We’re in the midst of a series about Jesus’ healing miracles. We began by recapping the previous stories and discussing how Jesus had healed e.g. by his words, his touch etc. I asked the children, aged 4 to 7, to think of some words that they would use to describe someone who could heal. Their ideas included awesome, amazing, wonderful, and powerful. This made a good introduction to singing Bigger than Big
When we’d sung, we all sat down in a circle. After encouraging the children to listen really carefully, and listen out for anything Jesus might want to say to them about this story, I began to share the Mark 5:21-43 passage. I like using these wooden play figures to help convey the scriptures. I think it’s helpful to be stimulating more than just one sense. I’ve included a rough script in the download below, which I practised before the session so I could tell the story without notes keeping my eyes free to engage with the children and my hands free to move the figures.
I’m not trained in Godly play, but try to follow some of its principles. As the story finished I thought back through the passage and wondered out loud how the woman had felt when she was healed, and afterwards when she was speaking with Jesus; how Jairus might have felt when he heard the terrible news that his daughter had died; and how the little girl might have looked back on this day, as she grew older.
I invited the children to share their thoughts on these wonderings, and their favourite part of the story. A few said they most liked the moment when Jesus held the girls hand tightly; others talked about the moment when she came alive again; and one said when the girl died because it was so sad.
I talked about how Jesus still does amazing things today, and invited the children to share something amazing that they would like him to do in their lives. A few did; and then I invited the children to pray for one of the things that someone else had asked for. We tried passing the prayer opportunity round the circle by gently tapping the person next to us when we had finished. This didn’t work so well. I think we had been trying to concentrate and sit still for too long Also we had a large group of 23 children so it took rather a long time to go around the circle. Another time I would break up after the ‘wonderings’ and move into 3 groups. I would perhaps give out drinks & biscuits while the children shared what they would like Jesus to do, and then finish the small circle time with prayer for each other.
We finished with an art activity, I had printed people templates for the children to make collages. I encouraged them to carry on thinking about the story and their prayers as they coloured and stuck. I was inspired to do this by the amazing contemplative art that Kel Rohlf shares on her site.
It was a lovely session; and I was really encouraged by the children’s reflections on the story. It was really helpful to me to think more about Jesus touching the girls hand firmly.
I would love to hear any thoughts you have on this lesson – what ideas do you have for sharing this passage with children?
If you’d like to use some of these ideas yourself, you’re welcome to download this lesson guide including story script Sunday School Lessons Mark 5 21-43