Thanks for joining us again as we do Children’s Worship from home! Today we learn that as the disciples now had God’s Spirit in their lives, they wanted to share Jesus’ love with everyone they met. The good news of Jesus spread quickly! This time we’re going to hear about the healing of the lame man.
Note: Please let us know about how your family is enjoying Children’s Worship! Take some pictures of your family participating in Children’s Worship or share a story. You can post to the Gold Avenue Church Facebook page or send by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Activity One: Do the introduction with your child(ren). Watch the video
Activity Two: Discuss the story using provided questions as prompts
Activity Three: Respond to the story by doing the activity.
Activity Four: Bless your children
(It’s not an activity, but just a little background on the story for you, the parent, to read.)
There are times in Scripture when God chooses to display His mighty power. He intentionally makes Himself known and draws people to Him. We see this clearly in the early days of the church when at Pentecost, the followers of Christ received the Holy Spirit. As they experienced God’s power within them, they did miracles in the name of Jesus. This new power is demonstrated in the miracle of Acts 3.
As Peter and John were walking into the temple, their eyes were diverted toward a crippled man begging for money. This man wouldn’t have been unfamiliar to them. As the Bible puts it, he was there “every day to beg from those going into the temple courts” (verse 2). The disciples must have walked past this man hundreds of times. However, this day was different: The Holy Spirit was prompting them. When Peter healed him in the name of Jesus, the man began leaping and praising God. The word “leaping” used in verse 8 is the Greek word hallomai . This word is rarely used in the Septuagint, or Greek Old Testament. Its use in Acts alludes to a messianic passage in Isaiah 35:
Strengthen the feeble hands, steady the knees that give way;
say to those with fearful hearts,
“Be strong, do not fear; your God will come,
he will come with vengeance; with divine retribution
he will come to save you.”
Then will the eyes of the blind be opened and the ears of the deaf unstopped.
Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy.
Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert. (verses 3–6)
The use of rare words is significant in Jewish texts, bringing to mind the passage in Scripture where the word is first found. The author of Acts was intentional with the language and words he chose. By employing hallomai , he was cuing the audience to something major: God’s kingdom was at hand. The messianic age they had longed for was being previewed for them—right before their eyes. The prophet Isaiah was speaking of the coming messianic age: a promise established in the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus that will find fulfillment in His second coming.
Today, as we wait expectantly for Christ’s second coming, we’re also watching God’s kingdom unfold. By the guiding of the Holy Spirit, we play a part in the story. We can watch the Spirit’s power change everything.
Activity 1: STORY
Parents: here is an introduction to the video you can read to your children then do the activity. You will need bean bags or a substitute like cans of vegetables.
After Jesus died on the cross and came back to life, He spent more time with His disciples and then returned to heaven. But Jesus didn’t leave His disciples alone. He sent the Spirit of God—the Holy Spirit—to live in anyone who believed in Him. The disciples now had God’s Spirit in their lives, and they wanted to share about Jesus’ love with everyone they met. The good news of Jesus spread quickly! Today we’re going to hear more about God’s Spirit. But first, let’s take a moment to pray and ask God to teach us. Lead children in a Prayer of Release to pause, be still, and ask the Holy Spirit to quiet their hearts and minds.
God’s Spirit is also in us, His followers today, and helps us do things we think are impossible. Bring out the bean bags or cans of vegetables. Invite a child to come hold both hands cupped together, with arms straight ahead. Begin to pile bean bags or cans into her hands. Eventually, they will be too heavy to keep her arms raised at the same level. It might seem difficult to continue holding these for a long time, right? When she struggles, help her lift them. It was hard to lift this yourself for too long, but with my help, it was a lot easier. Just like my help changed your ability to hold the bean bags longer, God’s power changes everything!
On that day, God’s Spirit wanted Peter to help the paralyzed man and to show him God’s love. Peter couldn’t have healed the man on his own, but because the Holy Spirit of God was living inside Peter, he was able to do amazing things.
God’s Spirit is very powerful, and His power changes everything. There’s nothing God can’t do. When we choose to follow Jesus, His Spirit lives in each of us. That means God wants to use each one of us to share His love with the world in big, amazing ways. We can pray and ask God for His strength in every situation, and trust that He has the power to change things.
Activity 2: DISCUSSION
In The Big God Story today, Peter met a man who couldn’t walk. Because Peter trusted in God, God used Peter to heal the man’s legs. God’s Spirit is powerful!
I wonder. . . how do you think Peter felt when he saw the crippled man?
I wonder. . . how did the crippled man feel when God’s power healed his legs?
I wonder. . . how have you seen God’s power?
These questions can easily extend into the rest of the week. Look for opportunities to bring conversations about how God Saves into your everyday life as a family.
Activity 3: RESPONSE ACTIVITY
Activity page printed out
1 brad per page
Print one healed man template for each child and color as desired. Cut them out. (Just cut generally around the figure – no need to cut on the lines.) Cut the man into two pieces at the bottom of the belt. Place the top of the belt over the bottom piece enough to be able to stick a brad through. You may want to reinforce where the brad will be placed with a small piece of tape (the tape in the picture is colored green.). Once together you can show how the man could stand up and walk and leap and praise God!
This would be a fun story to act out as a family. A few props might be nice: head coverings or headbands, robes, a blanket for lame man, etc. Choose your characters: Peter, John, lame man, crowd. Read directly from the Bible in Acts 3 and act out the story as read.
Activity 4: CLOSING BLESSING
Encourage children to pause for a moment and ask God whom they might know who needs His Spirit’s power. Maybe it’s a family member, a neighbor, a friend, or even themselves. Give them a moment to sit and listen for God’s voice. Encourage them to use this week to show that person special attention and love, and even pray for her.
Then, give an individual blessing to each child. Ask him whom he wants to pray for this week. Then pray:
Child’s name , may you know God’s love, and that His Spirit lives within you. May you trust His Spirit as you care for (friend’s name) this week.
After each child has been blessed, gather everyone together for a final blessing. Encourage children to actively participate by following the motions as you lead.
May God’s strength amaze you this week. (Flex arms and pose like bodybuilder.)
May you find yourself jumping (jump),
celebrating (wave hands in air and cheer),
and praising God for the ways His love is working in your life. (Clasp hands together as if praying.)
Lastly please read this special note about July:
Children’s Worship July Break
We have been delighted to continue having Children’s Worship for our families these last months, despite the limitations of not actually being able to physically gather! What a joy it has been to be able to continue to grow in the Lord and in love for each other through fun lessons and videos!
Over the last several years, Children’s Worship has taken the month of July off to allow for both leaders and children to rest and “reset”. We will be doing that again this year, so for the month of July, there won’t be any new Children’s Worship lessons on the blog. Following are some resources that you are invited to use as you continue to learn and grow with your families. Please do check them out and make sure to familiarize yourself with them so you are prepared to share with your family.
https://crossroadskidsclub.net/ – Videos, lessons, activities, etc
https://www.pebblesandstones.com/Resources/Family-Lessons – Very good interactive lessons
https://www.sallylloyd-jones.com/books/jesus-storybook-bible/ – Highly recommended Children’s Bible
http://cullensabcs.com/growing-with-god-childrens-bible-study/ – Lessons Through the Whole Bible
Special thanks to all those who have been working hard behind the scenes to make these lessons each week! Many have helped with getting the lessons from our curriculum to the blog, creating videos, adding activities, and more. We are so grateful for their service and for the blessing that these lessons have been to our families during this time. We are looking forward to serving you again soon, have a wonderful summer!
Mark Essenburg and the Children’s Worship Team