Sunday 17th May
Theme: Breakfast on the Beach
Target Age Group: 3 - 9
Approximate Time: 20 – 30 mins
When we’re tired or upset or confused we tend to drift back towards things that are familiar to us, that we know will give us comfort. We might look for a favourite teddy or toy or need the company of someone we love and trust. It’s the same for the disciples. After the emotional rollercoaster that was the Easter story, the disciples have gone back to what they know – fishing. But Jesus has called them to be disciples and, as disciples, we are called to a new life. In today’s story, Jesus comes to find the disciples, to remind them that he loves them, to remind them that he is risen and perhaps most importantly, to remind them that they are disciples, with a mission to love and serve others.
Icebreaker: For breakfast I had……
Take turns to go around your family and say a sentence that begins with ‘For breakfast I had…..’ The second person has to say what the first person said and then add their own item. The third person has to remember both of the first two items and then add their own. Keep going until it gets too difficult to remember all of the items
For breakfast I had sausages
For breakfast I had sausages and bacon
For breakfast I had sausages and bacon and eggs (I wish…..)
Starter Activity: Memories
Share a memory you have of an important moment in your life. It might be your first day of school or nursery or when you got picked for the school team. Or parents, it might be the day you gave birth or got married, etc
Song: Deep Cries Out
Play ‘Deep Cries out’ by Bethel
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1gFwpOjF-5o (Just actions)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkJH3zGM-cs (Just lyrics)
Scripture: John 21:1-14
Read the story of Jesus cooking the disciples breakfast in John 21:1-14
1. What did the disciples decide to do at the start of the story?
2. How did they get on?
3. What did Jesus ask the disciples to do in verse 6?
4. What was the result?
5. When did the disciples recognise Jesus?
Read the story of the calling of the first disciples in Luke 5:1-11
6. What similarities are there between that story and this one?
7. How does Jesus remind the disciples of his love for them in today’s story?
I wonder what you do when you feel tired, fragile or upset? Most of us have a comforter, something that we go to that is familiar and makes us feel better. When I was younger, I used to suck my thumb and I had a yellow blanket that I used to snuggle, especially at night time. As we get older our comforters change – it might be reading a book or playing on your phone or eating chocolate or watching pointless you-tube videos. What do you think your comforter might be? The point is that when we’re tired or fragile or upset, it can be easy to retreat back to what we know gives us comfort and makes us feel safe.
In this story, after the emotional rollercoaster of Easter, the disciples have gone back to what they know – fishing. Verse three describes how ‘they got into the boat but that night they caught nothing’. Early in the morning Jesus comes to find them and initially they don’t recognise him. He tells them to throw their net out on the other side of the boat and, when they did, verse six describes that ‘they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish’. It is at this point that John recognises Jesus and Peter jumps into the water to go to him. There are a few bizarre things in this story. Firstly, why did all the fish only appear after Jesus told them to put their nets on the other side? And secondly, why did the disciples not recognise Jesus until after the miracle?
I think for the answer you have to look back to Luke 5:1-11 and the call of the first disciples. If you haven’t already read that passage it might be worth pausing the video and having a quick read before you carry on. The stories are extremely similar. In the Luke passage, the disciples have worked hard all night and caught nothing but when Jesus asks them to go out again they catch so many fish that they have to get help from their friends in the other boat. At that point Simon Peter recognises that Jesus is the Lord and that he is a sinful man. But Jesus says: ‘Don’t be afraid; from now on you will catch men.’
So perhaps it is no wonder the disciples suddenly recognised Jesus. Because for them this is a reminder of who Jesus is and who they are. Jesus is the Lord – he is able to have authority over even nature and the fish in the sea. Where there were no fish all night suddenly there are many fish. It’s a sign of his power and generosity. And it’s a reminder for the disciples too that they have already been called by Jesus, not to catch fish but people by sharing the Good News of God.
There is a second reminder in this story. Jesus invites the disciples to come and have breakfast with him. Now imagine you were tired and hungry and maybe even cold and fed up. Someone making you breakfast, especially a cooked breakfast is a real sign of love for you. And it’s also a reminder of the kind of king Jesus is. Remember when Jesus washed the disciples feet? He said ‘I didn’t come to be served, but to serve.’ Jesus is the king who rose from the dead – if anything they should be making breakfast for him. But Jesus wants to remind them that He loves them and that they too are called to love and serve others, quietly and humbly.
It’s easy to forget what we’re called to be. We doubt ourselves, forget God and can so easily get sucked in to using our time in ways that don’t really benefit anybody else. But maybe today Jesus wants to remind you that you are called to be a disciple, to share the Good News with others and to love and serve them.
Song: Be Bold, be strong for the Lord your God is with you
Look up the following link and join in with the song;
Craft Activity: Fish
Today your craft activity, I have attached a template of a fish with a focus scripture from todays reading. You can decorate your fish in anyway you wish, not just by finger printing as suggested below. If you don’t have access to a printer, then it is fairly simple to draw out. Don’t forget to share your creations with us via the face book page or email.
Have a look in your garden or out and about and see if you can find a large stone, brick or other large object that you can hold. As you do, I encourage you to think of things in your life that act as comforters, that we go back to or hold on to because they’re familiar to us, but that might get in the way of our relationship with God. It might be some of the following;
· Watching too much TV
· Spending too much time on your phone
· Spending too much time on your games console
Ask God to help you see what might be getting in the way of your relationship with him and ask him to help you to put that down. You may want to place your stone down somewhere significant as a symbolic act of letting go of the things we cling to.