An activity to introduce the idea of miracles
Christians believe God sends miracles sometimes when there’s nothing else human beings can do. They also believe that sometimes miracles occur through ‘natural’ factors. For example, the feeding of the 5000 – was the miracle the amount of bread and fish Jesus could make, or was it the unselfishness of the boy who gave up his lunch? This classroom activity enables Key Stage 2 learners to start to explore what Christians believe about miracles.
Divide the class into teams.
Start off by outlining one of the hopeless situations below. The first team should suggest a miracle that might save you at least for the time being. The second team then caps this development with a further disaster and so on, until either you feel it’s time to change situation or one of the teams is unable to cap the previous suggestion. e.g.
Situation: A storm blows up at sea and wrecks the ship you’re sailing on.
Team 1: Miracle! You manage to get into a lifeboat.
Team 2: Disaster! The lifeboat springs a leak and it starts filling with water.
Team 1: Miracle! Someone on board has a top hat you can use as a bucket to bail.
Team 2: Disaster! The top hat collapses and the boat starts to sink.
Team 1: Miracle! A school of dolphins swims past and give you a ride on their backs
Team 2: Disaster! They swim into shark-infested waters.
(This activity could also inspire imaginative story writing.)
Other possible situations:
• You run out of pop at the very hot and sweaty school disco.
• You’re hill climbing when the hill erupts! It turns out to be a volcano!
• You’re about to get safely home when Bob the bully appears just in front of you.
• Your goldfish catapults itself out of the tank and flops around on the floor.
Discuss what a miracle is. Christians believe a miracle is an extraordinary expression of God’s grace. Some Christians see natural phenomena as miracles: the growth of an oak tree from a little acorn, for example. Some Christians believe God performs extra-special miracles, for example, healing, and some believe that any healing is a miracle.
Has anyone ever seen a miracle?
Look at some of Jesus’ miracles, such as feeding the five thousand (John 6:1-14), turning water into wine (John 2:1-11), healing the sick (Matt 8:1-4), walking on the water Matt 14:22-34), or raising the dead Matt 9:18-26)
Why might Jesus do miracles? In John’s gospel, they are called ‘signs’ – what might they be pointing to?
You might also like to mention the warning Jesus gives the Pharisees in Matthew 16:1-4