Don’t give up!
Mark chp 10 vss 46-52
A strange noise which may have several interpretations (either a recording or something which could be struck?), a blindfold and a chair
Ask the children to close their eyes for a moment. What can they hear? (Make the noise – what is it?)
OR Ask someone to come to the front to be blindfolded and sit on the chair and some of their friends to demonstrate the game where you creep up on them. Can your “victim” hear them / locate then before they tap them on the shoulder?
Not being able to see can be frightening and disorientating. In the game you can take the blindfold off (and you might try peeking anyway!), but imagine you were really blind – how would that be different?
Tell the story of blind Bartimaeus (this could work well as an improvised drama). Explain how the crowd had turned out to see a celebrity, and a blind beggar was just a nuisance. Once Bartimaeus realised that it was Jesus who was there he believed there was someone who could help him by curing him of his blindness. Despite the fact that everyone was trying to shut him up, Bartimaeus persisted and he was rewarded for his determination as Jesus heard him and asked for him to be brought over. If Bartimaeus had listened to all those people who had told him to shut up he would have been a blind beggar for the rest of his life. The important thing was that Bartimaeus had faith in Jesus and he clung on to that faith – Jesus told him that that was what had made him well.
The story is certain to resonate with your school’s values of determination / resilience / perseverance. Make the link. Ask the children to think about how Bartimaeus would have felt when he could see for the first time.
Sometimes we feel as if we are in the dark and don’t know what to do next. Help us to remember how Jesus said “I am the light of the world”. Help us to persevere in looking for that light. Open our hearts to the light of Jesus, just as he opened up Bartimaeus’ eyes to daylight.
There are other stories of Jesus and people whom others neglected or pushed away which could be used this week e.g. Zacchaeus the tax collector, or the sick woman in Luke chp 8. You could also link with stories of people who some would discount but who won through because they persevered e.g. Paralympians.