5 March 2023
Bible readings for today
you blow where you will.
Blow once more through us your chosen people.
Enliven us with your power,
and move us with your strength.
That we might be born again into your eternal kingdom.
All this we ask through Jesus Christ through Jesus Christ our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
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)
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!
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!"
You will need
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 doCut out the template. Get the children to decorate it. Cut down the dotted lines on the template.
Pull the four corners with a * into the middle.
Take a thumbtack, and carefully push through the centre of the template and all four corners. (note: leaders will have to help do this for the younger children)
Take a pencil and push the thumbtack into the pencil. Make sure that you don’t push it all the way.
Attach crepe paper streamers to the windmill. You may like to wrap them around the pencil. Or have them attached to the wind mill.
Test that it works by blowing it.
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: http://www.jesus-without-language.net/nicodemus-john-3-make-2/
The template for making the scenes in colour is found here: https://jwl1-8ax22q3bx73botnnnbfo.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/34-M2-E.pdf?x48961
The black and white template is here: https://jwl1-8ax22q3bx73botnnnbfo.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Nicodemus-spinner-no-colour.pdf?x48961