297 - The soldier's servant


15 minute Story planner

Luke 7; Matthew 8
The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories by Mary Batchelor, page 338

1. Setting the scene - 2 mins 
Find the New Testament section in a Bible.
Show and talk about 'The life of Jesus FlashCards' cards one to five

If the children would find it interesting explain that there were 5000 men in a legion and a centurion was in charge of 80 men.

You might like to ask the children if they know what the word ‘faith’ means. Explain that another word for faith is ‘trust’. To trust in God means to believe that what he says is true. Faith is an important part of becoming a Christian and an important part of living God’s way. Not many Christians have seen Jesus but they believe he lived, died and rose again so they can be close friends with God. Nobody can see the Holy Spirit but Christians all over the world believe he is at work in their lives in a powerful way. Explain that the centurion had faith – he believed what Jesus said would happen; he believed that when Jesus said the word, his servant would be healed.

2. Starter question - 1 min  
Did you know that the Romans had one of the strongest armies the world has ever known? The Roman army won battle after battle because their soldiers were fit, strong and quick to obey orders. The biggest part of the Roman army was called a legion. The smallest part was a century. Our story today is about a Roman officer called a centurion. He was in charge of a century.

3. Tell the story with props - 4 mins

  • A dressing-up set of Roman armour

  • A bag of coins

  • A pillow and a blanket for a poorly servant

  • ‘Will you help me?’ speech bubble (see Printables)

  • ‘Come here!’ speech bubble (see Printables)

  • ‘Go there!’ speech bubble (see Printables)

Click on the images at the beginning of this post for more resources from the web

4. Story activity - 6 mins

Option 1 - Enjoy the puzzles in this week's Dead Sea Comic Caper (see Printables)

Option 2 - Centurion’s coming
Play a game of ‘centurion’s coming’, a variation on ‘captain’s coming’. You will need: a list of commands (see Printables).

Encourage the children to stand in a space where they can hear and see you clearly. Ask the children not to stand too close to one another. Explain that to play the game you are going to call out commands and they need to perform the appropriate action. Spend some time going over the commands and the associated actions before you start to play. When everyone understands the instructions, begin calling out the commands. If a child takes too long to perform the action or performs the wrong one they are out – however it is up to you how strict you are about this rule.

5. Reflective prayer - 2 mins

Father God we think about the Roman soldier, so concerned and sad that his servant was unwell.

Father we remember the soldier’s great faith – we remember he did not need Jesus to come to his house; he simply trusted that the man would be healed at Jesus’ command.

Father help us to trust you more and more. Help us to always believe that what you say is true. Thank you that your Holy Spirit is our Helper. Thank you that with the powerful help of the Holy Spirit we can learn and grow to trust you more. Amen

Alongside this story, make the craft...

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