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BIBLE PASSAGE: Luke 10:25-37
BACKGROUND: This parable is an excellent model for any children’s worker. Someone asks Jesus
a question, so Jesus directs him to the scriptures and gets a correct answer. Dissatisfied, the questioner asks another question. Jesus answers by telling a
story, concluding by asking another question in order to prompt a response and ending with a challenge. How far will this model inspire you in this session?
Produce an interesting object or piece of equipment. Ask the children how many questions they can ask about it. What’s it for? Why have you brought it here? Answer their questions, but do so by telling its story or what it means to you.
Challenge the children to do at least three things as hard, fast or for as long as they can. For example, they could run around the room as fast as they can, jump as many times as they can in 30 seconds or push up against the wall as hard as they can. What did it feel like while they were doing it? How did they feel after each challenge?
You will need: a dark piece of material; a chair; a dark blanket
Sit the children in a semicircle and throw the dark material over the chair to make a rock. Then tell this story:
One day a man came up to Jesus and asked him what he had to do to be a friend of God for ever and ever. “What does God’s special book say?” asked Jesus. The man said you had to love God with everything you had, including loving your neighbour. The man wanted to know more. “Who then are the people I should help?” he asked. Jesus told this story.
The road from the big city of Jerusalem to the smaller city of Jericho was rough. Robbers and bandits hung out there, ready to jump on anyone who was travelling alone. They might hide behind a rock like this one. Ask a couple of children to hide behind the ‘rock’. Can the hiding children peep over the top or around the side to get a better view? Ask who can and can’t see them.
One day a man was walking down this road, on his way home from the big city. Suddenly, two robbers burst out from behind a rock, beat him up, stole his bag and coat, and left him lying in the road. The hiding children burst out. Lay the dark blanket (a body) on the floor by the rock.
Along came a man who thought himself very special. He had an important job in the temple. Everyone walks past the ‘victim’ one at a time, looking at him with their noses in the air. Everyone sits down. This man didn’t want to touch the man because he had blood and dirt all over him. Ugh!
The man lying in the road was in a very bad way by this time. Then along came a man who had a good job as a cleaner in the temple. Everyone walks past the victim.
They go over to have a closer look, but then walk past quickly. Everyone sits down. This man was used to cleaning dirty, dusty things, but not people who had blood all over them. Oh no!
Then along came a man with a donkey who never went anywhere near the temple. He came from a place in the north-east called Samaria. That made him a bit of
an outsider. He felt sorry for the man and went over to him. Everyone stands facing the victim. Give each child a different action to perform in turn: 1 Take a closer look; 2 Turn the blanket over; 3 Pick the blanket up and beckon someone over to help; 4 Mime finding ointment and cloths inside a bag;
5 Mime rubbing ointment over the blanket; 6 Mime wrapping bandages around the blanket; 7 Carry the blanket and put it on a ‘donkey’; 8 Mime finding two silver coins and giving them to the owner of the safe place. Everyone sits down.
The Samaritan did all he could to help, even though he was an outsider. He took the man to a safe place and told the owner that if he needed more money to care for the man he would pay the extra.
Jesus asked an important question.
Who helped the most in this story?
So what’s the answer? Emphasise that it was the outsider. That’s what it means to love God with everything you’ve got, even though it might mean having to help someone you don’t want to help!
Discuss the story using these questions, making sure everyone has the chance to contribute:
- What does it mean to put all your effort into loving God as much as you possibly can?
- Who in your life is hard to love? Why?
- How can you show your love to others at school, at home or in church?
In a circle, sing this song to the tune of ‘Here we go round the mulberry bush’. Add in some actions that you can all do together:
Before a man reached Jericho, Jericho, Jericho,
Before a man reached Jericho, he was robbed and beaten up.
A special man walked down this road, down this road, down this road,
A special man walked down this road, and looked the other way.
A cleaning man walked down this road, down this road, down this road,
A cleaning man walked down this road, but didn’t stop to help.
An outsider man walked down this road, down this road, down this road,
An outsider man walked down this road, and he did everything he could.
God wants us to love him well, love him well, love him well,
God wants us to love him well, with everything we’ve got.
You will need: sticky labels; pens
Each child draws or writes the name of people they can think of who are in need on the label. Like sticking plaster, stick the labels on one arm. Standing in a circle, say these names out loud. Ask God to be with each person and to enable the children to help these people as much as they can.
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