Like An Artichoke

(A children’s talk suitable for the season of Lent.)

Theme:
Life through Jesus.

Objective:
1. To teach that there is life through death.
2. To teach that the death of Jesus gives us life.

Focus Words:
1. the seed of Jesus.

Materials:
1. An artichoke plant.
(This plant needs to be at the seed stage where the flower has withered and the plant looks dead. Leave about 18 inches or 500mm of stem. Even at this stage, the plant looks impressive and will gain the children’s attention. These plants are hard to find in their post flowering stage, but a similar impressive plant will do.)
2. A bag.
(Have a bag large enough to carry and hide the artichoke so that it can be a surprise when taken out.)

Drama Points:
1. When the children are in place, start straight away it helps to settle them.

2. “Good morning everyone. This morning, I have brought something special in my bag.” Pull out of the bag and hold up the artichoke for everyone to see.

3. “I’m not holding an Olympic torch, but what is it? Put your hand up if you know what this is.” (As expected, none of the children knew what it was.)

4. “A question for the whole congregation, what is this plant that I’m holding up?” (Many were surprised to learn that it was an artichoke plant that had passed it’s used by date.)

5. Talk about the artichoke plant. “When it was green some people would eat parts of the leaves or put them on their pizzas or into their pasta dishes. If the artichoke was not eaten then later the artichoke would flower with a very large and beautiful blue flower. The bees and the ants enjoyed the flower as much as I did but in different ways. After the flowering stage the artichoke begins to wither and die.
As you can see, what remains are all these seeds. There are hundreds of seeds here in this one artichoke. They are all waiting for a wind to come and blow them away to be scattered all over my backyard, the neighbourhood, the countryside, and even further away.

When the seeds land in good soil they begin to grow. The seeds will grow to become just like the original plant, just like another artichoke. Without the artichoke dying there would be no seeds. The artichoke had to die so that there would be artichoke plants all over the world.”

6. Compare how Jesus is like an artichoke. “In some ways Jesus is like an artichoke. Jesus had to die so that his ‘seed’ could be scattered all over the earth. The seed of Jesus is often called the Holy Spirit. Jesus had to die so that his seed that is the Holy Spirit can come into us and begin to grow. When we have the Holy Spirit in us that is the seed of Jesus, we grow to be like Jesus. We grow to love one another, we grow to care for each other, and we grow to forgive each other. In this way we become like Jesus when we have his seed in us.

7. Let us finish with prayer. “Dear Jesus, we thank you for all the good things you give us, we thank you for the artichoke, and especially we thank you for dying on the cross so that the Holy Spirit can grow in us to make us just like you.  Amen.

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