Hello folks, had a good week? Hopefully, you’re all ready for going back to school in the next week or so. (Booked Adam’s uniform purchasing appointment this week…only 1 Peachild in school now…!)
It’s definitely a weirder one this year though and I imagine everyone has a few more questions and potential worries than previous years. And if this is the first time for you as a parent sending your child to school, it probably won’t be quite as you imagined. I’m praying for everyone and all situations we’re in and all the teachers and staff too.
Here is the passage from the International Children’s Bible:
Acts Chapter 12
Herod Agrippa Hurts the Church
During that same time King Herod began to do terrible things to some who belonged to the church. 2 He ordered James, the brother of John, to be killed by the sword. 3 Herod saw that the Jews liked this, so he decided to arrest Peter, too. (This happened during the time of the Feast of Unleavened Bread.)
4 After Herod arrested Peter, he put him in jail and handed him over to be guarded by 16 soldiers. Herod planned to bring Peter before the people for trial after the Passover Feast. 5 So Peter was kept in jail. But the church kept on praying to God for him.
Peter Leaves the Jail
6 The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping. He was between two soldiers, bound with two chains. Other soldiers were guarding the door of the jail. 7 Suddenly, an angel of the Lord stood there. A light shined in the room. The angel touched Peter on the side and woke him up. The angel said, “Hurry! Get up!” And the chains fell off Peter’s hands. 8 The angel said to him, “Get dressed and put on your sandals.” And so Peter did this. Then the angel said, “Put on your coat and follow me.” 9 So the angel went out, and Peter followed him. Peter did not know if what the angel was doing was real. He thought he might be seeing a vision. 10 They went past the first and the second guard. They came to the iron gate that separated them from the city. The gate opened itself for them. They went through the gate and walked down a street. And the angel suddenly left him.
11 Then Peter realized what had happened. He thought, “Now I know that the Lord really sent his angel to me. He rescued me from Herod and from all the things the Jewish people thought would happen.”
12 When he realized this, he went to the home of Mary. She was the mother of John. (John was also called Mark.) Many people were gathered there, praying. 13 Peter knocked on the outside door. A servant girl named Rhoda came to answer it. 14 She recognized Peter’s voice, and she was very happy. She even forgot to open the door. She ran inside and told the group, “Peter is at the door!”
15 They said to her, “You are crazy!” But she kept on saying that it was true. So they said, “It must be Peter’s angel.”
16 Peter continued to knock. When they opened the door, they saw him and were amazed. 17 Peter made a sign with his hand to tell them to be quiet. He explained how the Lord led him out of the jail. And he said, “Tell James and the other believers what happened.” Then he left to go to another place.
18 The next day the soldiers were very upset. They wondered what had happened to Peter. 19 Herod looked everywhere for Peter but could not find him. So he questioned the guards and ordered that they be killed.
The Death of Herod Agrippa
Later Herod moved from Judea and went to the city of Caesarea, where he stayed for a while. 20 Herod was very angry with the people of Tyre and Sidon. But the people of those cities all came in a group to Herod. They were able to get Blastus, the king’s personal servant, on their side. They asked Herod for peace because their country got its food from his country.
21 On a chosen day Herod put on his royal robes. He sat on his throne and made a speech to the people. 22 They shouted, “This is the voice of a god, not a man!” 23 Herod did not give the glory to God. So an angel of the Lord caused him to become sick. He was eaten by worms and died.
24 God’s message continued to spread and reach more and more people.
25 After Barnabas and Saul finished their task in Jerusalem, they returned to Antioch. John, also called Mark, was with them.
This one is a nice animation, but ends quite suddenly before the end of chapter 12 or gearing about Herod’s grim death.
This one is from Saddleback Kids and also ends with Peter being freed from jail with no mention of Herod’s death
This one is for ages 10+. It recaps chapter 11 and also covers Herod’s death, at speed!!!
This is an animated and narrated video and includes Herod’s death.
Age 3-7s: After retelling or watching the story, ask:
- What was the name of the man in jail the story today? (Peter) Can you remember any other people in it?
- How did Peter get out of jail? (God sent an angel to rescue him and he walked straight past the guards!)
- What happened to King Herod? (He dropped dead and was eaten by worms!)
- In the story, while Peter was stuck in jail, everyone in his church prayed and prayed for him. Who do you want to pray for today?
Age 7-11s: After reading the story answer the following questions:
- Does anything stand out to you about the passage today? Any questions? (I know I ask this every week, but it just encourages the children to do some of their own thinking before cracking on.)
- Do you recognise the name King Herod? If so, where from? There was a King Herod ruling at the time of Jesus’ birth, but this isn’t the same one. It’s his grandson!
- Who was killed at the start of the passage? (James)
- Do you think Peter thought he would be next?
- What did the church do about it? (They prayed)
- Using 5 sentences, describe what happened to Peter in jail and how he got out.
- What was the name of the servant girl who went to answer the door to Peter? (Rhoda)
- What did Herod do with the guards after they realised Peter had escaped and couldn’t find him? (He killed them)
- The passage then talks about Herod going to meet with people from other places to deal with a disagreement. He makes a speech. Using 5 sentences, describe what happened…
- During all of this, what happened with the news of the gospel? (It continued to spread)
In the story, the church was getting loads of grief from people who didn’t like the message of Jesus’ salvation being spread. Christians were being persecuted because of their faith. Even killed. After the deaths of friends, it must have been easy to be fearful and maybe even think about giving up telling others about Jesus. When Peter was arrested after James was killed, his friends in his church could have thought the same thing was going to happen to Peter, but they prayed. And prayed and prayed. They probably prayed like Peter’s life depended on it.
We know we don’t always see the outcome we pray for, but we know there is power in praying and God can speak to us when we take time to listen.
- Who would you like to pray for? Is there anything you’d like to pray about?
- Perhaps you could pray for all the other kids in Kid’s Church who are going back to school this week. Some might be excited, some worried, some scared, some a bit of everything. Pray that they talk to God about it all and they know He is going back to school with them.
Crafts and Activities
- All ages: Have a go at making a Peter in Jail craft using whatever you can! Lolly sticks make great prison bars, as does wool or sting. Why not draw Peter, cut him out and glue him to a lolly stick. Then glue some more lolly sticks to a piece of card to look like a prison and slide your Peter figure in and out of jail! Show us your skills 😄 Something like this?:
- Ages 7+: Print out and follow the instructions to make the pop-up craft of Peter in jail with a summary of what happened to him:
(If you find the instructions a bit hard to follow, try these extra instructions!)
- There’s a few activities to print off again this week.
If your child/ren choose the Maze activity, remind them that in the story, the angel led Peter right past the guards and they didn’t need to avoid or hide from them 😊
If they choose the code word one, see if they can spot the mistake!!
Watch the video at the top of this page for a song from Ian! 😊