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Summer 1

Thursday 15th April

Today we are going to be looking at Easter.

 

Task 1

Describe a time when you were surprised because you thought you knew something - and what you knew turned out not to be the case after all.

 

Task 2

Read the following Scripture: John 20:1-18

 

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene came to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the tomb. So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said to them, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid him.” Then Peter and the other disciple set out and went toward the tomb. The two were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent down to look in and saw the linen wrappings lying there, but he did not go in. Then Simon Peter came, following him, and went into the tomb. He saw the linen wrappings lying there, and the cloth that had been on Jesus’ head, not lying with the linen wrappings but rolled up in a place by itself. Then the other disciple, who reached the tomb first, also went in, and he saw and believed; for as yet they did not understand the scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples returned to their homes.

 

But Mary stood weeping outside the tomb. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white, sitting where the body of Jesus had been lying, one at the head and the other at the feet. They said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping?” She said to them, “They have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.” When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you looking for?” Supposing him to be the gardener, she said to him, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to him in Hebrew, “Rabbouni!” (which means Teacher). Jesus said to her, “Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father. But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord”; and she told them that he had said these things to her.

 

Task 3

Read this reflection of the Scripture

 

Mary Magdalene thought at least she knew how to mourn. For all that she might not understand about Jesus’ last days or why his life came to such a brutal end, at least she knew how to mourn.

 

That’s why she came to the tomb: there were prescribed rituals for burial. These rituals were most often women’s work. Mary knew them. Performing them was an act of caregiving. It would be one last way she could honor Jesus, one final chance to show her love. After all that had been taken from her, she thought she could at least give that.

 

But when she arrived at the tomb, she discovered even that possibility had been taken from her. And she wept for all her losses: the loss of her friend, companion, and teacher; the disappearance of his body; and the stolen chance for her to provide care.

 

Maybe you’re experiencing compounding losses now, too. The COVID-19 pandemic is changing our lives profoundly, and there is much to mourn. Schools being cancelled for a month, or the remainder of the academic year, might create real sadness. Maybe you’re missing birthday parties, or football games, or music festivals. Maybe your favourite restaurant is closed, your local park has “no entry” signs posted, your big plans – or your small ones – are erased from the calendar. Maybe you just long to see a friend’s face in person, not behind a mask, not on a screen. Maybe you’re missing out on the special ways your church and family typically celebrate Easter. Maybe even though the sun is shining and the flowers are blooming, you feel tired, and sad, and uncertain.

 

In some ways, we are like Mary at the tomb on that first Easter. We thought we at least knew how to mourn, how to help each other through: gather in community, offer a gentle hand, a warm hug, some sign of presence and care. Even that is different now.

 

When Jesus appears to Mary, she doesn’t recognize him at first. Her tears blur her vision. Her knowledge of reality – the fact that the dead stay dead – keeps her from imagining that the one standing before her might be the friend she mourns.

 

When Jesus speaks her name – “Mary!” – everything she thought she knew is both undone and reaffirmed. The powers that killed Jesus had not won, after all. The violence that seemed triumphant turned out not to be the stronger force. Her hopelessness in the wake of this loss began to disappear. She is recognized. She is known. She is commissioned to share the Good News that life and love have the last word.

 

Maybe the good news this Easter is that even though parts of the world as we knew it are being undone, these eternal truths are reaffirmed. Like Mary, we are recognized and known, by the One whose life and love renews each of us and all the world. ALLELUIA!

 

Task 4

Write down the answers to the following questions:

  • What is different about your life within the last month or two? What has remained the same?
  • What are some losses you are mourning?
  • What does it mean to you to hear your name?
  • Where do you see new life and love around you?

 

Task 5

Look at the sheets below. Have a go at colouring the pictures and unscrambling the puzzles.

Thursday 22nd April

Today we are going to be looking at the 4th Sunday of Easter, which is actually this Sunday (25th April).

 

Task 1

Describe a time when you witnessed or benefited from an act of kindness that had a big impact on you and inspired you to do the same.

 

Task 2

Read the following Scripture: Acts 2:42-47

 

They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.

 

Awe came upon everyone, because many wonders and signs were being done by the apostles. All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.

 

Task 3

Read this reflection of the Scripture

 

This scripture from the Book of Acts gives us a glimpse into the early church. People saw how Jesus healed people, gave them new life, and all the good things he did for them. He fed huge crowds of people, made sick people better, welcomed people who didn’t have friends, ate with people no one wanted to sit with, and showed them God’s abundant love. These early followers of Jesus were inspired to follow in his ways and do good as well. Then other people were inspired by them, and the church grew and grew. Take a look at the illustration and name some of the acts of kindness you see happening in the image.

 

All these years later, we are inspired by Jesus to show God’s love and help others just like these early followers of Jesus did. It is especially important to be thoughtful and creative with our kind acts as the physical distancing measures we’ve been practicing during the COVID-19 outbreak begin to roll back. Some of the ways we show people love right now look different than they used to. How we show love in our homes, communities, and the world now requires us to think differently and creatively. It’s what the early church was doing in our story for today, and it’s what we are doing too. It takes time to notice needs, make the space to respond to them, and practice acts of kindness again and again. What ways can you think of to follow Jesus’ example in your own life right now?

 

Task 4

Write down the answers to the following questions:

  • Can you think of a time you saw someone doing something kind for someone else, or for you? What was it?
  • How did it make the other person feel? How did it make you feel?
  • Can you think of something kind you saw someone else do which inspired you to do the same?

 

Task 5

Look at the sheets below. Have a go at colouring the pictures and unscrambling the puzzles.

Thursday 29th April

Today we are going to be looking at the 5th Sunday of Easter, which is actually this Sunday (2nd May).

 

Task 1

Describe when you had to find a place of safety and protection.

 

Task 2

Read the following Scripture: Psalm 31:1-5, 15-16

 

“In you, O Lord, I seek refuge; do not let me ever be put to shame; in your righteousness deliver me. Incline your ear to me; rescue me speedily. Be a rock of refuge for me, a strong fortress to save me. You are indeed my rock and my fortress; for your name’s sake lead me and guide me, take me out of the net that is hidden for me, for you are my refuge.

Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God. My times are in your hand; deliver me from the hand of my enemies and persecutors. Let your face shine upon your servant; save me in your steadfast love.”

 

Task 3

Read this reflection of the Scripture

 

This passage from Psalms is a song of lament about grief and sorrow during a troubling and even dangerous time. It’s a song for every person who longs for a place where they feel safe, secure, and loved. The psalmist is facing danger and needs to find a safe place. He cries out to God for help, saying God is his refuge. To find refuge is to be safe and sheltered from danger.

 

The psalmist places trust in God with his life and his future. Even though the psalmist was hurting and struggling, he knew God was still with him and always loved him, no matter what. Nothing anyone else did or said could take that away.

 

While you look at the illustration, think about how God feels that way about all of us. We are God’s beloved, and we are created in the image of God. As we continue to face uncertainty and the danger due to the continued spread of COVID-19 and its aftermath, we can seek refuge in God.

 

Task 4

Write down the answers to the following questions:

  • Who and what makes you feel safe?
  • In what ways are you finding refuge right now?
  • How do you find refuge in God?

 

Task 5

Look at the sheets below. Have a go at colouring the pictures and unscrambling the puzzles.

Thursday 6th May

Today we are going to be looking at the 6th Sunday of Easter, which is actually this Sunday (9th May).

 

Task 1

Describe a time you were talking about something, and another person truly listened. Focus on an instance when the other person made you feel safe, seen, and not alone.

 

Task 2

Read the following Scripture: Psalm 61:19

 

But truly God has listened;

God has given heed to the words of my prayer

 

Task 3

Read this reflection of the Scripture

 

Today’s scripture comes from the book of Psalms. The psalmist is praising God because God truly listens and is present with us. Truly listening and being present with someone is about more than just being in the same room and hearing them talk.

 

True presence is about paying attention to what someone is saying and how they are thinking and feeling. Being truly present with someone else means showing them how much we care about them. God is present with us like that. God listens to everything we say, even the things we don’t say out loud or have words for. God always cares, whether our concerns are big or small.

 

We can and should practice this kind of presence with each other. One way we can do this is through active listening. Active listening means: looking at the other person, responding to their words, not focusing on what we’re going to say next, etc.

 

It feels good when we are heard, seen, and loved. We have the power to make someone else feel that way too. How can you practice presence and active listening throughout the coming week?

 

Task 4

Write down the answers to the following questions:

  • Who is someone in your life who truly listens to you?
  • How do you know when someone is really listening and paying attention to you?
  • How do you show other people you are listening to them?

 

Task 5

Look at the sheets below. Have a go at colouring the pictures and unscrambling the puzzles.

Thursday 13th May

Today is a whole school staff INSET day. Enjoy your day off!

Thursday 20th May

Today we are going to be looking at the Ascension, which was last Thursday (13th May).

 

Task 1

Describe a time when you were a witness to someone doing an incredibly kind and generous act and were also inspired to show that kind of generosity.

 

Task 2

Read the following Scripture: Acts 1:6-14

 

So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”

 

Then they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey away. When they had entered the city, they went to the room upstairs where they were staying, Peter, and John, and James, and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus, and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of[a] James. All these were constantly devoting themselves to prayer, together with certain women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, as well as his brothers.

 

Task 3

Read this reflection of the Scripture

 

After Jesus was resurrected, he spent 40 days with his followers, teaching them how they should live and be in community. This was such a gift to have this extra time with Jesus. When he was present with them, for what turned out to be the last time, they asked Jesus a question that had been pressing on their hearts: “Now will you restore the kingdom to Israel? When can we be free from leaders who make decisions and laws that harm us and keep us poor?”

 

Jesus tells them that while they won’t understand God’s timing, what matters now is they will receive the Holy Spirit, and they will be his witnesses of God’s powerful love and compassion. Take a look at the illustration. Right after he told them, “you’ll be my witnesses,” Jesus ascended (was taken up) into the heavens to be with God.

 

Jesus’ followers were left to carry on his work by following his example by loving God and their neighbours, even though he wasn’t physically present. They were witnesses to Jesus’ life on earth and continued to be witnesses when they carried on Jesus’ work and God’s love for the world.

 

This is how the church got its start - by being witnesses of Jesus through loving God and loving their neighbours. Now all these years later, we still remember Jesus and continue his work and the work of those first followers. On Ascension Day, we celebrate how we are called to live as Jesus taught us. Like the disciples, we, too, are his witnesses.

 

Task 4

Write down the answers to the following questions:

  • Who have you seen showing kindness, generosity, and joy?
  • When have you shown love to someone?
  • How are you a witness of Jesus to your neighbours during the pandemic?

 

Task 5

Look at the sheets below. Have a go at colouring the pictures and unscrambling the puzzles.

Thursday 27th May

Today we are going to be looking at the Pentecost, which was last Sunday (23rd May).

 

Task 1

Describe a time when something completely unexpected happened, and you were surprised (ideally, in a good way).

 

Task 2

Read the following Scripture: Acts 2:1-12

 

When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.

 

Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. Amazed and astonished, they asked, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs— in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.” All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?”

 

Task 3

Read this reflection of the Scripture

 

Today we celebrate Pentecost, the day when the Holy Spirit burst into the church with mighty gusts of wind and tongues of fire! Take a look at the illustration. These tongues of fire sat above everyone’s heads and gave people the power to speak in other languages. Suddenly, everyone from different nations could hear the good news about Jesus in their own language. Before he ascended to heaven, Jesus told his followers God would send the Spirit to be with them after he was gone. This was probably not what they expected.

 

Stories throughout the Bible are especially full of surprises. God surprised Moses when God spoke to him through a burning bush. When God’s people were wandering in the desert, God provided manna, food to keep them nourished when there wasn’t anything else around. Jesus did all sorts of miraculous signs and wonders during his time on earth; he walked on water, healed people, and rose from the dead! Pentecost is another amazing story that demonstrates how God surprises and delights us.

 

Task 4

Write down the answers to the following questions:

  • What kind of surprises can you think of? What face do you make when you’re surprised? What does it feel like?
  • Have you ever gotten a big surprise? What was it?
  • Does God ever surprise you? How?

 

Task 5

Look at the sheets below. Have a go at colouring the pictures and unscrambling the puzzles.

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