This is the very end of Matthew’s Gospel. It might be interesting to explore together how this Gospel sends us all out to live as witnesses and how we can worship, live and learn in the light of the last words which Jesus speaks. In your worship together reflect on Jesus’ promise that he is always with us.
Matthew 28.16-20 Jesus sends his disciples out to live for him and help others to live for him too.Get a piece of paper and draw the story as you read it. Use words and pictures. Think about: who was present, where they went, how they felt, what was said and what happened.
Jesus’ eleven disciples were on their way to Galilee.* Jesus had told them to meet him on a mountain there and that is where they were heading.* As they approached the mountain, they saw the risen Jesus standing there and many of them worshipped him. But others doubted – they weren’t sure it was Jesus.*
Jesus came to them all and said, ‘I have been given all power in heaven and on earth.* So go from here. Tell people about God. Make disciples all over the world.* Baptize people in the name of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.* Share with them all that I have taught you and help them to obey my commandments. And remember, I will always be with you, until the very end of time.’*
Talk together with children
- What kind of feelings did Jesus’ disciples have in the story?
- How did you first hear about Jesus?
- Is it easy to tell people about Jesus? Why or why not?
Talk together with young people
- What does this tell us about Jesus?
- How does Jesus involve the disciples in the life of God?
- What challenges you about Jesus’ final message?
Activities, songs and prayers
Place a bottle of cola in a space (ideally outside – this will be messy!) and gather everyone round. Drop a mint (Mentos™ work well – one is enough but add more for more effect!) into the bottle and watch as the liquid bursts out and overflows. Explore together how this illustrates the way that Jesus’ story flowed into the world as he sent his disciples out.
Living the life
Make a journal to record your walk with Jesus
You will need: A5 pieces of coloured card, decorations, pens, A5 pieces of plain paper, ribbon.
- Talk to everyone about how we can reflect on our life with Jesus. One way is to spend a few minutes at the end of the day thinking back over the day and writing down what was good, what was difficult and where God was.
- Invite everyone to make journals for writing these reflections in. Ask them to first fold a piece of card in half like a book cover and decorate it in any way they choose. Help them fold eight plain pieces of paper in half and stack them inside each other to make the pages.
- Then ask everyone to fix their journal pages inside their cover by tying a piece of ribbon around the fold.
- If you have time during the session, encourage everyone to start writing in their new journals; or to take them home to fill in.
Play dough people
Lay out play dough in different colours and people-shaped cookie cutters. Make lots of different people to represent all those wanting to find out more about Jesus.
Click here for a Play dough recipe
Paper doll prayers
Distribute paper, pens and scissors and make a set of paper dolls (where they are joined at the hands and feet). On each of their paper dolls, ask everyone to write the name of a friend who they hope to share the good news of Jesus with. Gather the paper dolls together and pray over each of these names. Ask everyone to swap paper dolls so that they can pray for all their friends in the coming weeks.
Use this song as you do the following activity: Let it be known, Worship central on Let it be known
Give each person an inflated balloon. Encourage everyone to pat the balloons around the room to each other as you shout out this praise: Thank you, God, that we can all know you. Thank you, God, that we can help others to know more about you.
You may wish to use the additional resources below to worship together and/or the activity sheets for children.