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Third Sunday of Easter — Family faith formation for May 1, 2022

Welcome

Before you begin, invite those gathered to go outside (or if weather does not permit, around the house) and gather something that reminds them of new life – a flower, a leaf, water, a cross, the bible, anything they think connects with resurrection – and place it in the center of the gathering after each repetition of “He is Risen Indeed!” Repeat as often as necessary.

One: Christ is risen!

All: He is risen indeed!

(Place a sign of new life on the table.)

 One: There are signs all around, Christ is Risen!

All: He is risen indeed!

(Place a sign of new life on the table.)

One: The old has gone and the new is come, Christ is Risen!

All: He is risen indeed!

(Place a sign of new life on the table.)

 One: Because of Jesus life, death and resurrection, we can begin anew, Christ is Risen!

All: He is risen indeed!

 One: We are here, Holy Spirit, show us new ways to be faithful

God sightings and prayer offerings

Invite each person to share where they saw or experienced God this week. Invite each person to share something – a person, community, experience, event, etc. – for which they want to offer prayer.

Good and gracious God, we thank you for all the ways you were and are present in our lives and in the world…[invite each person to say aloud the sighting they named earlier]. We bring our prayers to you, prayers for…[invite each person to say aloud the prayer need they named earlier]. In Christ’s name we pray, Amen.

Connecting with Scripture — John 21:1-19 (NRSVCEB)

For the second reading of the text, divide it into “scenes” (e.g., the disciples fishing, Jesus appears to them, eating around the campfire, Jesus questioning Peter.) Now, bring those scene to life in an embodied way. Ask one person to be the photographer. The remainder of those who have gathered will illustrate the scene in a single pose that conveys the moment. When the scene it set, the photographer takes the picture. The read the text again while contemplating the words of scripture illustrated by the pictures.

Connecting through story

Watch this episode of Steve Hartman’s On the Road about service driven by love.

  • Why does Maddie Mitchell work so hard to show kindness and care?
  • How does love and serving others intersect?

Connecting with our lives

Engage in dialogue

  • What do you imagine the disciples were feeling as they fished all night and yet caught nothing?
  • When the disciples recognized it was Jesus, their Lord, who was calling to them, why do you think they responded in the ways they did?
  • Why do you think Jesus shared a meal with them?
  • Verse 13 says, “Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish.” What other scenes and stories from Scripture does this cause you to remember?
  • How does this scene, and those particular words, connect with Jesus’ words, “do this in memory of me?”
  • What were the three questions Jesus asked Peter?
  • Why was Jesus so focused on love?
  • How did Peter respond to Jesus’ questions, “Peter, do you love me?”
  • Why do you think Jesus asked him three different times?
  • How did Jesus respond to Peter’s response?
  • Why did Jesus keep emphasizing “feed my sheep, lambs?”
  • What do you think Jesus was trying to help Peter, and all disciples, understand the connection between love of Jesus and doing acts of service?
  • Why does love for Jesus motivate us to do?

Teaching points that can be incorporated into your discussion

  • This story provides a significant message in three significant scenes: 1. Jesus calling to his disciples and providing for their needs, 2.  Jesus welcomes the disciples when he sits down, eats with them, and breaks bread together, 3. Jesus questioned and commissioned Peter and all his disciples.
  • God promises to provide for God’s people. Like providing mana in the wilderness for the Jews, Jesus provides for disciples’ needs by making their catch (lots of fish) bountiful. God in Christ knows our needs and seeks to provide what is needed.
  • The scene around the campfire where Jesus shares a meal with his disciples reminds us of several key stories from Jesus’ life with his followers: feeding the 5,000 with the meager gifts of five loaves of bread and two fish; Jesus eating his last supper with the disciples and asking them to do this in remembrance of me; Jesus’ appearing to the two travelers on the road to Emmaus and they recognized him as he breaks bread with them.
  • One must wonder about the significance of Jesus asking Peter the same questions, “Peter, do you love me?” and how it may relate to Pete denying Jesus three times on the night before his crucifixion. Perhaps Jesus was offering forgiveness for Peter’s threefold human denial based on fear.
  • No matter the reason for asking three times, Jesus is making an overt connection between loving him and serving those in need. The love of Christ compels us to do good works. The love of Christ motivates us to continue his ministry with those who are in need. The love of Christ is the foundation of all that we do to honor him and spread his love.

Take a piece of paper and divide it into three scenes. In each scene draw a picture that represents how you show your love for Jesus by continuing his ministry and helping those who are in need and whom Jesus loves.

Prayer

Close your time together by praying for one another, your neighbor, community and the world.

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