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Bible passage: Mark 14:12-26
Background: There is more symbolism here in Jesus’ actions with the bread and wine. Again, much of this will go over the children’s heads, but introducing these symbols –which play such a large part in the life of the Church – will start the children on the road to renewed revelation about what Jesus has done for them. As ever when using food in a session, be aware of food hygiene and allergy issues.
Welcome the children by name and invite them to join you sitting in a circle. Share out your refreshments and chat about what the children have been doing that week. Ask them what their best meal was. What is their favourite food? Chat together about what food they would like to have for a special meal, such as their birthday. How many different types of food do the children like? Or do they all like the same thing?
You will need: chairs and tables
Choose two children or leaders to be ‘on it’. Everyone else sits on a chair and puts their heads down on a table. They should close their eyes and put their hands on the table with their thumbs sticking up. Those who are ‘on it’ should creep around the room and press the thumb of another child. The object is to correctly guess who pressed your thumb. Explain that, in the story today, the disciples didn’t know who Jesus was talking about. Perhaps they looked at each other, trying to work out who he meant.
You will need: chairs and table; tablecloth or placemats; plastic plates and cups; play food; bread rolls; jug of squash
Sit the children around one table and tell this story:
The time had come for Jesus and his friends to celebrate the Passover. This meant they would have a special meal together. The disciples asked Jesus where they would have this meal. He told them about an upstairs room in the city, and they set off to prepare it.
Bring out a tablecloth and ask the children to help you spread it over the table. Together, lay the table with plastic plates and cups, play food, basket of bread and jug of squash.
As they were eating, Jesus said: “One of you is going to let me down. This person is going to tell the people who want to hurt me where I am.”
The disciples were very shocked and sad. Each one said: “Surely you don’t mean me?”
Jesus answered: “One of you eating here with me will betray me, and it will be terrible for that man.”
Jesus picked up the bread, said thank you to God for it and shared it with his friends. He said: “This is my body.” Break a bread roll open as you say this.
Then he took the wine. Hold the jug of squash. He said thank you to God again and all his friends drank some. Pour out some squash into the cups and all drink the squash together.
Jesus explained that the wine was the sign of a new agreement between God and his people. Then Jesus and his friends sang a song praising God together. Ask the children to choose their favourite praise song and sing it together.
Still sitting at your Passover table, Ask the children these questions, making sure everyone has a chance to contribute:
- What was your favourite part of the story?
- How do you think Jesus’ friends felt as they ate the meal together?
- How do you feel when you eat a special meal?
- Do you want to say anything to Jesus after hearing this story?
You will need: play food, bread rolls and squash from ‘Bible story’
Stay seated at your Passover table. Ask the children if it reminds them of anything. They might mention Sunday lunch or Christmas dinner. You can explain how that is similar to families gathering to celebrate Passover together.
Talk about when they might see bread and wine in church. Explain the Communion traditions of your particular church, then take them back to the part of the story where Jesus tells us to use bread and wine to remember him.
You may wish to share the bread and squash with the children. Allow them to role play the last supper with the play food, bread and squash. Allow as much time as you can for this. As children play with a story, their understanding of the events and their significance grows.
You could take them into the church to watch or take part in a Communion service, depending on what seems appropriate for your setting.
You will need: bread rolls and squash from ‘Bible story’; cups’
Give each child a piece of bread and a cup with some squash. Ask them to think about today’s story and talk to God about anything they would like to say. Allow as long as the children can stay settled. Then say this prayer:
Thank you Jesus, for giving your body for us. Hold up your pieces of bread.
Thank you Jesus, for giving your blood for us. Hold up your cups of squash.
Help us to remember you always.
The children can then eat their bread and drink their squash, if they wish.
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