PSS Review {A dark night in the garden}

Our children’s ministry started Easter lessons last week. This is the second lesson in that series. To see the first, go here. We will be using the stories from the Jesus Storybook Bible throughout this series.

Scripture: The Garden of Gethsemane from Luke 22, Mark 14, and John 18

Age group: 4-5 years olds

Lesson: Read pg 294-302 in the Jesus Storybook Bible. If you don’t have this Bible, just summarize the story of the garden of Gethsemane from Jesus praying to his arrest.

Focus: It was for this reason that I was born into the world. {JSB pg 301, John 18:11} 

Discussion Questions:

Why was Jesus so sad in the garden? God was going to pour into Jesus’ heart all the sadness and brokeness in people’s hearts. He was going to pour into Jesus’ body all the sickness in people’s bodies. God was going to blame his son for everything that had gone wrong {JSB p294}.

What was the worst part of Jesus dying going to be? Jesus was going to not be with God, he was going to lose God because that is the punishment for sin that Jesus was taking on for us {JSB p295}.

Even though Jesus was scared and upset, did he still trust God? Did he still obey him? Yes, obeying God means following with our hearts and our actions.

Think of a time when you were scared and upset. Can you still trust God in those times even though you might not understand what is happening?Yes

Could Jesus have stopped the soldiers from arresting him?Yes, Jesus can do anything.

Why didn’t Jesus stop them? He was obeying God. He knew that God sent him to die for our sins, and being arrested was part of the plan.

Why was Jesus born into the world? To die for our sins

Activities:

{1} Craft: Scratch and draw.

A while back I picked up this kit from Hobby Lobby. It came with 35 scratch sheets and one wooden scratch stick. I made some more scratch sticks out of bamboo skewers. You use the skewers to scratch the black paper which reveals a colored layer underneath. I created a stencil of Jesus praying in the garden so the kids could scratch this image into their scratch sheets. They can also add trees or flowers for a garden, but I kind of like leaving the background black to emphasize the loneliness of Jesus. Then we scratched the words “trust and obey” into the sheet.

{2} Game: Freeze tag

It was really nice this week, so we went to the courtyard in front of our church to play. I chose freeze tag with a modification. You might have to explain the rules to some of the kids.

Choose someone to be “it”. Everyone else runs around and “it” tries to tag them. When “it” tags someone they have to freeze like they are. But in our game they have to freeze laying down on the ground like they are asleep. The frozen person can only wake up if someone runs by and tags them again. The game is over if “it” gets everyone and everyone is frozen. Or, if “it” is getting tired you can choose another person to help them, or start over with a new “it. 

At the end of the game sit the kids down and talk about the part of the story when Jesus asked his friends to watch and pray, but they fell asleep.

{3} Act out the story. This story lends itself to being acted out. Everyone can have a part as Jesus or a disciple. Then in the end of the story they can be soldiers, which the boys will love. I brought along my son’s toy swords. If your church has potted plants or indoor trees, you might borrow them to create a garden in your classroom.

Preschool Sunday School Review {Jesus appears to Thomas}

Plans change. This week I had Sunday School all planned out for my normal class of 4 and 5 year olds when I received a call from my pastor on Sunday morning. The 2-3 year old teacher was out and I would be taking her class for the day. So today’s lesson is a little younger than normal, activities marked with an asterisk were part of my original plan for 4 and 5 year olds.

Jesus appears to Thomas

Scripture: John 20:24-29

Age group: 2-5 year olds

Lesson: This passage is short and easy to read so I just read it from my Bible. It’s important for the kids to know that the stories that come from the Bible are true, that they really happened.

Focus: “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” John 20:29

Discussion Questions:

What were the disciples excited about? They had heard that Jesus had risen from the dead.

Was Thomas excited too? No Why?  Thomas didn’t believe that Jesus had risen from the dead.

What did Thomas say would have to happen before he would believe that Jesus had risen from the dead? He would have to touch the marks on his hands where the nails had been and feel the wound in his side.

Was Jesus in the room when Thomas said that? No

Did someone tell Jesus what Thomas had said? No

Did Jesus know what Thomas had said? Yes, when Jesus appeared in the room he had Thomas feel his hands and side and asked him if he believed because he was seeing him.

Jesus knows everything. He knows who is in this room, your names, even what you will do when you grow up!

Jesus knows everything because Jesus is God!

*What does ‘blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed’ mean? It means that Thomas shouldn’t have had to see Jesus before believing in him.

*Can we see Jesus like we can see each other? No

*The Bible says that faith is believing in something even without seeing it. It also says that faith is a gift from God. Would you like to pray that God would give you faith to believe in Jesus?

Pray: God, please give {fill in child’s name}  faith to believe in Jesus. Amen.

Activities:

1 – Secret Feel Game  – Fill four paper bags each with one of the following items: cotton balls, sand, rocks, grass. Have the children line up and place their hand into each bag without looking and guess what is in the bag. Ask, how do you know that is what is in the bag without looking at it? Today’s story is about a man who had to feel something to believe it was real.

*2 – Blindfolded walk across the room – Blindfold the children one at a time. Explain that they will be walking across the room but will need to listen so they don’t run into anything. Place a different object in their way as the walk and give them instructions on how to get around it. {Example: crawl under a table, step over a block, walk around a chair, crawl over a bench.} When they reach the end and take off their blindfold ask, how did you know there was a table/block/ chair/ bench there? Could you see it? That is like faith. Faith is believing something is there without seeing it. Can we see Jesus? We hear about Jesus in the Bible, but we can only believe in him if we have faith.

3 – Craft – Give each child a half sheet of construction paper with John 20:29 written at the bottom. Go around the table and trace each child’s hands onto the paper. *The older kids might want to do this themselves. Have the children make nail marks in the middle of their handprints with a marker or crayon. As you trace talk about the marks in Jesus’ hands, why they were there, and what he did for us in dying on the cross. *If you have a small class of older children, you could use finger paints to make handprints instead of tracing.

Scripture memory – 1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.