Dear FPC Families,
I hope this week has been a good one for you and I hope that you are enjoying the beautiful weather we’ve had this week! Even though it may seem like time is standing still because we are at home so much, the outside world is fast forwarding into Spring! I have a tree in my yard that was completely bare just a few days ago – and now it is covered in leaves! We may be tempted to also fast-forward right on past Easter and focus on Summer and things to come. But this week, talk to your children about how even though the Easter holiday has passed (the chocolate bunnies have been eaten, the eggs have all been found), the empty tomb on Easter morning is really only the beginning of the story! This week’s lesson talks about Jesus’s appearance to His disciples right after the resurrection and His challenge for us to continue to spread the message of His Love.
Step 1: Read the Scripture
Please read this scripture passage aloud with your family.
John 20:19-23 (NRSV)
Jesus Appears to the Disciples
When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”
Step 2: Discussion
- Today’s reading gives a look inside the lives of the disciples after Jesus’s death. How were they feeling? Why were they inside with the doors locked?
- How did the disciples come to know that the “stranger” was really Jesus?
- What did Jesus say to the disciples? Why did he say “Peace be with you”?
- Read this part of Jesus’s words again: “As the Father has sent me, so I send you… Receive the Holy Spirit.”
What does it mean to receive the Holy Spirit? It means we are given power through God’s being; and because of that, Jesus is calling on us to spread the good news of Jesus with others.
Step 3: Activity
Show children this picture:
Click link to video to watch after they make their predictions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Nn7NZI_LN4
Now, this may seem like a silly little video with cats and dominoes, but it actually goes quite well with today’s reading! One little cat starts a reaction that just keeps on going as more and more dominoes fall. We are called to share the Love of Christ with each other, just as the disciples were called in the room that day. When we accept this challenge, we can start a reaction with others catching on and spreading the good news of Jesus.
Step 4: Pray Together
Dear God: Thank you for the gift of Easter. Help us to accept your challenge of spreading the Good News! Help us be part of a chain of love and hope in your world. Amen.
Step 5: Craft Time!
Share some good news with your neighbors this week by making stained glass crosses to hang in your windows. So many people are taking walks lately – this is a fun and social-distancing-approved way to spread the good news of Jesus!
Make Your Own Stained Glass Cross
Supplies: Black construction paper, white copy paper or thin tracing paper, scissors, glue stick and some multi-colored tissue paper torn into small pieces.
- Cut a large cross out of the black construction paper.
- Cut out the inside of the cross, to make it like a black “border” for the cross.
- Place the black outline on the white paper and trace the inside.
- Put the black cross to the side.
- Fill the whole cross shape on the white paper with glue and stick on the small tissue pieces. Make any pattern you like!
- Glue the black cross/ the outline in place (see below).
- Cut around the cross, cutting off all of the excess white paper.
- Hang your cross on a window and the light will shine through!
Enjoy your week! I miss you all!