The Power Of The Holy Spirit
Peter and John heal a lame man
by An assembly from the Culham St Gabriel archive
Suitable for Key Stage 1/2 - Church Schools
To consider how the Holy Spirit helped Peter to witness to Jesus.
Preparation and materials
This unit will work best if the children have some previous knowledge of Jesus’ disciple Peter and his role in the Easter story.
You will need:
- if possible, pictures of one or more events in Peter's life (Peter denying Jesus, the Ascension, healing the lame man)
- flip chart or OHT with two columns headed ‘But you’ and ‘But Jesus’ (see below)
- pupils to take the following parts in the simple dramatized reading (do the narration yourself):
Peter (a good reader)
Familiarize yourself with the stories in Acts 2.32, 33 and Acts 3.1–11, 13–16 (Good News Bible).
- Leader: Have you ever done something really brave? You might have been scared and you didn't know what would happen if things went wrong. Being brave is about being afraid but still doing what you know you should do. Soldiers are brave in wars when they have to fight, even though inside they are very scared and frightened. Or you might have told a lie and are scared that telling the truth will get you into trouble, but you still tell the truth anyway. That's being brave.
- Leader: Do you remember the story about Peter when Jesus was captured before he was taken away to be crucified? Recall the story if the children do not know it.
He was so scared that he lied. Either tell this part of the story, about Peter denying that he knew Jesus three times before the cock crowed, or ask the children to recall it.
He said he didn't know Jesus. That was a lie. Then he lied again, and then he said it a third time. He was so ashamed that he had to go away and cry. He wept bitterly.
Let's go back to the days after Jesus had been crucified. A change has come over Peter. He has seen Jesus alive again. He knows Jesus has forgiven him. He has watched Jesus return to heaven. He has received a new power from God. Explain the idea of the Holy Spirit bringing God's power to the disciples. If you have appropriate pictures, show them through this sequence.
Peter chooses to follow Jesus. Jesus promised the disciples that they would have a new power if he went back to heaven. Now the promise has come true, because the Holy Spirit has come to all the disciples. They are not afraid any more. In fact, Peter now wants to tell people he knows Jesus and that Jesus is his friend for ever. He wants to tell people in the streets of Jerusalem about Jesus' death on the cross and about his resurrection a few weeks ago. Listen to him.
- Reader (a loud-voiced Peter): Lots of people believed that day – three thousand! People got better from diseases. And it's all because of the power given to me just as Jesus promised on the hill, ten days ago, before he went home to heaven!
Leader: Now you probably wonder what this poor lame man is doing here. Point to the lame man. This – refer to the stage area – is the Temple! The man can't walk at all and has to be carried everywhere.
- Reading (Acts 3.1–11): Ask the selected pupils to read the various parts.
As the reading ends, 'freeze' the action. Turn to the assembly and tell the children what Peter said to the crowd, or let Peter say it.
Peter: ‘Why are you surprised? Why do you stare at us?’
- Peter stands forward and preaches . . .
Use a chart or OHT with prepared sheets. Peter starts the reading:
Peter: The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob gave divine glory to his Son, Jesus . . .But you handed him over to the authorities . . .
Children: But Jesus was holy and good.
Peter: But you rejected him in front of the Roman ruler . . .
Children: But Jesus should have been freed.
Peter: But you chose a murderer to be free . . .
Children: But Jesus leads to life.
Peter: But you killed him . . .
Children: But Jesus was raised to life by God.
Peter: Faith in Jesus made this man well.
Time for reflection
Ask the actors to sit down. Suggest that the children quietly read, in their heads, the 'Jesus' side of the chart again.
Thank you that your Holy Spirit works today, comforting, helping and healing.
Please help all who try to heal people and make them feel better and out of pain.
Thank you that your Holy Spirit can make us brave.
In Jesus' Name,
'The Spirit Lives' (Walk, walk in the Light) (Mission Praise, 664)
'Silver and Gold Have I None' (Mission Praise, 598)