David C Cook COVID-19 Response

High School

Distinctive Ceremonies

Lesson 12 

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Summer 2021

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By: RLD Editorial Team 

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August 22, 2021

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Lesson Focus:

Baptism and Communion help us focus on Christ’s love.

Bible Basis:

Romans 6:3-5; 1 Corinthians 11:23-28

Materials Needed:

Step 1:

  • Internet access

Summary & Links:

Students will watch footage of Olympic Games Opening Ceremony and discuss how ceremonies shape culture around the world as they explore the faith-based ceremonies of baptism and Communion.

Memory Verse:

For whenever you eat this bread
and drink this cup,
you proclaim the Lord’s death
until he comes.
—1 Corinthians 11:26

Step 1:

Students will watch footage of Olympic Games Opening Ceremony and discuss how ceremonies shape culture around the world as they explore the faith-based ceremonies of baptism and Communion.

Materials Needed:

  • Internet access

Even though American society is becoming more and more casual, there is still a great deal of fascination with ceremonial rituals. On July 23rd, people around the world tuned in to watch the opening ceremonies of the Tokyo Olympic Games. This year, the opening ceremonies featured performers illustrating the pictograms (icons that look like humans) of each Olympic sport.

  • Did you watch the opening or closing ceremony for the Olympics? If so, why? (Accept all reasonable answers.)

Share this video with your class [5:02; watch as much as time allows].
Performers’ pictograms embody 50 Olympic disciplines | Tokyo Olympics | NBC Sports

When you finish watching the video, discuss the following questions:

  • Why do you think so many people wanted to catch a glimpse of this event? (Not only are the Olympic Games a point of public interest, but people still like the idea of formal ceremonies. It is part of a longstanding tradition.)
  • Does anyone know what the opening ceremonies include? (Answers will vary. Possible answers include parade of athletes, speeches, opening the games, lighting the Olympic flame, etc.)
  • What distinctive ceremonies are still practiced in America today—either religious or secular? (Students answers will vary. Graduations, military honors, weddings, funeral rites, etc. are all practiced by different groups of people.)

Even though some formal ceremonies are becoming obsolete, we’re going to see how both water baptism and Communion continue to be an important part of the Christian faith.

Looking for Steps 2, 3 & 4?

You can find Steps 2 and 3 in your teacher’s guide. To purchase a teacher’s guide, please visit: Bible-in-Life or Echoes.

Step 4:

Materials Needed:

  • Your church’s informational brochure on baptism (if available)

In this step, you will be challenging your students to consider their own participation in the New Testament practices of Communion and baptism.

Studying Romans and 1 Corinthians helps us understand the importance of Communion and baptism. Considering Jesus’ teaching, how can we grow to respect the practice and follow His model today? Let’s partner up and discuss our attitudes toward both.

Either assign partners or let students choose someone with whom they are comfortable sharing. It is okay if there’s a group of three. Prompt them with the following questions, letting the oldest partner answer questions about baptism first. Pause between each question to allow time to discuss.

  • What are your first memories of baptism? Was it your own baptism—or someone else’s?
  • Tell about what you think our church guidelines for baptism include. What symbolic significance does it have? (If your church has a brochure about baptism, be sure each of your students receives one.)
  • What are some honest reasons why some people don’t want to be baptized?
  • Why are baptisms public rather than private?

Tell the younger partner to answer first in the next set of questions about Communion.

  • If you’ve had a Communion experience in another church, share how it was practiced in another setting.
  • Do you think some people take Communion for the wrong reasons? What would some of these reasons be? (Answers might include because everyone else is doing it, or because it is a “rite of passage” at a certain age.)

Before you close your lesson, provide an action step for your students to follow. If a student has already been baptized, encourage them to give a testimony of this experience to at least one person in the upcoming week. If they have not yet been baptized—and have legitimate questions about the practice—encourage them to seek out a leader, parent, or mentor and discuss those concerns openly. If they are not participating in Communion, have them dialogue with their parents about reasons behind this.

Pray together when you are finished, thanking Jesus for the significance of His death on the Cross and His extraordinary sacrifice He has asked us to commemorate through both baptism and Communion.

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