Hi How is everyone? Have you had children go back to school this week? Here’s this week’s resources!
If you are using this on Sunday, for the activities you will need:
- Paper and/or card
- Coloured pens or pencils
- If you have any dominoes, set up a course and watch how one falling leads to them all doing the same. Link this to the passage in that the gospel was still spreading rapidly as one person told the next.
Here is the passage from the International Children’s Bible:
Acts Chapter 5:12-42
Proofs from God
12 The apostles did many signs and miracles among the people. And they would all meet together on Solomon’s Porch. 13 None of the others dared to stand with them. All the people were saying good things about them. 14 More and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to the group of believers. 15 As Peter was passing by, the people brought their sick into the streets. They put their sick on beds and mats so at least Peter’s shadow might fall on them. 16 Crowds came from all the towns around Jerusalem. They brought their sick and those who were bothered by evil spirits. All of them were healed.
The Apostles Obey God
17 The high priest and all his friends (a group called the Sadducees) became very jealous. 18 They took the apostles and put them in jail. 19 But during the night, an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail. He led the apostles outside and said, 20 “Go and stand in the Temple. Tell the people everything about this new life.” 21 When the apostles heard this, they obeyed and went into the Temple. It was early in the morning, and they began to teach.
The high priest and his friends arrived. They called a meeting of the Jewish leaders and all the important older men of the Jews. They sent some men to the jail to bring the apostles to them. 22 When the men went to the jail, they could not find the apostles. So they went back and told the Jewish leaders about this. 23 They said, “The jail was closed and locked. The guards were standing at the doors. But when we opened the doors, the jail was empty!” 24 Hearing this, the captain of the Temple guards and the leading priests were confused. They wondered, “What will happen because of this?”
25 Then someone came and told them, “Listen! The men you put in jail are standing in the Temple. They are teaching the people!” 26 Then the captain and his men went out and brought the apostles back. But the soldiers did not use force, because they were afraid that the people would kill them with stones.
27 The soldiers brought the apostles to the meeting and made them stand before the Jewish leaders. The high priest questioned them. 28 He said, “We gave you strict orders not to go on teaching in that name. But look what you have done! You have filled Jerusalem with your teaching. You are trying to make us responsible for this man’s death.”
29 Peter and the other apostles answered, “We must obey God, not men! 30 You killed Jesus. You hung him on a cross. But God, the same God our ancestors had, raised Jesus up from death! 31 Jesus is the One whom God raised to be on his right side. God made Jesus our Leader and Saviour. God did this so that the people of Israel could change their hearts and lives and have their sins forgiven. 32 We saw all these things happen. The Holy Spirit also proves that these things are true. God has given the Spirit to all who obey him.”
33 When the Jewish leaders heard this, they became very angry and wanted to kill them. 34 A Pharisee named Gamaliel stood up in the meeting. He was a teacher of the law, and all the people respected him. He ordered the apostles to leave the meeting for a little while. 35 Then he said to them, “Men of Israel, be careful of what you are planning to do to these men! 36 Remember when Theudas appeared? He said that he was a great man, and about 400 men joined him. But he was killed. And all his followers were scattered. They were able to do nothing. 37 Later, a man named Judas came from Galilee at the time of the registration. He led a group of followers, too. He was also killed, and all his followers were scattered. 38 And so now I tell you: Stay away from these men. Leave them alone. If their plan comes from men, it will fail. 39 But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop them. You might even be fighting against God himself!”
The Jewish leaders agreed with what Gamaliel said. 40 They called the apostles in again. They beat the apostles and told them not to speak in the name of Jesus again. Then they let them go free. 41 The apostles left the meeting full of joy because they were given the honour of suffering disgrace for Jesus. 42 The apostles did not stop teaching people. Every day in the Temple and in people’s homes they continued to tell the Good News—that Jesus is the Christ.’
This one gives a bit of background before concentrating on the passage we are looking at today. It’s from Saddleback Kids:
Ages 3-7: As usual, you’ll probably want to read this and retell it – it’s pretty long! Or just show them the video. The main points from the passage to tell the children is that God looked after the apostles even while they were in prison and they had no fear in telling anyone and everyone about Jesus.
- Have you ever been frightened to try something or do something new? What was it? What helped you?
- In the story the disciples could have started to get frightened about what would happen to them after they got put in prison for a second time because they were telling people about Jesus. But they didn’t! They even got beaten up and told not to do it anymore, but that didn’t scare them off- they carried on telling others about Jesus because they knew God was with them wherever they went.
- What did the religious leaders do this time when they confronted the disciples? (They put them in prison again)
- What happened during the night while they were in prison? (An angel came and set them free and told them to go back and preach in the temple courts)
- When the religious leaders found them in the temple courts preaching again, what did they do? (They had the disciples beaten and told them not to preach anymore)
- How did the disciples respond? (They kept preaching!)
- Notice that the apostles were ‘joyful’ about their suffering! It wasn’t that they liked being in prison or beaten, but that they were glad to be known as one of Jesus’ followers.
- Have you ever cheered for, worn the shirt of or followed a sports team/person who has been beaten by another team? How does it feel? Did it make you think twice about wearing the shirt or keep supporting that team? Did anyone make fun of you or give you stick for following that team? We see in the story that the apostles were joyful about being beaten for following Jesus and perhaps when you follow a team that means something to you, you wear your shirt with pride, whatever the result. You don’t stop following your team because someone else says they suck. It’s a bit like this when you follow Jesus and know that others would make fun, say you’ve got it wrong or even exclude you from their group- when you know that Jesus is the son of God and the saviour of the world, you keep ‘wearing the shirt’, talking the talk and living the life that shows you are a follower. And that’s the challenge; to be bold and joyful in telling others about Jesus even when it’s difficult.
For All ages:
Using playdough, try the following to lead them in a creative way to pray:
- Give everyone some playdough.
- Roll the playdough into a ball. Have someone pray for others around the world that are telling others about Jesus.
- Form the playdough into a cross. Ask someone to pray for our church.
- Form the dough into a heart. Have someone pray for your family and friends.
- Form the dough into their first initial. Pray for themselves.
- Make paper chains to symbolise them being in prison. On each link, write your prayers for others who might be fearful at the moment, for courage to be fearless in telling your friends about Jesus.
- Make an empty prison scene. Follow the photo instructions below and come up with your own empty prison!
For ages 7-11:
- Try this quiz! How many did you get right?
Here’s Ian’s song for this week