Beulah Land: Stories of Peter
Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Matthew 28:19
Summary: Today’s is an exciting story as your child will learn about the rapid growth of the church. It is taken from Acts 9:31-12:18 and gives multiple accounts of Peter’s work to spread the Gospel. Equipped by Holy Spirit and commissioned as an apostle, Peter was able to perform miraculous healings, escape from prison and even tell a Roman centurion the truth about Jesus.
I Wonder… : what it feels like to be healed? what it is like to see an angel? what it means to hear the story and let it change you? if this story is still a part of Jesus?
Follow up Ideas: Get out a map! Find where the church started to spread. Where do others Christians live now? How do people hear the Good News of Jesus?
Godly Play I: Paul’s Discovery
Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Colossians 3:12
Summary: Today’s story comes from Acts and multiple other New Testament books. It walks through the life of Paul, taking children through stories of his conversion, missionary journeys and death.
I Wonder…: what your favorite part of the story is? what the most important part could be? if this story has anything do with you? what you think about Paul? what it is like to be in a place where people do not like Jesus?
Additional Followup: Get out a map and trace Paul’s missionary journeys. Find out which New Testament letters are written by Paul. Do you have a favorite?
Fun Facts for Parents: We know from his second letter to Timothy that Paul was probably aware that his time on earth was ending– and that he would be executed for his faith (see 2 Timothy 4). Though we don’t have an exact time, Paul’s death is typically dated during Nero’s rule. Nero hated Christians, blamed them for the burning of Rome and tortured them greatly. He even used Christians as human torches for evening parties. Because he was a Roman citizen, historians report that Paul’s death would have likely come from sword or axe rather than crucifixion or burning. Many legends have popped up surrounding the death of Paul. One claims that after decapitation, Paul’s head bounced three times, leaving behind three flowing springs where it touched the ground. While the manner in which Paul was killed cannot be confirmed, we are confident that Paul was most likely killed for his faith. He was once a man driven by perfectionism and hatred of Christians until he met Jesus and was changed. I wonder how knowing Jesus changes you?
Godly Play II: Story of Dorcas
If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth. 1 John 3:17-18
Summary: This story is taken from Acts 9:36-42. It covers both the spread of the gospel through the mission of Peter as well as how believers, filled with the Holy Spirit, began to serve their neighbors.
I wonder…: why Dorcas was so concerned with helping the poor and the widowed? why the widows were so sad when she died? what Dorcas thought when she sat up and opened her eyes? what people thought when they saw Dorcas alive again?
Additional Followup: Wonder together over who the poor and widowed are. How can you as a family show them the love of Christ?
Fun Facts for Parents: Dorcas is the Greek translation for the Aramaic Tabitha (which means gazelle). Tabitha took seriously the call to care for the poor and the widow. From the text, it seems as though her ministry had far reaches in her community. We see a faithful follower in Dorcas. This account also shows us how the gospel continued to spread through the apostle, Peter. Because people saw Dorcas brought back to life, they believed in Christ.