The Annunciation: a lesson in trusting God.
Do we trust God? Blindly? Without Questions or Hesitations? Like Saint Mary did?
This week, I wanted to communicate the concepts of Trust and Obedience to a group of first and second graders. The lesson was about the Annunciation : when Archangel Gabriel appeared to the Holy Virgin Saint Mary to announce that she would conceive and give birth to a son: Jesus.
Most of the children already knew the story. I was trying to find a way to make them experience what it is like to trust without understanding and obey without questioning, like Saint Mary did.
A google search helped me incorporate the following two ideas to introduce the lesson.
A Science experiment to illustrate “trust”:
- A glass of water (about half- 2/3 filled)
- An index card.
Holding onto the top of the card with one hand, I moved my other hand
down the glass, towards the bottom of it. I then carefully flipped the
glass upside down, while making sure you to keep holding the card in
place. I slowly moved my card holding hand out from
underneath and the card stuck, holding the water without it spilling.
This is an example of trusting God even if it does not “make sense”.
Check out the link for the scientific explanation behind this experiment.
The children were amazed! Actually, 3 of them were incredulous and ran towards me to examine the glass and challenged me about the water being “fake”. I took two big sips to convince them that the glass contained “real” water and that this was not a magic trick.
Following this, we played another game to illustrate the concept of obedience:
The “Obedience Game”:
- Paper plates
The children were each given a paper plate and were asked to place it on top of their heads.
They were then given a series of instructions that would lead them to draw a “house”.
1. Draw a triangle
2. Beneath it, draw a square
3. Inside the square, draw a circle
Here is a picture of all our artists and my beloved fellow Sunday School teachers with their plates!
This game illustrated the following concept:
We may not understand what God is asking us to do when we are starting out but we will understand at the end.
Following both games/experiment, I proceeded with the story of the Virgin Mary while tying key points to the games:
She was told that she would conceive and give birth to a son who would reign over Jacob’s descendants: Trust
Her response to Archangel Gabriel beautifully illustrates her Obedience
“I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be
fulfilled.” (Luke 1:38)
I pray to have the faith and obedience of our Mother, the Holy Virgin Saint Mary.
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