense.

  • Since Jesus’ body is in heaven it can’t also be present with us in Holy CommunionThis view is based on Calvin’s philosophical axiom “the finite is incapable of the infinite.”

  • The Lutheran Church teaches that Holy Communion is both Jesus' true body and blood (more than just a spiritual sense) and also bread and wine

  • The Lutheran view is not the same as consubstantiation

BibleProject Video

Watch the Holiness video on the BibleProject YouTube page (https://youtu.be/l9vn5UvsHvM). This video explores the paradox that God’s holiness presents to human beings, a paradox resolved by Jesus, who embodies God’s holiness that comes to heal His creation. As with the last video, if your student has a smart device like a tablet or Chromebook, you can have them find it and then watch it together.

Discuss what you saw in the video. If you need to you can use some of the following questions.

  • Why is God’s presence dangerous for sinners?

  • What does it mean to be ritually pure in the Bible?

  • How did Jesus solve our impurity problem?

  • What was something new that you learned?

  • Again, feel free to share something you learned

  • Was there anything in the video that was weird, confusing, or that you didn’t understand?

  • Again, parents, don’t hesitate to share something that was weird or confusing to you or that you didn’t understand or to write down these questions too and try to find the answers throughout the week.

Bible Reading - Isaiah 6:1-7

Grab your Bibles once more. This time, turn to Isaiah 6:1-7. Read it aloud, either you, your child, or you can take turns. Then, review the vocabulary word below and discuss what you read using some of the following questions:

VOCABULARY: Sacrament, A sacred act instituted by Christ in which he joins his word of promise to a visible element and by which he offers forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation.
  • What did Isaiah see?

  • Why was Isaiah afraid and what did he say?

  • What did God use to take away Isaiah’s guilt and sin?

PARENTS SAY: A sacrament is a physical means (something you can touch) by which God gives his promise of forgiveness, life, and salvation directly to you. Just like the holy coal touched Isaiah’s lips and brought him forgiveness, so Jesus’ body and blood under the bread and wine bring us forgiveness when we eat and drink them.


Sometimes churches use wafers instead of regular bread and offer grape juice or nonalcoholic wine along with wine. Does that mean we can use any food and drink for Holy Communion? Well, no. We use bread and wine and not something else, like french fries and cherry coke, for two reasons. First, because Jesus used bread and wine and said “do this” meaning do it how I’m doing it. Second, we use bread and wine or wafers and grape juice so that we can be confident and certain that we are receiving Jesus’ words of promise in the way he promised to deliver them.

Some questions to see what you learned

Review the following questions with your child to see what they learned and reinforce the information; grab a pen or pencil to record their answers

  1. What did Jesus say he came to do?

  2. What does the term real presence mean?

  3. What is the Lutheran view of Holy Communion?

  4. What does the word sacrament mean?

  5. Why don’t we use some other food and drink in Holy Communion?

Closing Prayer

Close your time of study with the following prayer:

Heavenly Father, we thank you for sending your Son who gave us a way to receive the forgiveness of sins he won for us on the cross in Holy Communion. Thank you for coming to us and bringing us into your holy presence by the body and blood of Jesus. Amen.