The Walk to Emmaus
Summary of Lesson Activities:
Be a part of the scene where Jesus broke bread. Learn about Communion from a member of the clergy. [Note: 1st – 3rd graders visited this workshop.]
For scripture and objectives - see above.
- Read the scripture for this lesson.
- Read and reflect on the overview material provided for this lesson.
- Gather the materials.
- Invite a member of the clergy (consider asking a retired minister in your area if your pastor can't make it) to attend this workshop to answer questions.
- Create a list of possible questions about Communion.
- If needed, stop in the kitchen and collect a tray or cookie sheet, a plate, and towels.
- Separate the one pound loaves of bread dough into 3 “servings” per loaf. Place these on the tray and cover with a towel. Have this tray & the Wet Wipes handy to the low table.
- Set the un-sliced loaf of bread on the plate. Cover with a towel. Place the plate on the low table.
- Set out costumes – to avoid a mass digging thorough the costume box.
- For 3rd grade: Bibles; One purple Adventure Bible with tabs (Law, History, etc.), Bible tab writing kit: tabs, fine-line Sharpie pen
- For 1st and 2nd graders: On-My-Own Reader Bible
- A low table
- Wet wipes or Hand Sanitizer
- A loaf of un-sliced bread (cooked)
- Mini Loaf pans (14.5 x 8.4 x 4.7 cm)
- Loaves of frozen bread dough – thawed, 1 pound loaves – 1 for every 3 students
- A tray or a cookie sheet
- A plate large enough for the loaf of bread
- Two towels
- Zipper storage bags large enough for the loaf pan (one per student)
- Copies of baking instructions (one per student)
Greet your students warmly, welcoming them to the Drama Workshop. Introduce yourself and any other adults.
[Note: The Shepherd will quietly take attendance, etc. while you are starting your lesson.]
Say: Let’s begin with prayer.
Ask for any prayer requests. Ask if anyone would like to lead the group in prayer. Be prepared to say a prayer yourself, working in prayer requests. Use the Lord’s Prayer as the ending. A suggestion: “Dear God, We are thankful that long ago you sent your son Jesus to teach people about your love. Help us today to recognize the love that Jesus offers for each of us. (End with the Lord’s Prayer) Amen.”
- How many of you walk to school?
- How many of you can walk to go a friends house?
- What about just taking a walk, do you like to do that?
Say: We are learning a Bible story about two people who were walking from Jerusalem to the town of Emmaus on the very first Easter evening. Along the way, an amazing thing happened – they met the risen Christ! Let’s read about this story.
- Where in the Bible would we read a story about Jesus, in the Old or the New Testament?
- What do we call the first four books of the New Testament? (the Gospels)
Say: The word Gospel means “good news.”
- What good news do we learn about in the Gospels?
- What holiday did we just celebrate? (Easter)
- What happened on the first Easter? (Jesus was raised from the dead)
- Why is that important to celebrate? (allow a few answers)
Say: It is important to celebrate because it shows God’s power over death. Jesus is alive! Because of this we can know that we now have a chance of a new way of living. Jesus died for us – so that our sins could be forgiven.
Ask: What are sins? (accept all answers; anything that separates us from God)
Say: Isn’t it wonderful to know that God gives us a second chance even when we mess up?
For 3rd grade (who visit later in this Rotation):
Say: If you have your own Bible today, be sure you receive a tab for the Gospel section of your Bible. [Show the classroom Bible with tabs. Have the Shepherd do tabs for students who bring their Bibles. Use the classroom Bible with tabs as an example.]
Have everyone find Luke 24:13 in the Bible.
Ask the students if they can tell you the story. Have them check their Bibles for accuracy.
Say: Part of what we learn in Sunday’s Cool is preparation to be together in worship. To help us prepare for that time, after we read scripture we are going to say the words that are said in worship after the scripture is read. Be ready to say: “thanks be to God” after we finish reading verses 30 and 31.
Have them to read together Luke 24:30-31.
For 1st and 2nd graders:
Say: We find our story in the Gospel of Luke. When we are done reading our Bible story we are going to say what is said in church after the scripture is read. Be ready, when the scripture is finished, to say “thanks be to God!”
Read them the story on pages 260 - 263 in the On-My-Own Reader Bible. Show the picture on page 261 as you read the story. Note the post-it note that indicates stopping after reading, “Right then he disappeared!”
Finish the story by Saying: The travelers were amazed! The stranger was Jesus! He was alive! So Jesus’ friends returned to Jerusalem, in the dark, to tell the others about meeting Jesus along the road to Emmaus.
For all students:
Say: For the Word of God in scripture, for the Word of God among us, for the Word of God within us,
The class says: Thanks be to God!
- Did the two travelers recognize Jesus when they first saw him? (no)
- When did the two travelers recognize Jesus? (when he broke the bread)
- What does this breaking of bread remind you of? (Communion)
Say: Today we’re going to be talking more about Communion. But first let’s act out some of the things that happened on the very first Easter Sunday, the day that Jesus was raised from the dead. Let’s put on costumes.
Allow everyone to put on a costume.
Gather everyone sitting on the couches and chairs in the room.
[Note: this is going to involve some acting “in place.”]
Say: On the very first Easter, Jesus was raised to life from the dead but at first, his disciples didn’t know about this. Jesus’ disciples were still thinking that Jesus had been killed and was dead.
Ask: How would they have been feeling?
How would your faces look if you were sad?
Encourage everyone to act sad.
Say: Imagine that you are the two followers of Jesus who are traveling slowly down the long, dusty road to Emmaus.
Ask: What are you talking about? (the events of the past week)
Encourage everyone to walk in place, slowly, with sadness. (You should also be walking in place.)
Say: Cleopas turned to his friend and said, “it seems like only yesterday when we were welcoming Jesus into Jerusalem with palm branches.” The second traveler said, “yes, they treated him like a king. But now…he’s been killed.” His thought trailed off. They walked in silence for a few moments, each lost in their sorrow.
At this point stop and Say: Now form groups of two. I want one of you to repeat after me. The second person should respond the way the travelers on the road might have.
Say: Ready? First Traveler: “I’m so confused. Why is his body missing?”
One group member repeats this and the other responds appropriately.
Say: Suddenly Cleopas and his friend had their thoughts interrupted as they noticed that a stranger had joined them in their journey.
Have the students form groups of three. (You and the Shepherd may need to join a group.) Pick one member of each group to be Jesus. Have everyone keep on walking in place.
Ask: Do the disciples recognize Jesus? (no, not yet)
Say: The stranger asked, “What events are you talking about?”
Have the stranger (Jesus) in each group repeat this question and have the other two respond with disbelief.
Say: The disciples began to explain to the stranger about what had happened and about their hopes that Jesus was the Messiah. Then the stranger interrupted, “don’t you know what the scriptures say?” And Jesus went on to explain what the Old Testament had to say about the Messiah. “It’s ok,” the hidden Jesus, explained. “He had to die so that all could have new life.” Jesus was opening the Bible for them; helping them to understand. And while he did, the disciples felt their hearts burning.
Say: Now I’d like each of you in your groups to take one minute to share what your favorite Bible story is.
Allow sharing time.
Say: Cleopas and his friend were at their destination. It looked like the stranger was going to keep on walking. “Come stay with us,” they invited. “It’s almost evening.”
Have everyone go and sit down together around the low table.
Say: So, they found themselves together at table. And when the stranger took bread…[take up the loaf of baked bread] … blessed and broke it…[break the bread] …their eyes were opened. It was Jesus! And he disappeared.
Say: Cleopas and his friend were astonished to discover that the stranger had been Jesus!
Ask: Why do you suppose Jesus didn’t let his followers recognize him? (accept all answers)
Do you suppose this ever happens to us - that we don’t recognize Jesus in our lives?
Break the loaf of bread into bits and share it with the students.
Say: We just enacted The Walk to Emmaus, a journey for two disciples.
Ask: How is this story like journeys we take in our lives?
What can help us recognize Christ on our journeys?
Say: Earlier we’d said that when Jesus broke the bread it reminded us of Communion. We have Rev.___ here to help answer some questions about Communion.
Introduce the clergy member who has joined your class and allow them to ask/answer the kid’s questions about Communion. [Note: if the kids don’t ask questions, then ask some from the list you created.]
Say: Jesus promised he would always be with is on our journey through life. Remember the verse in our Bible story: “Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him” Luke 24:31a.
Have each student wipe their hands with a Wet Wipes or have them use Hand Sanitizer. Have them place a portion of bread dough in a loaf pan and put the pan into a zipper storage bag along with the baking instructions.
Say: Take home this loaf of bread and follow the directions for baking it. Break the bread with your family. As you break the bread, tell them the story that you have learned today.
- Hickman, Hoyt L. United Methodists and Communion: Some Questions & Answers. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 1998.
- On-My-Own Reader Bible. Cincinnati, OH: Standard Publishing, 2004.
- “This Holy Mystery: A United Methodist Understanding of Holy Communion.” The General Board of Discipleship of The United Methodist Church. 2003.
Written by Carol Hulbert for First United Methodist Church
120 S. State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
Copyright 2008 First United Methodist Church, Ann Arbor, MI.
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Hulbert,Carol. "The Walk to Emmaus - Drama." April 2008. Place URL where lesson found inside angle brackets<>.
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