15 minutes Story planner
The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories by Mary Batchelor page 390
‘Saul and the letters’ see Printables.
Briefly explain who the Pharisees were – there is a good explanation on page 306 of The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories.
1. Setting the scene - 2 mins
Find the New Testament section in a Bible.
Show and talk about ‘The Early Church FlashCards’ cards one to four
2. Starter question - 1 min
Have you ever stepped outside on a sunny day and squinted at the bright sunlight? Now imagine if that light was so bright that it became impossible to see anything.
Hundreds of years ago, as a man walked towards the city of Damascus, a bright light flashed around him. The man fell to the ground stunned…
3. Tell the story with props - 4 mins
Click on the images at the beginning of this post to download more web resources
- A map of the Holy Land at the time of Jesus with Jerusalem and Damascus clearly marked
- The High Priest's letter (see Printables)
- An envelope with ‘The Leader of the Synagogue, Damascus’ written on it
- A torch
4. Story activity - 6 mins
Option 1 - Enjoy the puzzles in this weeks Dead Sea Comic Caper (see Printables)
Option 2 - Discover where Paul's letters are in the Bible
You will need: masking tape and about 20 envelopes, used ones will be fine.
1. Stick two strips of masking tape to the floor about three metres apart – these will be your ‘start’ and ‘finish’ lines.
2. Divide your group into two teams and divide the envelopes between them.
3. Explain to the children that the ‘start line’ represents the city of Jerusalem and the ‘finish line’ represents Damascus. The aim of the game is for the teams to get all their letters from ‘Jerusalem’ to ‘Damascus’, then back again. However, the children can only transport the letters by pretending to be donkeys.
4. Encourage each team to nominate one member to be the first donkey and to place an envelope on the donkey's back.
5. The donkey must now walk on all fours from ‘Jerusalem’ to ‘Damascus’. If a letter falls off their back a team member can replace it.
6. When the donkey arrives in Damascus they should tip the letter onto the floor.
7. The next donkey can now set off – however this donkey should carry two letters instead of one.
8. When the second donkey's mail has been delivered the next donkey can set off, this time with three letters and so on.
9.The last donkey in each team should set off for Damascus without any letters.
10. When the last donkeys arrive all the letters should be placed on their backs and they should slowly return to Jerusalem. The other team members can walk alongside replacing any letters that fall off.
11. The first team to arrive back in Jerusalem with all their letters is the winning team.
5. Reflective prayer - 2 mins
Father God we imagine Saul setting off for Damascus, carrying the letter for the Leader of the Synagogue. Father we understand that although you did not like the mean and unkind things Saul did, you always loved him and had wonderful plans for his life. Father God, we thank you that you love each of us us more than we can imagine. We thank you that there is nothing we can do that will make you love us more and there is nothing we can do that will make you love us less.
Father we think about the bright light that flashed around on the road to Damascus. We remember that Jesus called Saul’s name as he lay on the floor. Father we thank you that you spoke to Saul in a great and powerful way that day. Father we thank you that you still speak to people today. Thank you that you speak in many different ways. Father please help us to listen carefully as you teach, guide and show us how to live your way, the way you created us to live. Amen.
With younger children, or during a shorter session you may wish to select just one or two phrases from the reflective prayer.
Alongside this story, make the craft...