I hope that you have had a great week. We have had some sunny days this week and I hope that you've been able to get outside and enjoy the fresh air and warmer weather that Spring brings!
Today we are going to be learning about kindness. If you have some modelling clay or playdoh, roll it into small balls (one per child) and put them in the fridge - we're going to use this in our object lesson later on.
First let's begin our time together with a few songs! Can you sing along and perhaps learn the actions?
Sunday School SONGS
We're in our series about the Fruit of the spirit, last week we learnt about patience, and this week we're learning about kindness.
Can you talk about what kindness means?
The dictionary (which is a BIG book that tells us what words mean) tells us that kindness is "the quality of being friendly, generous, and considerate"
Let’s meet a girl who loves to show kindness!
What things were great about the way Lauren showed kindness?
After seeing Lauren’s story, what ideas do you have for how you can show kindness?
In this video, Lauren said: “God has given me the power to show people that they matter…I got the power from God to show them that they matter.”
What does it mean that Lauren’s kindness comes from God?
Lauren knows that kids can show kindness in really cool ways! She found a group of people who needed some extra kindness, and she got her parents to serve them with her. Lauren shows how kindness is a fruit of the Spirit.
(Random Act of Kindness)
Perhaps this week you can come up with a way to show some kindness to someone you know - OR even a stranger.
Acts of kindness don't always have to be BIG acts... perhaps you can colour a nice picture for a neighbour, or make sure that all your toys are put away at the end of the day. Or if you're older perhaps you're able to cut the lawn, bake cookies for a friend, OR perhaps next time your parents or guardians are in the drive-thru line-up at Tim Horton's you can pay for the coffee of the person behind you?!
The bible verse that we're learning and trying to memorize is from Galatians 5:22-23
“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!”
I'm sure you guys have not forgotten, but this week we're talking about which fruit of the spirit?? (Kindness)
In our bible story this week we're learning about Abraham and how he showed kindness. Maybe you would even like to act this story out?
(If you do, you will need: 1 bedsheet (hung up like a tent), wet wipes/baby wipes (1 per child), crackers/fruit or other snack (1 per child), 1 cup of water (1 per child)
The Bible says there was a man named Abraham who had God’s kindness in him.
It says that one day Abraham was sitting at the door to his tent. It was the hottest part of the day. Whew! It’s hot out here! Lead kids in fanning themselves with their hands.
While Abraham was there, he looked up and saw three men passing by. When Abraham saw them, he got right up! (Everybody stand up)
Abraham ran over to the men to welcome them and he bowed to them. (Lead kids to bow)
Abraham was kind and Abraham’s friendship with God helped him be a very kind man. Abraham invited the three men to take a break from their trip and sit under his tree where it was cooler.
Remember, it was the hottest part of the day, so the sun was shining right down on them! But Abraham took the men to a tree where they could be in the shade.
Then Abraham washed their feet. That was very kind of Abraham, because their feet were probably very dirty from walking in the desert! (Let’s be kind to our friends and wash their feet. Have each of the kids wipe each other’s feet and toes with wet wipes)
Abraham felt special to have his visitors, and he told them that. Abraham was even kind with his words by saying encouraging things to them.
Next, Abraham told his three visitors that he wanted to give them food so they’d have energy for the rest of their trip. He asked his wife to make some fresh bread. (Lead kids to pretend to knead bread, form it into a loaf, and put it in the oven)
Abraham went and got one of his cows so he could cook some meat for his guests. Abraham shared his very best food with his guests.
Have kids clean their hands. Have about half the kids each retrieve a cracker or whatever snacks you have and a cup of water for another child)
Abraham gave them food and didn’t even ask them to share. He wanted them to enjoy their break under the tree. As the visitors sat under the tree, they told Abraham that his wife, Sarah, was going to have a baby. But Sarah and Abraham were really old, so Sarah didn’t believe it when she heard it.
The visitors said nothing is too hard for God, and they encouraged Abraham and Sarah by saying that they really would have a baby. The visitors were kind, too!
Kindness comes from God, so anyone who is friends with God can ask for help from him with being kind to others.
Can you share about a way one of God’s friends has been kind to you?
Maybe a friend said something nice to you, or gave you a hug when you were sad, or maybe someone shared a snack or toy with you or asked you to join in their ball game at school.
Kindness comes from God, and God helps people be kind to one another. Kindness means we share our best snack or toy. It means we help people feel better when they’re sad. It means we smile at others and we don’t say mean things.
It’s not always easy to be kind, but with God’s help, I can be kind instead of mean.
Activity /Object lesson
Okay, time to go get the modelling clay/playdoh out of the fridge!
It’s not easy to be kind to people who are mean. Sometimes people with hard hearts are angry or sad. But God’s kindness can soften their hearts. God can help us be kind even when it’s hard.
Let’s do something to help us think about that. Let's see if our hands can bring kindness to some hard modeling dough by softening it, kind of like God can soften people’s hearts.
Give kids each a ball of hardened modeling dough to hold in their hands and have them gently knead the dough with their hands to soften it.
As they work the dough, have kids share ways their hands can show kindness to others. For example, they could use their hands to hug someone who’s sad or hurt, or they could use their hands to help prepare dinner.
Encourage kids to keep kneading the dough until it’s soft. Then have them create something with their dough.
Our hands were kind to this hard dough and made it soft. That’s like when God changes people’s hard, angry hearts. Kindness is a fruit of the Spirit, so God can change our hearts to be soft and loving. We were able to soften this dough and shape it into something beautiful! We can be kind to people, too. It may take some time, but God’s kindness can soften hearts and help people be happy!
Lastly today we're going to read a few bible verses together.
Let's Read Ephesians 1:7-8
"In Christ we are made free by his blood sacrifice. We have forgiveness of sins because of God’s rich grace. God gave us that grace fully and freely. With full wisdom and understanding"
Why do you think Jesus did that?
Sometimes kindness has a cost, but we often get something back in return. It might not be the same thing; you might not get $5 back after you put $5 in the offering basket. But you might get joy because you know you helped someone.
We have the ability to show kindness because of Jesus. But kindness does have a cost sometimes. In fact, Jesus wants us to be kind and loving even when it costs us.
Next let's read Matthew 5:46-47
"If you love only those who love you, why should you get a reward for that? Even the tax collectors do that. And if you are nice only to your friends, you are no better than anyone else. Even the people who don’t know God are nice to their friends."
How do you feel about showing kindness to people who aren’t your friends or who don’t show love to you?
There’s one more thing kindness can cost us: our desire to be right. Sometimes, kindness means forgiving people even when we know they were wrong.
....and finally let's read Ephesians 4:32
"Be kind and loving to each other. Forgive each other the same as God forgave you through Christ."
Why is forgiving a good example of kindness?
Remember Jesus’ example of kindness, where he gave up everything? That was so you could be forgiven and you can pass on that kindness by forgiving others.
When Jesus went back to heaven he left us with the Holy Spirit. Since the Holy Spirit is with us everywhere we go, that means we can be kind everywhere we go!
Today we learned that kindness is a fruit of the Spirit. We heard how Abraham was kind to his visitors and we learned how when we’re friends with God, he helps us show kindness to others.
Thank you for showing kindness to us. Thank you for showing us that when your son died on the cross to forgive our sins it was an example of how we can show kindness to others by forgiving them. We pray that you would help us with showing kindness to the people around us, and to those we meet throughout the week.
Click the image to print off, or redraw on some plain paper, a kindness flower for someone in your family, or someone that you know.
Write their name in the middle of the flower and write 6 great things about that person on the petals. Decorate the flower and background and give the picture to them.