Lesson Plans That Work: Proper 19
Sunday, September 14 is Proper 19, Year A. Lesson Plans are included for both the Gospel and Old Testament.
Scripture: Matthew 18:21-35
This week’s lesson follows on the heels of Jesus teaching on how we are all to humble ourselves as children in order to enter the Kingdom of God, on how we are to look for the lost sheep if there is one lost, and how we are to solve conflicts in our communities. This section of Matthew deals with how Jesus calls us to live together in community in this new way which leads to a good number of questions about what this means.
Peter asks Jesus how many times we are to forgive someone who has sinned against us or has done us wrong. Jesus responds with the parable known as the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant. Throughout the ages as people have interpreted Jesus’ answer of 77 times to mean never. We are never to stop forgiving and the parable leads us to see that as well. The servant who comes before the king owes him an outrageous amount. The king’s first reaction is to sell him and his family. Out of fear, the servant begs for mercy, and he is forgiven his debt. However, when the servant requires another person to repay him a rather small amount of money and does not forgive that person of his debt, the king shows no mercy. When the king sees that the servant is unwilling to forgive this small debt, he lets the servant know that he has had enough and hands him over to be tortured until he can pay his debt.
We are to show mercy and forgiveness to others just as God shows us mercy. The king’s willingness to forgive the debt completely at first is an example of how much God is willing to forgive us. It is only when we see the burden of our own debts that we can see the magnitude of God’s mercy in our lives.
Scripture: Exodus 14:19-31
The Israelites have fled Egypt, headed toward the Red Sea and are being led by a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. As they flee, Pharaoh’s heart is hardened once again (as God foretold) and he sends 600 picked chariots and other chariots with Egyptian officers after them. As the Egyptians close in on the Israelites, they begin doubting Moses and what God had told him to do. Moses tells them ‘Do not be afraid, stand firm, and see the deliverance that the Lord will accomplish for you today; for the Egyptians whom you see today you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to keep still.’ Then God tells Moses what to do to escape the Egyptians.
This is a plan by God so that the Egyptians will see God’s power and his might. The lead up and crossing of the Red Sea puts the power in God’s hand even though there are thousands of Pharaoh’s men following them in chariots with whips. Their power is useless against God’s power. This is an amazing reversal of the power that the Israelites had known, and they come to have faith in God.
About Lesson Plans that Work
Each week, you will find lesson plans for young children (non-readers), older children (grade school age children), and adults. Inter-generational lesson plans are available at the beginning of each season and for many major feast days throughout the liturgical year. In addition to these weekly lesson plans, you can find special lesson plans that celebrate saints, events, or commemorations throughout the year.
These lesson plans can be used as written, or they are easy to adapt to reflect the context of your congregation’s children’s program.
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