MEETING AIM: To think about how Jesus loves us no matter who we are.
BIBLE PASSAGE: John 4:1-38
BACKGROUND: For Jesus to speak to a woman, let alone a Samaritan woman, and to use her cup, was against Jewish custom. Jesus shows us that he knew the woman’s history, and he also knew what was customary, and still he accepted her. He makes it clear that God’s great rescue plan is for all people, not just the Jews.
Invite the children to sit together in a circle. Encourage them to share stories from their week. Celebrate any birthdays, or special events. It can be helpful to have an object or cuddly toy which you pass around for the child talking to hold as they speak. Ask the children: “What’s your favourite drink?” Thank God that he’s with you and ask him to help you learn more about him today.
You will need: cups; big containers for water; clean-up equipment
Use four containers to put two ‘wells’ at one end of the room and two ‘towns’ at the other end (add more if you want more than two teams). Fill the ‘wells’ with water and have the children ready at that side of the room. Invite the children to fill up their cups and take it in turns to take their water to fill up the ‘town’. Be ready to wipe up any spills!
You will need: a jug of water and a cup; a large bowl or container
Gather the children together and tell this story:
Pour yourself a glass of water and drink some. Mm, water is so refreshing. When I’m feeling really hot and thirsty it’s the best thing! In our story today we’re going to hear Jesus talk about water.
Jesus and his friends had told lots of people they met how much God loved them. The Pharisees (the religious leaders) didn’t like this so Jesus decided to leave Judea, where he’d been, and go back to Galilee.
On the way, he travelled through a place called Samaria. It would have been very hot and dry and when Jesus got there, he was tired. While his disciples went into the town to buy food, Jesus sat down next to a well. Put your container in the middle and fill it with water. Shall we all come and sit next to our well like Jesus did?
A Samaritan woman (a woman from Samaria) came to get water from the well. Jesus asked her: “Will you give me a drink?”
The Samaritan woman said to him: “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman.
How can you ask me for a drink?” (Jews didn’t talk to Samaritans in those days so it would have been very surprising for her when Jesus spoke to her!)
Jesus replied: “If you knew who I was, and if you knew how good God is, you would have asked God to give you living water.”
“Sir, you don’t seem to have a bucket, how are you going to collect this living water?!” she asked.
Jesus answered: “Everyone who drinks the water from this well will get thirsty again, but if someone drinks the water I give them, they won’t ever get thirsty again!”
The woman said: “Well if you give me this water then I won’t have to keep coming back to the well!”
Jesus carried on speaking to the woman and told her exactly what her life was like. Jesus knew that she had made a lot of bad choices and her life was quite messy. She was very surprised and said: “God obviously speaks to you. I know that the Son of God is coming. When he does, he will explain everything to us.”
Jesus told her: “That’s me!”
When Jesus’ friends came back they were surprised to see Jesus talking to the Samaritan woman. The woman went into the town and told everyone she saw all about meeting Jesus and what he’d said.
Jesus didn’t judge anyone. He didn’t care that Jews weren’t supposed to talk to Samaritans. He cared more that everybody knew about how much God loved them and how Jesus had come to rescue everyone, not just some people.
Because of what the woman told them, lots of Samaritan people came to know Jesus and accept his offer of living water. Cool refreshing water! Give the children each a cup and let them take a drink from the well.
This water is refreshing, but the ‘living water’ that Jesus gives is even better. It’s like a refreshing glass of water for our whole lives! Jesus loves us no matter what we have done and he came because God loves each and every one of us.
Ask the children these questions, encouraging everyone to take turns in contributing:
- What was your favourite part of the story?
- How do you think the woman felt when Jesus spoke to her?
- How do you think the disciples felt when they saw Jesus speaking to the woman?
- Do you ever find it hard to talk to some people?
You will need: card; felt-tip pens; pencils; stickers and decorations to stick on; glue Remind the children that God sent his Son Jesus because he loves every single person on earth. No matter what they look like,
or what they’ve done, God loves them all. Because we know how much God loves us we can share that with other people.
Show the children how to fold the card in half to make cards to give to someone we’d like to share God’s love with. Ask the group who they want to give their card to.
You will need: cards from ‘Creative response’
Invite each child to hold the card they made and ask God to show them who to give it to. Explain that sometimes they might have a feeling or that he’ll pop the person into their head, or that they could choose their person. (You might want to do this before the activity if you want to decorate cards with people in mind).
Supporting documentsClick link to download and view these files
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