The Word becomes human (John 1)
From the BibleProject: John begins his Gospel account by introducing Jesus as the Word of God, echoing the opening chapters of Genesis, where God created life through his spoken word. This beginning was good, but when God’s creatures rejected his instructions, all creation spiraled into death. The world needed a new beginning, so God's divine word spoke again, but this time, the word became a human named Jesus.
For more information on John 1, check out the following BibleProject resources:
John 1 Study Notes
John 1 Script References
John 1 Blog Post
John 1 Podcast Episode
The first disciples (John 1:29-42)
In this gospel reading, we hear about some of the first of Jesus' disciples.
What's in a name?
"Looking intently at Simon, Jesus said, “Your name is Simon, son of John—but you will be called Cephas” (which means “Peter”)" John 1:42
When Andrew brought his brother to meet Jesus, Simon never knew that this would be the beginning of his life-changing adventure with Jesus. In some of the first words to Simon, Jesus tells him that you will be called Cephas, meaning Peter - which means rock. We know from later accounts of Peter that Jesus will use Peter to build his church, and he will be an important leader of the early church.
Lamb of God
In art, the Agnus Dei symbol is often depicted as a lamb bearing a cross or banner.
Here is a simple craft activity that kids can make:
John the Baptist
"I saw this happen to Jesus, so I testify that he is the Chosen One of God." In the opening lines of this reading, we hear John making meaning of what he has seen at the Baptism of Jesus.
Lamb of God
The BibleProject have put together a really helpful video that helps explain why Jesus was described as "Lamb of God", a symbol for sacrifice and atonement.
Jesus Calls Philip and Nathanael (John 1:43-51)
IntroductionAs Carolyn Brown points out in Worshipping with Children, "Eyes are important. Using them well to really see is even more important! John the Baptist saw and knew who Jesus was when he came to be baptised. When Nathaniel asked Philip, in reference to Jesus, if anything good could come from Nazareth, Philip answered, “Come and see.” And they saw a lot in the years that followed! Use this story to urge children to really see or pay attention to people and to what is happening around them."
GamesHere are some icebreaker game to get kids noticing and using their eyes:
Take turns to play i-spy (I spy with my little eye, something beginning with ... choose a letter and wait for kids to guess that item)
Source some where's wally or I Spy books from the library, where they have to hunt out different items on the pages.
Kim's Game/Tray Game
Collect an assortment of items on a tray. Give the children 30 seconds to look at them and then cover it with a cloth. Give the children a minute to name as many items on the tray as possible. This is a good team game and can be themed to your other activities.
Hide different items around the room that the kids have to search for. Give them a time limit or until the last item has been found. You could print off small speech bubbles and hide them around the room. Download here
Name above all names
What's in a name? When Nathanael saw Jesus, he called out “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.” Jesus’ friends also called him “Rabbi,” which means “Teacher.”
Jesus was called many things - What would you call him?
Disciples Mobile Craft
Jesus and his disciples mobile craft which links in the idea of being fishers of men, taken from guildcraftinc.com and seen on Pinterest
Download crown and fish template here
Twelve disciples colouring page, with spaces to write all of their names (if the group is too young to manage the writing easily, print one copy and write the names on it before making copies).
Colouring sheet found here