Week 4 objectives: to think about why David said that no one can fully understand God’s greatness, and how might this verse help us to praise God more.
Game - 7 mins
Aims: to watch an experiment that demonstrates a scientific fact that can be difficult to understand.
You will need: a low table, two glasses or plastic cups, a jug of water, a plate, a small piece of kitchen paper and lots and lots and lots of paperclips.
Place the plate on the low table and the cup on top of the plate. Carefully fill the cup to the brim with water. Ask the children to guess how many paperclips you can add to the cup without spilling any of the water. Add the paperclips one at a time (you will need lots and lots of paperclips!). Ask the children why the water didn’t spill. Explain that this is something that can be difficult to understand - it’s called surface tension. Water is made up of tiny, tiny particles. The particles are even smaller than little drops of water. The particles in the water stick together. When we drop the paperclips into the cup the water moves a little bit but not enough for the particles to break away from each other. Eventually there are enough paperclips in the cup to make the particles move away from each other and some drops of water fall over the edge of the cup.
Half fill a second glass with water. Remind the children that the paperclips sank to the bottom of the glass during the previous experiment. Carefully lay the piece of kitchen paper on top of the water. Lay the paperclip on top of the paper before it begins to sink (You will need to make sure the paperclip you use is dry). The paperclip should float while the towel sinks to the bottom. Explain that this too is because of surface tension. Remind the children that surface tension can be difficult to understand. In this experiment the paperclip floats because all the particles on the surface of the water stick together to form something like a thin skin of water. The paper towel made it possible to lay the paperclip on top of the ‘skin’ of water. Tell the children again that this is something that can be difficult to understand.
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 helps 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 he is greater than anybody or anything. Point to the word ‘deserves’. Explain that David is telling us that God is so great that it is right that we praise him.
Underline the phrase ‘no one can fully understand God’s greatness’. Talk about the experiments the children have just observed. Explain that it is difficult for people to always understand why things happen. Scientists can explain why the water didn’t spill over the top of the cup during the experiment – in fact scientists can explain a lot of things that are difficult for us to understand. However there is something that is difficult even for the cleverest people in the world to understand and that is how great God is. We often understand things by looking at the world around us and learning more and more about what we see. But God is greater than anybody or anything so it is difficult for us to imagine just how great he is – his greatness is bigger than our imaginations!
How might this verse help us to praise God more? When Christians think about how wonderful God is, it makes them want to praise him. This verse helps us to think again about God’s greatness – it reminds us that God’s greatness is so big we will never really be able to understand just how great he is. As we read this verse and the other verses in Psalm 145 we want to join David in telling God how wonderful he is.
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: ‘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.