Explore & respond with children
Do, Make, Pray and Sing activities based on John 18.33-37
Choose from these ideas to help the children make connections between the Bible reading and their lives
Spot the truth 5 mins W E
Play a guessing game
- Ask everyone to think of one unusual thing about themselves that is true, and make up one thing that is not true.
- Invite the children, in turn, to stand up and say, ‘My name is…’ followed by their two statements.
- The rest of the group has to guess which fact is not true.
- Talk together about how we can work out what the truth is.
Where does it lead? 10 mins W
Identify the mystery pictures
You will need: six pictures of entrances to other worlds (suggestions below), paper and pens.
- Beforehand, print off the pictures and display them around the room. Give the children paper and pens, and invite them to go around guessing: 1) what places they are; 2) which book/film/TV programme they are from; 3) where they lead to. Award a point for each correct answer. Who gets the highest score?
- Go through the answers and talk about what happens in each place. Explain that we can’t step through to heaven and come back, as you can in these fictional worlds. The clearest glimpse of heaven we get is through Jesus.
Platform 9¾ from Harry Potter leading to Hogwarts
the rabbit hole from Alice in Wonderland leading to Wonderland
a wardrobe from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe leading to Narnia
‘Second star to the right and straight on ‘til morning’ from Peter Pan leading to Neverland
The Tardis from Dr Who leading to time travel across the universe.
Kingdom cupcakes 15 mins E S
A symbol of Jesus’ earthly and heavenly kingship
You will need: ready-made cupcakes, icing and cake toppings, coloured paper strips, scissors, sticky tape, lolly sticks, string or PVA glue.
- Give each child a cupcake to ice and decorate.
- Make cupcake wrappers in the shape of a crown. Cut out strips that are 2cm longer than the cupcake circumference and 4cm taller. Cut a zig zag edge so that the wrappers look like crowns. Place the crowns around the cakes and secure them with tape.
- Give everyone two lolly sticks, one cut shorter than the other. Fix them together with string or glue to make a cross. Place a cross on the top of each cupcake. Take home to eat or share.
Your kingdom come 10 mins W S A
Draw heaven on earth
You will need: a large sheet of paper, a marker pen, pencils, crayons.
- Beforehand, write on the paper the following lines of the Lord’s Prayer: ‘Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as in heaven.’ Show the children and ask if they recognise the words.
- Talk with them about how they think God would like us to live together. What would it look like if God’s will was done on earth?
- Draw pictures together from your discussion, around the words.
Heaven and earth 5 mins W S
Pray for earthly leaders
You will need: a toy crown, objects/pictures to represent Jesus’ kingship, e.g. manger, foot washing, crown of thorns, lamb, cross.
- Display the crown. Talk with the children about who usually wears one. What does it represent? Some countries are not ruled by a king or queen, but a president, who may have similar or more power.
- Look together at the symbols of Jesus’ kingship. How are these different from the crown? What does each one represent?
- Invite everyone to choose a symbol and hold it, as they pray for kings, queens and leaders across the world, that they might be more like Jesus. Alternatively, say: Jesus, Lord of heaven and earth, be with all those who are in positions of leadership in our world. May they grow to be more like you. Amen.
More prayers are available via the Prayers page.
Key to abbreviations for hymn book titles
Who’s the king of the jungle?
King of Love, Doug Horley on Top 50 Awesome Action Songs (with actions)
Jesus will never, ever (CHY, HON, CJP, RSJ)
He Came Down, Big Ministries on The All-In Thing
Here I Am to Worship, Tim Hughes on Tim Hughes Ultimate Collection
God, I Look to You, Bethel on Be Lifted High