Week 1 objectives: to find out what Psalm 145 is about and why David describes what God is like.
Game - 7 mins
Aims: to begin to think about describing what somebody is like.
You will need: the ‘Who am I?’ sheets (see Printables ) and a little bit of extra time to prepare.
Before the session print four or five of the ‘Who am I?’ sheets. Depending on the age of the children in your group think of three or four characters with whom they would be familiar. The characters could be real people such as actors, sports personalities or people the children know well in your church, or fictional characters, such as from film or TV.
Think of short phrases that describe the character. The phrases should make it more and more obvious whom you are describing. For example if your character is Spiderman you may choose the following phrases: 1. This person is a man, 2. He is a character in a number of films, 3. In the films his job is to take photographs, 4. His first name is Peter, 5. He often wears blue and red clothing, 6. He was once bitten by a radioactive spider.
During the session slowly read the phrases out to the children encouraging them to try and guess who the person is that they are describing. If you have time divide the children into two teams. Encourage the children to think of a character and how they might describe him/her. Use the spare ‘Who am I?’ sheets to record their ideas then encourage them to read them to the other team allowing them to guess whom they have written about.
Talk about - 6 mins
You will need: a large sheet of paper or a whiteboard, Bibles and marker pens.
Before the session write the verse on the sheet of paper or whiteboard.
Read the verse aloud and explain that this verse will help us understand more about praising God. Point to the word ‘praise’.
Ask the children to briefly share what they already understand about praise and worship. Respond positively to the children's comments.
Underline the word ‘praise’. Ask the children to suggest how they might use the word ‘praise’. Talk about ‘praise’ meaning telling someone they are great, telling someone you are pleased with them or thanking them for doing something wonderful. Give an example of how a teacher might praise someone for working hard or being kind – they might say ‘That was fantastic, I’m so pleased with what you have done, thank you for doing that for me. That was really great!’ Explain that when Christians praise God they tell him he is great and thank him for what he has done for them; they might say: ‘Thank you for what you have done for me, thank you that you love me – I think you are fantastic.’
Underline the reference to the verse. Explain that this verse comes from the book of Psalms. Quickly show the book of Psalms in a Bible. Tell the children that the Psalms are songs or poems; they are either to God or about him. Draw a crown next to the verse and tell the children that King David wrote Psalm 145 but we don’t know when he wrote it – perhaps he was a teenager or a grown-up, a shepherd or a king.
Explain that Psalm 145 is a song about praising God. In this Psalm David writes about two things: 1. Why God should be praised and 2. How God can be praised. Write the words ‘why’ and ‘how’ next to the verse.
Remind the children that during the game you described two or three characters. You described them as young or old, boys or girls etc. In Psalm 145 David describes God. Over and over again David explains that God is fantastic; he is great, loving and kind. Ask the children to think about why David describes what God is like in this Psalm. Ask if they would like to share their answers. Respond positively to the children’s ideas. Explain that David wants people to praise God. He is telling them what God is like so that they will begin to see how fantastic and amazing he is and want to praise him too. David is explaining why people should praise God. He is telling people that they should praise God because he is wonderful.
Song - 2 mins
To the tune: ‘Amazing Grace’
The Lord is great, deserves our praise,
Psalm one four five, verse three,
No one can fully understand
How great, how great is he.
When you say ‘great’ do a thumbs-up sign.
When you say ‘praise’ lift your hands in the air.
When you say ‘one’ tap the index finger of your right hand against the palm of your left, ‘four’ tap four fingers against your palm and so on.
When you say ‘he’ point to the sky.