Have you ever been told to think of others before yourself? At the moment we are all being told to think of others and to put the needs of our nation ahead of the needs of just one person. This is the right thing to do and as we are told will protect lives and the NHS.
Jesus always thought of others and what they needed. On one occasion he taught crowds of people and fed them, we can read about it in our bibles: Matthew chapter 15. In the story we read that it was getting late and Jesus realised that the crowd needed to eat. Rather than send them home he took 5 loves and 2 fish and managed to feed over 5000 people. This miracle showed those gathered that Jesus would provide, and provide in abundance.
However, following on from this story we find Jesus thinking about the care of his closest friends, the disciples, and his own self-care. Realising that the disciples had had to give a lot during the past day, he sent them off alone in a boat to give them time together as a family to talk and relax. Jesus then, alone, sent the crowds home before going off on his own to pray and be with his father, God. Jesus knew he had to look after himself so that he could care for others.
Just like Jesus did, we all need to find time to look after ourselves. Jesus did this by praying and we can do the same. We often hold on to our worries and fears but by praying and giving them to God we can take courage and strength from him. The disciples discovered this whilst they waited for Jesus in the boat. They got caught in a storm and became afraid. Jesus called to Peter to walk towards him on the water but again he became afraid. Jesus reached out a hand to him and Peter held on to him and they climbed into the boat together and the storm calmed.
The disciples saw first hand the power of reaching out to Jesus in their fear. By holding on to him they found a strength and courage they didn't know they had. When we are looking after ourselves, just as Jesus did, we can reach out to him and talk with him sharing our worries and fears. We can also just talk to him as a friend. The activities below will help you talk to Jesus to be with him and share with him. Remember by looking after ourselves, just as Jesus did we are better placed to look after others.
You will need: paper, colouring pens, pencils or crayons.
I bet you are getting good at washing your hands. What have you been singing to help you wash them for 20 seconds? Why not try saying the Lord's Prayer. You could even write it out and decorate it and put it near your sink to remind you. Alternatively if you can print out you could use one of the links below which will take you to some Lord's Prayer colouring sheets.
Our Father, which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy Name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy will be done on earth,
As it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
As we forgive them that trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
The power, and the glory,
For ever and ever.
You will need: sheets, duvets, cushion - in fact anything that you can build a den with.
Jesus went up a mountain to find space for himself but at the moment we can't go out and find a space up a mountain or hill, but we can build a den.
Using blankets, duvets and cushions why don't you build a space for yourself. You could do some of the activities here in your special space or try sitting quietly and listening for a minute or two. What noises can you hear? Can you identify the sounds in your home? What about listening hard to the sounds outside your home, what do you hear? Can you hear your tummy talking?
Jesus used his space to talk to God. You could also do the same and share with him what you have been doing or what you are worried about.
Handy Prayer - Give it to Jesus
You will need: paper, pencil, scissors, a bowl of water (a washing up bowl would be good)
Just as the disciples reached out to Jesus to help them find strength, courage and faith, we can do the same. As we offer our prayers to Jesus, remember he listens to us and accepts our prayers, our worries and our fears. If we let him he will give us strength, courage and faith.
Draw around your hand and cut the shape out.
Write the name of someone you want to pray for or tell Jesus about. Or write down a fear or worry.
Fold the fingers and thumb over to hide the word.
Place the folded hand onto the water. As it floats the fingers will open up.
As the fingers open up this is a reminder that you have offered your prayer to Jesus.
Feeding of the 5000 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S6rj9cAJrWE
Jesus goes off to pray and Peter walks on water https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVy9HGr3Qig