Saint-Anthony the Great, the first Coptic Monk
This week, I had the blessing of teaching the Sunday School lesson about Saint-Anthony the Great, the first Coptic Monk. As I teach first and second graders this year, I try to keep the lessons short and incorporate a game to illustrate the point of the story.
The Story of Saint Anthony:
He lost his parents and the age of 19 (although the video clip I attached below mentions the age of 20 and the link I shared shows 18). One day, while attending liturgy, this Bible verse touched his heart:
“If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”Mathew 19:21
And so, Saint Anthony donated his vast inheritance to the poor and retreated into the desert to lead a solitary life devoted to prayers and fasting. We regard him as the father of monasticism.
Illustrative Game to explain the choice Saint Anthony made:
In order to illustrate how Saint Anthony followed the verse in the Bible to forsake worldly riches, I distributed paper money to all the children in the class.
Each child had a turn to explain how they would spend their “wealth” – we had all agreed that the money they had in their hands represented 3 million dollars.
Here is a sampling of the children’s answers
- over 5 children would purchase dogs
- a few would purchase cats
- one child would spend it on a Bugatti and a Lamborghini
- My son would spend it on a Jacuzzi (no idea where that came from!!!)
- 3 angelic children were going to donate all their money to the poor (I nearly hugged them).
The game served as an introduction to the lesson.
After the story, we watched this clip about the life of Saint Anthony the Great.
May his blessings be with us all.
Other Sunday School Lesson Plans: Teaching Children Proper Church Etiquette
Additional Coptic resources on this topic: Saint Anthony
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