This story is actually the one that directly precedes this weeks lectionary reading. But we've had one Jesus-revealed-in-a-locked-room story already, I thought I'd do a prequel of sorts. In our service we'll do the children's story right before the Gospel reading.
Luke 24:13-35 – On the Emmaus Road
props: detective hat, coat and magnifying glass, evidence box, Jesus figure, Bible or scroll, bread
· remind the children of the story of Jesus appearing Mary and then to the disciples – Mary didn’t recognize him right away and his friend Thomas needed to touch him before he believed that Jesus was alive
· recap or read the story of the Emmaus road from Luke 24:35
· Put on the detective gear and tell the children: Now it’s time to look at the clues! Let’s be witnesses!
· Look at the clues in the evidence box
o the first clue: Jesus himself – but the disciples didn’t recognize him – just like Mary didn’t recognize him at first – they weren’t expecting to see him – sometimes we don’t recognize people out of context, like when we see our teacher at the supermarket
o the second clue: scripture – Jesus talked with the disciples about how scriptures told of God’s love for the whole world and about how he – Jesus would die but be alive again (they still didn’t get it)
o the third clue: bread – break the bread as for Communion and ask the children where they’ve seen that gesture before. The disciples had seen Jesus do that too. They might have eaten with him many times, finally they recognized him.
· Say: Even though we don’t see Jesus with us, the way the disciples did, one of the ways we experience God’s love is through eating together, through caring for people who don’t have enough to eat and accepting the good food that people offer us – in each other’s homes, here at church, on picnics.
· Say: When the disciples finally recognized Jesus, he disappeared, but that didn’t stop them from running all the way back to Jerusalem to tell all of their friends, Jesus is alive!!
· Say: If you listen carefully to the next story when it’s read, you’ll hear about Jesus eating with his friends again. (Luke 24:36-48, the scripture reading for this Sunday)