After appearing to his friends lots of times, it is time for Jesus to leave…
You can read what happened in Acts 1: 1-11
Here we see Jesus going from a very ordinary meal with his disciples to a glorious moment when heaven and earth come close together, as he leaves his friends to go back to be with his Father.
We call this day ‘Ascension Day’, as Jesus ‘ascended’ or ‘went up’ in some way –not ‘up’ into outer space but ‘up’ towards God the Father.
How glorious for Jesus to know that he was going to be back with his Father in glory and that he could bring heaven to earth and earth to heaven in a new and glorious way.(Watch out for the next chapter of the story to find out how that happens at Pentecost in 2 weeks time!)
Easy Ascension craft
You will need:
- template printed off
- scissors, tape and glue
- cotton balls
- hole punch
To prepare, cut out the large clouds, and pictures of Jesus from the template. Punch a hole in the center top and bottom of the activity page, and thread a piece of yarn (approximately 20 inches long) through each hole. Tie off the ends of the yarn in the back near to the top hole. Tape Jesus to the piece of yarn.
Colour the page and glue cotton balls the clouds. Help them put glue on the opposite ends of the large cloud, and attach it to the pages in a way that allows for Jesus to easily be pulled up behind it. Children pull the string in the back to move Jesus from standing on the ground with His disciples, to ascend up to heaven in a cloud.
Jesus ascends craft
You will need:
- · 1 large (preferably blue) cup per person
- about 12″ of string per person
- Cotton balls (optional)
- Template with Jesus and cloud memory verse
- scissors, tape and glue
- 1. Carefully poke a hole in the cup
- Insert the string through the hole in the cup
- Tape Jesus to the end of the string coming through the cup
- Tape the cloud verse to the end of the string coming out the top of the cup
- You can use the cotom balls, pulled apart, for clouds on your cup.
- Pull gently on the cloud verse and watch Jesus ascend into the clouds.
Why not make something to eat that has to rise; to remind you of the story of Jesus rising back to Heaven.
1: DIY cloud
- You will need:
- a glass jar with a lid
- 4/5 ice cubes
- warm water
- aerosol spray eg: hairspray/ deodorant
Make a mini cloud! Warm your jar up by putting the warm (not boiling) water in it and swirling it around. Drop the ice cubes in and quickly put the lid on. Then squirt a blast of hairspray or deodorant into the jar and clap the lid back on as quickly as you can. Watch carefully as you take the lid off and release your cloudy pillar!
Can you think of stories in the bible where God’s glory is shown in a cloud – perhaps the most famous one is when God guides the people through the desert by following a pillar of cloud by day. In today’s story, a cloud takes Jesus away from the disciples.
2: Ascension bubbles
- You will need:
- plastic bottle
- vegetable oil
- food colouring
- alka seltzer tablets
Fill a bottle or jar halfway full with water and mix in some food colouring. Now fill the rest of the bottle with oil, leaving a small space at the top.
The oil will separate from the water into a separate layer.
Drop an Alka Seltzer tablet (or try a quarter or half at a time if they are large tablets) into the bottle and watch as bubbles of coloured water start to ascend into the oil layer in the style of a mini lava lamp!
Watch the bubbles rising and think about the sight of Jesus ascending and what that might have meant for the disciples. What might they have been thinking/ feeling? What does it feel like to wait for something, as the disciples had been told to go and wait for the Holy Spirit to come?
You could use this activity to help you pray: Think about situations where you or people you know are waiting for something to happen. As you drop the tablet into the liquid and see the bubbles ascending, pray that God will take the worries and stresses of waiting away and that they will feel God’s presence with them as they wait.
Activity sheets and things to do together
Prayer adventure map
Every year for the 10 days between Ascension and Pentecost churches across the world are encouraged to pray for more people to know Jesus. You can join in too. Here are some of the resources produced specially for families to use.
Created by Missional Generation, the app brings the Cheeky Pandas to life, helping children to pray, through 11 brand new games and reflections. The episodes can also be watched through the app, and you can play them and the games as many times as you like – it’s all available now!
You can find out more here
The disciples must have felt afraid when Jesus went back to heaven but Jesus promised that He would always be with them. And He has promised to be with us wherever we are, He will be there to help us.
You will need: bubble mixture and blowers
Ideally do this outside. Take it in turns to blow bubbles and invite everyone to ‘spot’ or watch one particular bubble until it disappears from view. At that moment, invite them to say a silent prayer. They might think of their own theme, or you could use some of these: people in hospital, healthcare workers, friends, family, government, countries without such good healthcare, anyone sad, each of you by name, teachers, people in your church…. what or who else do you wnat to pray for?
Don’t forget to join us on our Facebook group live@5 for our celebration and birthdays and an important notice about how you can be part of the the BIGGEST MESSY CHURCH EVER!!!