Theme: Jesus is risen.
Aim: To teach the children that Jesus lives.
Materials: One pair of running shoes.
Preparation: Tie the shoe laces together so that the pair of running shoes can be carried in hanging from your neck. It is important to allow this story to build up to a punch-line.
1. After the children have been seated make a dramatic entrance by running in with the shoes hanging from your neck.
2. “Here I come, look out!
Hi everyone! I’ve been doing a lot of running this morning because it’s Easter Sunday. Most of my running has been done in these running shoes. You need good running shoes for Easter Sunday there will be times when you’ll need to go really fast.”
3. “Put your hand up if you have been running this morning?”
(Be prepared, a few children may have caught on and give you a correct answer. It would be sufficient to reply, “That’s fantastic.”)
4. “When I was about your age, I did a lot of running on Easter Sunday. All my brothers and sisters were up extra early on Easter Sunday with our best running shoes on. But we weren’t allowed outside until we were all ready. We stood waiting by the back door. Then my father would unlock and open the door. We would all ran out, all in different directions. We ran through the back garden, through the front garden, down the left side of the house, down the right side of the house, we ran around the house, all the while carrying our little cane baskets. When we had found an Easter egg we would call out, “He is risen”. Then everyone who had heard knew that something special was found. That would make the others run even faster looking for Easter eggs. At the end, we would all get together to share out the Easter eggs so that we all had the same number of eggs in our baskets.
5. “Now, all this running on Easter Sunday began a long, long, long, time ago. And it was started by three women”.
6. “It happened like this: It was on the first Easter Sunday that Mary Magdalene, Mary mother of James, and Salome got up early in the morning to visit the tomb of Jesus. They had loved Jesus and they missed him dearly”.
7. “When they had arrived at the tomb where the body of Jesus lay, the large round stone had been rolled away, and they could see inside that Jesus was not there.”
8. “An angel spoke to them saying that Jesus is risen”.
9. “When they heard that Jesus is alive, the women began to run through the garden to tell the disciples, to tell the other friends of Jesus that Jesus lives”.
10. “When Peter and John heard that Jesus is risen, they couldn’t believe their ears. They looked at each other and began to run. It was like a race between the two of them, who could get to the tomb first. John got there first, then Peter. When they saw the empty tomb, they believed that Jesus lives. They in turn ran to tell the others that Jesus is risen.”
11. “Just as you have heard, running on Easter Sunday is all about running to tell others that Jesus is risen, that he lives.
12. Conclude with prayer: “ Our father in heaven, thank you for Easter Sunday, thank you for the hollow Easter eggs that remind us of the empty tomb, thank you that we can run to tell others that Jesus is risen. And because Jesus lives he continues to look after us. Amen.
13. “One more thing, later this morning you will be doing some running because it’s Easter Sunday (There will be an Easter egg hunt after the service) therefore I think that it’s important to warm up for your run. So, everyone on your feet and we will begin with a slow run on the spot”. Build up to a fast run on the spot. After a while, send them back to their seats or in our case to Sunday school.