Using this secular YouTube film you can talk with the children about losing hope and go deeper into the meaning of the Bible story of Zechariah meeting the angel Gabriel
An old man lives a lonely life. Sitting on a park bench he thinks back on his youth and his wife. He ends the day watching television. He wants to tell his wife something but realises she isn’t there any more. Sadly he strokes the arm of her chair.
This idea is part of a complete Sunday school lesson on Zechariah meeting the angel Gabriel, as part of our series for advent and Christmas.
Why does this film go with today’s Bible story?
This film is about sadness, loneliness and lost hope. The man in the video has lost his wife. Zachariah is also a very old man who has lost his dream. He’ll never have a son, the son for which he has waited so long and prayed so hard. Or will he? Is there still hope? But surely that’s not possible?
It’s important to always watch the film yourself beforehand and to ask yourself:
- do I want to show this to the children?
- does this film work in the context and age-range of the children I am working with?
If you choose to show this YouTube video, we suggest you use the following steps:
Step 1 – The ideal present (5 minutes)
What do you need:
– a beautifully wrapped present
What do you do:
Show the children the present. Ask them – if this present would contain the one thing you really really want, the thing that would make you happiest, what would be in it?
Have the children hold the present in turn and answer the question.
Step 2: Watch the video ‘One Day’ with each other (5 minutes)
Step 3: Clouds of emotions (5 minutes)
What do you need:
- pens and paper clouds (you can print out the download a few times: Cloud.pdf ).
Ask the children what they felt when they were watching the film, and write the emotions on the clouds (lonely, hopeless, sad, sorry etc).
Which one of these clouds did Zechariah have hanging over his head do you think? Why?
Show the present once again and ask the children which gift Zechariah wanted most of all (a son).
Imagine that you’re an athlete who really wants to take part in the Olympic games. You’ve trained really hard, but every time your trainer says ‘You’re not good enough yet’.
Now you’re eighty years old and use a walking aid, and suddenly the trainer says ‘Now you can take part in the Olympic games. What would you think?
Zechariah felt just like the Olympic athlete. He had given up his dream of having a son a long time ago. It was much too late!
How would you react if you were Zechariah? Would you believe the angel, or would you also ask for proof?