Week 2 objective: to discover that the Bible is often called ‘God’s Word’ because Christians are so sure that the Bible says what God wants it to say.
Game - 9 mins
Aim: to play a game about the 66 books of the Bible.
You will need: masking tape, fourteen books, two tennis balls (or equivalent) ‘the books of the Bible’ textboxes (see Printables) and the ‘Bible knowhow sheet’ (see Printables).
Before the session print two sets of the ‘books of the Bible’ textboxes. Cut out one set and sort the textboxes into groups i.e. put all the ‘prophecy books’ together in one pile and all the ‘Old Testament history books’ in another. You should end up with seven piles. Take one book and one pile of textboxes. Tuck the textboxes from the pile inside the front cover of the book. Repeat this until you have seven books each with a set of textboxes tucked inside. Cut out the second set of ‘books of the Bible’ and sort them into groups before tucking them into the remaining seven books. Keep the first set of seven books separate from the second set.
Stick a strip of masking tape to the floor of your teaching space – this will be the ‘start line’. At a distance of approximately four meters stick a second strip of tape parallel to the first - this will be the ‘turning point’.
Divide the children into two teams. Encourage the teams to stand behind the start line. Give each team a set of seven books and a ball. Explain that the children need to take it in turns to walk carefully (or waddle) with a ball between their knees and a book balanced on their head to the ‘turning point’. At the turning point the children should place their book on the floor, turn around and walk/waddle back to the start line keeping the ball between their knees. At the start line they should pass the ball to the next player who will balance a book on their head and set off for the turning point. When all their books have been taken to the turning point the team should sit down behind the start line. The first team to sit is the winning team.
Before you talk about the verse show the children a Bible. Use the ‘Bible knowhow sheet’ and the textboxes used in the game as you explain that the Bible is made up of lots of books. If the children in your group already have a good understanding of how the Bible is divided, spend some time asking them questions and looking through the textboxes tucked inside the books.
Talk about - 6 mins
You will need: a large sheet of paper or a whiteboard, marker pens, seven books with a set of textboxes used in the game and ‘forty quills’ (see Printables).
Before the session write the verse on the whiteboard or paper.
Quickly underline the reference and remind the children that ‘Isaiah’ is a book in the Old Testament part of the Bible. There are 66 chapters in the book of Isaiah. The first 39 are about Isaiah’s message to the Judeans before they were taken to Babylon. It is a message that is often sad and full of warnings. The second part is the message given to the Judeans in Babylon; it is a comforting message about one day returning to Jerusalem.
Read the verse aloud and explain that this verse will help us to understand more about the Bible. Explain that in this verse God’s prophet was telling the Judeans that although things around them would change and some things wouldn’t last, what God said would always be the same; it would always be right and true.
Underline the phrase ‘God’s Word’ in the verse. Explain that ‘God’s Word’ is another name for the Bible. Ask the children if they know why Christians call the Bible God’s Word.
Show the children a Bible and a set of books used in the game.
Ask the children how many people they think wrote the Bible. Show the children the ‘forty quills’. You could quickly display the quills by sticking them to a long strip of masking tape then twisting the ends of the tape so that the sticky side is facing away from the pictures. The sticky ends can then be used to stick the strip of masking tape to a wall.
Explain that the Bible wasn’t written by one person, it was written by around 40 different writers over a period of one thousand five hundred years. However, although people wrote the words down, Christians believe that everything written in the Bible comes from God; God guided the writers and showed them by his Holy Spirit what to write. Christians believe that the Bible is a very special work of the Holy Spirit and it says what God wants it to say. Because Christians are so sure that what the Bible says is what God says, they call the Bible ‘God’s Word’ or ‘The Word of God’.
Tell the children that next week we will discover more about the Bible as we find out more about this verse.