Hi All, how’s it going? Hoping the rain doesn’t sour your half-term and you all have some memory making moments this week😊(I definitely will not be ‘putting the garden to bed’ this week…)
We are up to Acts Chapter 17 and are looking at the rest of the chapter. Boom.
Paul in Athens
16 Paul was waiting for Silas and Timothy in Athens. He was troubled because he saw that the city was full of idols. 17 In the synagogue, he talked with the Jews and the Greeks who worshiped the true God. He also talked every day with people in the marketplace.
18 Some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers argued with him. Some of them said, “This man doesn’t know what he is talking about. What is he trying to say?” Paul was telling them the Good News of Jesus’ rising from death. They said, “He seems to be telling us about some other gods.” 19 They got Paul and took him to a meeting of the Areopagus. They said, “Please explain to us this new idea that you have been teaching. 20 The things you are saying are new to us. We want to know what this teaching means.” 21 (All the people of Athens and those from other countries always used their time talking about all the newest ideas.)
22 Then Paul stood before the meeting of the Areopagus. He said, “Men of Athens, I can see that you are very religious in all things. 23 I was going through your city, and I saw the things you worship. I found an altar that had these words written on it: “TO A GOD WHO IS NOT KNOWN.” You worship a god that you don’t know. This is the God I am telling you about! 24 He is the God who made the whole world and everything in it. He is the Lord of the land and the sky. He does not live in temples that men build! 25 This God is the One who gives life, breath, and everything else to people. He does not need any help from them. He has everything he needs. 26 God began by making one man. From him came all the different people who live everywhere in the world. He decided exactly when and where they must live. 27 God wanted them to look for him and perhaps search all around for him and find him. But he is not far from any of us: 28 ‘By his power we live and move and exist.’ Some of your own poets have said: ‘For we are his children.’ 29 We are God’s children. So, you must not think that God is like something that people imagine or make. He is not like gold, silver, or rock. 30 In the past, people did not understand God, but God ignored this. But now, God tells everyone in the world to change his heart and life. 31 God has decided on a day that he will judge all the world. He will be fair. He will use a man to do this. God chose that man long ago. And God has proved this to everyone by raising that man from death!”
32 When the people heard about Jesus being raised from death, some of them laughed. They said, “We will hear more about this from you later.” 33 So Paul went away from them. 34 But some of the people believed Paul and joined him. One of those who believed was Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus. Also a woman named Damaris and some others believed.
This is a slow and clear one for younger children. But the lady does say ‘exspescially’, but I guess that’s no worse than the Teletubbies… 🤐😂
This one is a simple animation that covers it all
Here’s the Holy Tails creatures (complete with old song sung to a slightly different tune!)
This is one for the older age group and I can imagine some of them will like it’s sillyness 😊
Ages 3-7: After retelling the story or watching the video, have a short discussion 😊 You can use this account of the story to retell it, if you like:
Paul arrived in Athens and was waiting there for Silas and Timothy. He noticed that Athens was a city full of statues or idols; one for each of the gods the people there worshipped. They didn’t follow God like we do, instead they had loads of gods for different things, like a god for the sun, a god for keeping you healthy, and even a god for helping you win wars! They would make a statue for it and say prayers to it! Paul did not like this. He knew they were wrong and he was probably sad to see so many people believing and following things that weren’t true. So, he did what he always did- told everyone he could about Jesus. He told Jews and Greeks and went to the marketplace to talk to as many people as he could. Some listened and wanted to know more so they invited Paul to join them at one of their meetings where they would talk and talk and talk about all the ideas they heard about.
Paul told them about Jesus. He said ‘I’ve noticed how many statues you have to all the gods you worship. I’ve noticed you even have a statue for a god you don’t know. Well, I know this god and actually, He is the God who made the world and everything in it. He doesn’t live in temples or buildings and he doesn’t need our help or anything from us. He gives life and knows each of us. He knows the good and sinful things we do and He chose Jesus as part of His plan to rescue us from our sins’.
Some people laughed when they heard Paul and some said they wanted to talk more about it another time, but some people believed him and became followers of Jesus. One was a man called Dionysius and the other a woman called Damaris.
Use the following review questions if you like:
- Where was Paul in the story? (Athens)
- What was the city of Athens full of? (Statues to gods/idols)
- What did Paul tell the people there about God? (That He made the world, He doesn’t live in buildings or temples, He gives life, He sent Jesus as part of His rescue plan)
- Did all the people believe in God after this? (No, some laughed, some wanted to know more but some did)
- What does ‘worship’ mean? (To give thanks to God, give our attention to God, loving God, telling God how great He is, living our lives in a way that shows we follow Him, etc)
- How can we worship? (Singing songs, praying and talking to God, learning more about Him, reading our Bibles, choosing to do what God would ask us to do, etc)
Ages 7-11: After reading or retelling the story, ask the following questions:
- Does anything stand out or strike you form the passage?
- What city in Greece was Paul in? (Athens)
- What was Paul so troubled to see? (The city was full of idols)
- What is an idol? (Anything that is worshipped above God)
- What is ‘worship’ and how can we do it? (Giving our time, attention, admiration, love to someone or something. How? Through prayer, song, life choices, learning and spending time on or with the person/thing.)
- What things can people love or worship more than God? (Sports, TV, money, toys, famous people, etc)
- Why is it wrong to worship an idol? (There is only one God and He told us in the first of the 10 commandments not to have other gods before Him. All the other things, people or ideas we could worship will never satisfy us fully and leave us wanting more. No-one else or nothing else deserves our worship.)
- Can you think of anything in your life that might be in danger of becoming more important or taking up more of your time or love than God? What can you do to stop that happening?
- We have code words, we have colouring, we have wordsearches, worksheets and more colouring. Pick a thing, print it off and away you go ☺
- Or make an instrument of noisy, shaky fun! Like these Morag made. The first is a tambourine type shaker drum thing (catchy) using two paper plates, some pipe cleaners and dried pasta. She’s going to decorate it later for Sunday 😊 The other is simply an inflated balloon with some seeds/100s&1000s in it.