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Bible passage: Luke 22:7-22
Background: When Jesus ate his last supper with the disciples, he changed the old Jewish Passover into a meal with special meaning that Christians still celebrate today.
As the children arrive, sit everyone down in a circle. Ask what they had for breakfast. What’s their favourite meal? Share a story about a meal you share regularly with family or friends to celebrate something, such as the last night of a holiday or New Year’s Eve. Encourage the children to share their own stories.
You will need: five pictures or items of food that celebrate or signify something (eg birthday or Christmas cake, hot-cross bun, harvest loaf, Easter egg, Communion bread and wine) placed around the room.
Ask the children to find these items and chat about them. When they sit down again, discuss what each made them remember, leaving the bread and wine until last. Lead into the story by explaining that just before Jesus died he ate a very special last supper with his friends, where they shared bread and wine together.
You will need: a tablecloth; bunch of herbs; jug with water; bread basket with flatbreads; jug of red juice; cups
Explain to the group that today’s story is about a boy called Dan.
“I can’t wait for our special supper this evening!” said Dan, dancing about with excitement.
“Not long now!” said Mum, as she chopped sweet-smelling herbs. Hand out a bunch of herbs to pass around and smell.
Today was a celebration - it was Passover! Later on, Dan would sit down with his family to share a delicious meal. There would be roast lamb - oh, and that funny flatbread Mum made without any yeast. He felt hungry just thinking about it! Ask the group what their favourite celebration meal is.
Dan went outside. He climbed the stone steps that led up the side of the house, past the guest rooms and onto the flat roof. Down below, he spotted his brother coming back with a water jar filled to the brim. He was walking slowly so that he didn’t spill any precious water. Pass the jug around, challenging the children not to spill it!
Two men were following Dan’s brother - Peter and John. He’d met them the other day when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a little donkey. What did they want, he wondered? Dan ran back down the steps and listened at the door.
“Jesus wants to know, where is the guest room that you are going to lend him and his friends for the Passover meal?” Ask if the children can remember where the guest room was.
“Come with me,” Dan heard his father say. Quickly, he scampered back up the steps, dived into the guest room and hid under the long table.
Soon, Peter and John came in to get everything ready. They grinned when they saw Dan under the table.
“Come out and give us a hand!” they said. Ask the children to help you lay out your ‘meal’ on the tablecloth.
Later on, Dan had a wonderful celebration meal with his family. But the best part was when Dad told them the Passover story again! Dan loved to hear how God had rescued their ancestors from Egypt and taken them to a land of their own.
After dinner, Dan went to peep around the door of the guest room. Jesus was sitting between his disciples at the table.
“My friends, I’ve been looking forward so much to eating this last supper with you,” he said. Dan was puzzled. Was Jesus going away again so soon?
Jesus took the wine, thanked God for it, and shared it among his friends. Pour juice into everyone’s cup.
Then he took some bread, thanked God for it, broke it and gave it to them, saying: “This bread is like my body, which will be broken for you. Please do this to remember me.” Break some bread and give everyone a piece to eat.
Next, Jesus took the wine and said: “This wine is like my blood, which will be poured out for you. Please do this to remember me.” Ask everyone to drink their ‘wine’.
Dan thought Jesus looked very sad as he looked round at his friends. “One of you is going to hand me over to my enemies,” he said.
Dan shivered. Surely nobody would want to hurt Jesus, would they? He went back to join his family, wondering what was going to happen next.
Ask the children these questions, making sure everyone has the chance to contribute:
What’s your favourite part of this story?
Why is this story called the Last Supper?
What do you think was going to happen to Jesus?
Do you think people still remember Jesus with bread and wine today?
You will need: paper plates or circles; felt-tip pens; crayons
Ask the children to imagine that Jesus is coming to supper with them. What would they give him to eat? Invite them to draw this on the plate. As they work, ask why they have chosen this particular meal. Can they remember what Jesus gave his disciples to eat? Chat about the bread and wine bringing us closer to him.
Ask the children to hold their decorated plates as you pray together:
We thank you for feeding us with so many different kinds of food.
We thank you, too, for special celebration meals we enjoy with our families and friends. We’re all going to think about one of those special times now. Pause. Amen
One, two, three, four, five,
My friend Jesus is alive,
Six, seven, eight, nine, ten,
Thank you for special meals! Amen.
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