Scripture: Mark 2:1-12
Key Verse for this workshop:
Mark 2:12 “The man got right up. He picked up his mat and went out while everyone watched in amazement. They praised God and said, “We have never seen anything like this!” (CEV)
1. Jesus showed he had God’s power to heal and forgive.
2. We show our faith in God by helping and praying for others.
Objectives: The children will:
1. Identify and act out the attributes and feelings of each of the characters.
2. Act out the story.
3. Respond to the amazing story of Jesus who healed the paralyzed man.
Welcome and Introductions: (10:00)
1. Greet the children and introduce yourself. Wear your name-tag. Make sure the children are wearing name-tags. If not, ask the shepherd to supply a temporary badge. Remember you are interacting with a different group of students each week who may not know you.
2. Open with a brief prayer. Tell the children the workshop is about our amazing Jesus who had the power of God to forgive and to heal.
1. Prepare to read the scripture passage in Mark. Set the story up by telling the children that Jesus had been traveling all over the country teaching people about God and healing the sick. The strict teachers of the Law of Moses didn’t like what Jesus was preaching. They followed Jesus, trying to trick him into disobeying their religious laws or claiming to be God.
Tell the children that as you read the story, they are to think about the people in it. You are going to ask them what the various people were like. As prompts, you should have 5 sheets of flip chart paper posted on the wall - one for each character in the story. Label them: Jesus, the paralyzed man, the friends, the Pharisees, and crowd.
2. Read the story. Invite the children who have Bibles to read along. In the third week, you might let the children help you tell the story. This will give you an idea of how much they already know. In the last weeks, when most children will be familiar with the story, you can use other ideas for telling the story: read a Bible story book, “what happened first, what happened next” a line at a time.
1.Ask the children to tell you about the characters. What kind of person was ______? Describe how the character felt? Write down words on the flip chart paper to describe the character at the beginning of the story and then at the end of the story. Your list might include:
Paralyzed Man - sick, miserable, hopeless, weak; strong, happy, joyful, praising God.
Friends anxious, worried, hopeful, brave, determined; glad, happy, praising God, joyful
Pharisees strict, confident, out to trick Jesus, police; and then mad, angry, outraged, upset, but also amazed despite themselves.
Crowd hungry, hot, closed-in, uncomfortable, anxious to see Jesus; and then amazed, shocked, joyful, glad, ready to tell others
Jesus Ask how Jesus might have felt toward each of the others: annoyed at Pharisees, forgiving to the man, pleased at the faithfulness of the friends, happy that the crowd witnessed, praised God for the miracle
2. Gather the children in a circle. Instruct the children in the signal to get their attention. You say, “Eyes on Me!” they freeze and respond “Eyes on You!” Practice this signal at least twice. Begin with some general warm-ups:
· Start walking in a circle, wave your left arm, right arm, hop, slide, walk fast, slower, slower, walk in slow motion, run in slow motion.
· Pretend to be silent animals: silently mew like a kitten, bark like a dog, roar like a lion.
3. Do some story specific actions. Before Jesus heals the man:
· Act like the paralyzed man. Remind the children of the man’s characteristics.
· Start walking in a circle. Act like one of the friends of the paralyzed man. Pretend to carry a stretcher. The friends were hopeful and persistent
· Act like one of the Pharisees. The Pharisees were strict and proud. They disapproved of Jesus. Put movement to those attributes.
· Get close together and be one of the people in the crowd. They wanted to see Jesus.
· Act like Jesus toward the friends, the paralyzed man, the healed man, the Pharisees.
· Now model the reactions of the characters again but this time as they witness Jesus forgiving the man’s sins and healing the paralyzed man. God is amazing!! They have never seen such a miracle! How do the characters react? Act out the paralyzed man who discovers he can walk, etc.
4. We’ll now put the story together. Assign parts. If time permits, allow the children 2 minutes to get into costume. The workshop leader narrates the story as the children “act out” the story. Just tell the story in your own words, including descriptions of how the various characters might react so that the children can follow along and know what to do. For example: “The Pharisees were shocked that Jesus forgave the man’s sins. Only God could do that! The crowd grew quiet as they anxiously wondered what Jesus would do next.” Allow for big pauses in the narration while the children get into character and react to the situation. There are no props so the kids can use their imaginations as they “carry” the stretcher and lower the paralyzed man.
5. At the very end of the story, say “The man got right up. He picked up his mat and went out while everyone watched in amazement. They praised God and said, “We have never seen anything like this!” (CEV) Instruct the children to open the box in the middle of the circle, pull out the streamers and continue to walk, dance, make noise, hop and wave the streamers. Play upbeat, joyful music as the children dance in the circle in joyful celebration of our amazing God. All the children become part of the crowd that is amazed at Jesus’ power from God to forgive and heal.
Gather the children in a circle on the floor. Recite the memory verse together. 1 John 3:18 Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action.
Discuss: What did the friends believe about Jesus? (he had the power to heal the man) What does it mean to know that Jesus had the power to forgive sins and to heal? What does this story tell us about Jesus? (Jesus was the Son of God. Jesus is God.) Why were the Pharisees upset with Jesus? (Jesus broke Jewish law by acting like God when he forgave the man’s sins. Normally a Jew would have had to show signs of healing, be ritually cleansed, and offer a sacrifice before being declared forgiven. They didn’t believe Jesus had the power to do this. ) What did the crowd of people do when they saw the miracle? (They were amazed) Do you think they told other people about this amazing Jesus? (Yes and that was how more people learned about Jesus and believed in his teachings). How would you react if you saw this miracle?
Reflection Time: (10:35)
Ask the shepherds to pass out the journals and pencils/markers. You may wish to give the children a sticker or some memento to paste in their journal as a reminder of the story or activity. Give prompts for journal writing: Draw a picture or write about your favorite part of the story, one of the characters. Which character would you want to be like in the story? Why? Who needs your prayers?
Younger children: Draw a picture of the colorful ribbon streamers and write the words Awesome God.
Prayer: Ask the students to close their journals and sit quietly for prayer. Ask the children if they know someone who is sick or needs our prayers. Write down the names. Begin your prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for Jesus who healed the paralyzed man. You are so amazing that you had the power of God to heal and forgive. We ask you to comfort those who are sick and need our prayers. We pray for (names provided by children). God, help all our friends with their problems and show us how we can help and comfort them. In Jesus’ name, Amen
Tidy and Dismissal: Ask children to help tidy up, collect Bibles and other supplies.
If you have extra time with the older children, have them locate the other gospel accounts of this story -- Matthew 9:1-8 and Luke 5:17-26. Call out the passage and let them race to see who can be first to find it in the Bible.
Teacher preparation in advance:
1. Read the scripture passages and attend the Faith Quest Leaders Bible Study.
2. Prepare a closing prayer.
3. Make sure you have plenty of costumes and belts
4. Prepare streamers and put them in a solid box so that the kids can’t see what’s in it until they open it.
5. Tape flip chart paper to the walls with the character headings.
6. Bring a CD or taped music for background music while you are gathering, lively music for the end of the scene and meditative music for Reflection time.
Dry-erase marker (in supply bin), flip chart paper, masking tape
CD or tape and Celebration Music suggestion: Our God is an Awesome God, I will Follow Him ( song from Sister Act)
Streamers I made streamers. I purchased bags of ribbon odds and ends (each piece 6-8 ft long) from Michaels. I glued 3-5 strands of the ribbon between large tongue depressor sticks (also from Michaels). The children hold onto the sticks and twirl around waving the ribbons.
Jill Bennet, Scriptless Drama. Notes from the CMA workshop rotation conference, March 2001