Change text size: A A A Change contrast: Normal Dark Light
Acts 2.14a,36-41; Psalm 116.1-4,12-19; 1 Peter 1.17-23; Luke 24.13-35

Open the Word

Ways to help all ages engage with the readings

Adult & All Age

To help the listener

The reader could use these words to provide context to today's reading(s) [insert readings presented in Open the Word items]

Try to imagine what it would have been like to be so close to the events of the first Easter, and to find the resurrection of Jesus so surprising.

Note how much faith and trust and meaning these early preachers and disciples find in the fact that Jesus is risen.

See more

Present the New Testament

  

This is a continuation of Peter’s sermon to the crowd that began last week (see the Present the New Testament, Easter 2).

Re-enact it in a simple way, with Peter on an improvised platform (e.g. a wooden box or milk crate – check in advance that it is stable and can bear the person’s weight!) placed either at the front (with a few people gathered round as the crowd) or in the middle of the worship space (among the people). Peter speaks with great passion and as if speaking ad lib – ideally having learnt the speech so that no script is required.

See more

Present the Gospel

Set up a table and chairs at one side of the front of the space, with some bread (ideally, flatbread) on a plate on the table.

While the passage is read, three actors mime the slow walk to Emmaus, beginning as far as possible from the table, and walking round or through the building (as appropriate) – they mime talking too! At verse 28, they mime urging Jesus to stay, and then all sit down at the table. At verse 30, Jesus takes the bread, holds it up, breaks and shares it – then immediately and without any fuss, leaves. The remaining two run back to where they started, wave their arms about, and mime talking excitedly to whoever is nearby.

See more

Children

Present the reading & Talk together

Open the Bible at Luke 24.13-35

Jesus shows who he is by explaining the stories in the Bible and sharing food with his friends.

Choose from these two ways of telling the story, followed by ideas for discussion time:

Our 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.

Share it out loud - see drama script

Talk together  ( Connect faith with everyday life)

  • 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?
See more

Share it out loud

A drama for three people based on the road to Emmaus story.

Set the scene for today’s passage with a bit of information. For instance: “This story appears just after Jesus’ death and resurrection, but before everyone knew that he was alive again.” See also Present the reading and talk together.

Read the story first, and then ask for volunteers who are confident readers to play the three parts and act it out (see script below).

Script

Disciple one: I’m not saying I don’t believe the stories, but I don’t see how Jesus could just ‘come back to life’? It seems impossible!

Disciple two: They do say, they are 100% sure they saw Jesus!

Disciple one: They do seem very convincing, but I’m not sure. I just want to see him again.

Disciple two: Me too.

(Sad silence. Jesus enters)

Jesus: You both seem a little sad. Is everything ok?

Disciple one: We are a little sad. We were just talking about our friend Jesus.

Jesus: Who? Jesus? Um, I’m not sure who you mean…

Disciple one: How have you not heard about Jesus? Everyone is talking about him, the miracle maker!

Disciple two: He was amazing! He healed people, fed people and, most importantly, he seemed to love everyone.

Jesus: But why are you sad?

Disciple one: Well, they actually sent him to die, for no reason.

Disciple two: Some friends went three days later to the tomb where they buried him, and an angel told them he wasn’t there and that he’d come back to life.

Jesus: That sounds like good news?

Disciple one: If it was true, then it would be– but we can’t be sure, we haven’t seen him.

Jesus: But the Bible did say this would happen. It is all part of the great plan.

Disciple two: The plan? Tell us more.

Jesus: Why don’t I explain it to you as we head to Emmaus? There is a lot of ground to cover.

(The disciples and Jesus walk and talk and finally get to Emmaus)

Disciple one: Ah, home at last.

Disciple two: This can’t be the end already. Would you come and share more with us over some dinner?

Jesus: Of course. I love to eat and chat with friends.

(They sit around a table and Jesus picks up the bread and breaks it)

Jesus: Father, thank you for this bread.

(Suddenly the disciples recognise Jesus)

Disciple one: WHAT!?! Jesus! How did we not recognise you?

Disciple two: It is you. It is all true. You have come back to life!

Jesus: (laughing) You are right, I am back. Now go and tell everyone the good news…Jesus is alive.

See more

For very young children

For very young children

 Play, and think  about Jesus' story.

Play materials: storybooks

Gathering prayers

Young children love repetition. Using the same prayer to start your session each time you meet will create a sense of familiarity and expectation.

Suggestion 1: God loves me

From the top of my head
(Touch head)

to the tips of my toes;
(Touch toes)

from the lobes of my ears
(Touch ear lobes)

to the end of my nose;
(Touch nose)

from my back, to my front
(Turn round)

to my wiggly fingers,
(stretch out arms and wiggle fingers)

God loves me!
(jump up and down)

 

Suggestion 2: God loves...

Leader: God loves
Child 1: (say name)

Leader: and God loves
Child 2: (say name)

Go round the circle until all the children have been named (the leader or accompanying adult can say the name of pre-verbal or shy children)

All: Thanks be to God

 

Storytelling

Pass round a story bag and invite the children to dip their hands in and choose an object/picture (in italics) to help you tell the story.

Some friends were travelling along the road to Emmaus (footprint), talking about the sad story of their friend Jesus’ death.
Then they met a man; he couldn’t understand why they were so sad, so they explained that the women had gone to the tomb, but Jesus’ body had gone. (stone)
The stranger began talking to them about all the stories in the Old Testament (Bible) and explaining how Jesus was meant to die, but that he would rise again. (sunrise image)
They reached Emmaus that evening and the two friends invited the stranger in to share some food.
The strange man took the bread (bread) and suddenly they realised they had been talking to Jesus and he had been telling his own story. (storybook about Jesus)

 

Play

Cover up large pictures of simple objects, e.g. a tree, a house, with smaller pieces of paper. See if the children can guess the object as you slowly reveal it.

 

Create

Make storybooks for the children using A4 paper (instructions), and invite everyone to draw things inside their book which are important to them.

 

Praise 

Go for a walk together outside or around your indoor space and help each other to tell the story again through words and actions.

 

Pray

Open a Bible and then pray together:
God, you give us these words to learn about your Son.
Help us to read and share
and know them.
Amen.
 

Sing

Under 5s
Who put the colours in the rainbow?
Jesus is the one, Freedom Kids

Under 12s
Heaven in my heart, Hillsong kids on Super strong God

12+
You are love, Rend collective experiment on Organic family hymnal
For who you are, Marty Sampson, Hillsong worship on Mighty to save

 

Colouring sheets

English version Welsh version

 

A sending out prayer

Young children love repetition. Using the same prayer to end your session each time you meet will create a sense of familiarity and expectation.

God bless you,
(Point to others)

and God bless me.
(Point to self)

Amen. (Wave arms)

Leader: Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
Children and parents: In the name of Christ, Amen.

 

Additional activities

These activities are from this week's Explore & respond and can be adapted for Under 5s:

Walking along the road 15 mins E

Imagine journeying with Jesus

You will need: copies of the ‘Emmaus road’ template printed on card, pens, scissors, lolly sticks, glue.

• Give each child a template. Ask them first to colour the road scene and then cut it out.
• Then, while they are colouring in the three figures, pre-prepare the road scenes by cutting a long slit along the centre of each (as marked on the template).
• Ask the children to cut out the three figures as one piece.
• Invite them to put the lolly stick through the slit in the road scene and then glue the three figures to the top of the stick.
• Encourage the children to recall the story as they move their figures along the road, using the lolly stick.

 

Stories of strife 10 mins W E A 

Spend time reflecting on how some Christians struggle to share their story

  • Watch the video to see how Christians in other countries are sometimes unsafe if they share their story.
  • Talk about how we can pray and tell other people about our faith in God safely. Some Christians across the world might be in danger for praying or going to church.
  • Spend some time praying for people all over the world who do not have the freedom to share their story, or the story of Jesus, with others.

 

Spiritual styles abbreviations (as defined by David Csinos)
W Word E Emotion S Symbol A Action
Read our Spiritual Styles articles 

See more
General information and website help
020 3887 8916
ROOTS for Churches Ltd
86 Tavistock Place
WC1H 9RT
Registered Charity No. 1097466
Subscription services
01603 785910
ROOTS for Churches Ltd
13a Hellesdon Park Road
Norwich NR6 5DR
Stay in touch
The ROOTS ecumenical partnership
Bringing together Churches and other Christian organisations since 2002
© Copyright 2002-2021, ROOTS for Churches Ltd. All rights reserved. Print ISSN: 2040-4832 and 2635-280X; Online ISSN: 2635-2818.
This resource is taken from www.rootsontheweb.com and is copyright © 2002-2021 ROOTS for Churches.