5 March 2023
Bible readings for today
Liturgical Colour: VIOLET
Come Holy Spirit, to all baptised in your name,
that we may turn to good
whatever lies ahead
Give us passion, give us fire;
make us transform the world from what it is,
to what you have created it to be.
This we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Haere mai e te Wairua Tapu,
ki te hunga katoa kua iriiritia ki tōu ingoa,
kia tahuri ai mātou ki te pai mō ngā mea katoa e takotō ake nei.
Hōmai he wairua hihiko, te ahi kā;
kia meinga ai mātou te whakatahuri i te ao onāianei,
kia rite ki tāu e pai ai.
E īnoi ai mātou i roto i a te Karaiti tō mātou Ariki.
The Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-9)
When Jesus takes Peter, John, and James up a mountain to pray, the appearance of his face was transformed, and his clothes became dazzling white.
What is transfiguration?
The word "transfigured" is a very interesting word. The Greek word is "metamorpho" and it means to transform, literally or figuratively to metamorphose, or to change... In the case of the transfiguration of Jesus Christ it means to match the outside with the reality of the inside. To change the outward so that it matches the inward reality. Jesus' divine nature was "veiled" in human form and the transfiguration was a glimpse of that glory. Therefore, the transfiguration of Jesus Christ displayed the... glory of God incarnate in the Son.
When Peter commented on the Transfiguration, God suggested he try listening instead. WIth that as a background, it is a daunting challenge for us to try to discuss this mystery! Chris Holmes, Esther Clarke-Prebble and Judy Ringland-Stewart are brave enough to give it a go, however, and there are the seeds for many a sermon in the resulting Gospel Conversation.
Transfiguration and Grace
Bishop Eleanor, Assistant Bishop of Wellington, shares a short talk about a painting of the transfiguration, as apart of the Wellington Lenten series for 2019
Source: This game was found on the Family Faith Ministry website
Purpose: Play this game to help students begin to think about how Jesus’ appearance changed.
Can you tell when something changes? Sometimes seeing how something has changed is easy and sometimes it is hard. Today, we are going to learn how Jesus’ appearance changed on the mountain. Everyone who was with Jesus noticed the change. Before we discover what happened, let’s play a game to see how well you see changes.
The Church of Scotland has some worship resources and ideas for today, found here
A great illustration from Visio Lectio for this Matthew 17:1-9 passage, from Rev. Sarah West.
Download w/ background
"Moses and Elijah were about to leave, when Peter said to Jesus, “Master, it is good for us to be here! Let us make three shelters, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” But Peter did not know what he was talking about."
Tent building is a lot of fun, and can happen outside in the garden or indoors. Here’s how to make a simple tent with blankets or sheets:
What you need:The best thing about building your own tent is that you only need objects you’re likely to have lying around the house already. You may need to pay a quick visit to the garden centre for the bamboo canes!
Source: Church of Scotland's worship resources, found here
Dazzling God of the heights and the depths
all Creation is full of Your glory
all the signs are there to read
all the warnings made in love
all the encouragement, all the guidance.
Though the path be steep,
and new ways needed to get there
and things look different;
still, with Christ, we do not face them alone.
Called together, we can listen
sharing, we can grow
ourselves – but from a new perspective
our world – beloved through the Chosen Son.
Nicodemus (John 3:1-17)
Today's reading tells the story of when Jesus talked with Nicodemus - an important Jewish teacher.
You will need Tiny pompoms, glue, pegs, googly eyes, pipecleaners, ziplock bags, lollies (milk bottles, raspberries/blackberries, marshmallows), cheerio cereal.
Print outs of the caterpillar template, or your own version.
Get them to choose 5 pompoms and hold them while you talk about....butterflies. Who has seen any Monarch butterflies this summer? Watched them lay eggs, watch the caterpillars grow, seen the beautiful chrysalis and the amazing butterfly come out? Well.... Lay your pompoms out on the table as you listen to this story:
Our bible reading today is when Jesus talks to Nicodemus. Nicodemus was a very important and clever Jewish teacher and he came to ask Jesus some questions (at night!). He could see that the things Jesus was doing were more amazing than an ordinary man could do. He was very surprised when Jesus said to him that everyone, including him, would need to be ‘born again’ to be able to be with God. Nicodemus was confused! How can you be born again? Well you can’t! Unless you think about a change that happens in your heart. Your heart can be transformed just like a caterpillar is completely changed into a butterfly. Because to be ‘born again’ is talking about the change that happens inside you. That change can happen when you want God in your life and want to try and put Him first. So let’s build our caterpillar and then transform him/her into a butterfly!
So, you have 5 pieces of a caterpillar: caterpillar body x 2, pompoms, antenna, ziplock bags for wings.
Stick the caterpillar card to the peg, the side with writing on goes on the bottom. Then glue the pompoms to the peg. The head will be the end that opens. Add a pipe cleaner if liked for an antennae.
God’s love and learning more about Jesus from the bible is like a gift to us that transforms us. So I have a gift for you, to help you remember God’s love is like a gift, you only have to accept it! Who is going to accept my gift?! (lollies)
The lollies are going to be your butterfly wings, so you will want an even number. You can choose 2 milk bottles, 2 blackberry/raspberries and 4 marshmallows and few cheerios. Put them in the ziplock bag, half on each side. Then close the bag and hold it in the middle with the peg.
Download a PDF version of the caterpillar template:
Older Kids Group Discussion
Read the passage from the bible and talk about the story. Talk about being born again. It is a phrase we hear a lot in Christian circles but what does it mean? Jesus says you have to be born again in order to ‘see the Kingdom of God’. It’s a bit like later on he says you cannot enter the kingdom of God unless you receive it like a child. Jesus really rated children, he is on your side! He loves so many things about you, he tells the grown ups to try and be more like you....
So another way to think about being born again is to think of the caterpillar/butterfly cycle. It is truly amazing how a green stripey caterpillar transforms into a Monarch butterfly. But it really happens. You know what? God’s love inside someone can transform them in the same way - a huge transformation. It is also amazing to look at say your Dad or teacher and know that they were once a tiny baby inside their mother’s tummy! They have been transformed by time, as they have grown up. God offers everyone the chance to be transformed. If we accept his offer, his gift of love into our lives and accept that He should lead the way in our lives, then we can be changed into so much better people!
Follow with the caterpillar craft (see other activity on this day)
You will need
Caterpillar Race Game
Taken from the PBS Kids website, this simple team game needs balloons and cones or obstacles.
The Caterpillar Race"This is a game for 6 or more players. Form two teams of three. The course should be about 20 feet long, marked with a start and finish line.
To play this game you'll need 4 balloons and 8 cones or obstacles. Set up the course with four obstacles for each team. Space them out evenly between the start and finish lines.
Each team lines up single file. Each player sandwiches a balloon between herself and the person in front of her. Each team is a little caterpillar!
First team to run around the cones and back while keeping the balloons between them, wins. (And you can't use your hands to get the balloons in place!)
On your marks, get set, go!"
For Older Children
You will need: a balloon, a two goals (two chairs a metre apart) at each end of the room.
What to do: divide the children into two teams. Give each team a goal. The object of the game is to get the balloon into your team’s goal.
You can make this interesting by calling out which part of their body they can use to move the balloon eg ‘head’ or ‘left hands’, or ‘tummies’.
The winning team is the team with the most goals after 10mins.
For Younger Children
You will need: balloons, chairs or cones
What to do: Give everyone a blown up balloon. Get them to line up at one end of the room. When you say go, they have to get to the other end of the room as fast as they can, ,by touching the balloon with only their heads.
Once they get to the other end, do it again. This time, change the body part. Eg Only touching the balloon with your left ear etc
The game ends when ever you like!
Holy Spirit Windmills
An activity based around the verse 'God's spirit gives new'
What you need
A copy of the template, a pencil for each child, thumb tacks, crepe paper in red, orange, yellow and blue, stuff to decorate with.
What to do
Scenes From The Story
Create a three-sided stage showing scenes from the meeting of Jesus and Nicodemus. This craft looks at the life of Nicodemus, as displayed in John’s Gospel. The composition is really simple for this craft, with the hardest element being cutting the shapes – if you have younger children you may want to pre-cut in part.
There are two options for making the scenes -- either printing in colour (much quicker), or printing in black and white and having the children colour in.
Detailed instructions are found here
The template for making the scenes in colour is found here
The black and white template is here