Church@Home - Weekly Resources for the Young
If you would like to receive a weekly email of story and craft ideas from Matt our Children & Youth Leader then please let him know by email email@example.com
Sunday, 18th July 2021
Welcome back to my last weekly email full of fun resources for you to use with your family. This term we are looking at some of the different Old Testament characters. I hope you find the activities below useful as you explore the story of Jonah with your children.
I hope these resources have been helpful in these times of Covid. We are looking to restart Team JC and Tinies from September, so keep an eye on your emails for more information.
Our last Aftershock of the term is this Sunday, 7-8:30pm in the Parish Rooms.
Youth Bible Study is also back meeting face to face, Wednesdays at 4:30-6pm in the Parish Rooms, last one will be on 21st July.
I hope you have a relaxing summer!
Jonah and the Big Fish
to watch this Video:
I wonder why Jonah ran away from God?
I wonder if you can sleep through a storm?
I wonder how the sailors felt in the storm?
I wonder why the sailors didn't throw Jonah overboard straight away?
I wonder what it is like to be swallowed by a big fish?
I wonder what Jonah did in the fish's stomach for three days?
I wonder how Jonah smelled when he came out of the fish's stomach?
I wonder how Jonah felt standing in front of the people of Nineveh?
I wonder if you have done anything that has seemed scary?
Question to ask your parents!
I wonder if you have done anything that has seemed scary?
Jonah and the Big Fish Craft
In our story this week we see how God sent Jonah to a wicked city called Nineveh, but Jonah, instead of following God's instructions, boarded a boat and sailed in the opposite direction. God sent a storm which made the crew of the boat ask who's fault it was; in the end, they found out it was Jonah. Jonah told them that the only way they would live is if they threw him overboard! So they did. God was still in charge and sent a big fish to swallow Jonah up. In the big fish's stomach, Jonah prayed to God and thanked God for all He had done for him. The big fish spat Jonah out and God asked again for Jonah to go to Nineveh. Jonah obeyed God and the people of Nineveh were saved!
For this week's craft, we are going to make a big fish with Jonah inside. First, you will need to print out the template below and colour in the big fish. Carefully cut out the fish and Jonah. Make sure to cut along the dotted line on the big fish too. With a wooden peg, glue the bottom part of the fish onto one side of the peg and the larger part on the other side. This should allow you to open and close the mouth of the fish. Next glue Jonah on the other side of the peg making sure it is visible when you open the fish's mouth.
Download template here
Jonah was a preacher and prophet of God who was called to go to Nineveh to preach and tell the people there that God wasn’t happy with them and that he would destroy them if they didn’t turn to Him. Nineveh was a powerful and wicked city that Jonah had grown up hating. His hatred was so strong that the thought of God being merciful towards them made him disobey God. Jonah felt the people of Nineveh didn’t deserve God’s mercy and love. So instead of heading to Nineveh, he boarded a boat heading in the opposite direction to a place called Tarshish. Jonah soon realised, he could run, but he couldn’t hide from God. A storm raged and the crew of the boat frantically started throwing cargo and belongings overboard in the hope to save their boat but also their lives. Jonah’s disobedience had not just put his own life at risk but also the crew’s lives too. Where was Jonah during this time? He was fast asleep below deck, oblivious to the chaos happening above him! Jonah knew that the storm was his fault because he had disobeyed God, but he waited for the crew to cast lots and question him until he did something. Finally, Jonah realised that the only way was for them to throw him overboard, to give his life to save the sailors, something he wouldn’t do for the people of Nineveh. But the sailors, who showed more compassion than Jonah, tried to sail back to shore, but to no avail. They decide the only option was for them was to throw Jonah overboard. As soon as they did the storm stopped and these once pagan sailors bowed down and worshipped and vowed to serve God. For Jonah, God provided a big fish to swallow him, He hadn’t finished with him yet.
For three days and three nights Jonah is sat inside of the fish. You can only imagine what was going through Jonah’s mind, ‘What’s going to happen to me now?’ 'Am I going to die in this fish?’ ‘I wonder if I will ever get out of here?’ but his main thoughts were to be thankful that God had saved him and kept him alive. Despite his circumstances and the unknown, Jonah was thankful to God. There are times when we find ourselves in unknown and worrying situations, but like Jonah, we should turn to God and worship him and be thankful for all He has done for us and for His love and mercy which never ends. Jonah had disobeyed God but God is a God of second chances and gave Jonah another opportunity to go to Nineveh. Even though Jonah had disobeyed God and ran away, he still had a job for him to do. Jonah went to Nineveh and preached the words God asked him, ‘Forty more days and Nineveh will be overturned’. Jonah left the city and found himself a comfy front row seat to watch God destroy the city. But to his surprise and anger, the people of Nineveh declared a fast, put on sackcloth, turned from their wicked ways and followed God.
Jonah was furious! How could God have given these people a chance of redemption? How could He show them His love and mercy? They didn’t deserve it! But God had forgiven the people of Nineveh just like He had forgiven Jonah. God had destroyed Nineveh but not in the way that Jonah had in mind. Instead of destroying the people and the city, God had destroyed their former way of thinking and being. We may be surprised about who turns to follow God. Sometimes they are people we think don’t deserve the forgiveness, mercy and love God offers. Yet this is the same forgiveness, mercy and love which God offers us, and believe me, we don’t deserve it either.
On St Mary's website we have our 'Church at Home' section which has more resources for families at the bottom of the page. www.stmaryssaffronwalden.org/churchathome
There is also our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/saintmaryschurchsaffronwalden/
Some Useful Links
Online Resources Pack for Young People, Children and Families
from Essex County Council. Lots of useful links to explore - download here