READ: Once a man named Saul was going from Jerusalem to Damascus to find Christians he could bring back to punish. In those days Christians were known as “Followers of the Way.” On the way to Damascus a dazzling light flashed around Saul, blinding his eyes. As he fell to the ground, he heard a voice say, “Saul, why are you trying to hurt me?” Confused and blinded, Saul asked, “Who are you?”
The voice responded, “I’m Jesus, the one you’re trying so hard to hurt. Get up and go into the city. Once you’re there, you’ll be told what to do next.”
Saul got up, but still couldn’t see. The people with him took his hand and led him into Damascus. He stayed in a home on Straight Street. He didn’t eat or drink anything.
On the third day a man came to him, Ananias, a Follower of the Way in Damascus. God had sent him to meet Saul. Ananias had come, even though he knew Saul intended to hurt people like him. Ananias said, “Brother Saul, you saw the Lord on the road and that same Lord Jesus came to me too, so that you could see again and receive the Holy Spirit.”
Saul heard him, and it was like fish scales fell from his eyes. He could see, and he understood what Ananias meant. Saul was baptized by Ananias, he ate a meal, and felt restored. Saul was changed. Like Ananias he became a Follower of the Way. To mark this moment, Saul changed his name to Paul. (Acts 9:1-20)
I wonder how it felt when the light was flashing on the road to Damascus?
I wonder how Saul felt when he couldn’t see?
I wonder how Ananias felt when God told him to go find Saul?
I wonder how Saul felt when he had a change of heart?
I wonder what part of this story you like the best?
I wonder what part of this story is the most important?
SAY: In this story Saul has a change of heart and becomes one of the first Followers of the Way to know Jesus in this “new way.” He joins the other disciples who have met Jesus since he was raised. And that is how we meet him today, too.
PRAY: Let’s pray. Dear God, thank you for loving us just as we are. Help us to be sharers of your love with others. Amen.
READ: Easter is so amazing and important, one Sunday is not enough to explore its mystery. We are now in what is called Eastertide, the season of Easter which stretches from Easter Sunday to the day of Pentecost. On the evening of the first Easter after God raised Jesus from the dead, the disciples were together in a house with the doors locked because they were afraid of the soldiers. Someone said, “Peace be with you.” It was Jesus. He said, “As God has sent me, I am sending you.” And then he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”
Thomas had been away that night. When they told him, he said, “I won’t believe Jesus is alive until I can touch his wounds.” And why wouldn’t he have some doubts? Their minds were stretching…stretching to know Jesus in this new way.
The next week, Thomas joined them at the table, and they closed the doors. A voice said,, “Peace be with you.” It was Jesus. He went right up to Thomas and held out his hand, “Touch me.” All Thomas could do was fall on his knees, and he said, “My Lord, and my God.”
Jesus looked at him a long time. “Do you believe because you have seen?” Then he slowly looked around the whole circle and said, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.” (John 20:19-31)
WONDER: I wonder how the disciples felt when Jesus appeared to them in the locked room?
I wonder why Thomas wanted to touch Jesus' wounds?
I wonder how Thomas felt when Jesus said, "Touch me"?
I wonder if you've ever had doubts about anything? I wonder how that feels?
I wonder what is your favorite part of the story?
SAY: In today’s story we find the first disciples learning to know Jesus in a new way after his resurrection.
PRAY: Let’s pray. Dear God, thank you for listening to us when we have questions. And thank you for loving us just as we are. Amen.
READ: Early on Sunday morning, a group of women, all friends of Jesus, came to the tomb where he had been buried in a hurry. They brought spices and scented oils with them to properly finish his burial. But when they got to the tomb, the stone at the opening was rolled away and his body was gone. As they wondered about what had happened, two men in bright shining clothes appeared, saying “Why are you looking for the living in a cemetery? Jesus isn’t dead. Remember he told you that after his death he would rise again?
They did remember, and they went back to the other disciples and told them what they had found in the graveyard. No one believed them.
Peter wanted to check for himself, so he ran to the tomb and saw that it was empty. He went back to the others amazed at what he had heard and seen. (Luke 24:1-12)
WONDER: I wonder what it was like going to the tomb that morning?
I wonder how the women felt when Jesus died?
I wonder how they felt when they saw the tomb was empty?
I wonder what it was like to hear that Jesus was alive, that he had risen?
I wonder what it felt like to tell others that Jesus had risen?
I wonder what it felt like when the other disciples didn’t believe the women?
SAY: In this story we hear the good news that Jesus is alive, that the love of God is stronger than the forces of hatred and fear in our world.
PRAY: Let’s pray. Dear God, thank you for Jesus, for the ways in which he shows us your love. Thank you for the hope you give us, that goodness is stronger than evil and love is stronger than hate. Help us to love as Jesus loved. Amen.
Weekly Faith Conversations
Use these guides as conversation starters with your family. A short retelling of the scripture passage is offered or you may want to look the story up in your own bible or in a children's bible. The wondering questions are written to open up faith exploration with children and adults.