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.