Sunday 31st May
The disciples were together in their house praying and waiting for what to do next. Then as they were waiting suddenly their waiting was over; the Holy Spirit had come and filled them! The whole experience felt like the sound of a strong wind that filled the whole house and as if flames came upon each of them and they desperately wanted to tell everyone how great and good God is and what He has done for us!
When Jesus had ascended back to heaven, He promised that he would still be with us. And now that is exactly what is happening! God sends his Holy Spirit, we are not on our own, God is with us!
Read the story in Acts 2:1-13.
Under 5s might enjoy the story from here
Talk about these following questions; they are not just questions for young kids; as adults, it’s so good for us to share, our kids want to hear how faith and the Holy Spirit have an impact on your life!
How would you have felt if you had been a disciple on that day?
What might the other people, who saw and heard the disciples have been thinking and feeling?
Can you share a time when you had your own experience of the Holy Spirit?
How could you ask the Holy Spirit to help you?
Wind has a strong impact, more than we sometimes think. As you play, notice the impact your ‘wind’ is having!
Blow through a straw at paint and create a nice piece of art! Mix some water into your paint to make it runny. Put a blob of the paint mixture in the middle of the paper. Blow the paint using your straw to make a spiky pattern.
Make a ‘ball’ out of a piece of scrunched up foil or paper for each person. Have a race of who can blow their ball from the start to the finish the fastest, using a straw or a rolled up tube of paper.
What’s it like when we try and do things in our own strength, and not rely on God’s Holy Spirit? It can look a bit like this: Blow up a balloon and then let it go. (see if you can predict what might happen when you let go) It will shoot all over the place.
Blow up a second time (without tying it, hold on to the end or put a peg on it) but this time, attach the balloon to a straw with sellotape. (String is already threaded through the the straw and held tight across the room). What will happen this time, when you let go?
The balloon should shoot across the room in a straight line. It’s a bit like us when we’re filled with God’s Holy Spirit power, He helps us and keeps us on track, helps us go the right way. God has sent us the Holy Spirit, who gives us power to live the way God wants us to; He’s our helper, our comforter, He’s God’s power living in us. Pray for each other and ask God’s power to fill you.
We need the Holy Spirit’s power to fill us. Here are some activities to help focus your prayers connected to the Holy Spirit arriving at Pentecost.
Pour some water into different containers: As you enjoy some water play, ask the Holy Spirit to fill you. Even though we are all different God can use all of us and we can all receive the Holy Spirit.
Light a candle: and ask the Holy Spirit to help you be a light in the world just like the disciples were.
Blow some bubbles: blow some bubbles along your street and ask the Holy Spirit to move in your community and draw others closer to God. If you don’t have any bubble mix, try making some using washing up liquid.
Make a windsock today, as a reminder of the Holy Spirit working in us and in the Church. Use an empty toilet roll and some paper or pieces of string. Paint or colour the toilet roll, put a piece of string on one side so can run around with it and hang it up. On the other side glue/staple some strings of decorated paper!
Sunday 24th May
Since Easter, when Jesus died and then rose again, we’ve been looking at the risen Jesus seeing and talking to his disciples; they were so happy to see Him again! This week we look at Jesus’ ascension. This is when he goes back into heaven. This is not sad though because Jesus promises that the Holy Spirit would come on them soon and be with them, and us, forever!
Read the story in Acts 1:1-11
Have a look at our Spotify playlist of family worship and pick a few songs together, to listen to and sing along with. Spread out a big piece of paper (or go outside and use chalk on the floor if you’ve got space) and do some “family doodling worship”. As you listen to the songs, use your doodlings to draw pictures or words that describe how great God’s character is and thank Him for all that He has done and has made.
Jesus told his disciples to wait for the Holy Spirit to come, Can you think of a time when you had to wait patiently for someone or something (e.g. birthday, visitors or to see your friends, teachers or family again!)? The disciples will have found it hard to not see Jesus again, but at the same time will have been excited for the Holy Spirit to come, as promised by Jesus. Why don’t you say thanks to God that he is always with us with his Holy Spirit?
Jesus told his friends that they needed to be patient and trust in God’s timing while they waited for the helper God had promised. Find out who is best at waiting by playing ‘The Minute Game’.
One person has a clock or phone timer, this person tells everybody when to begin. Everybody else must stand up, they must sit down when they think a minute has passed – they are not allowed to cheat by looking at a watch or clock. Once everybody has sat down the person watching the timer should say who was closest.
Can you ‘play with the story’ at home today, a bit like Matt did in our service this morning? Use any toy people or props from around the house to be the characters. Can you make Jesus ‘ascend into the clouds’? I wonder what the ‘Jesus’s friends’ characters in your game or thinking and feeling, as they watch Jesus ascend into the clouds?
Cloud in a bottle
This is a special Ascension science experiment for families with bigger kids to make a cloud in a bottle
Make & Pray
Make a spiral mobile: Draw a circle (draw around a CD or similar) then draw a spiral inside it. Can you think of 5 people or families you can pray for and write them down! Pray for these people every time you see your spiral! Cut the spiral out and thread a piece of string or thread through the top so that you can hold the thread and the spiral will dangle down. The spiral will spin slightly just by virtue of being held, but when held over a bulb or source of heat, the spiral will spin much more because of the rising of hot air. Even though we can't see the hot air, it is still there, rising up.
Today we continue the story of the disciples meeting Jesus again. Last week we saw the disciples fishing and catching nothing! Until Jesus told them to put their nets on the other side of the boat and then they caught loads and loads of fish. When they realised it was Jesus who gave them the advice, Peter jumped out of the boat and ran towards Him, afterwards they all went to have breakfast with Jesus at the beach.
This week the story continues and we see the conversation Peter and Jesus had. Because just before Jesus went to cross Peter had acted like he didn’t know Jesus and betrayed him that way. Jesus confronts Peter with this, so that Peter can be forgiven.
Read the story in John 21:15-25
Watch the story here:
Jesus and his friends/disciples were having breakfast and talking at the same time, why don’t you and your household do the same? If you’re feeling really adventurous, you could cook and/or eat breakfast outside (or simply have some snacks and gather around) whilst you talk about the Bible story.
Why do you think Jesus asked Peter 3 times if he loved him? (Bigger kids might like to also look up Luke 22:33-66 - can you spot how many times Peter denies knowing Jesus?) Why do you think,would this make Peter feel upset? Sometimes we also do things which might hurt others around us, can you think of a time this happened for yourself and what you did to make it right after? Maybe you can also think of a time someone did or said something that made you feel upset, could you forgive them? (and did you tell him/her!)
Before you start the prayer activity you’ll need to gather some rocks/pebbles. Go out with your family members on a mini scavenger hunt and get some from the garden, or try to find some outside. You will also need a bucket/pan with water today! (halfway filled is more than enough).
Prayer today is focused on forgiveness and letting go. We saw in the story last week that Peter was so excited to see Jesus again! At the same time it will also have reminded him of when he betrayed Jesus when He needed him the most. Often when we do things wrong and hurt others we find it hard to let things go. We can feel so ashamed of what we did and it feels just like we are carrying a heavy stone on our heart all the time. But as we see in the story today Jesus wants to forgive us and wants us to put that heavy stone away!
Make sure that everyone in your household has 1 or multiple stones and try to think of situations or people you might have hurt and still feel bad about. As you think of those, put the stone in the water if you are ready to let that go. (Lockdown can be hard with being around the same people all the time, maybe you have been mean or impatient to your sister/brother/mother etc.)
Play with some bubbles - as they pop or float away, talk together about how God completely wipes away our sins and forgives us. Feeling adventurous? Why not try making some giant bubbles? There’s some great instructions here, including how to make the giant bubble wands and the ‘secret recipe’ for giant bubble mixture.
After the resurrection, Jesus appeared to many people. One of these times was when Peter and some of the other disciples had just spent all night fishing and catching nothing. Jesus stood on the shore and yelled out to the men on the boat to cast their nets on the other side if they wanted to catch fish. Miraculously, they immediately caught lots of big fish and then joined Jesus on the shore.
Before reading the Bible story today, make two things to set the scene. Both of which are part of the Bible story of today. First of all make a boat out of your duvet/pillows, make sure it’s big enough for all family members! Up your game and add a net/blanket to catch fish.
Secondly craft your own campfire. You can draw/ paint or build your own campfire. So you can have a pretend campfire!
Go to the Bible now. Read the first part of the story whilst everyone sits in your own made boat, when the disciples go to Jesus on the shore move to your campfire and sit around it and talk about the Bible story.
Read it in John 21: 1-14
The disciples had been fishing all night and caught nothing! How do you think they will have felt in the morning? Why do you think Peter jumped out of the boat when he recognised it was Jesus? Sometimes we can feel like whatever we do just doesn’t seem to go right, like the disciples when they stayed up all night and caught nothing. We might feel disappointed, exhausted and hungry! What does Jesus do; Yes he blesses them with a lot of fish, but also he invites them to breakfast and rest! Jesus also wants to sit and talk to us. If you would sit and have breakfast with Jesus, what would you ask Him?
Make & Pray
Make fish out of old toilet rolls! (see picture below)
We’re going to go around the circle and take turns dropping our fish into the net (or bowl or newspaper if they are still wet!). As you drop your fish, say one thing you’d like to thank Jesus for. You might choose something you’re thankful for such as your family, breakfast, a toy, your house, or your friends. If some children can’t think of anything, encourage them to place their fish in the net and simply say, “Thank you, Jesus.”
Last week we looked at the story where Jesus was visiting his friends after he had come back to life! We saw that when Jesus died on the cross, the disciples were really confused. They thought Jesus had come to save them but then he was gone. So, imagine how shocked the disciples were when Jesus appeared to them one day!
Unfortunately, Thomas wasn’t there the first time Jesus appeared so he didn’t believe that Jesus was alive. Thomas said, “I won’t believe it unless I see him with my own eyes.” So, guess what? Jesus appeared again, this time Thomas was there! Thomas could put his fingers in the holes left by the nails that held Jesus on the cross. From that point on, Thomas believed and knew that Jesus was God who came to save the world. Even though we can’t see or touch Jesus, we can still believe in him and know that he’s real. That’s called faith!
Read the story in John 20:24-29
Watch the video first
Why didn’t Thomas believe the disciples when they said Jesus was alive? Why would the nail marks in Jesus’ hands convince Thomas that it really was Jesus? What’s the craziest thing you have ever seen? Who did you tell about it and did they believe you?
Now we can’t touch Jesus. We can’t look at his scars. We can’t watch him eat fish. Can you think of things that can help us know that Jesus still loves and cares about us and is with us?
Feely bag: Have a bag with random objects in it. One at a time, the children can feel an object in the bag. Hold the bag around their arm to stop them looking into it. Let them tell everyone what they have found from what it feels like. In today’s story, Jesus arrived and even his friends couldn’t believe it was him. They needed to see and touch him to make sure it was really him.
Guess who: Play guess who or make your own version using 20 questions. One person in the family thinks of someone, and the rest get to ask 20 ‘yes or no’ questions to figure out who it is.
Thomas believed when he saw Jesus’ hands, get some paint out and make handprints with the members of your household to create a reminder that when we doubt, Jesus comes to us and helps us believe!
You’ve made your hand stamp, why don’t you use your five fingers to pray for five people or families you are missing because of the coronavirus. Maybe your grandparents don’t go out at all, or you know someone who is working in the hospital, why don’t you pray for your teacher?
These people are all part of our lives, like our fingers are part of our hands! Why don’t you pray that they might get to know Jesus better in this time.