In this fun activity, Jesus calms the storm as kids use hand motions, claps, and words.
Say: Today we’re going to listen to a really scary story about what happened to Jesus’ disciples. And you’re going to help me tell it.
Practice each of these cues and responses with the class:
- Boat: everyone say “creeeak” and pretend you’re pulling hard on the oars
- Disciples: all the boys (and men) count to 12 really fast
- Wind: the girls (and women) cup their hands around their mouths and blow.
- Waves: put your hands side by side and make waves in front of you.
- Jesus: point to upward and say, “Christ, the Lord.”
As you tell the Jesus Calms the Storm story, be sure to put an emphasis on each of the bold words; then pause for kids to respond.
Say: Here we go! Everybody stick together so you don’t get too scared.
Jesus Calms The Storm Interactive Story
The disciples were just exhausted. All day crowds and crowds of people had been following Jesus, listening as he taught and watching as he healed the sick. Now the sun was beginning to set over the Sea of Galilee. Seeing how tired his disciples were, Jesus said, “Let’s get in a boat and go over to the other side of the lake.” It would be good for all of them to get away from the crowds for a while. The disciples rowed away from the shore while Jesus went to the front of the boat and lay down on a cushion. The waves lapped gently against the side of the
boat, lulling Jesus into a peaceful sleep. But suddenly a wind began to blow dark clouds across the sky. The waves weren’t so gentle anymore. The little boat began to pitch and rock.
The disciples began to get a little worried. But Jesus still lay sleeping in the front of the boat. Then the wind grew stronger still. The spray from the waves got the disciples all wet. This was getting to be a bad storm! But Jesus still lay sleeping in the front of the boat. By the time the fishing boat reached the center of the lake, the wind had turned into an angry gale that whipped the waves so high they washed right over the boat. The disciples were terrified. They thought they might drown. But Jesus still lay sleeping in the front of the boat.
Jesus Calms the Storm
Finally, someone went and shook Jesus. “Master,” he cried, “don’t you care if we drown?” Jesus looked around. He listened to the howling wind. He felt the cold, stinging spray as waves crashed over the little boat. Jesus saw the fear in the faces of his disciples. Then Jesus stood, stretched out his arms to the wind and the waves, and commanded: “Peace! Be still!” And all at once the wind died down and the waves became completely calm. Then he asked the disciples: “Why are you so afraid? Where is your faith?”
Jesus showed his power over the wind and the waves that day on the Sea of Galilee. Just as he cared for his disciples in that little storm-tossed boat, he will care for you.
Debriefing the Story
After you finish, have kids give themselves a round of applause for helping you tell the story. Then ask:
- What happened that made the disciples feel unsafe? (Their boat got in a bad storm; they were afraid of drowning.)
- What did they do to get help? (They woke Jesus up.)
- What did Jesus do to make things okay again? (He told the wind and the waves to be still.)
- How could he do that? (He’s God’s son–he can do anything.)
- Can Jesus help us the way he helped the disciples in the storm? Why or why not? (Yes, Jesus can still do anything; no, he doesn’t work that way now.)
- Can Jesus help us even though we can’t see him or touch him? Why or why not? (Yes, he’s always with us; no, sometimes we don’t ask him.)
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