Sunday 26th April
Theme: Sharing the journey
Target Age Group: 3 - 9
Approximate Time: 20 – 30 mins
In today’s passage, we see the story of the disciple’s journey to Emmaus. They start the story heading away from Jerusalem but a personal encounter with the Lord completely transforms their perspective. In our session we will be thinking about who we share the journey of faith with and how we can encourage each other on our journey’s.
Icebreaker: Human Bingo
Play along with your family. Write the following categories on a piece of paper and see who can be the first person to put the name of someone they know personally (Outside your immediate family) next to each category;
Icebreaker: Getting to know you:
Pair up with another member of your family – or you can play this as a small group if you prefer. Find out;
1. What was a happy / the happiest moment in their life?
2. What was a tough time for them?
3. What things help them to feel calm?
4. What are they most looking forward to doing when lockdown ends?
5. How do they picture what heaven will be like?
Song: Wake by Hillsong
Play ‘Wake’ by Hillsong
Scripture: Luke 24:13-33
Read the story of the walk to Emmaus in Luke 24:13-33
1. How far away is Emmaus from Jerusalem? How long do you think it would take you to walk that far?
2. When does it say the story took place?
3. From what it says in the passage, how do you think the disciples were feeling?
4. Who speaks first in the conversation? What does that tell you about Jesus?
5. When do the disciples recognise Jesus? Why do you think that is the key moment?
6. What do the disciples say about their encounter once Jesus has disappeared?
7. How are the disciples changed from the start of the story?
8. How do you think Christians can be changed by an encounter with Jesus?
At the start of this passage, the two disciples are found heading away from Jerusalem towards the village of Emmaus, a seven mile walk away. For starters, it is important to be aware that if they are heading away from Jerusalem, they are also heading away from the last known place that Jesus was last seen. Is it because they have lost hope? Is it because they are scared of the Jewish authorities? The passage doesn’t state but it does say that they are talking with each other and discussing everything that has been going on. And when Jesus comes up, walks alongside them and asks them about it, the passage says that ‘They stood still, their faces downcast.’ Clearly, the events leading up to Easter have been troubling them.
A conversation happens between the disciples and Jesus where the disciples share their understanding of the events that have happened; their sadness and disappointment at Jesus’ death and their confusion at the news that the women had found the empty tomb. Interestingly, Jesus starts by listening, hearing their turmoil and confusion. Then Jesus takes them back through the scriptures, sharing with them all the passages concerning himself and how all of scripture points to Him.
When they get to the village Jesus is going to go on but they beg him to stay. It is not until their meal together, when Jesus breaks the bread and blesses it, in the sacred act we call communion, that their eyes are opened and they finally recognise him. How often is it that we find that we don’t really truly know someone until we share a meal with them? And the disciples response is interesting – they say ‘Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the scripture to us?’
Look at the turnaround in this story – we have two men that were described as downcast and were confused, maybe even scared for their lives. And now, having spent time with Jesus their hearts are burning within them. They are no longer confused but clear. And instead of heading away from Jerusalem they get up at once to go and share the news with the disciples.
Jesus offers that to us too. If we are willing to invite him to spend time with us, he will change our hearts so that what was once unclear will be clear. Where we have fears or sadness or anxiety, we will see hope. And where we are tired or de-motivated, we will have our hearts stirred to action. Why don’t you, during this time of lockdown, use the opportunity to spend more time with Jesus. And maybe, like the disciples, He will give you a new perspective on this confusing and worrying period of time.
Song: This little light of mine
Look up the following link and join in with the song (And actions)
Draw round your foot and then cut it out. Make two holes either side of the wider bit of your foot with a third hole at the top in the middle. If you have pipe cleaner feed these through from the outer edge into the centre. Alternatively you could use plastic straws, wool or even tightly rolled foil. Take a message from the story – maybe ‘Walk with Jesus’ as pictured here or ‘Our hearts burned within us’ or you can make your own.
Make a list of things that make you sad, anxious or scared. Light a candle and ask Jesus, the light of the world to come and help you to overcome those fears.
Sharing the journey of faith with someone is really helpful as we can discuss, share and get to the truth together. Make a list of three people you could call this week to either let them know you care or to talk about the Easter message with. Spend a few moments praying for those people now.