Two children look at an activity book during Family Service at Trinity Commons

3 Ways Into Sunday’s Stories for Children: As The Spirit Moves

Sixth Sunday of Easter

Try to imagine all the mysteries and surprises that Jesus’ disciples experienced and wondered about in the days and weeks following his death and resurrection. We sometimes think it’s confusing, and we have the Gospels! At his last supper with the disciples, before he died, Jesus gave the disciples a heads up about a lot of things — not like a fortune-teller but more through a review of all they had experienced together during his ministry. And, as always, he mixed didactic instruction with metaphorical description and allegorical storytelling.

Young children are mostly concrete thinkers, and they tend to process language literally — which is commonly agreed upon among educators and scientists. And yet we also know that by preschool age, typically developing children have acquired the majority of their lifetime’s language ability. So, perhaps their abilities to comprehend, if not express, complex ideas are more a result of what they’re exposed to, or of our expectations. And perhaps similar assumptions were made about Jesus’ 12 disciples, who were most likely unschooled, poor, and illiterate. That didn’t mean that they were incapable of understanding what Jesus revealed about God.  

Print, fold, read, and color the story booklet.

A cartoon line drawing of Jesus smiling as he talks to the disciples

1. Sing and Dance

Sing “You Gotta Sing” — an old favorite. What else does the Spirit say?  

2. Play and Pray

Play Spirited Movement. How do we see, hear, or feel the Holy Spirit? If we can’t, how do we know it is present? Like the wind, sometimes we know it is there because of how it makes something move. Ask an adult to light a candle. Be sure to place something underneath it to catch any blown wax that falls. Sit near the candle and take turns blowing toward the flame. But don’t blow it out. Move away from the candle, about one foot at a time, and blow. How far from the candle do you have to be for your breath to not reach the flame to make it move. Is the flame ever completely still? 

Pray: Ever-present God, thank you for being with us when we feel lonely. Thank you for reminding us that we are never alone; you are here to comfort us. May your love help us connect with others. Amen.

3. Create

Make an origami boat. Place it on the surface of some water in a sink, basin, or tub. Add some items that float. Try to steer your boat using only your breath. 

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