New Year – Being closer to God
Psalm 139: 23-24. Psalm 145. James 4:8.
Happy New Year everyone! Let’s start as we mean to go on! Our first lesson of 2013 is dedicated to what our New Year’s resolution should be: being closer to God.
Have the children think about what kind of things they might think of for New Year’s resolutions. They might come up with things like:
– not biting your nails
– saving your pocket money
– eat less sweets or eat more fruit
– work harder at school
– spend less time on your games consoles
– clean up after yourself more often
But the most forgotten resolution and also the most important is surely to work on being closer to God?
A good reading for this lesson is Psalm 145. It generally encompasses the reasons why we would want to be closer to God and how much He loves us all. It is, however, quite long and so you may not wish to use the whole Psalm. If you want to use just smaller parts of it then it can be easily shortened into verses 8-12, 12-16 or 17-21.
Think about the reading we just heard. Think about what it tells us about God and God’s love. Doesn’t this sound like something we want to experience? Ask the children if they can think about ways in which we can bring ourselves closer to God. Their answers might include (and this list is just a selection!):
– spending more time in prayer
– reading the Bible
– helping others
– being nicer to people we might not like
– doing what we are told
– being humble
– paying attention in church
Now think about how we might go about these (the first craft in our craft section will help you with this). We cannot do all of these things all the time, everyday, however much it might be nice too. So why not think about setting yourself targets, e.g. pray everyday, read the Bible every night, say something nice to one person a week etc. We may find that we have to stop doing things that we normally do to make time for these things but this is a good thing! Instead of watching half an hour of television why not watch twenty minutes and spend ten minutes reading the Bible?
Resolutions are usually very hard to keep, because they’re usually something that we don’t want to do. While we might have to give up a few things in order to build a strong relationship with God the results will be worth it, we just have to think about today’s Psalm to see that! The closer we feel to God the happier we will be and soon, once we set a pattern we will find that we won’t need to make the time to spend time with God we will just do it automatically!
There are just the two crafts listed here, other crafts for this lesson can be adapted from our All Purpose Crafts I
Closer to God chart
You will need:
A4 paper (white or coloured)
Washable felt pens
-Agree with the children what their resolutions are to bring themselves closer to God, decide on five that they can do daily to weekly.
– On the A4 paper draw a chart that covers most of the page. The chart needs to be 8×6.
– In the top left hand box write the child’s name. In the seven boxes beside it write the days of the week.
– In the five left hand boxes write the resolutions, one per box.
– The children can colour in their boxes. Slide the paper into a poly pocket so it can be easily hung up. The children can then mark with the washable felt pens when they have completed a task and it can be wiped clean for the following week. If they have set daily targets such as ‘pray everyday’ then they can mark each day while targets such as ‘tidy up’ might be weekly. They may want to agree some rewards with their parents if they manage to hit their targets every week or month. The table should look something like this:
|Read the Bible 10 mins. Every day|
|Pray every night|
|Help Mum or Dad around the house every week|
|Say something nice to someone every week (even if I don’t like them!)|
|Give some of my pocket money to charity every month|
You will need:
– This craft gives the children a structure to use in prayer.
– Across the top of the page write ‘when I pray…’
– Draw around your hand with your fingers spread out.
– Starting with the thumb and working your way across the fingers write the following (one phrase per finger); Praise God, Confess your sins, Thank God, Pray for others, Pray for yourself and then in the centre of the hand write Amen.
Happy New Year everyone! 🙂