Welcome to ROOTS at home for families
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© ROOTS for Churches Ltd (www.rootsontheweb.com) 2002-2020.
Reproduced with permission.
This week marks the end of the Easter ‘holidays’ and the beginning of a new month, so a good time to reflect on our journey with Jesus which continues beyond the resurrection and in our daily lives, whatever our pattern may look like at the moment.
The story of the road to Emmaus is a powerful story of recognising Jesus, we hope you might encounter him anew through your worship together this week.
See Bible notes for more information on the passages for today.
Jesus of Nazareth,
we all come with our own stories to tell,
we’ve all made different journeys here,
but we all come to hear your story
and to understand how our stories and journeys fit with yours.
Walk and talk with us, Lord Jesus.
Luke 24.13-35: Jesus takes time to explain his own story.
Bring in a few autobiographies for the children to see, explaining that people love to share their personal stories, and some people write them down. What kind of things might a person put in a book about their life. Write down the key words that the children suggest.
The Bible passage we have today helps show us that Jesus takes time to tell his own story. Read it together, and write down the key words that explain this story about Jesus.
Who was the mysterious man on the road to Emmaus? That’s what Cleopas wanted to know. Cleopas and his friend had been walking away from Jerusalem, talking about Jesus’ death, when the man suddenly appeared with them. ‘What are you talking about?’ the man asked. Everyone in Jerusalem was talking about Jesus. Where had this stranger been?
Cleopas said, ‘We’re talking about our friend, the prophet Jesus. We thought he was the Messiah, the one sent by God to save Israel, but he was killed three days ago, and now we don’t know what to think.’ There was something familiar about the stranger, but Cleopas couldn’t put his finger on it.
Cleopas’ friend said, ‘This morning some women went to Jesus’ tomb and told us the body was gone. They said they saw angels, who told them he was alive. The body’s definitely gone. The disciples checked. But what does it mean? Where’s the body?’
Then the stranger began to speak about the Old Testament prophets. He explained how the Messiah’s life and death had been predicted a long time ago. ‘You are slow and foolish not to see it,’ the stranger said. ‘The Messiah had to suffer before entering his glory.’
They all arrived in Emmaus as evening approached. ‘Come in and eat with us,’ Cleopas said. The stranger accepted, and when he broke the bread, Cleopas suddenly knew who he was. It was Jesus! Back from the dead!
Jesus disappeared and Cleopas and his friend couldn’t contain themselves. They rushed back to Jerusalem to tell the 11 disciples what had happened. When they got there, the disciples were talking about Jesus. ‘He appeared to Simon. He has risen!’ Cleopas told his story and how he had recognised Jesus when he broke bread.
Talk together with children
- Why do you think the two friends may not have recognised Jesus
- Are there any times in your life where you have learnt something about Jesus’ story?
- How might we take time to share Jesus’ story with our friends?
Talk together with young people
- Why do you think the people on the road may not have recognised Jesus?
- How do you think God reveals himself to people today?
- What experiences have helped you to learn more about Jesus’ story?
More activities, songs and prayers
Share a story in a different way.
You will need: a list of daily activities such as brushing teeth, eating breakfast, walking to school.
- Play the game of charades. Ask for one volunteer and give them an everyday action to act out.
- Remind each person when it is their turn that they are only allowed to use their bodies to make actions, with no noise or speech allowed.
- Emphasise to everyone that they need to exaggerate their actions in order to share the story well. Swap round, to ensure each child who wishes to has a turn.
- Ask: is it possible to share a story without using words?
Reveal a story
Cover up large pictures of simple objects, e.g. a tree, a house, with smaller pieces of paper. See if everyone can guess the object as you slowly reveal it.
Walk and talk
Go for a walk together outside or around your indoor space and help each other to tell the story again through words and actions.
Include this song if you can: For who you are, Marty Sampson, Hillsong Worship on Mighty to save.
Make a storybook
Make storybooks for the children using A4 paper (instructions), and invite everyone to draw things inside their book which are important to them.
Comic strip story
Create a simple eight-square grid on sheets of A4 paper (enough for one sheet per person), to make a comic strip. Ask the young people to try and retell today’s passage in a comic book style. You may wish to share these stories together.
Everyone has a story to tell, so let your group tell their story. Give each person exactly one minute to tell you a story from their lives; remind everyone to be respectful of each other. You could try to include rules such as no repetition or hesitation during the one minute.
Remember that God is interested in every part of our story
You will need: paper, pens.
- Give each person a piece of paper and a pen. Ask them to write their name in large letters down the left-hand side of the paper.
- Then, using each letter of their name, encourage everyone to write something they want to thank God for, or would like his help with. Invite them to include some things that are part of the story of their life.
- Then ask everyone to swap their papers with someone else in the group, and spend some time quietly praying for the person whose sheet they have. Encourage everyone to take the sheets they are holding home and pray for that person through the week.
Invite the group to stand in a circle and then to throw a ball of string round the circle (remembering to keep hold of the string), so that everyone is connected to someone else in the circle. Once everyone is connected, remind everyone that we are all part of each other’s story. Invite everyone to spend time praying for those they are connected to, either aloud or silently.
fill us with excitement for your story,
so that when we go out,
we want to tell our friends all about you.
Sing and listen
Preview songs on YouTube, buy online and download.
Jesus is the one, Freedom Kids
Heaven in my heart, Hillsong Kids on Super strong God
Red letters, Crowder on Red Letters/Wildfire
Nailed to the cross (live), Rend Collective on Standing on the edge (live)
Psalm without words (live), Soul Survivor & Momentum on The Flood
See also Same Boat @ HOME
Live your faith
Keep a diary this week, with just a few words each day about your own story. Share it with God, and know that it is important to him.
Notes on the Bible story for parents and carers
The gift of story is significant in the way the Scriptures have been written and shared. They began as a faithful retelling of stories from generation to generation: around a fire, walking along the road, and then written down for us to hold onto today.
Jesus begins to reframe the experience of the two disciples on the road by explaining God’s story, told through the Scriptures. It is as if this unknown teacher takes their isolated beads of knowledge and re-strings them into a different sequence, revealing a new pattern: God’s story.
We see within Scripture the imperative and the power of sharing God’s story.
As Jesus walked along the road, the disciples did not realise who he was until Jesus recited his own words, and their eyes were opened. There is power in God’s Word and the faithful proclamation of it, as in the Acts passage, where 3,000 came to believe, as God’s Word and his story were faithfully shared.
All these readings explore situations where people have jumped to false conclusions:
- The crowd in Jerusalem had previously assumed that Jesus was a troublemaker;
- the readers of 1 Peter perhaps felt alone in meaningless suffering;
- the disciples on the road assumed that their time with Jesus was over.
All these thoughts were overturned by the reality of the resurrection. This is the greatest story we can tell, and one which will change lives: who might we share this story with?
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