In July 2017, I remember sitting in a booking meeting with the Head of RE at Verulam School and she wondered if we could teach a lesson on the Incarnation, Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus. The idea of fitting those three topics into a 50-minute lesson was quixotic to say the least. To overcome this unrealistic task, we created a double lesson to give each word the justice it deserved.
After the success of the pilot of this double lesson last year, we are in the midst of teaching them to the current Year 9s, which have once again gone down really well (so far at least!) Below is just a little flavour of what these lessons look like:
The students were first set scenario that they were an all-powerful God coming to Earth as a human for a lifetime and they had to consider what powers they would give themselves, what their mission would be, how they would spend their time, whether they would make themselves immune to suffering and how, when and where they would enter the world. In doing this they were left to reflect on how their creation would view them (God) in light of their answers. They then answered the same questions about Jesus to introduce the idea of him being God Incarnate – the visible image of the invisible God.
The resurrection is taught through journeying through The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, comparing the story with the Biblical account of Easter. It still amazes me how many students and staff members are unaware that CS Lewis wrote the story to explain Jesus’ death and resurrection.
Finally, two ‘willing’ volunteers act out a Jewish engagement/wedding to show that just as the groom would go away to prepare a place for his bride, Jesus ascended into Heaven to prepare a place for his bride- the church. One day, Jesus will return, as the groom would too, to take his bride to their new home. The role of the church now is to get themselves ready and wait with eager anticipation for the moment Jesus returns in the same way he left.
As we approach Easter, this has been such a privilege to help the young people grow in their understanding of the birth, life, death, resurrection, ascension and coming return of Jesus.