Bible stories are amazing! There are stories we have read or heard many times and we think we know everything about them. But then we read or hear them again and, if we concentrate, something different leaps out at us. Maybe it is because we are in different circumstances or maybe it is that we read a different translation but it starts us thinking in a new way about a familiar story.
The Open the Book story this week is one that we’ve heard before quite recently. Try listening to or reading it before you look at the activities we have come up with. Read it slowly and carefully or listen just to the story part of the recording. In your Bible, it will be in Mark 6:30-44. What ideas seem to jump out at you? Then look at the activities or listen to the whole of the recording to find out if it was the same for us. It is OK if it was different.
If you would like to read a different story, find 1 Kings 17:7-16. It is an Old Testament story that is also about God providing food for those in need.
Picnics have become quite important to us in the last few weeks while we have been allowed to meet up with other people outside. ‘Garden visiting’ or meeting for a walk has made us take a picnic with us so that we can eat and drink together. Would your family like to go for a picnic? Have your parents been very busy and would all of you like a change of scene? Could you use the ideas here to plan the picnic? There are lots of things to think about before you go.
How about making your own Picnic Bingo cards? Think of 15 things you might see on your picnic. Make a card for each person with 9 sections and pick things from your list for each section. Make each card different but with some items in common. Who is the first to find all their items?
Jesus was tired and planning some quiet, restful time but he saw people in need and changed his plan. The boy could have kept his picnic for himself but he heard that Jesus needed it and gave it willingly. Jesus thanks God for the food and there was enough for 5000 people, with leftovers! God can do the most amazing things. The disciples gathered up the leftovers in 12 baskets. Try this craft to remind you about the story and how generous God is. The story of Elijah and the widow is also about the generosity of God.
The disciples gathered up the leftovers. They didn’t waste them. We aren’t told what happened then. What do you think they did with them? Did they give them to people in the area who didn’t have enough to eat? We are asked to give what we can to others. That could be food to a food bank but it could be other things – we can give our time and attention to someone who needs to chat; our effort to a cause or event that needs help; a gift to someone we care about.
Many of us have been using the extra time we have to make gifts for others. Make, draw, or cook something for someone this week.
The story is about a large crowd of people. Have you ever been part of a crowd as large as this? It might have been at a concert or festival, at a sporting event, in an airport, at a theme park or in a city. Do you like crowded places? Some people do and some people don’t. When we are in a crowd we have something in common with the other people who are there. Are you making plans for attending events in the future? It can be good for us to make plans even if we don’t expect them to happen for a long time.
You may like to use this prayer with the activities you do this week.
Thank you that the Bible gives us different ways to respond to you. Help us to read and listen carefully to hear you speak to us.
Spend some time outdoors this week either on a picnic or in the garden. Stay safe and have fun.
Alison and Angie