Household Faith | First Communion Preparation - Lesson Three

Updated: Mar 18

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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 Three: How Can Communion Do Such Things?

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

  • Bibles for those going through the lesson

  • A copy of Luther’s Small Catechism. If you don’t have or can’t find a physical copy, you can download the Small Catechism app in your smart device’s app store or go to https://catechism.cph.org/ to view it online.

  • 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 understand that it is Jesus’ word that gives Holy Communion its power and not merely eating and drinking. In particular, it is his word of promise which he spoke at his last supper, the same word of promise the pastor speaks over the bread and wine used in Holy Communion.

Introduction

PARENTS SAY: In our first lesson, we learned what Holy Communion is. That it is Jesus’ body and blood given under the bread and wine and that Jesus’ body was broken and his blood was shed for us. In our second lesson, we learned why Jesus gives himself to us in this way. He does so that we would receive the forgiveness of our sins, and with that forgiveness, he gives us life and salvation.


But how do we receive Jesus’ body and blood, the forgiveness of our sins, eternal life, and salvation through eating and drinking simple bread and wine? What gives Holy Communion its power? What makes Jesus present for us in Holy Communion? How can we know that under the bread and wine are Jesus’ body and blood and with them, all the other benefits we receive?


In this lesson, we’ll learn about how Holy Communion can do all these great things for us. Hint: it has little to do with us and everything to do with Jesus.


Small Catechism Reading

Open your copy of Luther’s Small Catechism (or go to https://catechism.cph.org/) and turn to the sixth chief part entitled, “The Sacrament of the Altar” and read the third main question, “How can bodily eating and drinking do such great things?” and Luther’s answer.


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

VOCABULARY: Covenant, An official agreement or promise

  • What, in Holy Communion, does not give forgiveness, life, and salvation?

  • A: Merely eating and drinking.

  • What is the main thing in the sacrament of Holy Communion?

  • A: The words “Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins.”

  • Who has what these words say? (“Given and shed for you for the forgiveness of sins”)

  • A: Those who believe them

BibleProject Video

Watch the Covenants video on the BibleProject YouTube page (https://youtu.be/8ferLIsvlmI). This video will cover the way God entered into a series of formal relationships with various human partners in order to rescue the world through Jesus, the ultimate covenant partner. 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:

  • Who has abandoned the relationship/partnership with God?

  • What does God do to fix the broken relationship and what is it called?

  • Who does God make covenants with in the Old Testament and who is God’s ultimate covenant partner?

  • 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 - 1 Corinthians 11:23-26

Grab your Bibles and turn to 1 Corinthians 11:23-26. Read it aloud, either you, your child, or take turns; then, discuss what you read. Use some of the following questions:

  • When does Paul say Jesus instituted communion?

  • What does Jesus say the cup is?

  • What does Paul say eating this bread and drinking the cup does?

PARENTS SAY: What makes Holy Communion what it is—Jesus’ body and blood under bread and wine, given and shed for you for the forgiveness of your sins—is Jesus’ word of promise. Jesus' presence, and therefore his power to forgive your sins and grant you eternal life, does not depend on how you feel about Holy Communion. It also doesn’t depend on how good your pastor is (no pastor is perfect by the way) or how good the communion assistants are who are helping the pastor distribute it. It depends on Jesus and his word.


In the words he used to institute Holy Communion, Jesus called it a new covenant in his blood. As with the covenants God made with Noah, Abraham, David, and the whole people of Israel, Jesus’ promise for us always remains, no matter what.


Because it is Jesus’ word of promise that gives Holy Communion its power, you do not have to wonder whether or not he’s there. He’s there because he said so. You also don’t have to worry about how good you are. In fact, if you were perfect you wouldn’t need to receive Holy Communion because it is a meal for sinners.


God’s steadfast and loyal love for us which we experience through Jesus in Holy Communion never goes away because it’s part of who he is.


BibleProject Video

Watch the Loyal Love video on the BibleProject YouTube page (https://youtu.be/UfbyFLgs_NM). This video covers the most common description of God’s character in the Old Testament, his “khesed.” It combines the ideas of love, loyalty, and generosity and we see it most prominently displayed in Jesus. 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.

  • What does khesed (loyal love) describe?

  • Who shows the most enduring khesed in the Bible?

  • Why does Moses ask God to forgive the people?

  • Who is the ultimate display of God’s loyal love and how is it shown?

  • 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 - Mark 4:35-41

Grab your Bibles again. This time, turn to Mark 4:35-41. 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: Testament, A will, often a written document, that explains how a person’s things will be given to others at their death
  • Where was Jesus during the storm and how did he calm it?

  • See verses 38 & 39

  • How did the disciples react both to the storm and to Jesus stopping it?

  • See verses 38 & 41

  • What does this story teach us about Jesus’ word and how might this story help us understand Holy Communion?

PARENTS SAY: In our reading from Mark, Jesus calms the storm with merely the power of his words. The disciples trembled in fear after seeing Jesus’ power and wondered aloud to themselves, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”


The video gave us an answer. He is the God who shows loyal and steadfast love for us in the face of our lack of love for him. Jesus declared that the bread and wine were his body and blood given and shed for the forgiveness of our sins because of his steadfast and loyal love for us.


These words were Jesus’ last will and testament by which he gives us the gifts of forgiveness, life, and salvation. Every time we participate in Holy Communion, we hear his will spoken again and receive the gifts he’s promised to give us once more. In this way, we proclaim the gospel, his death for us and for our salvation, again to those around us.

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 gives Holy Communion its power?

  2. What can we call the words Jesus spoke to institute Holy Communion?

  3. What do the words covenant and testament mean?

  4. Who is Holy Communion a meal for and why?

  5. What does participating in Holy Communion proclaim?

Closing Prayer

Close your time of study with the following prayer:

Heavenly Father, we give you thanks, for you are good and your steadfast and loyal love endures forever. You remember us in our low estate and give us what we need, for your steadfast love endures forever. This includes the body and blood of your Son under the bread and wine of Holy Communion to rescue us from our foes: sin, death, and the devil, for your loyal love endures forever. We give thank and praise you for all this and more through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.