How do you fold your napkin after a meal…? how do you fold your shirts, socks…? How we fold things says something about ourselves…
Have you heard the story that a folded napkin was 1st Century etiquette indicating “I’m coming back”. Well, that’s an e-rumour… it’s not true… But it did get me thinking about why the folded “napkin”. The napkin was probably the “talit” or prayer shawl… and there is some truth in the idea that each man would have a particular way of folding the prayer shawl… so that it would be recognised as belonging to a particular man… perhaps it was Jesus’ prayer shawl… and the disciples would have seen him fold it in the synagogue many times… the folded grave clothes provided for them a little bit of evidence…
Lots of stories that help us understand the story of resurrection… only some stand the test of history… and critical analysis… but most significantly the disciples’ lives were transformed to the extent that continued to gather together in the face of persecution… the Church was born because of Jesus’ resurrection, and the coming of the promised spirit…
On the first Easter morning the cry was – he is not here… and because of that… this Easter Morning we can say… He is here!
required: prepared egg.
Easter eggs…here’s one I brought along… one that wasn’t used at the early Easter breakfast… maybe not as exciting as a chocolate Easter egg… but what good fun you can have with an egg… I’m going to throw it up in the air and try to catch it in this bowl… (build up expectation that there will be quite a mess…) The egg (of course) has been hard boiled… what we expect is often not what happens… Mary and others expected to anoint a dead Jesus… that’s not what happened… Do we expect to meet Jesus when we come to church?
required: Two Easter Eggs
Talk to the children about the Easter eggs they have had… big, small, fancy packaging… Produce two Eggs – one large one filled with sweets – and a smaller hollow one. Which would they prefer? Presumably they will not be too impressed by the ‘Empty Egg’… giving a lead into the Empty Tomb…
Two eggs needed. One normal, one ‘blown’. (Google if don’t know how) Start the talk with the great Easter Day and how the tomb which they thought would be full was empty. Think how surprised the women were when they saw it was empty. Often talk about eggs at Easter etc. I’ve got an egg here and a badminton racket. Now look I’m going to try and hit this egg to the back of the church. Throw egg up and deliberately miss. (Egg splaters all over a tray) Oh dear I missed that one. Lets try again. Take blown egg and this time hit it of course its just bits of shell. The look of horror that passes children’s faces when you hit it is amazing. Then talk about how they all expected the egg to be full but what a surprise it was empty
submitted: Lisa Davis
equipment: two signs – possible/ impossible
Ask these questions:
Can a fish live out of water?
Can a person get younger instead of older?
Can you breathe through your toes?
Can you fly with your arms – without an aeroplane?
Can you turn your head all the way around 360 degrees?
Can a person walk on the top of water?
Final question: Can a dead person live again?
You know that God did the impossible by raising his son Jesus from the dead to live again.
That is what we celebrate today on Easter Sunday that Jesus is risen that Jesus lives
Raise your hands if you believe this.
This is not the end of the story though If Jesus rose from the dead, then I wonder what that means for all of us?
Let me read a bit of the story from the bible for you: Refer to Luke 24, John 20, John 14 (the great commission) talk about the fact that God is making a place for us in Heaven
You see kids, if Jesus was raised from the dead and is alive, then he promises that we will also be alive again in heaven! Isn t that cool?
Let us pray:
Father God, thank you that you made the impossible possible that you sent your son Jesus to die for us, to pay the price for the wrong things that we do, and then raised Jesus to live again, that we might also live forever in heaven with you. Amen.
required: a stooge, or very understanding worshipper!
I’m going to do something unbelievable today… (take a pair a scissors and cut the tie from an adult) Boys and girls – some time today I want you to tell someone else that the minister cut Mr Soandso’s tie in church… do you think they’ll believe you? No? But you know the truth don’t you. (Jesus risen from the dead… blah blah… hope you get the idea!)
required: small elephant figurine
In one’s hand, place a small elephant figurine (the one I used was a small crystal elephant figurine).
Without revealing what is in your hand, ask the children if they would believe that you were holding a cocoon? … a butterfly? … a mouse? … an egg? … a flower? (or appropriate small objects of the season)
Then ask, "What if I told you I was holding an elephant?"
(The children will usually respond with disbelief)
Ask the adults as well, if they believe.
Then just show the children as individually as possible what you are holding and ask them to name it (it’s an elephant). Ask them all together if they believe you now — (without revealing anything to the adults).
After the children respond, show the congregation the contents of your hand.
Object lesson: "Blessed are those who have NOT seen and yet believe"
required: picture of, or toy, sheep
Talk to children about lambs they may have seen at this time of year – tiny new born lambs in the fields… Have you ever thought that you are like sheep?… going along with the crowd… yet sometimes wandering off on our own… Bible often uses the image of sheep and shepherds… some of the very well known part of the Bible are about sheep… 23rd Psalm – The Lord is my Shepherd, the parable of the lost sheep… Jesus saying I am the good shepherd. Shepherds in Jesus day were a little different from shepherds today… no dogs… no chasing from behind… instead the shepherd led from the front… and the sheep followed… they knew their shepherd because of his voice… Jesus said, "my sheep listen to my voice"… Jesus’ sheep are people like me and you… if we are going to follow Jesus… we have to listen to his voice so that we know the right way to go… that’s a hard thing to understand… (grown ups find it difficult too!) We don’t hear Jesus’ voice the way we hear parents, & friends… but we can "hear" Jesus through the things that others do and say… we can hear Jesus in a way that is impossible to explain, when we are praying… and when we believe that Jesus loves us and cares for us… if we believe then we are Jesus’ sheep. his friends – and he cares for us like a shepherd. (John 10: 22ff)
The poster with the words "He is Risen!" is down from the notice board… for another year… BUT Easter is every day… before poster is put away let’s have a look at the words… they can be said in different ways… different emphasis… different moods… and jumble the words around and they can still make sense.. Risen – he is! Risen! Is he?… Is he Risen? Many people have turned it into a question… even the first believers, Jesus’ friends… I think may have asked… is this really true?… to those people Jesus came – after he had been raised from the dead… to Thomas (remember we were talking about him last week)… to some of the disciples who were out fishing… they hadn’t caught a thing all night… then someone from the shore suggests they try from the other side of the boat… they do… and they catch 153 fish… then they recognise who it is who is helping them… and if any of them were still wondering "Is he Risen?" – now they know – it is the Lord – He is Risen! Sometimes we have to look at things from a different angle – from the other side of the boat… and our questions are turned around – and we know that Jesus is alive and helping us today.