Grade 5 Overview
Our Lord Invites Us to Follow Him
In this grade, the focus is on the process of Sanctification of God’s people, that God initiated the relationship. Then God called us to follow Him. Unit I, highlight the main ways by which God revealed Himself to us. Unit II, focus on God’s revelation to Moses and Israel, then asking them to follow Him out of Egypt. A process, the Bible called “salvation and sanctification”. Unit III, explores the concepts of Sanctification in the New Testament Church. Unit IV, examines the Beatitudes as our Lord’s prescription for perfect Happiness and His own way of living, if we want to follow Him.
In this unit, the focus is on How God revealed Himself to us through: His Son, Nature, Scriptures, Church and Mysteries.
- God reveals Himself to us through nature:
- The creation tells about God: “The heavens declare the glory of God;And the firmament shows His handiwork” psalm 19:1 Rom 1:19-20
- God reveals Himself to us through His Son:
1- God is a Trinity of three Persons
We received a share in God’s life in Baptism, how the Trinity is revealed in the Baptism of Christ. How the Baptism is the opening of the eyes to be able to see God.
- God reveals Himself through His Son our Lord Jesus Christ. Explain how the apostles came to know our Lord. “He who has seen Me has seen the Father;” John 14:9
- Our Lord invites us to believe. Faith is a gift.
- How we know about God today?
- God speaks to us in scriptures:
- The Old Testament and the New Testament are the two parts of scriptures
- The Bible is God’s loving word
- God’s love is revealed in both parts of the Bible
- Our family of faith cherishes the Bible and keep it as a family treasure
- God speaks to us through the Church:
- God speaks through the Holy Spirit in the Church: Mysteries, Holy Synod, Liturgical worship and church building and items, Canons of Ecumenical councils, writings of the fathers of the church (consensus Patria)
- The Pope and the Bishops (the holy synod) has the power to govern the church
- The Holy Spirit keeps the Church from error in matters of faith and morals
- Everyone in the church has a role in spreading the good news
We Receive God’s Eternal life and forgiveness in the Eucharist : Christ comes to us as food and drink, to give us forgiveness of sins and eternal: “ Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.” John 6:54
- What is eternal life?
- We prepare ourselves for the Eucharist by self examination, repentance and confession
- In the Eucharist we receive God’s forgiveness and His eternal life
- Faith gives us the power to live as true children of God
- How can we show our Lord Jesus Christ goodness through our lives
- Explain ways we can live our orthodox faith.
- Unit 2: God Calls a People: “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” 1 Peter 2:8-10
- Introduction lesson:
1. Review how the Israelites entered Egypt? Joseph
2. The beginning of the DVD of Moses
- The story of Moses: God prepared a savior
- God sends the savior
- God prepared to take His people out of Egypt
- The 10 Plagues
- The Passover
- God Baptizes His people: The Red Sea
- The Manna and the Quails
- The Water from the Rock
- The 10 Commandments,
10. The Golden Calf, the Change of Priesthood from the firstborn to the Levites
11. The Tabernacle: DVD
12. Review Lesson
- Unit III: Our Lord Jesus Invites us to follow Him on the journey of Lent
- Introduction: weeks of the Holy Lent
- Our Lord Jesus Christ leads us to offer fasting to God
- What is the meaning of a good fasting, and not good fasting? A good fasting:
- abstaining from food and drink for certain amounts of time (like before communion),
- A good fasting is always accompanied with prayer. If we have a chance, we go to church and attend the liturgy and take communion.
- There is a good self examination, and a decision to repent of 1 or more sins.
- Offering money or other things to the poor.
- We fast: Seasons and Days of Fasting
- Wednesdays and Fridays
- 1st and 2nd Degree Fasts (Lent and Advent)
- Tell the story of the 3 Young Men and Daniel (for 2nd degree fasts), when they refused to eat meat and good food and they ate only lagoons. In the Jewish tradition they didn’t have 1st and 2nd Degree fasts, but they fasted our fast
- Tell the story of how God told Ezekiel to fast in a certain way that contained no animal products for 40 days (Ezekiel 4)
- Jonah and the Fasting of the Ninevites
- The story of Jonah
- God’s care for praying and fasting people; He listens to praying and fasting even from animals
- We make ourselves heard in heaven when we have fasting and prayer
- We give gladly (I)
- Story of Ibrahim El-Gohery
- Story of St. Peter the Worshipper
- Parable of the rich man and Lazarus
- Review lesson
- Unit IV: God called us to be Holy: (sanctification)
- What is sanctification? The Christian people are the holy of holy of God
- Why sanctification
- The respect due for the children of God
- Our Lord invites us to receive God’s mercy: (setting apart from sin)
- Review the Mystery of repentance and confession
- Review the examination of conscience: emphasis on the details and learn to find out reasons of my actions: I lied because of fear, I was afraid because I cheated.
- Explain the fruits of repentance and confession “walking beans”
- How we should forgive others because we were forgiven. The parable of the debts
- Our Lord Jesus called us to follow Him (putting on Christ) and being filled with the Holy Spirit
- The Mystery of Crismation
- How to be special like Jesus
- He teaches us how to live:
- He teaches us how to love God – the Lord’s prayer
- He teaches us how to love others – service
- Children should be encouraged to follow the Lord
- God gave us laws to live by
- Story of Moses receiving the ten commandments
- The commandments guide us in our duties toward God and others
- Discuss the commandment as away to happiness and eternal life
- What is a covenant, what is its relationship to the commandment
- We respond to our Lord’s continuous invitation in worship:
- We worship as a response to God’s greatness and Holiness: it comes from the heart.
- Our Lord’s sacrifice on the cross is the only perfect sacrifice
- When we offer our prayers, service and work, joys and suffering, we unite them to the perfect sacrifice of our Lord in the cross.
- We do that especially in the morning prayer
- List other ways we honor God.
- We protect God’s gift
- Holiness is a gift from God
- The positive and the negative meaning of “sanctification”
- Things that would rob our holiness: media (video games, everything) and peer pressure
- Review Lesson
- Unit 5: Our Lord Jesus Christ leads us to happiness: the Beatitudes
- Introduction: Our Lord Jesus Christ calls us to experience happiness. The beatitudes Part 1 (Matthew 5:1-16)
- Ask the children what makes them happy? For each of their answers, explain what could happen to those things and why that happiness doesn’t last.
- Explain that God gives us true happiness that lasts forever. Jesus showed us how to find this true happiness by living in love and hope.
- Ask the children if they think Jesus was happy while He was on earth. Explain that He was the happiest person in the world because #1- He loved God and #2-He always did what pleased His Father.
- Jesus was happy in loving people. He helped them, forgave them, gave them peace. We will be happy if we also help people, forgive people and bring them peace. Ask the children to think of ways that they can do these things.
- Jesus was also very happy even though He was not rich. He worked hard as a carpenter, but He knew that God His Father loved Him and was taking care of Him, so He was satisfied.
- Lastly, Jesus was happy even though He knew He would suffer. Why? Because He trusted that God His Father would bring good from His sufferings. Also, because He knew that He was suffering for what was right and He was happy to be able to show His love for His Father by His suffering. Sometimes we, like Jesus, will have to suffer for what is right, but this can also bring us happiness.
- There is a special name for Jesus’ way of happiness: the Beatitudes. Beatitude means “deep happiness or blessing.” There are 8 of them. Jesus gave us the Beatitudes in His Sermon on the Mount. It is called this because there were many people listening to Him and He was standing on a mountain.
- The Holy Spirit does not leave us alone when we try to do this; He comes and comforts us and gives us strength to do the Beatitudes.
- Our Lord Jesus Christ calls us to experience happiness. The beatitudes Part 2 (Matthew 5: 1-16)
- The First Beatitude: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.” Explain that being poor in spirit means being satisfied with and thankful for what one has. It means being simple; instead of wanting everything, or always wanting more, or not being happy with what we have, we accept it. Explain the ways that Jesus was poor in spirit (review quickly from the previous lesson)
- There are many opportunities for us to be poor in spirit: about what mom makes for dinner, even if it is not our favorite; when we are fasting, we may have to eat fool or something else we do not really like instead of chicken; about maybe having to wear clothes that are handed down to us by our older siblings; we can be poor in spirit when it comes to having friends- instead of making sure that everyone likes us, we can be satisfied with being who we are.
- Tell the story of St. Anna Simon, who was poor in spirit to the extreme.
- Explain how the monks live in poverty
- Our Lord Jesus Christ calls us to experience happiness. The beatitudes Part 3 (Matthew 5: 1-16)
- The Second Beatitude: “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” Ask the children, what does it mean to mourn? When do people usually mourn? If they have lost something, or someone, they feel sad and cry. This is a kind of suffering. Even though it is hard to feel sad, and we do not like this feeling- sometimes people even would choose not to admit that they are sad and suffering- God promised that when we accept suffering we will be comforted.
- Give the children some time to talk about experiences they have had with mourning
- Tell the children about Jesus mourning (because of Lazarus and because of the Jews)
- Tell the story of St. Monica
- Our Lord Jesus Christ calls us to experience happiness. The beatitudes Part 4 (Matthew 5: 1-16)
- The Third Beatitude: “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” Being meek means being unselfish and thinking more of other people than of ourselves. It means not trying to get the best thing, or not being first in line, before everyone else. In the time of Jesus, land was very important. Jesus taught us that those who are meek will inherit the earth, meaning that the person who does not try to fight for ownership of a piece of land will be given control over all of it because God sees him as being a good unselfish leader, someone who is fair and who will be able to make sure everyone gets some and no one is left out.
- Explain how to be meek now- since we are not fighting for land, what are things that we fight about or are in competition over? For example, instead of bragging about a good grade that we got on a test, we can try to cheer someone up who did not get such a good grade; instead of always choosing the best looking cookie or the best piece of fruit, we can take a bad one and leave the good one for someone else.
- Tell the story of Barnaba: His father, who was an abouna, asked Barnaba this question- “if there were some apples and I asked you to choose one of them to eat, which one would you choose?” Barnaba answered him and said that he would wait until everyone else chose first, and then he would take the last apple that was left over, that nobody wanted. His father was very surprised that he answered this way, and he was impressed. (this story is found on the CD)
- Even if the meek person does not get his fair portion right away, or tomorrow even, God keeps count and remembers all the things that we let go of
- The Fourth Beatitude; “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be filled.” This means that happy are the people who want, with all their hearts, to do God’s will.
- Tell the story of St. Antony, emphasizing how he was really searching to please God so that when he went to church that day, he knew that God was telling him personally to sell everything and follow Him.
- Our Lord Jesus Christ calls us to experience happiness.
- The beatitudes Part 5 (Matthew 5: 1-16)The Fifth Beatitude: “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.”
The Sixth Beatitude: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”
The Seventh Beatitude: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”
- Merciful are the people whose hearts are moved for others. They feel for others pain and suffering. They think of the sick, the needy, the imprisoned, the lonely and even those who hurt them. They find a way to forgive others. Mercy prepares the heart for purity. Pure in heart are those who have no grudge, envy or lust etc. those who shows mercy continuously have no place in their hearts for evil. The peacemakers are those who had reconciled everyone to themselves and through that they are reconciled to God. Forgiveness is mercy, purification and peacemaking.
- Our Father’s Forgiveness of me is tied up to my forgiveness of others: the story of abba? From the paradise of the fathers and the parable of the king and the two servants.
- “Imagine a man who thinks of his enemy as more dangerous than his enmity” St. Augustine. Forgiveness of everyone is good for me always, but I must find a way to forgive my family members of the church. I cannot pray nor take communion without forgiving first. This means my heart is not clean. I cannot give the kiss of peace in the church.
- How to forgive in steps:
- Find excuses for the evil things that are done against you “forgive them for they do not know what they do” and offer forgiveness, even if the person does not ask for it, if you can. Try to act as a defender of the one that offended you to defend them against the anger in your heart
- Forgive the evil when the person, who did it, comes feeling and saying sorry.
- If the person does not apologize, try to talk to him/her in person and do not talk to anyone else4 Luke 17:3
- If the person does not listen to you, speak to him/her again in presence of two of your mutual friends
- If the person does not listen to your mutual friends, talk to abouna
- If he/she does not listen to abouna, you do not have to talk to them again.
- How do we know that I have forgiven from the heart? Is when I do not feel the anger in my heart, whenever I remember the person.
- Our Lord Jesus Christ calls us to experience happiness. The beatitudes Part 7 (Matthew 5: 1-16)
- The Eight Beatitude: “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” To be persecuted for the sake of righteousness means to suffer for what is right. If we ever suffer for what is right, this makes us like Jesus on the Cross, Who even though He had no sin, He suffered and died. Do you think He was thinking about or worrying about the people who were making fun of Him? No, he did not care. Just as we should not care if people make fun of us for doing what is right.
- Explain ways that they could suffer now: in school, or in your family. Especially with their friends- peer pressure- when you are not following what other people are telling you do to, and you have a hard time for it and experience peer pressure, this is a form of suffering. For example, they can say to you “Why don’t you have a girlfriend or boyfriend?” or “how come you do not say the same bad words that we say? You’re a goody-two-shoes” or they call you some other name. it feels bad to be called a name, but God holds this very highly that we take suffering for Him.
- Explain that doing the wrong thing never makes people happy, it makes them angry so they want to make fun of people who have the courage to do the right thing. Jesus promised us that He will never leave us when we are doing the right thing, and that the Kingdom belongs to those who do what is right.
- Tell the story of Penocratus, the martyr who went to school and talked about Christ and the other kids, because they were very jealous of him, beat him up after school.
- The House on the Rock and Review Lesson
- Building on the Rock is very stable
- Building on the Rock is very difficult, because you have to dig in the rock
- It takes time
- Our Lord is telling us some hard commandments, and He knows that it is not easy, but “easy come, easy go”