Week 2 objective: to think about the Bible being made up of lots of books written by many different people and to think about the Bible saying what God wants it to say.
Game - 8 mins
Aims: to think about the different types of books in the Bible.
You will need: ‘Bible labels’ (see Printables) and 66 books.
Divide the children into two teams. Place the 66 books in the middle of the room and ask the teams to stand on either side of the pile. Each team should be about one meter from the books.
Explain that during the game each team will need to build a tower of books. Both towers should be made up of 27 books simply placed one on top of the other. Call out ‘go’ and encourage the children to build as quickly as possible. The first team to complete their tower is the winning team. Add 12 books to the tower of the winning team and ask them to count how many books they now have.
Standing next to the towers, explain that the Bible is made up of many, many, many books – in fact ‘The Bible’ means books. Point to the two piles as you tell the children that the Bible can be divided into two parts, the Old Testament and the New Testament. Place the ‘Old Testament’ label on the tower with 39 books and the ‘New Testament’ label on the tower with 27 books. Explain that 39 books were written before Jesus was born and make up the Old Testament and 27 were written afterwards and make up the New Testament.
Explain that the books in the Old and New Testament can also be divided into groups. If you have time, ask the children to help you divide the 39 books into four piles: five books in the first pile, 12 in the second, five in the third and 17 in the forth. Explain that in the Old Testament there are five books about God’s laws – place the ‘law' label on the first pile, 12 history books – place the ‘history’ label on the second pile, five poetry books – place the ‘poetry’ label on the third pile and 17 books written by God's prophets – place the ‘prophets’ label on the fourth pile.
Divide the 27 books into three piles: four books in the first pile, one in the second pile and 22 books in the third. Explain that in the New Testament there are four books about Jesus' life called the Gospels - place the ‘Gospels’ label on the first pile, one history book - place the ‘history’ label on the second pile, and 22 letters – place the ‘letters’ label on the third pile.
For an alternative activity print the word search (see Printables) and find 12 hidden books of the Bible.
Talk about - 7 mins
You will need: a large sheet of paper or a whiteboard, marker pens and a Bible.
Before the session write the verse on a whiteboard or a large sheet of paper. Draw a stick man and write ‘Asaph’ beneath. Read the verse aloud and explain that this verse will help us learn more about the Bible.
Underline the reference and remind the children that this verse is part of a psalm, a song written by Asaph. In the first part of the psalm Asaph wrote about a time when he felt sad. In the second part he tells us what he did to feel better – he thought about all the wonderful things God had done. As Asaph remembered what God had done for other people, he remembered that God is powerful and loving – he remembered that God would look after him too.
Ask the children where we can find out about what God has done. Talk about how a long time ago people began to write down what God had done for them. They also wrote down things God told them and they made up songs to him and about him. The things people wrote were copied into books. Eventually (after around one thousand five hundred years) there were 66 books all about God: story books, poetry books, instruction books and letters. The books were put together in one big book; we call the book The Bible. Remind the children that ‘The Bible’ means books. Today there are millions of Bibles in thousands of different languages all around the world. Some Bible's have different ways of saying things, but they all have the same meaning.
Spend some talking about people writing the words in our Bibles but God helping and guiding each of the writers. Although the Bible was written by around 40 different writers Christians believe that everything in the Bible comes from God. They believe that 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 want it to say. Because Christians are so sure that what the Bible says is what God wants it to say they call the Bible ‘God’s Word’ or ‘The Word of God’.
Song - 2 mins
To the tune ‘Found a Peanut’.
May the grace, x2
May the grace of Jesus Christ,
May the love, x2
May the love of Father God,
May the friendship, x2
May the friendship of The Spirit,
Be with each of you, x2
Be with each of you today,
If you have more than six children you could divide them into three groups, allocate one of the first three verses to each of the groups and encourage them to sing all the verses at once. Finish with everyone singing verse four together.