At Little Rocks this morning we have been looking at the Bible passage from Luke 4 verses 14-21 which is about Jesus attending the synagogue in his home town of Nazareth where he reads from the Jewish Scriptures and claims that Isaiah's prophecy about the Messiah is fulfilled in him.
After our opening prayer, Helen said that we needed to rearrange our Little Rocks room so that it resembled a Jewish synagogue from Jesus' day.
We had a bench on one side of the room, with a row of chairs facing the bench on the opposite side of the room. Helen explained that there would have been a section for the women to sit, but as we don't really have enough space at Little Rocks we wouldn't be having that area. Our cupboard became the "Ark" where the scrolls are stored safely and then our activity table became the reading desk. Everyone was able to stand at the reading desk, and share a story with the group.
Then Helen stood up, and shared the Bible story. Some of the words were missing from the story, but Helen had printed out the missing words on strips of paper and we had to find the right word to complete the story!
Jesus had been away in the wilderness but it was time for him to return home. Filled with the power of the Holy Spirit he went back to Galilee, and very quickly news about him spread right across the area. He taught in the synagogues and was praised by everyone.
Then he went to Nazareth, where he'd grown up, and on the sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as he was used to doing. He stood up to read from the Jewish Scriptures, and the scroll of Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to release the prisoners, heal the blind so they can see again, and set the oppressed free. He has sent me to tell everyone that the year of the Lord's favour is here."
After he had finished reading, he rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down again. Everyone was watching him and he looked at them and said 'Today this Scripture has come true.'
After our story, we talked about teachers and what makes them so good. We decided that people who are kind, fair, helpful and someone we could talk to make good teachers. We also talked about how the people of Nazareth might have felt hearing Jesus reading this story - they had seen Jesus grow up from being a child and he was standing there telling a story about himself! We decided that because Jesus was kind and helpful, the people of Nazareth didn't mind him teaching them.
We then made our own scrolls by colouring bible storyboards that Helen had printed out, and then she helped us make these into scrolls that we could unroll to read the story:
After this, we had our closing prayer and we returned to join our families and the rest of the congregation for the last bit of the service.
See you next time!
The Little Rocks Leaders