Bible Reading Ideas
This is a very long reading despite being a great story.
- Try using the Vision Bible film of The Gospel of John https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-k0D_qFPb4o.
- Read as a story using The Book of God, by Walter Wangerin Junior (Zondervan, 1996, page 756 ff, http://walterwangerinjr.org/works/)
- Emotions – Make a set of large cards with dinner plate-sized faces drawn on them, or print out a range of easily recognisable emojis that depict the emotions of the people in the story e.g., happy 😊 sad ☹
Tell the narrative (in any way) and use the emoji cards to identify the emotions of the events. You could also encourage people to mimic the face or act out the emotion.
Adapted from http://seedstuff.blogspot.com/2020/03/lent-5-march-29-power-of-godgods-big.html
Videos and Songs
John 11:1–57 – Lumo Projects (dramatic real life) https://youtu.be/_8VVraUQa3Q
Jesus Raises Lazarus from the Dead – Saddleback Kids (animation) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dca8SSxXCmM&t=33s.
Lazarus Rises – The Life of Jesus (dramatic real life) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fsK2wryL91A&t=195s
Sons of Korah – Psalm 130 – Nature Visuals https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kND0DcTCOE See the other ideas section below for a prayer of confession ideas to use with this song in worship.
Come Out, Lazarus – David MacGregor https://youtu.be/BhjNP5ya3Fs
adapted from http://worshipingwithchildren.blogspot.com/2014/01/observing-lent-and-celebrating-easter.html
- Add the word “community” and a box of tissues to the worship space this week (in the desert scene or prayer wall if you have one).
- Print and cut out the tissue pictures to give to people to write prayers of thanks in acknowledgement of the peer communities and rites of passage that have helped and shaped them in their Journey with Jesus. They might write a whole prayer or name the people and experiences.
- Collect the tissues and, either during the service or afterwards, add them to the wall.
- End with this spoken prayer:
Dear God, we thank you for how you have surrounded us with people who have walked with us and guided us through all of life, especially the hard rites of passage like death and grief. We thank you specifically for these people, communities, and things we have thought about and written. We thank you for the challenge, support, encouragement, and guidance we have received in these experiences and for the people that have walked through them with us. We pray that you will help us form peer communities that offer love and support, primarily through challenging times in people’s lives, so they can experience your love through us and walk with you. Amen
- Print out emoji prayer reminder cards from
- Hand out to people and use them to lead prayer for others.
Hold the Emoji Prayer reminders card in your hand.
Put your thumb or finger on an emoji, read the prayer prompt and then say a prayer for the person suggested.
Repeat for all or some of the emojis as time allows
- You can also use these prompts as you are using your phone or tablet on your own or while in conversation with others
Use this 3-Minute Retreat https://www.loyolapress.com/retreats/believe-in-me/ to reflect on what Jesus said to Mary.
Discussion & Response Activity
adapted from http://seedstuff.blogspot.com/2020/03/lent-5-march-29-power-of-godgods-big.html
In small groups, discuss the following:
a) How do Jesus’ response to Lazarus’ death and Mary’s weeping help you to trust him more?
b) What have you found helpful when you are called upon to help a friend who is undergoing a hard time?
In response: Make cards for people who are sad or grieving. Find a bible passage that gives a message of hope and comfort.
Lent Journal – continued
adapted from http://seedstuff.blogspot.com/2020/02/lent-1-march-01-temptations-are-not.html
- Print the Lent Journal for each person
- Each page has a heading, the gospel reading and three questions. The rest of the page is blank for responses.
Encourage everyone to use their journal to capture their thoughts and responses to the Lent readings and reflections on Sunday and during the week as they Journey with Jesus through Lent.