To show the children that we can all do something for God. He takes what we offer and makes it something special for him.
You will need:
- A piece of artwork, a football, a piece of maths work, a sweeping brush, a smiling face drawn on a paper plate, some dancing shoes (anything that shows achievements of the children, including cleaning up well or cheering someone up)
- Some volunteers to mime
- A few simple props – five rolls and two fish (cut from card) packed in a small basket/box etc
Study the script and the Bible passage to familiarise yourself with the story.
- Talk to the children about the things they enjoy doing or things that they are particularly good at.
- Use your items to illustrate different skills, pointing out that some of us are particularly good at helping others, being kind or friendly, cleaning up, cheering people etc. All these things are important.
- Ask for six volunteers to come out and help you tell the story by miming the parts: Peter, Thomas, Jesus, Philip, Andrew, boy. The rest of the children are the crowd.
FAST FOOD FOR FIVE THOUSAND
It had been a hot day.
Everyone was warm and sweaty and hungry.
The crowds had been with Jesus all day, listening to him.
They were sitting on grass, on stones, under trees, up trees and in some cases on thistles (ouch!) and they didn’t mind.
They felt as though they could listen to what Jesus was saying and never have enough.
When it was almost sunset, the disciples thought the people would go back home…but they didn’t.
‘Those children ought to be in bed,’ said Peter. (Peter wags his finger at the crowd as this is said.)
‘Those women should be cooking their husbands’ suppers,’ said Thomas. (Thomas also wags his finger at the crowd.)
A lady who was standing nearby knocked him on the head with her basket. ‘My husband is quite capable of cooking his own supper’, she said.
There was a distant rumbling sound. Was it thunder? Peter patted his tummy.
‘Sorry,’ he said, ‘I always rumble when I’m hungry.’ (Peter rubs his tummy.)
The other disciples laughed, but the thought of supper was making them all ravenous.
As Jesus paused in speaking Philip tugged at his sleeve. (Jesus and Philip to mime.)
‘It’s sunset,’ he said. ‘Isn’t it time you finished off, so the people can go?’
Jesus smiled. ‘We’re miles away from anywhere. What do you expect the people to do?’
‘It’s time for our tea,’ said Philip. ‘Peter’s tummy sounds like a volcano. We need food and so do you and what about the people?
They might be able to find food in the villages and farms. There might be a fast food place…’ his voice trailed off hesistantly.
‘Fast food for all this lot?’ said Jesus, waving his arms over the crowd.
‘Good idea. Can you find some?’
Philip and the others gulped.
For the first time they looked at how huge the crowd was.
Rows of people, groups of children and women and men, stretched away as far as they could see.
‘What about it?’ said Jesus.
Philip went pale. ‘Have you any idea how much it would cost?’ he said, his voice wobbling.
‘A sandwich for everyone here would be hundreds of pounds, there must be over 5,000 people here!’
Andrew felt someone tugging at his sleeve. There was a very small boy. (Andrew and boy to mime.)
‘Not now son,’ said Andrew. ‘We’re having a crisis.’
He turned back to Jesus and Philip.
‘What’s that?’ said the little boy. ‘It’s a grown-up word for a big problem.’
‘Oh, sorry,’ said the boy. ‘I thought you might be hungry.’
Andrew bent down to him. He had a clean face but otherwise he was very dirty. He’d been sitting on the ground all day in the dusty heat.
‘What have you got?’ said Andrew.
‘Two big fish – well, medium – and five rolls. I can’t eat them all myself and Mum said to share.’
Andrew took him by the grubby hand and led him to Jesus.
‘Hello,’ said Jesus. ‘Who are you?’
‘He’s a boy who wants to share,’ said Andrew.
‘Get everyone sitting down,’ said Jesus.
While the disciples organised everyone, Jesus looked into the little boy’s basket and saw the fish and the loaves.
‘Father God,’ prayed Jesus holding up the basket. ‘Thank you for this food and for all you give us. Amen.’
‘Amen,’ said the boy.
‘Would you like to help?’ said Jesus. The boy nodded.
‘I’ll need some more baskets,’ he called to the disciples.
They gathered some from the people, and Jesus started dividing out the bread and fish while the disciples and the boy took it to the different groups. Every time they went back for more they were sure there would not be any left. Every time there was more. How could it be happening?
Eventually everyone was fed and they began to clear up.
‘How could there be any leftovers?’ thought Philip.
But there were leftovers – twelve basketfuls!
‘Wow,’ said the boy, ‘you’re amazing, Jesus!’
- Make the point to the children that the boy did what he could – he offered his lunch to Jesus – and Jesus did something very special with it.
- In the same way today, if we offer to Jesus the things we can do, he will use them.
Lord Jesus, thank you for all the things we can do….painting pictures, writing stories, dancing, making music, helping others. Please help us to do all these things for you. Amen.