Paul on the Road to Damascus
Scripture: Acts 9:1-20
Key Scripture Verses: Acts 9:17b “Saul, the Lord Jesus has sent me. He is the same one who appeared to you along the road. He wants you to be able to see and to be filled with the Holy Spirit.” (Contemporary English Version)
“Anyone who belongs to Christ is a new person. The past is forgiven, and everything is new.” II Corinthians 5:17 (CEV)
· Jesus changes people who accept him.
· When Jesus changes us, he calls us to do God’s work.
· God can change enemies into friends.
1. Learn that after Jesus’ death Saul thought he was protecting worship of God by arresting the followers of Jesus.
2. Understand that God sent the risen Jesus to dramatically change Saul’s understanding, causing Saul to repent.
3. Know that Saul became a believer who changed his name to Paul and traveled to many lands and wrote letters, establishing and explaining to early Christian communities how Jesus wanted them to live. Many of these letters became New Testament books.
4. Children will depict Paul’s dramatic conversion with pastels.
Welcome and Introductions:
1. Welcome the children and introduce yourself. Wear your nametag.
2. Start the “lesson time” with prayer. Ask for volunteers, but plan on praying yourself. A short prayer asking God to help us to learn more and to be good disciples would be appropriate.
1. This is the story of Saul who became Paul after God sent Jesus to change Saul’s mission.
2. Saul was a Pharisee, a Jewish religious leader who was also a Roman citizen. He didn’t understand that the message Jesus taught was God’s word. It was his job to travel with soldiers to arrest Christians and destroy their communities. He thought he was doing the right thing.
3. One day he was traveling on the road to Damascus when suddenly a bright light shone down from heaven! Saul fell to the ground and heard a voice that said, “Saul! Saul! Why are you so cruel to me?” “Who are you?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus. I am the one you are so cruel to. Now get up and go into the city, where you will be told what to do.”
4. Saul could not see. The men with him helped him reach the city of Damascus. In the city there was a disciple of Jesus named Ananias. He had heard about Saul and was afraid of him. But God told Ananias “Go! I have chosen him to tell foreigners, kings and the people of Israel about me.” Ananias obeyed God and went to Saul and put his hands on him and said, “Saul, the Lord Jesus has sent me. He is the same one who appeared to you along the road. He wants you to be able to see and to be filled with the Holy Spirit.”
5. Suddenly Saul could see with his eyes, mind and heart! He was baptized and stayed with the Lord’s followers. As a new man, called by God, he stopped hurting Christians and became the greatest missionary of the Christian church. Even his name changed. He was known as Paul.
6. Take a minute to talk to the children about the creation they are going to be doing in this workshop. Tell them that they will be using oil pastels to illustrate the story of Saul’s dramatic conversion when he was struck by God’s blinding light.
1. Create! Have the children listen to the Bible story (1-5 above). Remind them that although Saul was not alone, the event was directed at him. Point out the map of Mediterranean lands and each of Paul’s journeys – some by land and some by sea.
2. Tell them to depict the scene of Saul’s conversion in oil pastels with a glowing shaft of light directed at him. This was a dramatic scene where Saul fell to the ground (probably from a horse). It was an explosive turning point in his life.
3. Steps: Pass out sheets of 8 X 10 pastel paper. Each child should print his or her name in pencil on the back. Sharing sets of oil pastels, they should work on their creation, working in solid areas of color rather than lines. When almost complete, they can highlight areas with regular pastels.
4. Clean up! Involve everyone in cleaning up so that you will have time to share together in the closing. You may want to have a prearranged signal for clean up and tell them at beginning of art project what that will be - perhaps giving them a 5 minute warning and then the final clean up notice to allow those who need a bit more warning that they need to complete whatever they are working on.
5. Turn out lights and lock the classroom door when leaving.
1. Ask the shepherds to pass out Journals and pencils/markers. The children should spend a few minutes reflecting upon the morning's lesson – What kind of person was Saul before he changed? Who changed him? When he became a disciple what did he do? Can anyone think of a time when they were sure that what they were doing was right, but it was really wrong?
1. Encourage the children to think about Saul becoming Paul.
2. Tell them that their Pennies will be given to Wake Interfaith Hospitality Network (WIHN) to help people who live in our county change their lives.
3. Say the Key Memory Verse together (see above). You may want to have this verse printed on a banner and hung in the room, write it on the white board in the room, or have it on slips of paper that each child can take home.
4. Pray! Ask the children if they have any prayer requests. Thank God for sending the Holy Spirit to Paul so that Jesus’ message can be shared throughout the world.
Teacher preparation in advance:
1. Read the scripture passage and attend the Faith Quest Leaders Workshop
2. Prepare an opening prayer in case nobody volunteers to pray.
3. Check the art room to see what supplies exist. Experiment with pastel blending. Post the map in an easy to see place.
4. Prepare all the materials you will need for the creation process. Have the materials ready to go. There will be limited time for the creation process, so do everything you can to conserve time.
5. Decide how you want to close the lesson. Prepare a prayer or use one of the group suggestions.
A map showing the Mediterranean lands visited by Paul
8” X 10” pastel paper
Books about Paul such as Paul-A Change of Heart by Anne de Graf may be made available for the children to look at after they have completed their artwork. Check the church and local libraries.