Teen Curriculum

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On the Incarnation

By Saint Athanasius

Scavenger Hunt Quotes and Clues Icebreaker
Clue #1 – Knock and THIS shall be opened unto you.

1. “You must understand why it is that the Word of the Father, so great and so high, has been made manifest in bodily form.”
Clue #2 – From this WELL you shall find a water to quench your thirst

2. “Christ has been manifested in a human body for this reason only, out of the love and goodness of His Father, for the salvation of us men”
Clue #3 - Look closer at your REFLECTION to better see the true self

3. “It was our sorry case that caused the Word to come down, our transgression that called out His love for us, so that He made haste to help us and to appear among us.
Clue #4 – SEATED in silence, this place will help you find the answer.

4. “…the human race was in process of destruction… what then was God, being Good, to do?”

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Teen Curriculum :

On the Incarnation

By Saint Athanasius

GOAL: To draw spiritual quotes out of this treatise to help teenagers understand the true meaning of Christmas, with undiluted substance to fill their souls.
PART ONE Chapter One: Section 1: Question: CREATION AND THE FALL “You must understand why it is that the Word of the Father, so great and so high, has been made manifest in bodily form.” Did God need to become man? Discuss here possible answers and ideas from your teenagers. • • • • • • Answer: Who created the world? Who created man? What do we know about man? What is man’s function in the world? Does man need God? Does God need man?

“He (Christ) has been manifested in a human body for this reason only, out of the love and goodness of His Father, for the salvation of us men” In discussing the Creation of mankind by the Holy Trinity (Father, Word and Spirit), we find that man was made perfect, and was placed in Paradise to live in perfect harmony with God. In every man was given the grace of God, created in His image, to live forever. God desired for man to remain this way. However, man had the freedom to choose and act. Therefore, in the fall and transgression of Adam and Eve, by disobeying the command of God, mankind turned away from God and death entered the world. The consequence was deadly. Mankind was now under the threat of pain, corruption, sickness and death: going from bad to worse.

Section 4:

“It was our sorry case that caused the Word to come down, our transgression that called out His love for us, so that He made haste to help us and to appear among us. It is we who were the cause of His taking human form, and for our salvation that in His great love He was both born and manifested in a human body.” Read Chapter One together aloud. Sections 1-5

Teen Curriculum :

On the Incarnation

By Saint Athanasius

PART TWO

Chapter Two:
Section 1:

THE DIVINE DILEMMA AND ITS SOLUTION IN THE INCARNATION “…the human race was in process of destruction… what then was God, being Good, to do?”

Question:

How could God act to save us? Break into groups to discuss the possible acts that God could have taken. • • • He could wipe us out and start again. (Against His creation of love) He could demand that we repent. (Against freedom, would it work?) He could leave us to die on our own? (Against His own goodness)

Answers:

“It was unthinkable that God, the Father of Truth, should go back upon His word regarding death in order to ensure our continued existence.” “…corruption could not be got rid of otherwise than through death” He had to destroy the law of death that mankind was subject to. Thus, through His own becoming man and eventual death, He would make death to disappear from them. He fulfilled in death all that was required.

From Holy Scripture We read in one place : "For the love of Christ constraineth us, because we thus judge that, if One died on behalf of all, then all died, and He died for all that we should no longer live unto ourselves, but unto Him who died and rose again from the dead, even our Lord Jesus Christ." (2 Cor. 5. 14 f ) And another says: "But we behold Him Who bath been made a little lower than the angels, even Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honour, that by the grace of God He should taste of death on behalf of every man." (Hebrews 2) “Just as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive," (1 Cor.15. 21)

Summary: Answer:

What two things did God in fact do for us?
“For by the sacrifice of His own body He did two things: ' He put an end to the law of death which barred our way; and He made a new beginning of life for us, by giving us the hope of resurrection.”

Teen Curriculum :

On the Incarnation

By Saint Athanasius

PART THREE Part 3: Section 54:3 “God became man so man could become god” “…the Word of God Himself, He, indeed, assumed humanity that we might
become God….”

By taking on flesh, and becoming man, Christ offers to all of us the potential again to live in perfect harmony with God. Christ has in fact united Himself with us, so that we can be united again to God. He is our perfect model of how to do this. He makes possible for us the impossible. To think, and act, and share in God’s divine energies and grace again – this is to become holy. This is our purpose in life. Question: Answers: Can you make a list of specific things, qualities and actions, that Christ models for us to imitate? Ask each student to write down 10 things in a journal or folder provided. After some time, ask them to share aloud their answers.            Importance of fasting – He did for 40 days in the desert Fighting off temptations from the evil one Holding a vigil - staying awake to pray at important times Observing all the feasts of the Church – Passover Knowing the teachings of the Fathers Humility – never demanding attention or praise Chastity – remaining pure in mind, body, and soul Forgiveness – to confess our sins, and to forgive others Faith in only One God Honor for His parent – in this case His Mother Obedience to the Father – taking up the Cross to His death

We can only achieve this potential by living within the life of the Orthodox Church, with God’s constant help and through our participation of the Holy Sacraments; particularly Confession and the Eucharist, along with a personal life of prayer and study. Chapter 9 Section 57 “But for the searching and right understanding of the Scriptures there is need of
a good life and a pure soul, and for Christian virtue to guide the mind to grasp, so far as human nature can, the truth concerning God the Word. One cannot possibly understand the teaching of the saints unless one has a pure mind and is trying to imitate their life.”

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