Jesus calms the storm

4-7 year olds, 8-11 year olds
A way-in to the story of Jesus calming the storm on the Sea of Galilee with possible links to stories that made people think Jesus was special, stories where Jesus showed his power over nature or discussion about fear, disasters and prayer

On your marks

A way-in to the story of Jesus calming the storm on the Sea of Galilee.
With possible links to:

  • stories that made people think Jesus was special
  • stories where Jesus showed his power over nature
  • discussion about fear, disasters and prayer

Get set

You will need:
a large double bedsheet in a dark colour; if possible blue
single white sheet
some cushions
a recording of the shipping forecast from the radio
the names of some of the sea areas around the UK on A4 card
30 minutes

Go:

1. Sit the group in a circle and set them a puzzle by laying the A4 cards on the floor in the middle, with the names of the shipping areas on them.
What do these mean? e.g. Dogger Bank, German Bite, Forties, Faroes, Rockall, etc.
Any ideas what these might be?
Play the radio recording and spot the different areas that are mentioned.
Why are such broadcasts so important and for whom?

2. Seas and large lakes are often subject to sudden storms. Ask if anyone has been anywhere by boat or ship and experienced bad weather.
Get the group into sailing mood by practising the following:
Rocking from side to side more and more violently
Battling with high winds and sea spray
Being sick overboard!
Lying on a bed in a cabin groaning!
Rowing hard.

3. Jesus and his disciples were once caught in a storm. Divide your group up to be special sound and visual effects teams. One for the sea; one for the sail; one for the snoring and startled crew.

  • For the sea, use the large dark or blue sheet like a parachute held between the group. First it is calm and then slowly it begins to be more choppy and eventually becomes a violent storm with sound effects.
  • For the sail, a group should hold up the white sheet vertically. This will involve some of the group standing on chairs (take care!) to reach high. This also moves gently at first and then begins to flap more violently with sound effects
  • For the crew, some will be lying on the cushions asleep (with sound effects!) and some will be rowing. Practise a startled waking-up and shouting for help, as the storm develops.

Choose one other person to be the one who shouts loudly "be quiet" at a given signal.
Practise these different elements.

4. Tell the story from Mark 4 verses 35-41. Add in the sound effects of sail, sea, snores, startled cries and then the sudden cry of peace.

5. Prompt the group to think more about the story with the following questions:

I wonder what the disciples thought about Jesus when they saw he just went on sleeping and didn't help?
I wonder if they thought they were going to drown and what would happen if they died?
I wonder who they are blamed for getting into this mess in the first place?
I wonder what I would have done if I'd been in the boat?
I wonder what this story really means?