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Peace that Passes Understanding

Aim: To clarify that peace comes from a right relationship with God and with others

Core Competency: Peace

Objectives: The children will

  • Get right with God
  • Forgive others
  • Have inner peace and contentment

Key Verse: "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." ( Philippians 4:6-7 )

Story: "Birds and Lilies " ( Matthew 6:25-34 )

Materials Required:

  • Newspaper, 2 Identical Sheets
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Envelope
  • Paper
  • Pens or Pencils
  • String
  • Tape
  • Baseball Bat
  • Ball, Foam (such as Nerf)

Eye on Science:

Advance Preparation: First you will create a secret hidden pocket in one sheet of newspaper. Take the two identical sheets of newspaper, and fold them into cones as shown. From one of the sheets, cut off the grey triangle and discard the remainder. Glue the triangle to the second sheet along the two long edges only, in the matching location, so that the result appears to be a single sheet of newspaper. You have now created a secret hidden pocket into which items can be "vanished" or made to "appear".

Prepare small slips of paper upon which the children can write.

Print and cut out the three doves (you may need to get a free Portable Document Format (PDF) reader - if you have problems with the PDF reader, use this image instead). Using short string and tape, attach the doves together to form the words "Peace of God" as shown.

Place the doves into the secret hidden pocket of the prepared newspaper sheet, and lay the sheet flat on your table with the hidden pocket face down.

During Class: Have you had a busy week? Were you frantically racing from one activity to the next, anxious that you would be late, afraid that you might make a mistake? Are you concerned that you won't have something you need or want - a certain type of clothing, or a video game, or a pager, or perhaps your favorite food?

People who worry about things constantly have no peace. They can't be quiet and contented because of their worries. And that is exactly the kind of life that Jesus did not want His disciples to live! Let's check out Matthew 6:25-32 . Clearly Jesus does not want us to worry!

Let's try a simple experiment. (Give the bat to a reasonably athletic child, and establish "first base".) Your job is to get to first base. I'm ready to pitch! Why aren't you looking at first base? (Allow the batter to watch the ball instead of first base; pitch several times if necessary until the ball is hit and first base is attained.)

You cannot reach first base by watching first base, of course. You reach first base by keeping your eye on the ball. Matthew 6:33 describes a similar situation with respect to peace. If we spend our time worrying about trivial things, we'll never have them. If we spend our time seeking God's kingdom, the trivial things will also be ours.

What do you worry about? I have several slips of paper here with pencils; if some of you are willing, write down one brief thing that sometimes worrys you, and put the slip of paper in this envelope. I'll write "WORRY" on the envelope, and it will represent everything that tries to hold our attention. (Fold the envelope in half, and let it stand on the table.)

(Lift the prepared sheet of newspaper from the table using one hand at each top corner; in this way, one hand is holding the secret hidden pocket closed at all times.) Let's use this sheet of newspaper to represent our pilgrimage to godliness. (Casually show both sides of the newspaper sheet, without letting go of the secret hidden pocket.) We'll fold it into a cone to show that seeking the kingdom of God first can completely "swallow up" all of the little worries of life. (Fold the cone along the existing lines, then slip the folded "worry envelope" into the hidden secret pocket.)

When we seek the kingdom of God first, He has promised us something very special. (Remove the three doves from the secret hidden pocket. Grasp the dove labeled "God" with your left hand, while also holding the cone, and pull the dove labeled "Peace" to your right with your right hand.") We receive the peace of God - what Philippians 4:6-7 calls the "peace that passes understanding"!

(Place the doves on the table.) And what happens to our worries. Although the trouble remains, the worry itself just disappears. (Holding the secret hidden pocket closed with your left hand, unroll the cone with your right. Again show both sides of the newspaper sheet, again without releasing either top corner. Then crumple the newspaper and toss in a bag.)

Application Questions: What worries keep you from serving God whole-heartedly this morning? Will you give that worry to Jesus, and focus instead on seeking His kingdom?

Used: KIDZ 07/01

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