What’s today about?
Have you ever been asked to do something you don’t want to do?
How about get on with someone you found it hard to?
Jonah was asked to do that in our story today! He was asked to go to a far away land to do some thing he didn’t want to do: warn the people that if they carried on being evil God would destroy them. He didn’t really like the people where he was going and didn’t really want to help them but God views everyone as worthy of his love and compassion whether we like them or not.
We’re going to hear from the Bible, pray, explore what it means to us, and have a song as well.
Hearing from the bible!
Let’s listen to this bible story:
You can find that story in the bible at Jonah – You may have a children’s bible with a shorter version.
Questions? Choose one of the following questions
- What parts of the story were your favourites?
- What were the most important parts?
- How would’ve you felt being swallowed by a big whale?
- Do you think God wants us to help people even if we struggle to like them?
Let’s Pray – Prayer Wall
- Paper / post its
What to do:
Write or draw your prayers hopes, dreams, thanks, worries, fears and joys on the paper or post it then put them on a wall for you to see.
Maybe stick some paper or post-its somewhere where you can write prayers during the week and put them on the wall.
You can pray this prayer after you post your prayers up:
God who loves us, hear our prayers and help us know that you are close to us. Amen
Responding to the story
Have a go at one of these activities to help think about the story:
Craft – Jonah cup popper
Jonah being swallowed by the whale is the most famous bit of the story but there is a bit more to the message of the story. It is also about following God even when it’s difficult even when we may not want its about doing the right thing, it’s about learning that God wants us to understand that we are all his children no matter where we are from. Jonah needed a whale to spit him up onto a beach but we probably won’t get swallowed by a whale if we don’t do the right thing but have a think as you spit up your Jonahs from your whales about how you can do the right thing?
- Paper/ strong plastic cup
- Marshmallow or fuzzy ball (for Jonah)
- Scissors or sharp knife (parental help)
What to do:
Follow the instructions here as to how to make the popper:
Think: Jonah hated the people of Nineveh but God loves them because they are still his children how would you react if you were Jonah?
Game – Jonah and the whale (British bull dog)
Jonah tried to runaway from God even to the bottom of the sea but God sent a whale to take Jonah where he needed to be. We’re going to play a game now where we need to run away from the whale.
To play this game, you simply need a couple of people.
Pick someone to be the ‘whale’.
The whale will stand in the centre of the playing area. Line up on one side of the room/garden.
They will be ‘Jonah’. Every one of them!
When you call out ‘STORM’, the Jonahs try to run from one side of the room to the other without getting caught by the ‘whale’.
Whoever gets caught will remain in the middle and become an extra whale.
Play will continue until there is only one ‘Jonah’ left and everyone else has now become a ‘whale’.
If you only have a couple of you just play “tag” but with catching the person instead of just touching them!
Think: Have you ever tried not to do something you where knew you had to? Helping out? Or doing the right thing?
Think: Who could you help today? Who may God be asking you to love?
Hillsong kids – Oceans