It has been an interesting experience facilitating Sunday Kids on zoom. Activities and acknowledging the different contributions that children make spontaneously has been quite challenging.
It was great to have parents involved last week with the group who came on from Church as they were able to help the smaller children with some of the activities. I hope the parents were able to help the children reflect. It is always interesting to try to understand how much children understand of the Gospel message as a lot of the message is very abstract for concrete brains to get their heads around.
Over the last few weeks we have focused on the witnesses that have told us that they actually saw Jesus alive and real after he emerged from the tomb.
We talked about Mary and her two friends Salome and Mary, the two travellers Cleopas and his friend, the disciples in the upper room and the disciples on the shore of the lake. As I reflected I thought how amazing that Jesus was so patient with helping them all understand that he was real and not just a figment of their imagination. Thomas was like many of us a doubter, and Jesus didn’t scold him or shame him. He just came back and showed him. I did praise up the children for believing without having to see Jesus, but I think a lot of them would rather have seen him for real – just like Thomas.
We talked about how Jesus continued to help and provide as in fish for breakfast on the lake shore. As I thought about that later it struck me that God doesn’t intervene with great thunderbolts from the sky but little indications here and there of his love and provision for us which we can take for granted, or we can acknowledge and praise God for.
It was good for the children to hear that although Peter denied knowing Jesus not just once but three times he gave Peter a chance to redeem himself not just once but three times. I don’t think the children appreciated that message but maybe all of us could try to follow the great patience God has for us and try and follow His example with our fellow human beings.
This last Sunday we tried to get our heads round the Ascension. It was good timing that they were going back to school the next day – some were looking forward to it and others weren’t. We talked about how those mixed feelings that might have been there for Jesus as He left this life in the world, with all its ups and downs and friends and loved ones, to go back to His Father. How the disciples also might have had mixed feelings.
We talked about how the disciples were happy as Jesus had promised a special gift to all those who believed and that was the Holy Spirit who would be God they can’t see but who would be with them just like Jesus was (God who was the Man).
We talked about how the Holy Spirit helped the disciples tell everyone about Jesus and the Good News of God’s forgiveness. The balloons we drew we
pretended we could fill with air that we can’t see, and how the Holy Spirit can help us. Most of the children asked for help with going back to school. I encouraged them to ask that perhaps a little help could go to their teachers too.
Perhaps next week we can all have a balloon we can blow up and realise how the air in the balloon helps it to float and we can all “float” better as we are filled with the Holy Spirit to do what God wants us to do.