Well kids, it look as though we're going to be able to get together at the church again soon, but it is going to look quite different. We've missed you all SO much over the last couple of months and so we REALLY look forward to when we get together for church and Sunday school again!
Before we begin this weeks Sunday school lesson lets sing a couple of songs together. Feel free to get up and do some of the actions aswell!
Okay so this week we are nearing close to the end of our Fruit of the Spirit series and I wanted to just touch quickly on the fact that when we're friends with God and invite Jesus into our hearts God gives us access to ALL of the Fruits of the Spirit, It isn't that God just gives us one or two of them, he gives us them all. Sometimes its easier for us to act with love, or to be kind rather than to self-control or patience but that's where we maybe need to ask for God's help to work on those areas.
This week we're going to be learning about Gentleness. The dictionary definition of gentleness is "the quality of being kind, tender, or mild-mannered".
Often we're told to be gentle with something or someone. Can you think about something that maybe your parents have told you to be gentle with? Or can you guys think of someone that is gentle? What do you like about that person?
It may be easier to understand why gentleness is important when we think about other people treating us with gentleness.
Let's watch this video and hear about Keizo's story...
What was gentle about the way the librarian treated Keizo?
Why was gentleness a great thing for Keizo?
How does this story inspire you to be gentle when other people make mistakes?
The librarian could’ve charged Keizo the full amount. It’s what he owed because of his mistake! And she could’ve yelled at him, too. But instead, she showed Keizo gentleness, and that helped Keizo out a lot. We can help others by being gentle when they mess up because gentleness is a fruit of the Spirit that God gives us.
ACTIVITY / GAME
There are lots of ways we can be gentle. We can be gentle with our words, gentle with our hands, and gentle with our feet. We can even be gentle with a ball. Since we’re learning about gentleness today, let’s practice being gentle with a ball.
Here are the supplies that you'll need; a laundry basket or other basket or bowl, and 1 ball that will fit into the basket or bowl.
Lie the laundry basket or bowl on its side and line up on each side of the basket. You're going to work as a team to get the ball to stay in the basket and not roll out again. Okay... go for it!!! When you've had a few truns at getting it to stay in the basket come on back :)
It’s hard to roll a ball gently. We have to use self-control and not be rough. There are other things it’s hard to do gently. Can you think of something that is difficult to do gently? Maybe you think of things like playing tag on the playground or throwing a ball.
Sometimes it’s hard to use gentle hands and gentle words, too. Jesus is always gentle. He was gentle with the woman the leaders brought to him. He’s gentle with us, too. When we’re friends with Jesus, he helps us be gentle.
As we move into our bible lesson I want us to do a quick object lesson... grab a piece of paper, it doesn't matter what kind of paper, any colour...
On your paper, use your finger to draw a picture or write down the worst thing you’ve ever done—something you’re really ashamed of that you wouldn’t want everyone to know you did.
Now imagine that as you’re holding up your paper, the “ink” from your finger suddenly becomes visible, and everyone can see what you wrote. How would you feel if everyone could see what you wrote?
We all have things we’d rather people didn’t know about us. Fortunately, your “finger ink” won’t become visible, so no one will know what you wrote.
Well, the woman in today’s Bible story felt like you just did…only for her, everyone did see what she’d done wrong. You see, Jesus was teaching a crowd of people when some religious leaders brought a woman to him. They put her in front of the crowd and announced that she’d been caught on a date with someone else’s husband!
What do you think it was like for her to stand in front of the crowd, with everyone knowing that wrong thing she’d done? And she didn’t just have to stand there; here’s what the religious leaders said to Jesus;
"The Law of Moses commands us to stone to death any such woman. What do you say we should do?" (John 8:5)
This woman was in big trouble. The law said she deserved to be killed by having people throw stones at her. But Jesus surprised everyone by treating the woman with gentleness.
"They were saying this to trick Jesus. They wanted to catch him saying something wrong so that they could have a charge against him. But Jesus stooped down and started writing on the ground with his finger." (John 8:6)
What do you think Jesus wrote in the sand?
We don’t know what Jesus wrote in the sand, because the Bible doesn’t tell us! Maybe he was writing Bible verses. Maybe he was writing the word “forgive". Maybe he was listing the names or sins of the religious leaders! Or maybe he was just doodling. Whatever Jesus was writing, it wasn’t enough for the religious leaders. They demanded an answer! So here’s what Jesus said.
"The Jewish leaders continued to ask him their question. So he stood up and said, “Anyone here who has never sinned should throw the first stone at her.” Then Jesus stooped down again and wrote on the ground." (John 8:7-8)
What do you think of Jesus’ answer? How did it show gentleness?
Gentleness is a fruit of the Spirit, and that means it comes from God. Jesus showed a great example of gentleness. He could’ve gone along with the religious leaders. He could’ve said how bad the woman’s sin was. But instead, he pointed out that everyone had sinned. This woman was no different from anyone else. And you know what? That message got through.
"When they heard this, they began to leave one by one. The older men left first, and then the others. Jesus was left alone with the woman standing there in front of him." (John 8:9)
Jesus is gentle because gentleness is a fruit of the Spirit that comes from God. After everyone walked away, you know what Jesus could’ve done? He could’ve thrown a stone, because he was perfect and without sin! But here’s what he did instead.
He looked up again and said to her, “Where did they all go? Did no one judge you guilty?' She answered, “No one, sir.” Then Jesus said, “I don’t judge you either. You can go now, but don’t sin again.”
Think about what you wrote on your paper earlier. You might feel like Jesus could never love you or forgive you after what you’ve done. Or maybe you know he loves you, but you feel like he looks at you a little funny knowing you did what you wrote on that paper. The truth is, even though Jesus can’t stand sin, he is gentle and loving with us, and he is ALWAYS ready to forgive.
**If you have some string or wool you can give each child few feet of it to use during this example**
When you think of the word gentle, what other words come to mind?
We don't often think of “strong” or “tough" when we think of being gentle. We don’t tend to connect gentleness with strength. So does being gentle make us seem weak?
Okay - if you have some string or wool you should go ahead now and tangle the yarn into a messy, intertwined ball. If you don't have any string or wool you can just imagine what a piece of tangled string looks like..
Okay, it’s time to try and untangle the yarn, either right there in front of you, or in your mind.
What works best when you’re untangling yarn? What doesn’t work?
If you yank and pull hard on a tangled mess of yarn, you might pull the knots tighter and make everything worse. But if you’re gentle, you can get it untangled! If you’re struggling, try to be more gentle and get your yarn untangled.
With yarn, we discover that gentleness is the way to go. We'd would say it’s a more powerful way to work than pulling and yanking, because you can actually solve the problem!
Let’s see what the Bible has to say about how gentleness can actually make us more powerful.
Proverbs 15:1 says "A gentle answer makes anger disappear, but a rough answer makes it grow."
What happens if we respond to someone elses anger with harsh words? or what would happen if we respond with calm gentleness? Gentleness is so powerful, it gives us power over other people’s anger. According to this Bible verse, our gentle words can make someone else less angry! Gentle words are so powerful because they shows wisdom.
"But the wisdom that comes from God is like this: First, it is pure. It is also peaceful, gentle, and easy to please. This wisdom is always ready to help people who have trouble and to do good for others. This wisdom is always fair and honest." (James 3:17)
Wisdom helps us make good decisions. And this verse says that wisdom from God is always gentle. So when we’re being gentle, we’re using God’s wisdom.
Gentleness comes from God because God is gentle. Jesus even talked about the power of his gentleness in our lives. Because Jesus is gentle at heart, we can come to him when we’re overwhelmed. He has the ability to make hard things feel lighter and easier for us. Jesus’ gentleness makes him strong enough to carry our heavy burdens and make them feel light. So let’s ask him to do that now...
Thank you for the gentle way you treated the woman in the Bible and for the gentle way you treat us, even when we don’t deserve it.
Thank you that you are humble and gentle at heart. Thank you that your gentleness makes you strong enough to carry our heavy burdens. Give us the strength of gentleness, and fill us with the spirit of gentleness today.
In your name, amen.
CRAFT / COLOURING
When the leaders brought the woman to Jesus, he was gentle. The leaders wanted to punish the woman, but Jesus responded by kneeling down and writing in the sand. Perhaps you would like to try and make some kinetic sand today.