Week 1 objectives: to discover that this verse comes from the book of Colossians and that ‘Colossians’ is a letter written by the Apostle Paul to the Church in the city of Colossae.
Game - 7 mins
Aim: to play a game about delivering letters.
You will need: masking tape, 16 envelopes, the ‘verse textboxes’ (see Printables), a red and a blue pen, and two unbreakable trays.
Before the session print two sets of ‘verse textboxes’. Use the red pen to draw a dot on eight of the envelopes and the blue pen to draw a dot on the remaining eight envelopes. Cut out the textboxes and place one set in the envelopes with a red dot and the other set in the envelopes with a blue dot. Each envelope should contain only one textbox. Do not seal the envelopes. Place a strip of masking tape on the floor; this will be the ‘start line’. At about three metres from your ‘start line’ (or further if your teaching space allows) place a second strip of masking tape; this will be your ‘turning point’. Make sure the two strips of tape are parallel to each other.
Divide your group into two teams. Ask for a volunteer from each team to be the ‘carrier’. Another member from each team should stand at the turning point with a set of envelopes. The remaining team members should stand at the start point. Give each team a tray. When you say ‘go’ the carriers should race on their hands and knees with the tray balanced on their back from the start line to the turning point. At the turning point one envelope should be placed on their tray. The carriers then crawl back to the start line to deliver the envelope to their team. The team can open the envelope and place the textbox to one side. The carrier will then crawl back to the turning point to collect a second letter and so on. When a few textboxes have been collected the team should start trying to place the words in the correct order to form the Bible verse. When one team has all the textboxes and think they have placed the words in the correct order, call out ‘freeze’. If the textboxes are not arranged correctly ‘play’ should resume. The first team to place all the words in the correct order is the winning team.
Talk about - 6 mins
You will need: a large sheet of paper or a whiteboard, marker pens, a Bible, a hat, a scarf and a pair of woollen gloves.
Before the session write the Bible verse on the sheet of paper or whiteboard.
Read the words aloud to the children or ask an older child to read them to the group. Point out that these were the words in the envelopes. Underline the reference ‘Colossians ch 4 verse 2’. Explain that ‘Colossians’ is a letter written by the Apostle Paul to the Church in the city of Colossae. Colossae was an important Roman city famous for producing beautiful wool. Give a child a scarf and a pair of gloves to put on. Explain that the city was situated between Miletus and Attalia. Today it would be in Turkey. Ask an older child to find the position of Colossae on a map in the back of a Bible or use The Early Church Timeline Flashcards, by The Bible Curriculum, and talk about cards six to eight.
Ask an older child to find the book of Colossians in a Bible. Ask a child to draw a window with prison bars next to the verse. Tell the children that Paul wrote the letter while he was in prison in Rome. Explain that a man called Epaphras travelled from Colossae to Rome to give Paul a message. The message was that there was trouble in the church - people were teaching the Christians in Colossae the wrong things. Tell the children that when Paul heard Epaphras’ message he quickly wrote a letter and sent it to the church in Colossae. Draw an envelope (a rectangle with a stamp in the corner) next to the verse.
If you have time show the children Rome and the position of Colossae on a map and ask the children to guess how many miles they think it was between the two cities a) 100 miles, b) about 1,000 miles or c) 10,000 miles. The answer is about 1,000 miles.
Talk with the children about how the letter reached the city of Colossae. Read to the children Colossians chapter 4 verses 7 to 9 or ask an older child to look up the verses and read them aloud. Explain that these verses tell us who carried the letters all the way from Rome to Colossae. It was Tychicus and Onesimus who delivered the letters. Briefly tell the children Onesimus was a runaway slave who became a Christian.
Song - 2 mins
To the tune ‘One finger, one thumb, keep moving’.
Keep praying, keep watching, be thankful, x3
Colossians 4 verse 2.
Make up some simple actions to go with the song or give each child a different part to sing - as they sing their ‘part’ they should stand or spin around. You might want to find an alternative to the ‘hands-together’ action for prayer such as holding your hands out flat in front of you to help the children understand that there are many different ways to pray.