Flame: Doubting Thomas, Recognizing Jesus

This Sunday we’re telling the story of Thomas being invited to touch the wounds of the risen Jesus and recognize him. A lot of the time when we cover this story with children, we focus of the idea of faith and being able to believe even though we don’t see. It struck me that it’s also about how we recognize Jesus and what implications that might have for us as disciples.

Here are some ideas to help explore the theme!

Play

• Create a ‘feely’ bag. Can you recognize the item even if you can’t see it? How did you know?
• Blindfold a child and get them to gently feel the face of another child. Can they guess who it is? How?
• Get a collection of celebrity photos or photos of people in the church. How many people do you recognize? How?
• Play twenty questions. Can you guess the mystery person? What helped you to guess?
• Make a diagram to identify everyone in the group by looking at hair color, eye color, etc.

Think

• Even after doubting, Thomas saw Jesus and recognized him, saying ‘My Lord and my God’ (John 20:28).
• How would you recognize Jesus if you met him? What things would he be doing? Saying? How have you recognized Jesus at work in your life before? Examples might be answered prayers or instances of other people’s kindness.
• If we, as Christians, are trying to live as Jesus would, how will other people recognize Jesus in us and in what we do?

Pray

• Encourage children to think of things that they could do during the coming week that would help others to recognize Jesus at work in them.

Create

Make prayer labels. You will need paper, scissors, hole punch, ribbon, small mirror tiles, pens. If you are working with small children or a short amount of time, do the following steps ahead of time: cut the paper into label shapes, punch a hole into one end, cut one length of ribbon per label.

Label_400

Give each child a paper label and ribbon and talk about how we use labels to identify things—they might have used luggage labels, for example, to identify their cases on a journey. How might other people identify Jesus at work in them? On one side of the label, glue a mirror tile to remind children that they need to think about how their actions are reflecting Jesus. On the other side, write or draw something they intend to do during the coming week that will help other people recognize Jesus.

Gather together and pray that God will help them to show Jesus to others this week. Ask the children to take their labels home and tie them somewhere they will be able to see them as a reminder during the next few days.

This post first appeared at Flame: Creative Children’s Ministry.

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