Week 3 objectives: to discuss what the word ‘deserves’ means and to think about why, in Psalm 145, David says that God deserves praise.
Game - 7 mins
Aims: to begin to think about people deserving an award/prize for doing well.
You will need: two or three sheets of sticky gold stars, masking tape, three or four socks, a set of dominoes, three or four ping-pong balls, three or four tea-towels.
Divide the children in your group into two teams (if you have lots of children increase the number of teams to three or four). Stick a strip of masking tape to the floor of your teaching space – this will be the ‘start line’. At about two or three meters from the ‘start line’ stick a second strip – this will be the ‘turning around line’. Make sure the two strips are parallel.
Ask the children to line up behind the start line in their teams. Explain to the first child in each team that they need to hop from the start line to the turning around line then back to the start. However as they hop they need to balance a sock on their elevated foot.
Explain to the second child in each team that they need to skip from the start line to the turning around line then back to the start. However as they skip they need to balance a domino on their forehead.
Explain to the third child that they need to walk slowly backwards to the turning around point then back to the start. However while they are walking backwards they need to keep a ping-pong ball tucked under their chin.
If you have more than three children in each team repeat the instructions, asking the fourth child to hop while balancing a sock, the fifth child to skip etc.
Explain to the children that the second player in the team cannot go until the first person has returned, and so on. When the final player has returned to the ‘start’, award stars to the children; try and give each child a star for their different achievements, for example award a star for the best hopping, the best waiting, the best skipping etc.
Tell the children why you think they deserve a star. Repeat the word ‘deserve’ several times as you are handing out the stars.
Talk about - 6 mins
You will need: a large sheet of paper or a whiteboard, Bibles and marker pens.
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’. Remind the children that to praise God means to thank him and tell him he is fantastic. Point to the reference. Remind the children that this verse comes from the book of Psalms. Quickly show the book of Psalms in a Bible. Remind the children that King David wrote Psalm 145. Point to the word ‘great’. Explain that David describes God as great because God is greater than anybody or anything.
Underline the word ‘deserves’. Ask the children if they know what the word ‘deserves’ means. Perhaps think of how we might use the word. Respond positively to the children’s answers. Suggest that one way you might define the word ‘deserve’ is ‘when it is right that somebody has something because of what they have done’. For example ‘it is right that somebody has a medal if they win a race; they deserve the medal’.
Ask the children why they think that David says God deserves people’s praise. Respond positively to the children’s answers. Explain that David is telling the reader that, because God is so great, it is right that people praise him; God has done many, many great things; it is right that people thank him and tell him how wonderful he is.
Remind the children that Christians believe God is really, really, really great. They believe everything he does is fabulous and wonderful, there is nothing that God does that is just OK – everything he does is great! The Bible teaches that God does great things because he is great. Over and over again we read in the Bible about the wonderful things God did: he led the Israelites through the Red Sea and gave water and food in the desert.
However Christians believe the greatest thing God has done is send Jesus to live with people. Jesus came to earth over 2,000 years ago. He came to show what God is like, to teach people how to live and make a way for everybody, everywhere to become close friends with God. Quickly draw a cross and a heart next to the verse as you explain that Christians believe that because Jesus lived, died and rose again everybody, everywhere can now say ‘Yes’ to God's love and forgiveness and become close friends with him.
Christians believe God still does great things today. Christians believe that today he works in people's lives comforting, teaching and guiding - helping people learn and grow to live his way.
Explain that Christians believe that God deserves praise because he is great and does great things. However Christians don’t give God trophies or medals, they give him praise through the things they say and sing.
Suggest another way of saying this Bible verse – ‘The Lord is so great that it is right that we thank him and tell him how fantastic he is! No one can fully understand his greatness!’
If you have time talk about singing praise to God; singing about the things God has done, thanking him for them and telling him he is great. You might like to play a praise song or talk about your favourite worship song.
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.