This year in Messy Church we’re looking at the ‘sign’ miracles in John’s Gospel. The first of these is the well-known account of Jesus turning water into wine at a wedding in Cana (John 2:1-11). This miracle shows that Jesus is God’s promised rescuer who has come to bring in God’s eternal kingdom of blessing. It’s important to see the Old Testament context, for example, Isaiah 6-9.
The jars in the miracle were used for ceremonial cleansing, but Jesus has come to wash us clean from sin. We made up bottles of dirty water containing soil and glitter. We had funnels and various things to filter the water (sand, cotton wool, coffee filters, etc.). the children tried to see how clean they could get the water by filtering it.
Using paper plates the children made and decorated hats for a wedding.
We made red jellies in plastic disposable wine glasses. We found a way to make quick-setting jelly. The jelly was mixed with a little water and dissolved by heating in the microwave. Then water and ice were added. The jelly had to set quickly to be ready for the children to eat for their tea at the end of the session.
Colour Change Experiment
If you boil a purple cabbage the liquid that is produced works as a universal indicator. It will change colour when added to acids or alkalis. Using plastic pipettes the children added drops of indicator to household substances to see the colour change. We used things like soap powder, salt, baking soda, toothpaste, vinegar and lemon juice. The colours produced are beautiful and very satisfying.
The children painted very large water jars on rolls of newspaper. This helped to give a sense of how large the original jars were, and therefore how non-fakeable the miracle. We try to be more creative than just painting, but it’s good occasionally!
The children scratched a picture onto the flat bottom of a polystyrene plate, applied paint and used it to print a picture. Awedding is a happy occasion so we encouraged them to draw something that made them happy.