Week 2 objectives: to remind the children that God is three in one and when Jesus went up the Holy Spirit came down.
Game - 7 mins
Aim: to play a game where the words ‘up’ and ‘down’ are repeated over and over again.
Encourage the children to sit on the floor in a circle. Ask for a volunteer. Explain to the volunteer that they need to say ‘big’ or ‘little’ then make the opposite gesture with their hands, i.e. if they say ‘little’ they should hold their hands far apart. If they say ‘big’ they should hold their hands close together. The volunteer should then point to another person in the circle. This person should then say ‘big’ or ‘little’, make the opposite gesture with their hands and then point to somebody else in the circle. After five or six people have had a go, change the rules. Explain that the next person, instead of saying ‘big’ or ‘little’, should say ‘up’ or ‘down’ then make the opposite gesture with their hands. If they say ‘up’ they should turn their palms face down and move them towards the floor. If they say ‘down’ they should turn their palms face up and move them towards the ceiling. To make it really confusing after a while encourage the children to say ‘big’, ‘little’, ‘up’ or ‘down’… but they must remember to make the opposite gesture! Keep playing the game until everybody has had at least two or three goes. With older children you could speed up the game and encourage them to make the gestures quickly before pointing to the next person.
Talk about - 8 mins
You will need: a large sheet of paper or a whiteboard, marker pens, a Bible, the ‘3 in 1’ symbol (see Printables), the ‘3 in 1’ symbol with descriptions (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 will help us learn more about the Holy Spirit. Underline the reference and explain that this verse comes from the book of Romans.
Underline the phrase ‘the Holy Spirit’. If the children are able to, ask them to tell you two or three things they already know about the Holy Spirit. Show the children the ‘3 in 1’ symbol and quickly use sticky tac to stick the symbol next to the verse. Alternatively you could draw the symbol on the board. Spend a short amount of time talking about the ‘Three in One’ of God. For some children this may be a reminder, for others this may be the first time they have talked about the Trinity.
Refer to the symbol as you explain that there is one God (hold up one finger), three parts (hold up three fingers). There is one God and he is three in one. Although this picture might help us to understand the ‘Three in One’ of God, it is not a perfect picture because there are things about God that it doesn’t show:
1. Point to the three sections of the circle as you explain that the parts of God are in fact called Persons: the Person of the Father, the Person of the Holy Spirit and the Person of the Son whom we also call Jesus.
2. Point to the three sections again as you explain that each of the Persons is fully God. The Father is God, the Holy Spirit is God and Jesus is God.
3. In the circle there are lines between the three Persons but in God the three are so perfectly joined that they are One. There is One God and he is three in one (hold up one finger, then three fingers and then one).
Christians believe that today the Holy Spirit lives with people here on earth. They believe that wherever they are and whatever they are doing the Holy Spirit is with them. Explain that, a bit like the wind people cannot see the Holy Spirit, but Christians believe he is with people everyday, everywhere. Show the children a Bible and quickly point to the Old Testament part as you explain that, during Old Testament times the Holy Spirit came upon people to give them power to do jobs they couldn't do on their own. It may be helpful to remind younger children that the Old Testament tells us about the time before Jesus was born and the New Testament tells us about the time after Jesus was born. Now point to the New Testament and explain that , during New Testament times the Holy Spirit came to be with people in a new way.
Underline the phrase ‘God has given us…’. Remind the children of the game they have just played. Explain that you played the game to help them remember two words: ‘up’ and ‘down’. Tell the children that these words are important when we think about the Holy Spirit because… when Jesus went up, the Holy Spirit came down. Remind the children of the story of Jesus’ ascension and the story of the Day of Pentecost (see pages 383 and 384 of The Children’s Bible in 365 stories). Show the children the Holy Spirit arrow and explain that the Day of Pentecost took place ten days after Jesus went up to Heaven, which is why we can say… when Jesus went up the Holy Spirit came down. Use sticky tac to stick the ‘Holy Spirit arrow’ next to the verse.
If you have time summarise by showing the ‘3 in 1’ symbol with descriptions. Remind the children that the Bible teaches that God the Father is sitting on a throne in Heaven, God the Son, Jesus, is now sitting at his right-hand side and the Holy Spirit is here on earth living with people.