Thursday, 30 September 2010

St Michael – KS 1& 2 - Friends in high places - Being Brave - Seal Theme New beginnings - Autumn

Revelation 12.7-9

Yesterday was a special day for Christians. It was St Michael's Day. Some people call it Michaelmas (if you can lay your hands on some Michaelmas daisies you could show them.)

To understand the story of St Michael we need to think about one of these...
Show OHP picture of a dragon. (I managed to find one in Google images which was scary enough, without being absolutely terrifying!)

· What words can you think of to describe this dragon. (The children instantly said "scary")
Why are dragons scary? ( A wonderful child explained that "we are very small and they are very big and they might eat us!")
· Do you think it would be safe to get too close to him?

Dragons don't really exist, of course. They are made up, but people have often told stories about dragons as a way of thinking about things that are big and frightening.

In the Bible there is a story about a dragon.

A man called John was in trouble. A little while after the time of Jesus he had heard about him and decided to follow him. He became the leader of a church. It wasn’t like Seal church, a big stone building. It was just a small group of people getting together to pray and to try to live the way Jesus had taught them.

But it was a dangerous time to be a follower of Jesus. The Roman army ruled the land where John lived, and they didn’t like Jesus’ followers at all. They thought they were troublemakers. So one day soldiers came and arrested John. They didn’t put him in prison. Instead they sent him to an island, far out to sea, called Patmos, and they made him stay there. It was dry and dusty on the island, and John was very unhappy. He was especially unhappy because he knew that his friends were back in the land he’d come from, and that they would be missing him and be unhappy without him. He wanted to get back to them, but he couldn’t. When he thought about the Romans, who were very powerful and who ruled almost all of the world he knew, he couldn’t imagine that things would ever get better. Who could ever defeat such a great power? Everyone was scared of them. No one was strong enough.

But then John had a dream. In his dream he heard God calling to him. I’m going to show you something, John – you just watch. I know things look terrible now, but they won’t always be like that.
And John looked. And he saw, in the heavens, a great big dragon. He knew it wasn’t a real thing, but it stood for all the bad things that were happening – all the sadness in the world.
And then he saw God, like a king. Kings in those days always had armies of soldiers, so of course God, the great king, had to have an army too. His army was made up of angels – great big strong angels. And at the head of this good army was the biggest, best angel of the lot – he was called the archangel Michael, the leader of the angels.
And as John watched Michael started to fight with the dragon. There was a great battle in his dreams. But in the end, who do you think won? That’s right – Michael and the angels won, and the dragon – all those sad, bad things – were defeated.

And John thought again about the sad and bad things that had happened to him – the soldiers coming, the people back at home who were worried about him – and he realised that God was looking after him and them too, and that in the end, the good things in the world would be stronger than the bad things, just like in the dream. He knew too, that he had God and his angels on his side to help him.

Show OHP picture of St Michael killing the dragon (again, Google images is your friend...)
· Look at the picture of Michael and the dragon.
· If you were in trouble, I wonder who you would look up to to help you? (teachers, parents, big brothers and sisters...)
· Sometimes we are the ones who can help, like Michael.
· Perhaps if you knew someone was feeling sad, or being bullied, you could help them.

Prayer . Silence to think of the times when we feel as if we might be facing a dragon. Thank you for the story of Michael and the dragon. Sometimes bad things happen or we feel sad. Help us to remember that you are with us, and help us to remember that sometimes we can be like Michael, the one who helps others too.

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