While we are unable to meet for Sunday School, I will post an adaptation of the children's Sunday School lesson every Monday. Think of the lesson as a guide to discuss a story from the Bible together. Each lesson will include some introductory material, a Scripture reading, questions for review and discussion, an activity suggestion, a short prayer, and a memory verse. I encourage you to take just 10-15 minutes every week to actively engage your children or grandchildren in this opportunity to grow together in your faith!
Share some background information before reading the story together.
Last week, we learned about Jesus’ promise to the disciples that the Holy Spirit would come, be with them always, and would guide and comfort them. Jesus gave them this promise of the Holy Spirit because he knew what was about to happen – that he would be arrested, die on the cross, and then come back to life. He knew his disciples would be sad and scared, and he wanted them to know that God would never leave them.
Our story this week is found in the beginning of the book of Acts. The book of Acts tells us about the things that happened after Jesus rose from the dead. After Jesus rose from the dead, he spent 40 days on earth. During those 40 days, Jesus continued to teach his disciples. He told them that they needed to wait in Jerusalem until they received the Holy Spirit. This happens in Acts 2, and we get to learn more about that next week!
The disciples did what Jesus told them to do. They stayed in Jerusalem and waited for the Holy Spirit. He tells them that they will receive power when they receive the Holy Spirit. After they receive the Holy Spirit, they should not wait in Jerusalem anymore. They should go out into the world to tell everyone about Jesus. The Holy Spirit will be their guide.
Read the story of Jesus’ ascension this week. You can read the story from the Bible or the simplified version of the story from the Spark Story Bible below.
After Jesus died and rose again, he and his disciples got together near Jerusalem. Jesus had some instructions for them.
“As you know, God is doing amazing things in the world,” he said. “And your help is needed! We need you to go tell stories about me! Tell your friends and family and everyone you meet what you’ve learned by following me! Be my witness in the world!”
Then suddenly Jesus was rising – up in the air! What was going on?! He was being lifted up into a cloud!
Jesus’ friends looked around. Two men in white robes had joined them. The men said, “Why are you just standing around looking up toward heaven? Don’t worry, Jesus will come back some day.”
“Right!” said one of Jesus’ disciples, “Meanwhile, we have some work to do! Let’s get going!”
- What instructions did Jesus give his disciples?
- What happened to Jesus after he gave them these instructions?
- Who did the disciples see after Jesus went up to heaven?
- What did the men in white robes tell the disciples?
- The disciples have experienced so many changes over the last couple of months. Jesus has been arrested, put on trial, killed on the cross, rose from the dead, and now he has been carried up to heaven by a cloud. What kind of changes have you experienced in your life? Changing schools, moving, staying home from school, a new brother/sister, etc. How did those changes make you feel?
- Jesus promises us that the Holy Spirit will always be with us, to help us get through tough stuff. How can the Holy Spirit help us get through tough stuff?
- Jesus gave his followers a big job – to be his witnesses all over the world. As followers of Jesus, we should do the same thing! What does it mean to be his witness? How can we tell others about Jesus?
Jesus tells us that we are supposed to be his witnesses, to tell others about Jesus. To prepare ourselves for this important job, we should know what we would say about Jesus. Have everyone in the family share answers to the following questions.
- What is one way (or even one word) you would use to describe Jesus?
- What is one good thing Jesus has done for you?
- What is one reason you want other people to know about Jesus?
Put your answers together into a few sentences to be prepared to be Jesus’ witnesses. Example: Jesus is loving. Jesus forgives me. I want everyone to know about Jesus, so they can be his friends forever.
Dear God, thank you for the people who tell us about you. Thank you for the Holy Spirit to be with us and to guide us. Thank you for loving us all of the time, even when other things change. Help us tell others about you. Amen.
“You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 1:8b