Imagine you were watching the news and you heard an important announcement: Jesus is coming to town!
What would you do in order to see him? Stand in line for hours to get a ticket? Scream and shout as he passes by?
One biblical character, a tax-collector named Zacchaeus, was waiting in the crowd to see Jesus. Unfortunately, he was too short to see over everyone else. Do you know what he did? He climbed a tree in order to see and be seen by Jesus! Tax collectors weren't very well liked; but Jesus wanted to have dinner with him! Jesus' love made Zacchaeus want to be a more loving person.
- I wonder what the villagers thought of Zacchaeus
- I wonder if Zacchaeus ever felt lonely and excluded
- How did Zacchaeus change after meeting Jesus? Why?
- Are you ever like Zacchaeus?
- Are you ever like the villagers?
- How can you be more like Jesus in this story?
Pray together: Dear Jesus, you come to us as we are, good or bad, angry or sad, happy or tired. You want to sit with us and be friends with us. Help us to be like you, Jesus. Amen. (from Be the Story Curriculum)
Download and print this image of Zacchaeus. Color/decorate and cut out Zacchaeus and the tree. Then, use your craft to act out the story of him climbing up the tree. Then say, like Jesus, "Zacchaeus, come down from that tree!" Would you call out to someone who was mean and disliked?
This song will be stuck in your head for a long time :)
Place chairs in a circle, with one fewer than the number of people playing. Turn on music (potentially the song above), and walk around the chairs. When the music stops, everyone has to find a place to sit! Whoever doesn't get a spot is out. Remove a chair and continue until there is a winner!
- What was it like to be out? What was it like to be the winner?
- What does it mean to leave someone out?
- Have you ever been the one excluded?
- How does Jesus want us to treat each other? Who was Jesus especially good at including?