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Bible passage: Acts 1:1-11
Background: Following Jesus is full of surprises. We don’t always know what God is going to do, but we do know that he gives us power through the Holy Spirit. This session gives the children the opportunity to express their `unknowns’ and find security in knowing that God gives us all we need to face those uncertainties.
Welcome the children by name as they arrive and invite them to join your circle. Give out your refreshments and chat about the children’s week. Encourage the children to share stories from their lives when they didn’t know what was happening or what would happen.
BLINDFOLD OBSTACLE COURSE
You will need: items to create an obstacle course; blindfolds
Before the session, set up an obstacle course across the room using whatever equipment you can access. Risk assess the course to make sure the children can undertake it safely.
Divide the children into pairs. One of them will be blindfolded and the other must help them navigate the course using instructions and any other help they need. If you have time, they can swap around.
You will need: a large piece of cardboard (you could tape smaller pieces together); marker pens; white paint; roller and roller tray; clean-up and cover-up equipment
Divide the children into smaller groups. Challenge each group to work on a different scene of the storyboard. Depending on the size of your group, you may wish to have a few storyboards or one large one.
Scene 1: Group of disciples, sitting and eating a meal together.
Scene 2: Jesus talking with the disciples.
Scene 3: Disciples sitting, Jesus ascending into the sky.
Scene 4: Disciples staring into the sky, shocked.
Scene 5: Two men dressed in white, talking to the disciples.
As you tell this story, they can be working on their section of the picture. When you read about the cloud hiding Jesus from view, they can use the roller to paint over the picture of Jesus:
After Jesus had risen from the dead, he spent six weeks appearing to his followers and teaching them.
One time, they were eating together and Jesus explained to his disciples that they needed to wait in Jerusalem. He reminded them that his Father had promised a gift and that, while John had baptised with water, they would be baptised with the Holy Spirit.
Yet again they had no clue what he was talking about!
“Are you going to give the land back to Israel and rescue us from Roman rule?” they asked him.
“My Father knows what he is doing!” Jesus replied. “He’s the one who sets the time and dates. But when the Holy Spirit comes, you will receive power and will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
And then, to their utter shock, Jesus began rising into the air. He rose up into the sky and a cloud hid him from their sight. They stared for what felt like for ever. What had just happened?
They leapt out of their skins as two men dressed in white clothes suddenly appeared next to them.
“Men of Galilee,” they said, “why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come back in the same way you have seen him go.”
The disciples would never forget this day. Their lives had been utterly changed by Jesus.
Chat about the story using these questions:
- How do you think the disciples felt when Jesus kept appearing to them
- If you had been there, what would you have done with the rest of your life?
- When do you feel like Jesus is hidden from view?
- How does the Holy Spirit give us power today?
You will need: medium-sized stones; some craft googly eyes; PVA glue; marker pens
Explain that the disciples couldn’t quite believe their eyes. They kept staring into the sky for so long! Give each child a stone and two googly eyes. They can stick the eyes onto the stone and make a ‘staring stone’, drawing on the rest of the face with a marker pen. On the other side of the stone, they can write one word that helps them remember the most important thing from the story (this will be different for each child). Encourage them to share with the rest of the group why they have chosen this word.
You will need: storyboard from ‘Bible story’; marker pens
Invite each child to write or draw their prayer over the dried white paint, where Jesus was originally in the storyboard you created. Ensure there is adequate space for each child. What do they want to say to Jesus?
When everyone has written or drawn what they want to say, thank God for everything the children have prayed and give thanks for the Holy Spirit. Ask God to help us tell people about Jesus wherever we go.
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