Wouldn't it be nice to travel right now? I know so many people who had vacations, cruises, and service trips planned for this summer, only to have to cancel them.
Your family may be grieving these types of losses right now too-- and its okay to feel sad about them! Let's spend some time today looking back on some of your favorite trips.
- What are some of the best trips you've ever been on? Where did you go? What did you do?
- Have you ever gone on a mission trip? Share about what it was like!
- Who in your family has travelled the farthest away?
- Have you ever had a bad experience while you were traveling? What happened?
In the Bible, the apostle Paul traveled all over the Mediterranean region talking to people about Jesus. Today, we are going to hear a story about his trip to a place called Thessalonica (in modern day Greece). His trip did not go very well... let's find out what happens!
Bonus reading: 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10. It's a letter Paul wrote to the Christian church in Thessalonica.
- Who are the characters in this story? See if you can describe what happened in two sentences or less!
- How do you think the message of Jesus "turns the world upside down"? Why do you think the others in the temple so angry when they heard about Jesus?
- What would you do if you were Paul and Silas?
Make each member of your family a "mailbox" out of a bag or a box. Using paper, envelopes, stickers, or whatever craft supplies you have at home, write your family members notes of gratitude and encouragement. Let them know what you appreciate about them! Let them know God loves them! You can also write letters to other friends and family and stick them in the (real) mailbox.
Can you do a handstand? Me neither :) Do a handstand, a headstand, or lay upside-down off the couch. What does the world look like when you see it this way? Jesus' life, death, and resurrection turns the world upside-down! Here are some examples...
- The poor and humble are lifted up
- The blind are given sight
- The crippled can walk (think about last week's story!)
- The hungry are given something to eat
- We pray for our enemies
- We are forgiven when we do something wrong
- The dead are raised
- Can you think of any more examples?
Diving into 1 Thessalonians (Older Kids)
The Christians in Thessalonica were persecuted: this means that they were treated with violence and harassment because of their belief in Jesus. There are people of faith (Christians and others) that continue to be persecuted today all over the world.
- Have you heard stories about persecution before? It could be because of a person's religion, race, ethnicity, or political beliefs.
- If you were being persecuted, do you think you would continue to go to church and follow Jesus? (Think: what if someone made fun of you at school?)
Example: a friend's grandma died. You might say:
- I am sorry to hear about the death of your grandma. I bet you miss her a lot.
- I am praying for you and your family.
- Maybe you could tell me some of the memories of things you did with her.
- I love you and I am here for you if you need anything.
- I will text you next week and we can hang out if you would like.
Paul writes to the Thessalonians to encourage them to stand strong in their faith and to share God's love, no matter what. Nothing is stronger than the love God has for us in Jesus! The first two minutes of this video cover the story we learned today.