Red Sea Rescue – Moses

Aim:

To show the children that God has power over his creation.

Bible base:

Exodus 14

You will need:

  • Simple picture clues drawn either on acetates or on large sheets of paper
  • A stick to represent the one Moses had (You could use a walking stick.)
  • Two large flash cards: ‘Egyptians’ and ‘Israelites’
  • A cassette player and tape of God’s words to Moses

Preparation

  • Prepare simple picture clues on paper, similar to the game ‘Dingbats’.  Examples: Bluebell (draw a bell and colour it blue), Happy Birthday (draw a smiley face followed by a birthday cake), Baa baa black sheep (draw Babar the elephant followed by a sheep coloured in black), Red Sea (draw the letter ‘C’ and colour it red).
  • Prepare the two flash cards, ‘Egyptians’ and ‘Israelites’
  • Record on a cassette tape God’s words to Moses in Exodus 14:16. ‘Moses, lift up your stick and hold it out over the sea.  The water will divide, and the Israelites will be able to walk through the sea on dry ground.’
  • If possible, before the assembly begins conceal the tape recorder and have a teacher lined up to operate this on cue.

Presentation

Introduction

  1. Have fun playing the picture clue game, where the children must say what they see.  Do one or two for them until they grasp how to play.  End with the red ‘C’.
  2. Use this last clue to lead into the story.  Ask the children if they know where the Red Sea is.

Story

  1. Begin with the background:  The Israelites, God’s special people, had been slaves in Egypt.  The Pharaoh, who was like the king, had decided to let them go free, so they had set out into the desert and reached the Red Sea. The Pharaoh changed his mind and chased them with his great army.  The Israelites were trapped.  They turned to Moses their leader in panic.
  2. Choose a group of children to be Israelites and a group to be Egyptians, one child from each group holding up the appropriate flash card.  Choose a child to be Moses.
  3. Tell the story from Exodus 14 very simply, using the children to act it out as you go and using the tape recording at the appropriate point.

Application

  1. Ask the children how Moses and the Israelites must have felt when they realised they were trapped.
  2. Point out to the children that they prayed to God for help and he rescued them.  What did he do?

Time to reflect

  1. Ask the children to be very still and close their eyes for a few moments and to think how powerful God must be to have done this.
  2. Remind them that God made the world and everything in it. He can tell seas what to do!

Song suggestion

How did Moses cross the Red Sea? 83, Junior Praise

Power over nature – calming the storm

Bible base:

Luke 8:22-25

Teaching objectives:

To show that the Bible says Jesus had power to control nature.

You will need:

Ten A4 pieces of paper each with a letter of the word IMPOSSIBLE written on it.

Introductory activity:

Nature Quiz. Show the pupils each letter in turn and give them the corresponding clue. The letters make up the word ‘IMPOSSIBLE’. When a pupil gives you the right answer, call them to the front to hold up the appropriate letter.

  • P A black and white bird which cannot fly and lives at the South Pole (penguin)
  • I A large floating piece of frozen water near the North or South Pole (iceberg)
  • M It shines brightly at night (moon)
  • O Round juicy fruit with a thick brightly coloured skin (orange)
  • S Ball of fire in the sky that gives us light (sun)
  • L A big cat with a furry mane (lion)
  • S Creature that spins a web (spider)
  • I Small six-legged creature (insect)
  • E Another name for the world (earth)
  • B Feathered creature (bird)

What do the letters spell? Unscramble them to find out. (IMPOSSIBLE)

Take the letters from the pupils and display them at the front to be referred to later. Ask the pupils to take their seats again.

Each of these things is amazing – it would be impossible for us to make any of them ourselves. We can alter our world or damage it through pollution and misuse, but we can never really control it.

Tell the story of Jesus calming the storm from Luke 8:22-25, as outlined below. Encourage pupil participation when they hear the following prompts, asking them to stop when you give them the signal:

  • ‘asleep’ snore
  • ‘boat’ sway from side to side
  • ‘afraid’ scream
  • ‘wind’ blow
  • ‘storm’ divide assembly into four groups to make the following sounds:
  • ‘whoosh!’, ‘swish’, tapping floor with fingers, clapping

One day, after Jesus had been talking to large crowds of people, he suggested to the disciples that they take a boat out and cross over to the other side of the lake. Now, the disciples thought this was a great idea. The people had been around for ages and they were really quite tired and glad of an excuse to get away for a bit. So, they all got into the boat and set off across the lake. The further out from shore they got, the more the boat swayed, and before they knew it, Jesus had fallen sound asleep.

Soon the disciples too began to get a bit drowsy. But before they could fall asleep, they noticed a small cloud in the distance. Soon the small cloud became a huge black cloud and the wind began to blow. The wind got stronger and stronger, the waves grew higher and higher and the disciples grew more and more afraid. Suddenly, they were in the middle of a huge storm and they were all afraid for their lives!

All, that is, except Jesus. Throughout it all, as the wind blew and the boat lurched from side to side and the storm raged, Jesus was still asleep! What were they to do? Jesus was supposed to be their leader- he had done so many amazing things – and now they were all going to drown while he slept!

Quickly, they woke him up shouting, ‘Master, Master, we’re going to drown!’ You may wish to get the assembly to shout these words out.

When Jesus looked at the sea and saw the huge storm that had blown up, he told it to stop – and it did! Signal for them to stop abruptly.

‘Where is your faith?’ Jesus asked them. Jesus wanted his disciples to trust him. And when the disciples saw that the wind had died down, they were amazed and asked themselves who exactly this man could be, that even nature obeyed Him!

All the things we talked about at the beginning of the assembly are amazing parts of the natural world that it would be impossible for us to control. Yet the Bible teaches that Jesus had power even over nature!

Optional prayer time:

Lead the pupils in the following prayer, encouraging them to keep looking to the front and shouting out ‘impossible!’ when you point to it.

‘Lord Jesus, thank you that nothing is impossible for you. Thank you that you have power over nature, power over illness, power over everything! When we think that something is impossible, help us to come to you and ask you for help. With your help, nothing is impossible!’

As an alternative to praying, say the following statement about Christian belief, encouraging the pupils to shout out ‘IMPOSSIBLE’ with you:

Christians believe that nothing is IMPOSSIBLE for God. They believe that he has power over nature, power over illness, power over everything! Sometimes we come across things in life that we think are IMPOSSIBLE – Christians believe that God can help us, even with these IMPOSSIBLE things.

 

Power over sin – healing the paralysed man

Bible base:

Luke 5:17-26

Teaching objectives:

To show that the Bible says Jesus had exceptional power to forgive the things that we do wrong. This backed up His claim to be the Son of God.

You will need:

  • A stereo that does not work (if that is hard to find, detach the wiring in the plug, but leave the plug attached to the flex.
  • A jacket with the words ‘I can’t walk’ attached with safety pins to the outside and ‘I have done things that are wrong’, ‘I have bad attitudes’ and ‘I am not perfect’ safety-pinned to the inside.

Introductory activity:

Show the stereo to the pupils and tell them that you are going to play some great music to them (you could get quite excited about this!). Make sure that the stereo is not plugged in and that this is visible to the assembly. Also, make sure that there is no CD in the player. Make a big show of pressing play and then pretend to be confused because nothing happens. Can they spot what is wrong?

Once they have spotted that it is not plugged in and you have fixed this, press play again and wait for the music. Can anyone guess what’s wrong this time? Open the CD player to check that the CD is in correctly, but of course, the CD is not there.

Put a CD in the player and again build up to pressing ‘play’ and waiting for the music. What is wrong this time? The CD player is plugged in, the CD is in, but it still will not play.

The CD player is broken inside. Although it looks fine on the outside, and although all the obvious problems are now fixed, there is still a bigger problem inside.

Today’s story from the Bible is about a man who had two problems, one obvious and one hidden inside.

Choose a volunteer to come to the front and dress them in the jacket with the words ‘I can’t walk’ visible to the assembly. Ask them to sit on a seat at the front.

Everyone who walked past this man as he sat in the street knew what the problem was, because it was obvious. Everyone could see that he couldn’t walk. This problem was on the outside.

But, just like the stereo, this man also had problem inside, although he may not have realised exactly what this problem was. Actually, this is a problem that we all have.

Although this man could not walk and run about with his friends, he did have some very special friends who cared for him and spent time with him. These friends wanted to do anything they could to help their friend to walk again. They knew that Jesus had helped lots of people, and so they took their friend to him.

They had to try really hard to get to Jesus. He was so popular that the house where He was staying was packed with people. They actually had to go up on the roof and lower their friend down on his mat to Jesus. I wonder what they thought Jesus would say? He had healed lots of people simply by saying something. Would he just say ‘Get up’, or would he touch the man’s feet and say ‘be healed’?

Jesus actually said a very strange thing! He said:

‘My friend, your sins are forgiven.’

Sin means anything we have done or said or thought that makes us less than perfect. Ask the members of staff in the assembly if anyone in the room is perfect. No one is perfect. We have all done some of the wrong things the Bible calls ‘sin’.

So, when Jesus said that the man’s sins were forgiven, he meant that all the things he had done or said or thought in the past that were less than perfect were forgotten about by God!

Some people were very cross! Who did Jesus think he was? How could he say that he forgave him for everything he had ever done wrong? They believed only God could do that.

The answer is in the hidden problem that this man had inside. Just like the stereo which was not plugged in, there was something very obvious wrong with the man – he could not walk. But what was wrong inside was more serious. Ask the volunteer to open the jacket to reveal the words written inside – ‘I have done things that are wrong’, ‘I have bad attitudes’, ‘I am not perfect’.

These were the problems that Jesus was dealing with first, because they were more serious than the problem which everyone else could see.

Once Jesus had forgiven the man, he did tell him to pick up his mat and walk home. And that is exactly what the man did! The man went home healed, not just on the outside, but on the inside too.

As you are saying this, take the jacket from the pupil and ask them to return to their seat.Put the jacket on yourself. Take the sign from the outside.

As a Christian, I believe that the problems that I have on the outside may be different to those of the man in the story, but the problem on the inside is the same for everyone. Christians believe that Jesus can deal with all the other problems in our life too, but the main thing he wants to deal with first is the problem on the inside. What is that problem? It’s the fact that we aren’t perfect and have done and said things that are wrong – what the Bible calls ‘sin’. Christians believe that God wants to forgive us, just as Jesus forgave the man in today’s story.

Optional prayer time:

Give thanks that God wants to deal with the wrong things in our life and to forgive us.