The Gospels of Matthew, Luke and Mark contain the story of Jesus calming the storm on the Sea of Galilee. When the storm arose, Jesus slept in the bottom of the boat while the disciples reacted in fear because the high waves threatened to fill the boat with water. The disciples woke Jesus up and asked him to rescue them. Jesus stood up in the boat and spoke peace to the wind and waves, and immediately the storm ceased.
Acting It Out
Place a blue cloth on the floor to represent the Sea of Galilee and chairs for the children to sit in to represent the boat. Jesus can lay on the floor between the chairs with a pillow for his head. Have the upper elementary students think about how frightened the disciples were to have waves washing over the sides of the boat. Alternatively, take a clear bowl of water and put a toy boat in the water. Take a drinking straw and blow air forcefully toward the boat to see how the storm affected the disciples in the boat.
The Power of Fear
Read the story from any of the three Gospels. Have a student sit in a chair in the center of the room and have the other students stand close to the chair and speak fear messages in loud voices at the student in the chair. When you say, “Peace! Be still,” all the talking stops. The student in the chair relates how hard it was to think with everyone talking at him. Students can relate the experience to the fearful voices in the brain when life is frightening. Alternatively, have the third to sixth grade students talk about what fear feels like. Students could share personal experiences of fear with the class. They can brainstorm ways to remember to stop and pray, asking for peace to be restored.
Storms of Life
Many things in life can cause you to feel like a storm is raging around you. Students can list things that create storms, such as divorce, a death in the family, a move or a natural disaster. Jesus said the disciples displayed fear instead of faith. Students can share ideas about how to exhibit faith during personal storms. Students may put together the paper boat craft found at gospelhall.org and list the storms in the conversation balloons over the disciples’ heads.
Memory Verse Activities
When storms come, Jesus challenges us to respond with faith rather than react in fear. Older elementary students can select a memory verse from several choices including Psalm 27:1, Psalm 27:13-14, Psalm 107:28-30, Romans 8:14-16 or 2 Timothy 1:7. You can create a crossword puzzle, word search or coded message worksheet that contains all of these scriptures. Alternatively, print a picture of Jesus calming the storm on the top side of a puzzle blank and list a different scripture about fear or faith on the back of each puzzle piece.
- Mission Arlington: Life of Christ: Jesus Calms the Storm
- King’s Kid Stuff: Miracles of Jesus: Calming the Storm
- GospelHall.org: Sunday School Lesson 530 Jesus Calms the Waves of the Storm
- Antioch Arcade: Calming the Storm
- Biblical Art of the WWW: Calming the Storm
- Photobucket: Jesus Calms the Storm Photos
- Photos.com/Photos.com/Getty Images