An outline for a classroom session on Jesus’ first miracle or ‘sign’ in John’s Gospel.
You’ll need a picture of the wedding at Cana, cardboard, glasses or cups, pots, water, wine, craft materials, digital camera (optional)
1 Very briefly talk about the start of Jesus’ ministry; his baptism, temptations and how he started work, preaching and healing.
2 Today we are going to look at the very first miracle that Jesus did.
Use a picture of the wedding at Cana from The National Gallery website and slowly uncover the picture a little at a time so that they can guess what you are revealing.
3 Tell the story, using the children as actors and using glasses or cups, a table and six large pots, washing up bowls, big saucepans or similar as props. You might want to take photos for your display.
There is a funny rhyming version from the point of view of the person in charge of the catering in The Gospels Unplugged.
4 Mary, a wedding guest, the bride and a disciple to find out what they thought of the miracle. Try to establish how disastrous it would have been if there had been no wine for the party.
5 For reflection and discussion: have a focal point of a glass of water and a glass of wine. Say that Jesus loves to change disasters into miracles, to change really bad times into really good times. Ask the children to think about people or places which are going through a bad time.
Talk about what this miracle tells us about who Jesus is.
6 Craft: make a display. You might want to use digital photos of the scene the children acted out earlier, or choose a masterpiece painting of the marriage at Cana, divide it into squares and ask each child to copy that square onto a piece of card or paper, then reassemble them all on your display as your own version of the picture. Or have two large wineglass shapes in card and ask the children to glue on mosaic paper pieces of blue (for the water glass) and red (for the wineglass).