Mark 4:35-41 (NIRV)
Jesus Calms the Storm
35When evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let’s go over to the other side of the lake.” 36They left the crowd behind. And they took him along in a boat, just as he was. There were also other boats with him. 37A wild storm came up. Waves crashed over the boat. It was about to sink. 38Jesus was in the back, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him up. They said, “Teacher! Don’t you care if we drown?”
39He got up and ordered the wind to stop. He said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down. And it was completely calm.
40He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Don’t you have any faith at all yet?”
41They were terrified. They asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”
Object: Birthday balloons.
Message: Birthday parties normally have balloons for decorations. Many people don’t like balloons because they may pop and frighten them. I promise I won’t pop this balloon. (if you prefer, use uninflated balloons.)
Have you ever been frightened? Today’s Scripture finds the disciples in a boat during a terrible storm. They are scared to death. They can’t sleep. Waves were crashing over the sides of the boat. I am sure some of them felt that they would fall into the water. Show me with your faces how you think they may have felt. Can you show me a scared face?
They looked over at Jesus, and he was asleep! They woke him up and said, “Don’t you care that we may drown?”
Jesus got up and ordered the wind to stop. He told the waves to be quiet! And you know what happened? They did!
Jesus then told the disciples that they should have had faith in him.
The disciples discovered that this man, the one they called Jesus, is so powerful that even the winds and waves obey him.
That is strong faith. There will come times in life when we get scared, maybe even terrified. When things scare us, and we become frightened, we always need to remember that Jesus is there to help us.
The disciples were afraid and frightened during the storm. A party is for celebrating, as I am sure the disciples did when the storm stopped. If we are frightened by the thought of the balloons popping and scaring us, then let’s put them aside and find something else to use to decorate our party. What do you think we could use? (Let children come up with suggestions other than balloons. Have other ideas in mind to recommend.)
Prayer: Loving and powerful Jesus, the one who is strong enough to quiet the winds, the one who is powerful enough to stop the waves, please comfort us when we are scared. When we become frightened, remind us that your love is stronger than the problems we may have. Amen.