Focus Passage: John 20: 19-31
Memory Verse: “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.”
Items for Preparation
-Some character bandages, enough for every child to get one, with one left over to put on yourself.
Read the adult lesson in the print edition of Nurturing Faith and additional material online. It’s very exciting to think that we are the exact people Jesus is discussing in this passage. We are the ones who, most recently, have not seen, and yet, believe. We’ll use the bandages as if they are hiding real wounds we can’t see, to display for kids what Thomas’ question was
[Make sure you have a bandage prominently displayed on the back of your hand or arm, or, if you’re really the cut-up type, on the middle of your chin, cheek or forehead. You can get very creative and plaster it across cheek and top of nose, or over one eye, or just get a few and make a whole art project out of yourself. Go wild.
Also, hand out a bandage to each kid as you begin. Invite them to open the bandage up and put it onto the place that hurts most. Kids usually have a booboo somewhere.]
Say: The night that the women friends found Jesus tomb empty, the disciples were all together in their meeting place, and some of them were very sad. But a couple of them had heard early that morning that Jesus’ tomb was empty, and they didn’t know what to think about that.
Say: So then Jesus himself came into the room, and everybody gathered around him. They couldn’t believe it! It was really him! They hugged him and kept their arms around his shoulders. They had never known a person who had died, and was alive again. It was confusing, but wonderful.
Say: There was one disciple, names Thomas, who hadn’t been there, and he didn’t think it was really Jesus. He said, “only if I can see the hurt places in his skin, so that I can be sure he’s really the one who was nailed to the cross — only then will I be able to believe Jesus really is alive again.”
[Now point to your bandaged area, wherever it is.]
Say: Back in Jesus’ time, they didn’t have bandages like this one. But when I’ve got one on, you know that means I have a hurt place on my skin under this bandage, right? Thomas wanted to see under the bandage. He wanted to see if the same man who was with them tonight was the one who had died on Friday, with the hurt places to prove it.
Say: So Jesus showed Thomas the hurt places on his skin, where the nails had gone in, and in the side of his tummy, where the spear had gone in. Thomas saw the hurt places, a lot like if I took off my bandage and showed you the hurt place. Then, Thomas said to Jesus, “It really is you! Wow, you are really alive again! I do believe you, and I love you, my friend Jesus!”
Say: Jesus loved Thomas, his friend and disciple, very much. And Jesus loves each of us too — he told that to Thomas. He said, “Blessed are the ones who never see these hurt places on my skin, but still believe that I am alive.”
Say: Jesus was talking about you and me when he said that to Thomas. You and I can never see Jesus’ skin, or the hurt places, but we still believe that Jesus is alive right now, and we know that Jesus loves each of us like he loved his friends on that first Easter Sunday. Wear your bandage when you need it this week, and remember that Jesus loves you.
Prayer: Say these words after I say them.
O God of Easter,
We have not seen Jesus,
But we believe he is alive.
We believe in his love for us,
And we thank you for new life
In Jesus’ name, Amen.