SKIT: Watch Vimeo Skit Day 5
BIBLE STORY & JOURNAL TIME
The end of the Lord’s Prayer reminds us that, whatever we pray for, we can trust that God loves us, that God is always with us and that everything and everyone belongs to God. In today’s Bible reading, we will hear the story behind Jesus’ saying, “Peace be with you!”
For the opening activity today, read together the Lord’s Prayer (use the translation on the Lord’s Prayer cards or the translation preferred by your family or congregation). As you read the prayer together, ask children to think about what it means to trust God, now and forever.
Read the Lord’s Prayer and talk about the questions below.
Questions for Conversation (all ages):
• What do you think about when you hear the word “peace”?
• How can we help other people not be scared or sad? How can we help them be “at peace”?
If you have used the other days in “On Earth As in Heaven,” this activity will help children and adults remember all the things we have learned. Ask each person first to record or draw in their journal one thing they learned about God and God’s plan for the world in the previous sessions.
Take time to share your answers with one another. Write or draw as a household some of the things you have learned about God in these sessions. Ask, “How do the things we learned about God (examples: that God provides for our needs, that we all are blessed by God with gifts and talents, etc.) help there to be peace in the world?”
As you read the story today, think about the ways God helps calm our fears and how we can help calm the fears of other people.
Read together Luke 24:36-49.
Questions for Conversation (older children):
• When Jesus first appeared to the disciples in this story, he told them, “Peace be with you.” Why might he have greeted them like this? (He knew they were scared and didn’t want them to be scared; he wanted them to have peace. Affirm all answers.)
• To comfort them, Jesus showed them his hands and his feet and invited them to touch him so they could believe he really was with them. When the disciples realized it was really Jesus, they were very happy and comforted, even though they were still a little bit nervous and scared. When you are nervous or scared, is there someone who (or some place that) makes you feel safe and at peace? What thing about that person makes you feel peaceful?
• After Jesus comforted the disciples, he told them he was sending them out to tell others of all they had seen and learned from him. How do you think the disciples felt being given such a big task? (Proud, scared, excited; affirm all answers.)
Questions for Conversation (younger children):
• Why do you think the disciples were afraid at first when Jesus arrived?
• What did Jesus say to help calm them down?
• What helps you not be afraid when you are scared?
• How can you help other people feel not scared or feel welcomed, “at peace”?
Dear God, thank you for this great season of VBS and this last fun session together. Be with us today as we learn about how to put everything we’ve learned into action to build the neighborhood of God. Amen.
CRAFT: Peace Doves
Building peace starts with building relationships with our neighbors. In worship, the sharing of the peace is an important time to remind each other of the forgiveness and love that marks our relationships with one another. The doves in this craft can be sent to neighbors and friends as reminders that they are loved.
• Printed doves, two or three per child
• Markers or crayons
• Pens or pencils
• Optional: stamps and envelopes
Hand out the printed doves and coloring materials. For children able to write, pass out pens and pencils. Provide enough supplies so that each child can make at least two doves.
1) Use the script below (or similar words) to start a conversation about peace.
Can you think of a time when we talk about peace during church services? [The Passing of the Peace.] The Passing of the Peace in church is based on a verse from the Bible. Jesus tells his followers that before they make an offering to God, they should make peace with their neighbors. For Jesus, being at peace with God means being at peace with our neighbors. If we aren’t getting along with each other, God wants us to work together to make sure we are at peace right away. The Passing of the Peace is more than just saying “hello” to people in church; it’s reminding others (and us!) that they are loved and they are important to us. Passing the peace is a way of saying, “You are welcome here, and you are important to me.”
2) After having a conversation about peace, invite the children to color the doves. When you are done, consider displaying the doves in a window of your home or write messages on the back of the doves to send to friends, family, congregation members or other people in your community. The notes on the doves can be a welcome reminder of God’s love to people isolated in nursing homes, at home or elsewhere, and for people who have been working on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dove Image HERE.
The games here can easily be played with a small family or group. You can also use this time for other board games, outdoor activities or puzzles that can reinforce the theme:
Week 5: “For the kingdom (kin-dom), the power and the glory are yours.”
o Game Theme: Working together
PATHWAYS OF PEACE
Begin in a safe, paved area. Give everyone chalk and invite them each to create their own chalk obstacle course that the rest of the group can follow. For younger children, invite them to draw squiggly lines, hopscotch squares and circles that have directions such as “jump here” or “spin.” Invite older children to make more complex obstacles such as crab-walk paths, dance squares or spelling challenges. Some examples for all ages can be found at Tales of a Mountain Mama.
Give the children 15-20 minutes to create their chalk obstacle courses. After everyone has finished creating their obstacle course, have each child present their creation to the group. Then let everyone try all the different obstacle courses.
•What was easy about the different patterns? What was fun? What was hard?
•Have you ever experienced a time when it was difficult to make friends or be part of a team? If so, what was that like?
•What obstacles kept you from making friends or being on a team?
•What has helped you make friends, or what makes a good team?
Peace, making friends or being part of a team is not always easy. Sometimes we experience obstacles, and this can be difficult. But God does not want us to give up. God wants us to work as a community when we face challenge and obstacles so that everyone can experience peace in their lives.
SERVICE PROJECT IDEAS: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions
• Read together “The Coconut Monk” by Thich Nhat Hahn. This book, based on a true story, tells of a monk in Vietnam who attempts to share his message of peace with his nation.
• Peace means more than the absence of conflict; it involves respecting and appreciating the many gifts of each of our neighbors. With your child, choose another religion to learn more about. Visit a local library to find children’s books on a religion different from your own or, if possible in your community, reach out to the leader of a local house of worship about attending a service or event. Some suggestions for books can be found at Kid World Citizen.
• Make a gift! Peace happens in big ways and small ways. Actions that might seem simple are often more meaningful than we know when it comes to building peace. Consider making crafts or other gifts that children can share with neighbors and friends to help them know you care about and value them. This could include the dove cards from Week 5’s craft, yard signs for birthdays or other creative ideas.
- SNACK TIME CONVERSATION STARTERS
How might trying different foods help us learn about different people?