This Week – Young People

Big Idea: Open minds

This week we listen to the story of what happened next, after the two disciples on the Emmaus Road had returned to Jerusalem. Just as the two had finished telling the other disciples about what had happened, and their encounter with the risen Christ, Jesus himself appeared among them. The disciples were terrified, joyful, disbelieving and wondering, all at the same time…
We are going to think this week about feelings in faith.

Bible Story: Luke 24:36b-48

Can you remember what happened on the Emmaus road?
In verses 44-48, Jesus explained how his resurrection fulfilled the scriptures. Do you know what Messiah means? [anointed one, someone chosen to save the Jewish people]
The disciples were experiencing a lot of strong feelings – and this was ok. Jesus brought things back to reality, ‘down to earth’ by suggesting a meal. He didn’t criticise them for their confusion, fear or other feelings, he got alongside them. Is this what you might have expected him to do?
How can the death and resurrection of Jesus feel real to us today, 2000 or so years afterwards?

I wonder…?

Think about the events the disciples would have experienced over the few days before this – Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem on a donkey, the crowds calling for his crucifixion, his trial, his crucifixion, and now his resurrection. What emotions might the disciples have experienced at each point?
What strong emotions have you experienced recently? Perhaps you have been angry, joyful, laughing, crying…? What emotions have you experienced in relation to your Christian faith?
Think about people you haven’t been able to share a meal with recently, because of the covid lockdown rules. How do you think you will feel when you see these people again? How do you think the disciples felt when Jesus appeared among them and suggested a fish barbecue? And do you think you might have been confused by the risen Jesus eating barbecued fish with you?
What does it mean to have an open mind?
The disciples were afraid – can you think why? Do you find it easy to learn and understand things when you are worried or afraid? If you had experienced everything the disciples had experienced, would you have felt ready to listen to Jesus with an open mind?
What can we learn from the disciples and how they were ready to listen to learn from Jesus?

Creative Activity

Make a ‘feelometer’. Take a circle of card or a paper plate and divide it into eight equal sections. Ask the child(ren) to think of eight different feelings and write one in each section – you might also like to colour them with different colours. Write one word of the sentence ‘Jesus appeared and said peace be with you’ in each section, around the very edge. Then make a small arrow out of card and use a split pin to attach it like a clock hand in the middle of the circle. Ask the children to turn the arrow to point to how they feel now, on Monday mornings, on Friday afternoons, on Sundays, at bedtime, when they are playing with friends etc. Talk about how Jesus brings peace no matter what emotion we are experiencing.
The children could come back to the feelometer at different points over the coming week to register how they are feeling, and remind themselves of the peace that Jesus brings.

Prayer

Risen Jesus, help us to be witnesses in the world,
living out what we have experienced and learned today.
Amen.