Activities

Pentecost

Bible Background: 1 Thessalonians 5:11-18

From the Deep Blue Bible Storybook:

Pentecost (Acts 2:1-41)

The disciples were waiting together in a house in Jerusalem. Suddenly, a sound like a howling fierce wind filled the entire house. The disciples looked around to see what was happening. They saw little flames of fire on each of them. It was the Holy Spirit- God’s Spirit that would be with them always. The disciples began to speak other languages. They spoke about all the great things God had done.

People outside the house heard the noises coming from inside the house. “What is happening?” the people wondered. Some people were confused. “What does all this mean?” they asked.

Peter spoke to the people: “God has sent the Holy Spirit to us. That is what you have seen and heard.”

The people listened to Peter as he told them about Jesus. Peter encouraged the people to believe in Jesus and to be baptized. “The Holy Spirit will be given to you!” Peter told the people. Many of the people believed Peter’s words. Three thousand people were baptized and became followers of Jesus that day.

Activity to go with this:

  • Let’s make Smores! If you have access to a fireplace/firepit, roast your marshmallows over a flame. Microwaving the ingredients that need to be warm or melted also works! Stack your marshmallow and piece of chocolate on top of your graham cracker and then add another graham cracker on top if you’d like to.
    • Enjoy some fun conversation while you do this as a family! Ask your children how they prefer their marshmallows to be roasted: just barely browned or burnt? If they could add a special ingredient to their smore what would they add? What is their favorite outdoor or camping memory? Etc.
  • Five senses: Have your child make a list of things in the room using your five senses (taste, touch, smell, sight, and hearing).

How to Talk to Your Kids:

Read the scripture together and discuss the following questions:

  • What do you know about God? Jesus? The Holy Spirit?
  • What are some things on your list that you used your senses to identify?
    • Just like how your sense of smell guides you in identifying the smell of homemade cookies or your sense of sight leads you down a safe path, the Holy Spirit does the same—it guides us and leads us! Can you think of an example when you felt the Holy Spirit guiding you?
      • This is a tricky question for kids sometimes—start by asking them if they ever felt led to do the right thing and what that may have been.
    • How did the heat or flame change the marshmallow and chocolate ingredients?
    • How does the Holy Spirit change us?
      • The Holy Spirit is a helper! How does it help you?
    • How does it feel to know that this special helper is with you always?

 Prayer

  • Gracious and loving God, thank you for sending us a helper in the Holy Spirit. Thank you that you are always with us. We love you! Amen. 
Posted by Katie Elder with

Bible Seas

Bible Background/Talking with your Kids:

Have you ever been to the beach?  Or maybe the lake?  Take a minute to talk with your kids about some of your favorite memories around water.

There are tons of Bible stories that happen around water!  Can you think of any?

Here are a few that come to mind:

  • Moses parts the Red Sea (Exodus 13:17-14:30)
  • Jonah and the Whale (Jonah 1:17)
  • Jesus’ baptism (Matthew 3:13-17)
  • Jesus Calms the Storm (Luke 8:22-15)

 There are so many exciting stories that take place around a sea in the Bible.  Jesus played a role in many of these stories, the ones we find in the New Testament.  Jesus also told us stories about the beach!  Some of the stories that Jesus told are called parables.  A parable is a story Jesus told that teaches us a lesson. This story is about two men who are going to build houses.  Have you ever built a sandcastle at the beach?  It is so fun! But what happens when the tide comes in? What do the waves do to your castle? They wash it away! So, is the sandy beach a good place to build a house? Let’s read more and see what Jesus says.  

Read the story of the two builders from Matthew 7:24-27 with your kids.

In this parable, Jesus tells us about someone who liked the beach so much that he decided to build a house there in the sand.  The beach seemed like a perfect place to build a house!  It was flat, with lots of space, the view was lovely, and it was easy to build and hammer into the sand.  He built a house in the sand for himself!

There was a second man. He was also building a house. He was hard at work building his house on some hard ground, opposite of the soft sand. It took this man longer to build his house, but he eventually finished.

Both men looked up in the sky and saw dark clouds forming.  The wind grew stronger, and the tide was coming in with huge waves.  A big storm came!  The house built on the rock stood strong through the storm.  What happened to the house on the beach?  It fell to pieces.  The poor man lost everything. 

Jesus uses this story to teach us to listen to him.  He said, “Anyone who hears and obeys these words of mine is like a wise person who built a house on solid rock.”  While this is sometimes the harder choice, as it was harder for the man to build his house on solid ground than in the sand, it was a better choice!  You are building your life on a firm foundation.  The closer you are to Jesus’ word, the easier it is to withstand the storms that you might face in life. 

So, maybe you will get to go to the beach soon.  When you do, think about Jesus when you build sandcastles on the shore.  Watch the waves come and wash them away, and remember to be wise like the man who built his house on solid ground.  We need to remember to do what Jesus says, to love him and love each other as he loves us!

Video telling of this story: Parable of the Two Builders

Prayer

Lord, thank you for the fun of summer.  No matter where we are, we can be with you as we think about your awesome creation.  Remind us to love each other in the way that you have taught us to do.  Amen.

Activities

  • Beach, Lake, or Shore Cards!
    • Make a beach scene card using supplies you have at home (construction paper, markers, crayons, etc.) We may not be able to be at the beach, but we can share its beauty with someone!         
  • Draw pictures to illustrate the Parable
    • Using the supplies you have at home, help your children better understand the parable by drawing the man building his house in the sand and the man building his house on solid ground. Talk about how sand feels as your draw it, and how it would be harder to hammer into hard ground, etc.  Sometimes doing something the right way seems hard, but it is worth it in the end!
  • Sculpt it!
    • If you have playdough or other clay, sculpt a 3D beach scene, or a scene from one of the Bible stories mentioned above.

Resources:

Deep Blue Bible Storybook written by Kerry Blackwood, Daphna Flegal, and Brittany Sky

The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones

Messy Church by Lucy Moore and Jane Leadbetter

Posted by Katie Ryan with

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