Say: Raise your hand if you’ve ever been afraid. I see that just about all of us have been afraid at some time. The Bible tells us that God wants to protect us and keep us safe even when we’re scared and anxious, which is another way of saying worried or afraid. Let’s see what scared, worried, and anxious look like. If you think you can put a scared look on your face, show your neighbor your scared face. (Pause.) Now show your neighbor an anxious or worried face. (Pause.)
God wants to take away those scared and worried looks and give you calm and peaceful faces. Now put on a calm, peaceful face. (Pause.) You look great—just the way God wants you to look all the time. And you can look that way by believing that God will never leave you—even when things are scary. Promises in God’s Word tell us that God will never leave us. Here are two promises, which we are going to say together in a marching chant. Listen to my lead, and repeat each line back.
God’s Promises Chant
Use the “sound off” style used in military drills for this chant about God’s promises. The chant is based on Isaiah 43:5a and 1 Peter 5:7.
Leader: “Do not be afraid,” God says. (March in time to the chant.)
Echo: “Do not be afraid,” God says.
Leader: “For I am with you always.” (Keep marching and cross your arms on your chest.)
Echo: “For I am with you always.”
Leader: “Cast all your anxiety” (put your fists together as in a fishing cast)
Echo: “Cast all your anxiety”
Leader: “On me, for I care for you.” (Place your hands on your shoulders.)
Echo: “On me, for I care for you.”
Leader: God’s Word (hold your hands open to indicate a book)
Echo: God’s Word
Leader: Says this. (Point a finger outward.)
Echo: Says this.
Leader and Echo: God’s Word says this! (Pause.) Says this!
Say the chant together at least twice.
Using the Bible to Cast Out Fear
Say: The Bible is a great place to go when we’re afraid. The Bible includes many promises from God that tell of his love and protection. There are stories that show Jesus calming the fears of his friends. The Bible has something for everyone, but it’s important to take the time to sit down, read it, and think about what we’ve read.
Reading the Bible is like sitting down to a delicious, nutritious meal. The food makes our bodies healthy and strong. God’s Word does the same thing for our spiritual selves. Sing this next song to remember that God never wants us to go spiritually hungry. That’s why he gives us the Bible. God’s love for you and me goes deeper than any ocean or lake. It goes higher than any planet or star. That’s why we can count on God’s love night and day. Sing this next song to Jesus with thankful hearts because he has been so good to us.
Pray: Dear God, thank you for being a safe place to go when our fears and worries seem so much bigger than we are. Help us to remember that you are creator of the universe and that nothing is too big or too hard for you. In Jesus’ name, amen.
2. Let’s Learn the Point!
Have children form two separate groups with enough space between them that you or another leader can pass between the groups.
Say: Today’s Bible story comes from the book of Mark and tells us about a time Jesus was on a boat with his disciples. As I tell you this Jesus calms the storm lesson, one group will help by making the sounds of the sea as a giant storm comes through. The other group will pretend to be the frightened disciples.
Show each group its role, and allow groups to practice.
- Group A (the sea)—Kids will sit and rock from side to side, chanting, “Swoosh, swoosh, swoosh.” Their chanting should gradually grow in intensity and then stop abruptly on cue.
- Group B (the disciples)—Kids will put their hands on their cheeks and cry out, “Oh me, oh my! We’re all gonna die!”
Say: When I give you the signal by pointing to your group, you will act out your part of the story. Listen and watch for your part.
Jesus Calms the Storm Lesson: Hear What Happened on the Sea of Galilee
Say: One night after a long day of preaching to the people, Jesus decided to get into a fishing boat with his disciples and go across a sea to the other side. Leaving the crowd behind, Jesus and his friends got into the boat. Point to Group A. When they had sailed to the middle of the sea, a storm began to kick up waves. Point to Group A. The boat rocked back and forth and up and down over the waves. The storm grew stronger and more furious. Group A should be getting louder now.
Jesus had fallen asleep almost as soon as the boat left the shore. Even though the sea was tossing the boat around, he was still asleep. But his disciples were beginning to get really afraid. Point to Group B. They tried lowering the sail and throwing out the anchor, but nothing worked. Point to Group B. They bailed out the water, but still the storm raged. The boat was close to sinking. Point to Group B.
Finally, they couldn’t stand it any longer. Jesus was still sound asleep, so they woke him up. They said, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” Point to Group A and Group B.
With that, Jesus stood up in the boat and shouted out, “Quiet! Be still!” Signal for everyone to be quiet. The storm died down, the waves grew calm, and the boat Jesus was on stopped sinking.
Jesus looked at his disciples, who were now soaking wet and shaking with fear. He said to them, “Why are you so afraid? Didn’t you believe that I would take care of you?”
The disciples were no longer afraid, but they were amazed. They turned to each other and asked, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
Debriefing the Bible Story
Have kids applaud themselves for acting out the story so well.
Say: What an exciting day that must have been for the disciples—first to be caught in that terrible storm and then to see Jesus take control of the weather and change it with only his words.
Have kids form trios to discuss these questions about the Jesus calms the storm lesson.
- What do you think the disciples were most afraid of?
- How did Jesus calm the storm?
- How did Jesus calm the fears of the disciples during the storm?
- What fears do you have?
- Can Jesus calm your fears? How do you think he does that?
Have volunteers report their trios’ discoveries to the entire group.
Say: Jesus is the Son of God, creator of the universe. We can count on him to calm the storms in our lives. When a fear seems to take hold of us, we can call out to Jesus in prayer and know that he hears us just as he heard the disciples’ cries for help.