Monday, July 8, 2013

God's Creation: Day Seven by Martin Wiles

(All material is original to the author with the exception of songs and activities which have been borrowed from various sources. All studies are free for public use.)
God’s Creation: Day Seven
Scripture Reference: Genesis 2:1-3
Memory Verse: Genesis 1:1
(Compiled and written by Martin W. Wiles)

Objectives: 
To help children understand Sunday is an important day—one on which they should come to church with their family and worship God. At church, they will be taught God’s Word and shown how it can make a difference in their lives. A further objective is to help children recognize at an early age that rest is important. Our bodies and spirits need down time to connect with others and God. 

Icebreaker Questions: 
How many hours do you spend sleeping each night? (Teachers may discover unhealthy sleeping pattern in their students. If so, this is a good opportunity to remind them their bodies belong to God and need to be taken care of. At this age, 10 hours of sleep is a good norm.)

Do you enjoy taking a break after you’ve been playing hard outside? Why do you think that is? (God didn’t design our bodies to endure continual physical activity without taking time to rest.)

What do you think might happen if you just kept playing and never took a break to rest? (Answers might include: pass out, have to go to the hospital, die.)

Say: Today we’re going to complete our month long study about how God created the world and everything on it. When he finished creating everything, he did something very interesting. Today we’ll learn what that was. 

Say: (Display the following verse where the children can easily see it.) Let’s say our memory verse together. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1 NLT)

Bible Story Time: 
Tell children about the seventh day of creation:

After God finished creating the water, land, sea life, land animals, birds, and humans, the Bible says he rested. 

Reflection: Since God is all-powerful, do you think he needed to rest? Why or why not? What do you think it means that God rested?

God didn’t really need to rest. God is God, and he never gets tired. He was teaching us a lesson though. We are not God, and we are not all-powerful. Our bodies can’t keep going without rest. If we don’t rest and eat right, we could find ourselves going to the doctor or even to the hospital. When we don’t get the right food and enough rest, our bodies suffer. God designed our bodies to rest, and it’s up to us to make sure we get enough. Even Jesus—God’s Son, took time to get away from the crowds who followed him so he could rest. He simply couldn’t help them all day long without stopping to rest, eat, and sleep. 

Reflection: What are some things you do while you’re resting? 

The Bible also says God blessed the seventh day and called it holy. To be holy means it was set apart from all the other days—a special day. 

Reflection: What is the seventh day of the week? (Students will probably say Sunday. Instruct them that Saturday is the seventh day of the week. We normally think of Monday as the first day of the week but actually Sunday is.)

During the Old Testament period, people worshipped God on the seventh day of the week and called it the Sabbath. This is our Saturday, and some Christians still go to church on Saturday. Most Christians, however, attend church on Sunday which is the first day of the week. This too is a holy day.

Reflection: Why do you think most Christians go to church on Sunday instead of Saturday? What kind of activities do you think should take place at church and why?

Most Christians attend church on Sunday because that’s when the early church met to worship. We do this because it celebrates Jesus’ resurrection. He was crucified on Good Friday and rose from the dead sometime early on Sunday morning. When the women went to the tomb to anoint his body with oils, he was gone. The early church met on Sunday to celebrate. Sunday is our day of rest. It’s a holy day that we can come to church and worship God as the early Christians did. Sunday provides a two-fold advantage for us: it gives us time to rest, and it gives us an opportunity to worship God. 

Reflection: Why do you think it’s important to go to church? Do you have friends who don’t go to church that you could invite to your church? 
What do you think are some valid reasons to miss church?

Activity Time: 
Let children complete the Church & Respect Word Search puzzle.  

Craft Time:
Let children make a Praying Hands Silhouette to remind them that we pray in church. 

Materials:
printer
printer paper
scissors
glue
black construction paper

Instructions:  
Print the template 
Cut out the center of the hands without cutting the edge of the paper (Basically you have to start with a hole in the middle of the paper and then trim out the image).  The praying hands image is going to be discarded. 
You will be left with a piece of white paper that has a praying hands hole in the center. 
Trim the white paper to the size of square you want. 
Put it on the piece of black construction paper, so it looks like you have a black hands with a black border.

Transition:
Let’s sing our song about going to church.

Song:  
Going to Church
(To the tune of "Farmer in the Dell".)

Today we go to church, 
Oh, glad and Happy day! I like to go to church,
To give and help and pray.

Our teacher reads God's Word, 
And tells us of God's love. We sing our church-time songs, 
And worship God above.

I do not run in church; I sit so quietly. 
Our church is where I meet my friends, 
Who love the Lord like me.

The church just grew and grew, 
When Peter taught God's love, The people learned the Word of God
and worshipped God above.

When Peter was in Jail, 
The church prayed day and night. When Rhoda heard him knock outside, 
She knew he was all right.

Disciples preached God's love, 
And served the people too. "We need some help," they told the church; 
then seven men helped too.

Oh, Barnabas and Paul
They traveled far and near.  They told the people of God's love 
And of His Son so dear.

Take Away:
Let each child tell one thing they learned from the story about the seventh day of creation.   
   

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