Lent: Christ in the Wilderness
teaching activity is closely based on a Barnabas in Churches idea.
- The children are invited to the front for
a short introduction to Lent and the idea of preparing for Easter by
facing up to our temptations.
- The story
of Jesus in the wilderness is read in stages, whilst children are invited
to put various props on a little stage that has been
children are invited to reflect on Jesus' responses to temptation, and on
what this might mean for us today.
- An adult
to lead the discussion.
to bring the various props into the story.
to hold up word cards.
adults or older children as readers.
- A base,
on a table so that everyone can see it, to represent the desert.
BRF suggests an underlay of sandy-coloured felt. You could also use a
tray of sand.
highest point of the temple in Jerusalem: a tower made of Duplo, Lego or
- A map or
globe of the world.
- A figure
to represent Jesus.
word cards, with one of the following phrases in large print or writing
on each: "Nobody can live only on food. We need every word God has
spoken." "Worship the Lord your God and serve only Him." "Don't try to
test the Lord your God."
readings: Matthew 4.1-3, 5-6 and 8-9, which you might wish to print on
separate pieces of paper.
- Pass out
the props (except the tray or underlay) and word cards at the beginning
of the service. None of these children needs to be able to read,
as the word cards will be held up for all to see. Pass out the readings
to older children or adults.
the children to the front. The three with word cards should stand
behind the table with the 'desert' on it, not yet holding up their cards.
Explain that Jesus went out into the desert for forty days and forty
nights, after He was baptized, to pray and prepare for God's work.
Present the underlay or tray as the desert (and the plastic figure as
Jesus if you are using it).
4. 1-3 is read. The child with the stones is invited to put them
in the desert. An adult leads the discussion about why Jesus might have
been tempted to do as Satan suggested. The three word cards are held up
and read out by the leader, and the children choose which response Jesus
might have given to this temptation.
4.5-6 is read. The child with the tower is invited to put it in
the desert ('Jesus' could be placed on the tower), and a similar
discussion process follows.
4.8-9 is read. The child with the map or globe is invited to put
it in (or beside) the desert and a similar discussion follows.
about the sorts of things that we are tempted to do, which we know would
be wrong. Talk about how Jesus never gave in to temptation, and
how we need His help to resist our own temptations. He didn't take the
easy way out: magic tricks with stones, throwing himself off buildings or
taking over by violence. His way was the Cross.