It’s Ascension Day!

Story from Luke 24:50-53 and Acts 1:6-11

Jesus had died but was alive again! His friends saw him and spoke to him. Lots of people saw him. He wasn’t a ghost. He could eat food! He was really alive again.

He had a job for his friends to do, ‘I want you to tell other people all about me. Tell them about the things that I said and the things that I did. Tell them how I died for them and came alive again,’ he told them.

Jesus told his friends to tell everyone the Good News that he was the Saviour. They were to tell everyone in all the world.

When Jesus had spent time with his friends they went for a walk together. Then something very special happened. Jesus was taken back to heaven. He went up, up, up and into the sky and was gone. They couldn’t see him anymore.

Photo by Swapnil Sharma on Pexels.com

While they were looking up into the sky two angels came and spoke to them, ‘Why are you looking up into the sky? This same Jesus who has gone up to heaven will come back again.‘

One day Jesus will come back to earth again. He won’t come as a baby. He will come as the King.

On the Way to Easter…Palm Sunday Story

The Bible story is from Luke 19:28-40 and Mark 11:1-10

‘Jesus and his friends were almost at the big city of Jerusalem. Lots of people wanted to see Jesus. But how was Jesus going to arrive in the city? Not in a car or a helicopter (they didn’t have those!) Not on a big, strong horse.

Jesus sent two of his friends to borrow a donkey. They bought it to Jesus and put their cloaks on it and he rode into the big city.

Crowds and crowds of people were there. There were mums and dads, grandmas and grandads and children just like you! They called out ‘Blessed is the King who comes in the name of the Lord!’ as Jesus passed by. They shouted, ‘hosanna!’ (which means ‘God saves’) They waved palm branches and threw their cloaks into the road.

They welcomed Jesus – the King sent from God.’

Some pictures to use to tell the story – you could use the printouts as a craft if telling the story at home or with older children.

Palm Sunday

Dowload the links to make the street scene

People pictures are available in this blog post

The donkey to make

https://lettheirlightshine.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/leglessdonkey.pdf

The street scene https://lettheirlightshine.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/streetscene.pdf

The trees and palm leaves

https://lettheirlightshine.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/palmleafsceneparts.pdf

I cut the cloaks out of material.

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On the Way to Easter…Mary

The story is from John 12:1-8

Jesus had almost arrived at Jerusalem! He had travelled a long way. How lovely that he was able to go to his friends house. Lazarus and his sisters Mary and Martha were good friends of Jesus. They wanted to do something special for him so they had a dinner for him. Martha served the food and everyone enjoyed what she had made and they ate everything! Lazarus sat at the table with Jesus. But where was Mary?

Mary wanted to show everyone how special Jesus was. In those days when you went to someone’s house they always gave you some water to wash your feet. The roads were very dusty and people got their feet dirty.

But Mary wanted to do more than just give Jesus water to wash his feet. She had some very expensive ointment that she poured onto the feet of Jesus. The Bible tells us that the perfume from the anointment filled the whole house.

Mary was right to do this special thing for Jesus because he is God’s Son who would soon die to save us.

Paper plate picture to add to the others

Craft Idea – a perfume bottle made from a paper plate. Spray the bottle shape with perfume and allow to saok in and dry. Then decorate!

All the plates!

On the Way to Easter…Bartimaeus

We are beginning to get ready for Easter at toddler group. This year we are going on the last journey that Jesus made into Jerusalem, meeting some of the people that Jesus met. Last week we met the Rich Young Man. This week we meet Bartimaeus. The Story is from Mark 10:46-52.

To tell the story…

Jesus and his friends were in a big crowd of people going to the city of Jerusalem. By now lots of people had heard about Jesus and the amazing things he said and did. (Do you remember the rich man from last time? – if you are using the paper plate visuals have this already displayed so you can refer to it briefly)

This time we are going to find out about another person that Jesus met as he travelled to Jerusalem for the last time. Say hello to Bartimaeus! (Take Bartimaeus doll or puppet from the Story Bag)

Bartimaeus wasn’t able to see and couldn’t work so each day he sat with his bowl and begged for money. He had heard about Jesus. He started to call out as loud as he could, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!’

There were other people there too who wanted to see Jesus and they didn’t want to hear Bartimaeus. They said ‘Shush.’ Can we all say ‘Shush’?

But Jesus listened. He stopped. He asked to meet Bartimaeus.

‘Get up quick!’ the people said

Bartimaeus threw off his coat and jumped up and came to Jesus.

‘What do you want me to do for you?’ Jesus asked.

What would Bartimaeus say? Did he want money? No! Did he want a chat? No!

‘I want to be able to see!’ he said.

Could Jesus do that? Yes! Jesus was able to make Bartimaeus see. Bartimaeus believed in Jesus. He believed that Jesus had the power to make him see. We also need to believe in Jesus.

Our paper plate visual aid is Bartimaeus by the road that Jesus was travelling on. We will add this to the paper plate of the Rich Young Man.
This is all the stories put together – next week It’s all about a short man and a tree. Any guesses?!

On the Way to Easter.. the Rich Young Man

We are beginning to get ready for Easter at toddler group. This year we are going on the last journey that Jesus made into Jerusalem, meeting some of the people that Jesus met. Our first story is from Luke 18:18-23 and Mark 10:17-22. A rich young man comes to find Jesus as he is travelling to Jerusalem and asks him a question…

One day a young man came to speak to Jesus. He didn’t walk up to Jesus. He ran to Jesus. (Run on the spot) He wanted to ask a question. He thought that Jesus was important so he knelt down in front of him and asked ‘Teacher, what must I do to have eternal life?’ (kneel down)

It was a good question and the young man really wanted to know the answer.

Jesus said to him, ‘ You know what the Commandments are that God gave us, to tell us how to live to please him.’

‘I’ve kept them all since I was a young boy.’

Jesus looked at the young man. Jesus cared about him. Jesus wanted to help him. ‘Go, and sell all you have and give your money to the poor and then you will have treasure in heaven and come and follow me.’

But, oh dear, the young man had a lot of money.(Show money bag) He loved all his money very much. (Hug money bag to yourself) What a choice! Sell everything and give all his money away and follow Jesus or keep all his things and his money and go back home. What would he do?

The young man walked away from Jesus. (Walk on the spot, looking sad and dejected) He felt sad. He chose to keep his money.

Our first paper plate to make up our journey……

This is what we are working towards…

The Good Samaritan

On Monday these guys came along to toddler group –

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We were doing the story of the Good Samaritan from Luke 10.

This is a basic outline of the story…

‘One day a man asked Jesus a question – ‘how can I get to heaven?’ Jesus said to the man, ‘what do you think you need to do?’ 

‘I need to love God and love my neighbour. But who is my neighbour?’ The man was hoping that he had been good enough and that he really only needed to love the people that he liked. So Jesus told this made up story…

Once upon a time a man went on a journey and was hurt. He needed help but there was no one to help him. Oh no! (get the children and adults to join in with ‘Oh no’ each time you say it)

Then he heard footsteps. Someone was coming! A man was coming along the road. He looked, he saw that someone needed help but he kept on walking! Oh No!

Then he heard more footsteps. Someone was coming! Another man was walking along the road. He looked, he saw that someone needed help but he kept on walking! Oh No!

But then he heard something a bit different – it was clippity clop. A donkey was coming along the road and a man. The man looked, he saw that someone needed help and he stopped. Now this man was from far away and from a different place. But he was happy to help the man and he put him on the donkey and took him to a place to stay and gave him medicine until he was better. 

Jesus has finished telling the story. ‘Who was a good neighbour?’ Jesus asked. ‘The man who helped’, said the man. And he knew he hadn’t loved other people like that.

We all find it hard to be a good neighbour to everyone. We can never be good enough to earn a place in heaven. We need Jesus. 

(At the end of the story I briefly added that the adults were welcome to ask more about how Jesus can help us)

The craft – lots of pictures of people from magazines (or in this case Uni prospetuses – no idea if that is the correct spelling :))

 

Lydia

The story of Lydia is from Acts 16:11-15.

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Here are Lydia (with her purple cloth) and Paul and Barnabas. We begin the story by saying hello to Lydia, a rich successful woman who has money and a lovely home and a great job but still has something missing in her life.

Then Paul and Barnabas meet her and her friends and tell them about Jesus – and Lydia finds what is missing! It is knowing Jesus as her friend!

A simple craft idea – we had a washing line and purple pieces of material.

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Mary and Martha

In Luke 10:38-42 we meet Mary and Martha. They are two grown up sisters living in Bethany. They are mentioned three times in the Life of Jesus. You can also read about them in John 11 – when their brother Lazarus is bought back to life – and in John 12 – when Mary anoints Jesus’ feet with expensive perfume.

You could tell all three of these stories over three sessions or pick a couple. It’s good to include stories about women in our groups as so many of the listeners are women and a lot of Bible stories are about men! I always try to be mindful of this when I’m planning which stories to include.

To tell the story – 

In the story bag I had the three main characters – Martha, Mary and Jesus and some pots and pans, a wooden spoon and a cloth. You could have an apron or a duster. As you introduce the characters take them from the story bag and say ‘hello’

‘Mary and Martha were two grown-up sisters. One day Martha invited Jesus to come to their home for a meal.

Jesus was very happy to go to Mary and Martha’s house.

When he got there Jesus began to talk about God. Mary so wanted to listen to everything that he had to say. She sat down and listened.

But Martha had a lot to do! There was tidying to be done. There was the cooking to be done. Pans needed stirring!(Use the props from the story bag – encourage the children to mime the actions too) Food needed chopping! Plates needed wiping! Water needed pouring! She was busy, busy, busy! (Can you say that with me? She was busy, busy, busy!)

Mary sat still and listened to Jesus.

Martha was not happy!

She said to Jesus, ‘ Lord, don’t you care that I’ve been left to do all the work by myself?! Tell my sister to help me!’

But Jesus didn’t do what Martha said. Instead he said to Martha, ‘You don’t need to worry so much about all the things that need to be done. You need to listen to my words too.’

Today we can listen to the words of Jesus by listening to stories about him and reading the Bible.’

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Craft Idea

Make people collages – you could add the words, ‘We use our ears to listen’

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Journey to Bethlehem – week 5 – Jesus is born

This week we arrive in Bethlehem!

The story is from Luke 2:1-7.

I often start story time by introducing the characters – in this story we’ll all say hello to Mary and then to Joseph as I take them out of the story bag. (The knitted characters are from an Alan Dart pattern – available from his website or from Amazon)

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The Story

‘Mary and Joseph had to go on a long journey. They needed to go all the way to Bethlehem. Maybe they took one of these with them – take donkey out of the story bag. What noise does a donkey make? Everyone join in with ‘eeyore (hee-haw)’

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When they got to the town of Bethlehem they needed to find somewhere to stay. Mary’s baby was soon going to be born.

They looked and they looked. They knocked on the door of the hotel. ‘We must find somewhere soon!’ they said to each other.

The hotel boss answered the door – ‘No room here!’ he said

Oh no! (Everyone repeat this)

‘But maybe you could stay where the animals are?’ he said.

It was better than having nowhere to go. So that was where Mary and Joseph went. And there Jesus was born.

He was a real baby – with 10 fingers and 10 toes and a nose and two eyes and two ears. But he was also very special because he is God’s Son. The Bible gives him a special name – Immanuel – which means ‘God with us’. ‘ (Matthew 1:23)

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We’ll add another paper plate to our Journey to Bethlehem display..IMG_3697

So altogether we have …..

We will be making Christmas star wreaths as our craft..

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The Wise Builder craft idea

Jesus told the story about the Wise and Foolish Builders as part of his Sermon on the Mount. You can read it in Matthew 7:24 – 27. It’s a great story for using actions as you tell it. And of course there is the song. If you search youtube for ‘the Wise Man built his house on the rock’ you should find a couple of versions at least.

The craft that we made was a house on rock made from cut out shapes. The sequin rain is optional – depending on how much mess you wish to make!

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