John: Jesus meets Mary Magdalene

Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the cloth that had been wrapped round Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen.  Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed.

When was the last time you couldn’t believe your eyes? Have you ever seen someone you knew but you weren’t expecting to see them and didn’t recognise them? That is exactly what happened to Mary but she had a very good reason for not expecting to see Jesus again. She’d seen him killed on the cross and watched them put his body in the tomb.Of course she’d never see him again… or would she?

Game: Two days in the tomb
It’s exactly like sleeping lions except that they need to lie on their backs arms folded across their chest as though they were in a tomb. The leaders and any ‘risen’ children walk around them and without touching them try to make them move. They are allowed to breathe; this seems obvious to me but someone always asks…

Game: Stuck in the mud
Run around! One person is ‘it’ anyone they touch gets stuck and has to stay in the same place with their arms out and legs apart. They can be rescued by a saviour who has to crawl in between their legs or run under their arms. (Choose an option based on the physical ability of the group/relative sizes of children/how many of them are wearing skirts.)

Memory Verse:
Great idea in the penultimate week to recap the Memory verses you’ve already learnt. There’s just no point learning them for the next week and then instantly forgetting them. I suggest small prizes for those who remember John 1 10-14 or any other verses you’ve used.

Jesus meets Mary Magdalene again!

Create a sketch of the guards at the tomb. Imagine how the guards felt being stationed there ‘Why do we need to guard a tomb? He’s not going anywhere!’ and then the terrifying rumble as the stone is moved away that makes the trained soldiers flee!

I found the powerpoint I made to go with the Talk. This means I don’t have notes as I tend to use the powerpoint as my notes. The pictures are Graham Kennedy’s but, if you look closely, you’ll see I’ve used the ones from the Samaritan woman in John 4, it is still Jesus talking to a woman though!
Apologies for the lack of notes, I’ll try to write some up and then update this.

Free drawing: Give each child paper and access to coloured pens or pencils. Read John 20:1-18 with them slowly and dramatically; allow them to draw as you read. They will pick up on ideas from within the story. Some will very literally draw what the Bible tells, others will draw associated ideas: maybe things connected to happiness, sadness, life, surprise. Others will connect with something very small like flowers from the garden. Allow the children to draw whatever they want and explain it to you. Even if they draw something you think is irrelevant like a space ship ask, ‘What gave you the idea for that?’ Somewhere in the rain of a child it will probably have connected somehow.

Jesus is Number 1 – Colin Buchanan: Super Saviour
Tell Them – Emu music: Meet the King
(Tell them is one of the best Resurrection based I know. It’s track 27 on the album or you can buy the track on its own)

Person outlinePrayer:
If you’re doing the whole series of Jesus meets…  cutting out a string of 10 people and writing a name of someone on each is a helpful way to keep track. You may want to keep the string until the end if your kids are regular attenders so that they don’t get lost. Fold a long strip of paper like a fan 10 times; cut round this outline or draw a person freehand. Make sure their hands touch the fold of the paper on both sides!
Thank Jesus that he came back to life and that all his promises are true! Get the kids to think of something Jesus has said that has particularly stuck with them and thank him for it.