Sample Session For 9-11-Year-Olds
SESSION 1: I am Special, Safe, and Accepted
Download this week's ACTIVITY SHEET
Download INTRODUCTION and ORIENTATION
I Am Special, Safe, And Accepted
I have come that they may have life,
and have it to the full.
EXPLORE THE BIBLE: Genesis 1-3
In order to find out “where did I come from?” we need to go back to the very start of the Bible – to the story of Adam and Eve in Genesis 1-3.
When Adam and Eve were created, they had everything that they needed – all their needs were met by God. Adam had a purpose (to rule over the animals), everything was provided for, and they knew they belonged to God. Verses 26 and 27 (Genesis 1) tell us that God created human beings in God’s image and therefore Adam and Eve had a spiritual connection with God. But, when Adam and Eve were tricked by the devil into eating the fruit (what the Bible calls sin) they lost that connection with God. For the first time they began to have negative emotions, feeling fearful, depressed, and rejected (Genesis 3:10).
So, God sent Jesus to undo the work that the devil had done when he tricked Adam and Eve. God sent Jesus to bring us life and restore that connection with God (John 10:10).
Adam and Eve had everything they needed – create a collage or draw a picture together of what you think it would have been like if Adam and Eve hadn’t disobeyed God? Chat together as you do this using the questions on the activity sheet.
God Shaped Hole
Inside every one of us is a God shaped hole in our hearts (hold up mint). It’s a bit like this mint. This is how we were created – with a hole in the middle! Do you remember our Bible story session about Adam and Eve? Sin separates us from God.
So how do we get our God shaped hole filled?
Without Jesus we are empty but when we ask Jesus into our hearts He fills this hole with His Spirit, we are no longer separated from God, and we can have that connection with God. It’s really easy – we just have to ask!
STORYTIME – THE LIGHTBRINGERS
CHAPTER 1 - IT BEGINS
The rain continued to fall. The night had come early – it always did at this time of year. Lightning flashed across the sky illuminating the solitary figure that knelt before the gravestone. Eventually she stood and walked past the overturned graves. Her feet sloshed through the mud. Thunder rumbled nearby.
She walked between the two pillars supporting the rusty gates, gates held by a loose rusty chain, but she easily squeezed through. These gates had been closed for many years. She stood on the edge of the road. The dazzling lights of a truck highlighted her bedraggled brown hair. Her clothes were wet through. Her denim jacket was completely drenched and no defence against this type of weather, but it was the only jacket she had. Her jeans clung tightly to her legs. Then the truck passed.
No one would notice the flowers on the grave. No one came to the graveyard unless it was for mischief. This graveyard had not been used for many years. Nobody remembered the people buried there now. Except one.
Lightning flashed but the girl had gone.
The rain continued to fall.
Sophie woke early. Her wet clothes still hanging on the chair at the end of the bed. The Home was silent. It wouldn't be for long. But, these moments were hers and she used them to stare at the ceiling and to think.
There were some things she was sure about. She was sure there was no parallel universe where everything was different and where the accident hadn't happened. She was sure that no new parents were going to walk through the door and take her away from the Home. She used to think that when she first arrived aged five, but four years had passed since then, and nobody wanted to adopt a nine-year-old girl who was considered "unusual". And finally she was sure that Thomas, who lived across in the boys’ house, was always going to be crazy – in a good way, but definitely crazy. She was just sure.
But there were some things about which she was less sure. God. God was one of those areas in which she was less sure. She used to be absolutely sure. If God existed then He wouldn't have let the accident happen, and since the accident did happen, there couldn's possibly be a God. But now she was less sure. Particularly now that the new care-worker had arrived in the Home. She was used to new care-workers. They didn't stay for long, a few buckets of wallpaper paste above the door that would fall onto an unsuspecting man or woman as they came into the kitchen, itching powder gently poured down their back and a worm or two dropped into their cup of tea was usually enought to see them off.
But Mr Dundenter was different. They had placed the bucket of paste above the door, but no matter how many times he went in and out the bucket didn't move. But one walk through by Thomas and squelch/splat! He was covered. And Mr Dundenter didn't seem to notice the itching power at all, even though Sophe had put a whole handful down his neck when she had pretended to bump into him. And when he had got to the end of his cup of tea to see the worms wiggling at the bottom, he simply smiled, said, "Oh worms. My favourite" and lifted his cup one more time and swallowed the worms... Leaving Sophie and Thomas feeling slightly sick.
But that wasn't what made her unsure. It was what happened the day before. She had come home from school, sat in her room reading her library book and completely lost track of time. When she did look at the clock it was past dinnertime and Cook was strict on meal times. She jumped up, ran to the stairs and realizing too late that her laces were untied, she tripped and tumbled down 20 stairs before landing in a crumpled heap at the bottom.
The Home had been built specially to look after orphan children. Children who had no other family. It had a boys’ house and a girls’ house. Well that's what they were called - they were not separate houses. There was a central area where they ate their food and played their games, and in two different directions from that area there were stairs, one set to the left that led to the boys’ rooms and one to the right that led to the girls’.
And now everyone was looking up from their food to see poor Sophie in a heap on the floor, at the bottom of the girls’ stairs, moaning pitifully.
"She's dead", announced Stacey, who always thought the worst.
“She can’t be dead”, proclaimed Thomas, “I can hear her moaning. And you don’t moan when you’re dead…. ”
"She’s not dead", it was Cook's voice, “but she has hurt herself badly.” Everyone ran towards Sophie. But they hadn't got particularly far before Mr Dundenter sent them back to their seats. It was Mr Dundenter who walked over to Sophie and he knelt beside her. Sophie was crying. It hurt. It hurt a lot.
"It's my leg," Sophie sobbed.
Mr Dundenter took hold of her hand, closed his eyes and said,
“Jesus, you healed so many people in the Bible. Please make Sophie’s leg better.”
Immediately, she felt calm and peaceful. When she looked down, her leg looked completely normal. No pain at all. She stared at Mr Dundenter. He winked. Winked! Nothing else was said. She stood up, walked to the table, ate her dinner, and everything carried on as normal.
So, she wasn't sure anymore. Actually, she was really, really confused. If there wasn't a God, what had happened yesterday? Who fixed her leg?
She turned over and looked at the clock. 5:30am. She had crept back through her window just after midnight. But there was no getting around it. She was wide awake. Enough thinking. Time to get up. This was a Saturday. It was curious how she always found it easier to get up when there was no school. But this was a girl with a mission. Today she was going to find Mr Dundenter and ask him how he did it...
Find out what happens next in next week’s instalment of “The Lightbringers”.
Take a moment to talk about what you think about the story.
Thank You Lord for sending Jesus so that I can know You and have life!
What does God say is true? Now let's read together the list of “I am Special, Safe and Accepted” truths from the activity sheets or on the screen.
Special, Safe, And Accepted
I am SPECIAL because God says:
His Holy Spirit lives inside me (1 Corinthians 3:16)
He has made me to do good things (Ephesians 2:10)
I can always come to God and talk with Him (Ephesians 3:12)
I can do things I find hard because God gives me strength and helps me (Philippians 4:13)
I am SAFE because God says:
I am not guilty or bad because God has forgiven me (Romans 8:31-34)
Nothing can come between God and me (Romans 8:35-39)
He will finish the good work He started in me (Philippians 1:6)
I am safe with Jesus and in God (Colossians 3:3)
I am a child of God and I am safe from evil (1 John 5:18)
I am ACCEPTED because God says:
I am His child (John 1:12)
Jesus chose me to be His friend (John 15:15)
I am a saint – a special person set aside by God (Ephesians 1:1)
I have been forgiven for all the things I’ve done wrong (Colossians 1:14)
Does anyone want to share which truth was particularly special for you?
Let's spend some time completing the activity sheet. We can always come back to it during the week to finish it off.
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