‘May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. May God’s love and the Holy Spirit’s friendship be yours.’ 2 Corinthians 13:14

 
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Objective: To help children remember the Bible verse and understand what the word ‘grace’ means.

Game - 7 mins
Aims: to play a memory prompt game, to think about God’s love and discover what the word ‘grace’ means.
You will need: clothes pegs, string, chairs, 12 balloons (preferably three different colours, four of each colour), a permanent marker, ‘Father God’, ‘Jesus Christ’ and ‘Holy Spirit’ signs (see Printables) and a stop watch.

Before the session inflate the balloons. Separate the balloons into their colours.  On four balloons of one colour write the letters ‘l’, ‘o’, ‘v’, ‘e’. On four balloons of another colour write the letters ‘gr’, ‘a’, ‘c’, ‘e’. On the last four balloons write the letters ‘fri’, ‘end’, ‘sh’, ‘ip’ .   

In one corner of your teaching space place two chairs with a gap of two meters between them. Tie a length of string to one leg of each chair so the string stretches between the chairs like a washing-line. Place four clothes pegs on the floor beside one of the chairs. Repeat this in two other corners of your room. Next to one ‘washing-line’ place the ‘Jesus Christ’ sign, next to another place the ‘Father God’ sign and next to the third ‘washing line’ place the ‘Holy Spirit’ sign. Place all the balloons in the middle of the room.

Divide your group into teams. You will need three or four children in each team. Decide which team is going to play the game first. Explain that the aim of the game is to peg the correct balloons to the correct washing-lines in the correct order, ie the balloons spelling the word ‘grace’ need to be pegged to the line next to the ‘Jesus Christ’ sign, the balloons spelling the word ‘love’ need to be pegged to the line next to the ‘Father God’ sign and the balloons spelling the word ‘friendship’ need to be pegged to the line next to the ‘Holy Spirit’ sign.  Older children might be able to work out what is required, but younger children will probably need a lot more help. You could simply ask younger children to sort the balloons into the different colours. You could then work together to peg the balloons to the correct ‘washing lines’. Time the teams as they each take part in the challenge. The team to complete the challenge in the shortest time wins. 


Talk about - 8 mins
You will need: a large sheet of paper or a whiteboard, an extra sheet of paper, marker pens, the ‘3 in 1’ symbol (see Printables) and the ‘Holy Spirit arrow’ (see Printables).

Before the session write the verse on the whiteboard or paper. Read the verse aloud and explain that this verse has helped us learn about the Holy Spirit.   Remind the children that the Holy Spirit is one of the three Persons of God. Refer to the ‘3 in 1’ symbol as you explain that the parts of God are called Persons. The three Persons of God are God the Father, God the Son (whom we call Jesus) and God the Holy Spirit. Each of the Persons is fully God. The three Persons are so perfectly joined they are one. There is one God and he is three in one. Hold up one finger, then three fingers then one again. 

Underline the phrase ‘Holy Spirit’s friendship’. Point to the balloons that spell the word ‘friendship’. Remind the children that in this verse Paul was saying that, just as people can be friends with one another, Christians can be friends with the Holy Spirit. Ten days after Jesus went up to Heaven the Holy Spirit came down to be with people in a new way, now people can spend time with him, listen to him and learn about him. Like a friend, the Holy Spirit comes alongside Christians; he shares what he has with them and encourages them to share their lives with him too. 

Underline the phrase ‘the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ’. Point to the balloons that spell the word ‘grace’. Ask the children if they know what the word ‘grace’ means. Respond positively to the children’s answers. Explain that grace is when we are given fabulous gifts we don’t deserve. When Paul wrote about the grace of Jesus Christ he was talking about the good news that, because Jesus lived, died and rose again, everybody, everywhere can say ‘Yes’ to God’s fabulous gift of love and forgiveness. Nobody deserves this wonderful gift – but because of the grace of Jesus it is free for everybody, everywhere.

Underline the phrase ‘God’s love’. Point to the balloons that spell the word ‘love’. Talk about God’s great love. Talk about God loving people so much he sent his Son to live with people. 

Point to the relevant parts of the verse as you summarise with the final point: now, because of the grace of Jesus, the love of God and the friendship of the Holy Spirit, Christians all around the world live with God as their close friend.

As this is the last week of the month cover up the Bible verse and ask the children if anyone can say it from memory. Help the children if they get stuck. If you have a rubber stamper and tickets, stamp the tickets belonging to children who can say the Bible verse. Include those who needed some help. 

Song - 2 mins
To the tune ‘Oh My Darling, Clementine’ (‘Found a Peanut’).

    Verse 1
    May the grace, x2
    May the grace of Jesus Christ,
    May the grace, x2
    May the grace of Jesus Christ,

    Verse 2
    May the love, x2
    May the love of Father God,
    May the love, x2
    May the love of Father God,

    Verse 3
    May the friendship, x2
    May the friendship of The Spirit,
    May the friendship, x2
    May the friendship of The Spirit,

    Verse 4
    Be with each of you, x2
    Be with each of you today,
    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.

 
 
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