Elijah didn't die like other people. God took Elijah up to heaven in a whirlwind with a chariot of fire, drawn by fiery horses. The story is told in the Old Testament book of 2 Kings 2:1-12. The phenomenon was so dramatic, Elisha, the prophet Elijah mentored, cried out. Sunday school crafts depicting this biblical event draw on the circumstance, the story and the fascination with fire to present the majesty and power of God.
Start with Color
Print a colouring sheet of Elijah being taken into the sky in a chariot of fire. Child Bible Story Online ( www.childrenstory.info) offers a picture you can download. You can also copy pictures from books. Let the children colour the picture. Give them choices to add more than crayon colour. Provide red and yellow glitter or glitter pens for the flames. Decorate around the outside of the colouring pages with alternate colours for a stained glass effect. Add yarn or ribbon to the harness, cotton balls for clouds and buttons or styrofoam cutouts for wheels. Start with a black sheet and add cutouts of the story the children can colour with crayons, markers and glitter.
Make the Chariot
Make a chariot by cutting down a small box and adding cardboard or button wheels. You can also make wheels by using the bottoms of paper or styrofoam cups. Add horses cut from cardboard. Cut fiery flames from red construction paper and glue onto the chariot and horses after colouring them. Crafts and Resources for Bible Stories (www.mssscrafts.com) includes instructions for making a Bible chariot. Little Lamb Ministry (http://littlelambsministry.freeservers.com) provides a picture of the fiery chariot to cut out. Print enough copies for the children. Have them cut out the chariot and glue it to the sides of a small box, after they colour it, to make a fiery chariot craft.
Tell the Story Craft
Recreate the story of Elijah taken to heaven in a fiery chariot with fiery horses on a series of flashcards. Provide printouts of the chariot, horses, Elisha, the prophet who watched him go, and Elijah for the children to cut out and paste on index cards. Include the heading, "God Takes Elijah to Heaven" and the reference 2 Kings 2:1-12. The children tell the story by using the flashcards. Have children cut out two large circles. Have them glue around the circle different scenes from the story, such as the warning to Elisha that God was taking Elijah away, the walk to the Jordan river, Elijah asking Elisha for a last request and a whirlwind with the fiery chariot and horses taking Elijah away. Cut a hole in the second circle large enough to show the different scenes one at a time. Attach the two circles together with a fastener that allows the children to turn the circle.
Make a Book
Gospel Hall (www.gospelhall.org) gives specific instructions on creating and folding a book on the story of Elijah going to heaven in a chariot of fire. You can have your Sunday school kids make their own books of the story from 2 Kings 2:1-12. Print out copies of the story as well as pictures from the story. Take copy paper. Fold in half to make the number of pages needed for the story, along with a front and a back. Staple in the middle. Let the children title their book, cut apart the text and glue to the different pages, along with the cutouts from the pictures provided. You can also have older students print the story on each page to go along with drawings of the story they make on the pages.