Welcome to our Epic Sundays!

This week, we’re seeing that God wants to give you the gift of HOPE.

A hope that never fails.

Sunday 24th May

We can have HOPE!

“I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him.  Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit”  Romans 15:13

Worship

What is the Best News Ever?

God knows everything about you – he knows all the good things about you – and he knows all the bad things about you.

He knows that sometimes you’ve done wrong things and sometimes, others have done wrong things to you.. He knows the dark feelings, thoughts or actions that can rise up inside you. They can hurt other people and keep you from knowing and experiencing God’s love.

That makes God sad because he has much better things for you. He wants to give you Hope and here’s how:

God loves you so much that he sent his son Jesus to earth.

Jesus came as a person, like you. In everything he did, he showed us what God is like. Even though he was perfect, he was arrested and killed like a criminal. Now that might sound like a terrible mistake, but it really wasn’t.

By dying on the cross, Jesus chose to suffer pain. To enter into all the bad things in all the world, to suffer them with us, and to take them on his shoulders. So he could smash them! Three days later, God brought him back to life so that nothing can ever separate you or anyone else from experiencing God’s love!

This is why you can have hope. It’s like a great big gift that God wants to give you.

God wants you to say ‘yes’ to receiving his gift.

When you do this, God puts his Holy Spirit inside you. The Holy Spirit changes your heart so you can love God and love others.

He gives you his power to make a difference in the world and promises he will always be with you and will never leave you.

This is the Best News Ever!

It doesn’t matter who you are, how old you are or what you’ve done. God wants everyone – young and old to come to him and say ‘yes’. If you want to receive this gift of hope and love, you can tell God in prayer today….

Discussion:

  • What is hope?
  • How did God give the world hope?
  • How does God give us hope today?
  • Why did Jesus come to Earth?
  • Who can say ‘yes’ to Jesus?  Do you have to be a certain age or height or size before you can say ‘yes’ to him?
  • Where do you need God’s hope today?

If you would like to say ‘YES’ to Jesus today, say this prayer with Matt:

If you’ve said ‘YES’ to Jesus today, please get your mum or dad to drop me an email, or put something on the God Spot …. we’d love to hear about it!

Prayer:

Print off this ‘hope’ card:

Hope

  • Invite the Holy Spirit to come and minister to you
  • Where could you use some of God’s Hope?
  • Write or draw within the letters of the Hope card areas of your life where you need hope

Sunday 17th May

We can be close to God!

“You know all about me. You know when I sit down and when I get up. You know my thoughts before I think them.” Psalm 139:1-2

Worship

Listen to the Bible story for this week:

Can you imagine what it would have been like to have been one of those children in the story? To have seen Jesus stop what he was doing, just for you! So he could take you in his arms, pray for you and bless you?

Those children probably never forgot the words Jesus spoke to them.

Jesus showed them how God feels about children, that children are very important to God.

And you are important to him too. He loves that you can be close to him. He want you to be in a close friendship with him – now and forever.
Maybe you didn’t realise it, but Jesus knows you. He knows all your names, first, middle and last, and even your nicknames. He designed your fingerprints. He knows all about your family. He even knows how many hairs are on your head at any moment! He knows every detail about you, because he loves you so much, he pays attention to you all the time.

Psalm 139:1-2 says how God thinks about us:
“You know all about me. You know when I sit down and when I get up. You know my thoughts before I think them.”

God knows you better than anyone else, and he loves you better than anyone else! Being in a close friendship with God is the best friendship there is. Just like those bible children were welcome to come to Jesus, you’re welcome to come to him too . And that is really good news!

Discussion questions:
• What does it mean to be close to someone?
• What is one way you feel close to God?
• How does it make you feel to know that God knows everything about you?
• How are you going to practise being close to God this week?

Prayer:

God, thank you that you love children so much. Help me to know that you love me being close to you. Help that good news settle deep into my heart this week.  In Jesus’ name. Amen

Put on some quiet music
Invite the Holy spirit to come
Ask God, “if you and I could have a special time together anywhere in the world, right now, where would you take me?”
Capture the first thought that goes through your mind.
Ask God, why did you pick that place?
Draw a picture of what you felt or heard.

Sunday 10th May

We can have generous hearts!

“For this is how much God loved the world – he gave his one and only unique Son as a gift”  John 3:16

Listen to Jim tell the story of Jesus feeding of 5000 people:

This week’s Bible story was about a little boy who was willing to give what he had (his lunch!) and Jesus took that little lunch and miraculously turned it into enough food to feed all the people in the crowd!

The boy gave and got to be part of the miracle that Jesus did! Isn’t that cool!

Wouldn’t it be cool to be part of a miracle?

God loves it when you and I give because he can use what we give to do miracles in someone else’s life.

You can start at home by sharing or taking turns with people in your family.

You can give by having a generous attitude about your stuff, your time or your space.

Remember – you only have your stuff because someone generously gave it to you in the first place! God loves children that can give in big and small ways – because God is a giver too!

Discussion questions:
• What does it mean to give generously?
• What does the Bible say about giving? Check out Proverbs 11:25 and 1 Timothy 6:18
• What are some of the ways you can give generously this week?

Prayer:
God you are so good. You give and give and never stop taking care of us. Thank you for always being good. Help us to give generously, knowing that you’ll always give us what we need.

In Jesus’ name. Amen

Print off this encouragement card:

Encouragement Card

Invite the Holy spirit to come and speak to you.
Be still for a few minutes and listen to the Holy Spirit
Fill out the encouragement card according to what the Holy Spirit is telling you
Give the card to the person you want to encourage

Sunday 3rd May

We can be BRAVE!

“Do not be afraid… for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go”.  Joshua ch 1 v 9

Listen to the story of Miriam and Moses from Exodus chapter 2:

God loves that children, just like you can be brave! You may never need to save a baby from a rhino or a crocodile, but sometimes, just like Miriam, you’ll have to choose to be brave.

Watch this video of children saying when they had to be brave:

Being brave doesn’t mean you’re not afraid. It means you do what needs to be done, even though you are afraid. That’s why it’s hard… but God promises that he’ll always be with us, like he was with Miriam and Moses.

When we trust him, and choose to do what’s right, even when it’s hard, God is so proud! Whether it’s holding your breath under water in swimming lessons? Sitting quietly in the dentists chair, or standing up for a friend who is being teased. God recognises those acts of bravery because he knows how we feel inside.

God knows that with his help, you can be brave! And God loves that about you.

Discussion:

• Do you have any stories of how God spoke to you this week?
• What does it mean to be brave?
• What does the Bible say about being brave?
• Check out Joshua 1:9. How does this verse make you feel?
• Tell us about a time when you had to be brave?

Prayer:

Thank you God that you promise always to be with us wherever we go, so we don’t have to be afraid – ever!  We can be brave because we have you Lord.

In Jesus’ name.  Amen

Print off this worksheet:

BRAVE Worksheet

Draw a picture of you being brave this week!

Sunday 25th April 2020

Hearing God’s Voice

“Call out to me. I will answer you. I will tell you great things you do not know”. Jeremiah 33:3

God invites you all to call on him and ask him questions! He says he’ll give you answers – isn’t that cool?!

Worship

Watch this video about how God calls Samuel -you can also read about it in 1 Samuel 3.

At first, Samuel didn’t recognise God’s voice. He needed Eli to help him. It’s OK for us to learn how to hear God too! We need to learn how God speaks to us and how to recognise his voice when we hear it.

One of the ways God speaks to us is in his word, the Bible. He told us to call out to him. A great thing about reading or listening to the Bible is that we become very familiar with God’s voice as we hear his words over and over again.

When we talk to God in prayer, let’s remember to take time to listen too. In fact, that’s the most important part! God has things he want to tell us and show us. Many times God doesn’t use words – he may show us pictures in our imaginations, or give us dreams while we sleep. Sometimes he gives us an idea of something we could do to share his love with someone. Those are all ways of sharing himself with us so we can be part of what he’s doing in the world.

Watch this video about Kids hearing God:

Discussion:

• What are some of the ways God speaks to people?
• What does Jesus mean when he says “my sheep listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me.” John 10:27
• What do we need to do to get God to answer us?
• Has God ever spoken to you? If so, how did he speak and what did he say?
• If God hasn’t spoken to you, don’t give up asking! God loves you and wants to talk to you.

Prayer:

Thank you God for creating each of our Epic Kids individually and wonderfully special, so they can experience being loved and cared for by you.
Thank you that each of us – no matter who we are – can hear you speak to us.
Please speak to us now.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Invite the Holy Spirit to come and make His truth known.
Ask God this question: “If you could play any game with me right now, what would it be?”
Capture the first thought that comes to mind or the first thing you feel.
Then, ask God – ‘Why did you pick that game?” and “What do you want to teach me or show me through that game?”
Draw a picture of what you felt or heard.

Activity:

Print off the worksheet:

HEAR Worksheet

Pray first and fill in the gaps

Sunday 19th April 2020

Joy!

God loves that you bring Joy!

You bring God Joy just by being who you are!

You bring joy to your family too (no matter how often they get annoyed with you…. Really!)

Worship

Watch this video. Some children are asked what makes them happy – and what makes their parents happy:

Most of those children knew that they made their parents happy. They give their parents joy.

The Bible tells us about a woman called Sarah, who had grown very old and still didn’t have any children, but God promised that one day she would have a baby. Even though she was far too old, God kept his promise, and she and her husband Abraham had a baby boy! Wow! They were so happy, they laughed with joy! They named their boy Isaac (which means laughter). You can read it if you like in Genesis 21:1-7.

Do you know that you bring joy to the heart of God too?

There’s a verse in Zephaniah 3:17 that says:
“The Lord your God is with you.
The mighty one will save you.
The Lord will be happy with you.
You will rest in his love.
He will sing and be joyful about you.”

Are you surprised that God sings about you?

Think of it this way. Have you ever made something you felt really proud of? Maybe you built something out of Lego? Or painted or drew something that made you feel happy every time you looked at it?

That’s a little bit like God’s joy over you. It doesn’t depend on how well you do at school or how perfectly you behave. You bring God joy just because he made you – and he really loves the you that he made!

So – how does it feel to know that you bring JOY to your family and to God?

Discussion questions:
• Why do you think God made us all start out as children?
• What is the difference between happiness and Joy?
• What gives you joy? What makes you feel happy and excited?
• What are some ways you can bring joy to your family?

Prayer:

Father,
Thank you for creating each of us individually and wonderfully special, so we can experience being loved and cared for by you. Thank you for how lovingly you have made us.
Help us all to know that we bring joy to you! Help us to rest in your love today.
In Jesus name, amen.

Maybe play this song while you’re doing the prayer activity – it might help you focus on what God is saying to you

Take a small mirror

Invite the Holy Spirit to come and make his truth known.

Take a few seconds to look directly at yourself in the mirror.

Quietly think about how you see yourself

Ask the Holy Spirit to show you how you bring joy to the heart of God.

Write down what God shows you.

Challenge:

Print off this sheet:

Joy challenge

Write down or draw ways you can bring joy this week. It might be something you could do at home? Or maybe you could phone someone? Or make a card for someone? Use your imagination!

Ask your parents to take a photo of the sheet and email it to me. I’d love to see what you’ve done.

Easter Sunday

Oh Happy Day!

Happy Easter everyone!

Our King Jesus is risen.   Everything is now better.

Today is the greatest day in history!  Everything we believe hinges on what happened on Easter Sunday.   Jesus rose again. He conquered death for ever more.

Watch this short video of what happened when the women went to the tomb on that first Easter Sunday:

Today we are remembering when Jesus rose from the dead, His resurrection.

Jesus is alive!

And we can be sure that Jesus is alive because the whole Bible tells us he is!

We don’t need to touch him, see him or eat with him to know it’s true. But one day we will see him face to face and we will get to touch his scars for ourselves. And we’ll be so pleased that we trusted in him now.

So, until then, we have the Holy Spirit who helps us to tell others the Easter story, so that they can also believe that Jesus is alive.

Discussion questions:

Think about the video you watched – or you could read from the Bible in Luke 24:1-8

• What different shocks did you spot that surprised the women?
• What did the angels remind the women about?
• What job had God given the angels to do in this story?
• If Jesus had already told the women to expect all this, why do you think they were so surprised?

Pray

Think of something to say ‘thank you’ to Jesus for.  It could be anything at all.  Go round and take it in turns to say thank you for something you feel God has blessed you with.  Maybe you could say thank you for things that start with the letters that spell out your name?  Or each take a letter of the alphabet each?  See how far you can get and how many things  we have to be thankful for!

Holy Week Devotional Activities

Day 5 – A Very Good Friday

Bible story: Luke 23: 36-38
Even the soldiers made fun of him. They came to Jesus and offered him some vinegar. They said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself!” (at the top of the cross, these words were written: “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS”

We don’t normally celebrate someone’s death – so why is Good Friday actually good?
Complete the sentence: “If I was king for today, I would…….”
Today is Good Friday. On the first Good Friday, Jesus was the king. Remember how he chose to spend it.

Discussion:
• Can we find different ways people made fun of Jesus?
• What did they tell Jesus to do?
• Everyone was shouting horrible things at Jesus, how do you think Jesus was feeling?
• Could Jesus have got himself off the cross? Why didn’t he?
• Why did the soldiers think that a king should save himself?
• What sort of a King is Jesus?

Pray:
Imagine Jesus walked in right now and sat down next to you. What would you say to him?

Day 4 – The Last Supper

Bible story: Luke 22:19-20
Then Jesus took some break. He thanked God for it, broke it, and gave it to his disciples. Then Jesus said, “This bread is my body that I am giving for you. Do this to remember me.” In the same way, after supper, Jesus took the cup and said, “This cup shows the new agreement that God makes with his people. This new agreement begins with my blood which is poured out for you.”

Have you ever felt unloved? Or alone? Jesus sat next to his friends and told those he loved that he would lay down his life for them. He says the same to us. How does that feel? To know there is someone (and not just anyone!) who has laid down his life for you? How can that help when we feel unloved?

Why not use some real bread and a purple drink (juice or blackcurrant?) to experience something of what Jesus was explaining.
Break your break and pass it around as you say the words that Jesus used.
Pass round the purple drink as you say the words Jesus used.

Discussion:
• Did you notice who Jesus said his body would be broken for and who his blood would be spilt for?
• What do you want to remember about Jesus from this story? Why do you want to remember this?

Pray:
Imagine you had been sitting at that table? Jesus was asking that his followers eat bread and drink wine to remember his life, which he was about to give for them.
If you’d been there, what would you have wanted to say to him?
Try saying that to him right now… because at this moment, he is closer to you than he was to his disciples at that meal.

Day 3  – Just as Jesus said

Bible Story: Luke 22:7-16
They asked, “Where do you want us to prepare it?”
Jesus said to them, “Listen! After you go into the city, you will see a man carrying a jar of water. Follow him into the house that he enters. Tell the person who owns that house, ‘The Teacher asks that you please show us the room where he and his followers may eat the Passover meal.’ Then he will show you a large room upstairs. This room is ready for you. Prepare the Passover meal there.”
So Peter and John left. Everything happened as Jesus had said. So they prepared the Passover meal.
When the time came, Jesus and the disciples were sitting at the table. He said to them, “I wanted very much to eat this Passover meal with you before I die. I will never eat another Passover meal until it is given its true meaning in the Kingdom of God”

It all happened just as Jesus said….
Jesus told Peter and John exactly what would happen…. Imagine if we got instructions like that each day?!
Here we see how much Jesus delights to be with his friends. Can you imagine Jesus loving you? He knows you as an individual. He knows your name, what you love, what you hate, what you are frightened of, what makes you laugh..? When would it help to remember this?
Get some paper and pens and draw the scene that Jesus described to Peter and John.

Discussion:
• Jesus told Peter and John to find a man carrying a …… what?
• Can you remember what Jesus got exactly right? Can you list the details?
• How do you think Jesus got it exactly right?
• We call this meal ‘The Last Supper’. It was a very special meal. What clues are there that it was special for Jesus?
• How do you see Jesus’ love for people in this story?

Pray
What is surprising or amazing about Jesus in this story? Why don’t you tell him?!

Day 2: Who’s against Jesus?

Bible Story: Luke 22:1-6
It was almost time for the Jewish Feast of Unleavened Bread, called the Passover Feast. The leading priests and teachers of the law were trying to find a way to kill Jesus but were afraid of the people.
One of Jesus’ 12 apostles was named Judas Iscariot. Satan entered Judas and he went to the leading priests and some of the soldiers who were guarding the temple. He talked to them about a way to give Jesus to them. They were pleased and promised to give Judas money. Judas agreed. They he waited for the best time to turn Jesus over to them without the crowd knowing it.

Jesus knew he was in the middle of a fight between good and evil, but he carried on.

Gather together some objects that could represent people (pieces of pasta? Or toy figures? Or Lego people or pieces? Or marbles? Anything you can get your hands on!)

Have one of the pieces as Jesus and divide the rest into two groups, ‘people for Jesus’ and ‘people against Jesus’.
Using the Bible story (and the stories from the last few days) chat about who is in each group (ie. The 12 disciples, people who were listening to him in the temple, Judas, the chief priests and teachers etc.)

Using your imagination, put yourself in the story and put yourself into one of these groups. Use this as a special time to decide if you’re ‘for Jesus’ or ‘against Jesus’. Where will we put our trust?

Discussion:
• Who were the people who were against Jesus?
• What group of people did Judas belong to?
• Jesus looked after his followers. They were his friends. Do you want Jesus to look after you?
• What was Judas given to make him want to change sides?
• Those against Jesus were powerful and rich and there were a lot of them. But Jesus wasn’t worried or scared. Why do you think that was?

Pray:
Thank you, Father that Jesus wasn’t surprised or worried by the enemies he had. Thank you, Father for who Jesus is – the one with all the power, all control, and all goodness, who can stand against all evil.

Day 1: Clearing out the Temple

Bible Story: Luke 19:45-48
Jesus went into the temple. He began to throw out the people who were selling things there. He said, “It is written in the Scriptures, ‘My Temple will be a house where people pray.’ But you have changed it into a ‘hideout for robbers’!
Jesus taught in the temple every day. The leading priests, the teachers of the law, and some of the leaders of the people wanted to kill Jesus. But all the people were listening so closely to him and were interested in all the things he said. So the leading priests, the teachers of the law, and the leaders did not know how they could kill him.

Is it ever right to be angry?
This is a rare moment when we see Jesus angry. Sometimes it is right to be angry. Jesus wasn’t losing his temper and he wasn’t out of control. Jesus was rightfully angry about how his Father’s house was being used.
This passage also reminds us that Jesus makes some people absolutely furious! They want to stop anyone from hearing his words. Have you ever seen anyone behave like that?

Perhaps try…….
Collect some unbreakable objects that can be swept off a table.
Maybe gather together some loose change or toy money.
Create a scene of buying and selling.
Then one person could sweep some of the unbreakable objects off the table and say: “Get out! This should be a place where people can talk to God but you are using it to take people’s money!”
Take it in turns to be the one who gets to sweep the objects off the table.

Discussion:
• Why was Jesus so angry?
• What did the religious leaders think?
• When they saw him clearing the temple, what did they want to do to him?
• If you had been standing there, seeing Jesus throw tables around, driving animals out and shouting at people, what do you think you would have said about Jesus?
• Why do you things the religious leaders hated Jesus so much for clearing the temple?

Pray
Dear Father, please help us to understand why Jesus was so angry. We pray that we would be the people who love everything Jesus does, and want to hear the things he says – just like the crowd did. Amen

Click below to download the PDF Epic Kids Daily Challenge

Epic challenge

Week 3

This Sunday is Palm Sunday.

Jesus arrived in Jerusalem riding on a donkey! The crowds were expressing their joyful delight that God’s promised King had arrived… but the Pharisees were angry.

Our Bible story today shows us the two extreme reactions of the crowd. There were people who loved Jesus – and there were people who didn’t like him at all. It can be a bit like that today… some people love Jesus and for some, Jesus seems to make them angry.

Today, as we start Easter week, let’s think about what our reaction to Jesus is. We have a choice. Will we shout and sing and worship the king? Or will we try to shut up the praise and push Jesus into the shadows?

Worship

Bible Story

Luke 19:30, 35-40
Jesus said, “Go into the town you can see there. When you enter it, you will find a colt tied there. No one has ever ridden this colt. Untie it and bring it here to me.
So they brought it to Jesus. They threw their coats on the colt’s back and put Jesus on it. As Jesus road towards Jerusalem, the followers spread their coats on the road before him.
Jesus was coming close to Jerusalem. He was already near the bottom of the Mount of Olives. The whole crowd of followers was very happy. They began shouting praise to God for all the powerful words they had seen. They said:
“God bless the king who comes in the name of the Lord!
There is peace in heaven and glory to God””
Some of the Pharisees said to Jesus, “Teacher, tell your followers not to say these things!”
But Jesus answered, “I tell you, if my followers don’t say these things, the stones will cry out.”

Why not try and act out the scene? You could throw a coat over a chair or buggy or scooter or bike? One of you can be Jesus, sitting as he arrives in Jerusalem, the rest of you could throw your coats on the floor in front of Jesus. Praise God with the words: “Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna to the King!”
Then try and put the shouts of praise in your own words? Be joyful! God’s king has finally arrived! What would you have shouted if you had been there?

Now, try and think about what it means for Jesus to be your king.

Discussion:
• How did the crowds feel as Jesus arrived?
• Why do you think they felt like that?
• How did the Pharisees feel?
• Why was that do you think?
• Imagine being so excited about a man that you shout, sing and dance in the street as he rides past. Is there anything you know about Jesus that would make you shout and sing and dance?

Prayer activity
Jesus said: “if my followers don’t say these things, the stones will cry out”.
Go into the garden or park and collect some stones. Clean them off and paint or use felt tips to draw and decorate a signing stone, as if it was singing praise to Jesus.
If you can’t get any stones, draw a picture of some stones and make these stones praise Jesus.
Pray: “Dear God, thank you for our amazing King Jesus” (add your own reasons why you would like to thank God for King Jesus)