Jesus answered, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’ Matthew 22:37

 
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Week 5 objectives: to play a game that will help the children remember this months verse and to talk about God's great love and forgiveness.

Game - 7 mins
Aim: to play a game using the words from the Bible verse. 
You will need: cotton wool balls, masking tape, a felt tip pen, two bowls, a spoon, a blindfold and lively music with the means to play it.

Before the session wrap small pieces of masking tape around 21 of the cotton wool balls. On each ball write one word from the Bible verse, writing clearly on the small strips of tape. When you write the reference write ‘Matthew’ on one cotton wool ball, ‘22’ on another and ‘37’ on a third ball. Place all 21 of the cotton wool balls in a bowl. Encourage the children to sit in a circle on the floor. Place the empty bowl and the spoon in the middle of the circle. Ask for a volunteer. Explain that they will be blindfolded during this game. Ask the volunteer to sit next to the empty bowl. Explain that you are going to scatter the cotton wool balls on the floor. The volunteer will then need to use the spoon to scoop them up. Encourage the volunteer to place the blindfold over their eyes and make sure they cannot see. Scatter the balls within the circle then shout ‘go’.  The volunteer should start trying to scoop up the balls and place them in the empty bowl. Encourage the remaining children to count down from 30 to zero or play some lively music for 30 seconds. When the music stops (or the children reach zero) the volunteer should stop scooping and remove their blindfold. Count how many balls are now in the bowl. This will be the volunteers score. Play the game again with a new volunteer. After three or four goes announce which child is the winner.


Talk about - 6 mins
You will need: a whiteboard or a large sheet of paper, a second large sheet of paper, marker pens, sticky tac, a Bible, the cotton wool balls from the game the children have just played and masking tape.

Write the verse on a white board or a large sheet of paper. Cover the verse with the second sheet of paper.

Collect all the cotton wool balls into a bowl and show the children the words written on each ball. Explain that the words are from the Bible verse they have been learning about over the last few weeks.

Ask two children to hold a long piece of sticky tape between them. The sticky side of the tape needs to be facing the group. Ask the children if anyone can say this month’s verse. Help the children if they get stuck. As the children call out the verse stick the balls of cotton wool to the sticky tape in the correct order. Encourage all the children to say the verse together. Now remove one of the cotton wool balls and ask the children to repeat the verse adding in the word that is missing. Keep removing cotton wool balls (sometimes two or three at a time) until the children are saying the verse from memory. 

Remove the sheet covering the verse. Spend some time summarising what the children have learnt over the last few weeks about this verse. 

Remind the children that this verse has helped us learn more about living God’s way.

Underline the word ‘Love’. Explain that loving someone or something means liking them or it very much. Jesus was telling the Pharisee that God wants people to really, really love him. In fact he wants people to love him more than they love anything else.

Underline the words ‘heart’, ‘soul’ and ‘mind’. Remind the children that when Jesus talked about our heart, soul and mind he was talking about thoughts and feelings. He was saying we should love God with our thoughts and our feelings. God doesn’t want us just to go to church on a Sunday and to talk about being a Christian, he wants us to think about him and to really love him everyday of the week.

If you have time, talk briefly about occasions when Christians don’t manage to live God’s way. Explain that just because a Christian is learning and growing to live God’s way, doesn’t mean they get things right all the time.

Christians know they sometimes make mistakes and bad choices, they know they don't always manage to live God’s way. In fact all Christians at one time or another make mistakes and  bad choices.

When people don’t live God’s way it makes him sad because they are not living the way he created them to live. But making mistakes and bad choices doesn’t stop a person being a Christian and certainly doesn’t stop God loving them. Explain that the Bible teaches that there is nothing a person can do or say that will make God love them less. The really good news is that God longs to forgive people for the wrong things they have done. The Bible teaches that when a person does something wrong they can say sorry to God and he will forgive them straight away.

However Christians believe that even when they have said sorry to God they often still need to put things right or say sorry to other people, but they believe a good place to start is to say sorry to God and ask him to help them get things right next time.


Song - 2 mins
To the tune of ‘Oh you'll never get to heaven’.

    Love the Lord your God x2
    With all your heart x2
    With all your soul x2
    And all of your mind x2
    This is the first and greatest command
    To love your God with all of your heart
    Matthew 22 verse 37

    Chorus
    Matthew 22 verse 37 x6
    
    Chorus harmony
    Love the Lord your God with all your heart, Matthew 22 verse 37
    Love the Lord your God with all your heart, Matthew 22 verse 37.


 

 
 
 
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