Then the eleven disciples left for Galilee, going to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him - but some of them still doubted! Jesus came and told his disciples, "I have been given complete authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age."
- Matthew 28:16-20
I read the story of the great commission and Jesus' ascension from a children's bible so that the language was easy for them to understand, it also covered Pentecost when the Holy Spirit settled on the disciples in fire form. I complied some questions I thought they might have about the story and some discussion points including "What are nations?", "What did Jesus mean when he said 'make disciples?" and "How can we show or tell people about Jesus every day?" I was amazed that the children had a good answer for every single question I had written down. One child asked "Do you know who the Holy Spirit is?" This was a question I had further down my list that we hadn't reached yet so I said good question and asked if he knew...and was amazed to hear that he did! This boy was only 5 and yet he was able to tell the class about the Holy Spirit. I thought that was amazing. We also discussed how in the story Jesus went up to Heaven, but does that mean he is gone or is he really still with us, and has anyone ever felt him near to them? This was a particularly interesting question as a couple of the children shared stories about when they knew Jesus was with them.
After the discussion time we moved on to the main activity. We had a large (A1) world map on black paper and all sorts of shiny papers to fill it in with. We chose reds and golds to make it look fiery.