I don't know about you but I ate a bit too much chocolate over the Easter holidays, so it's probably good that we're getting back to some fruit.
This isn't like the fruit we might find in our kitchens though. We're getting back into our Fruit of the Spirit lessons, and this week we're learning about Peace!
But first, let's sing some songs together!
Before Easter we learnt about the fruits of the spirit, Love and Joy. This week we’ll learn that peace is a fruit of the Spirit. Peace is when we’re calm and restful. Can you guys take a take a deep breath in? .....and then breathe out ?
Sometimes our lives are not very peaceful, sometimes they feel very chaotic! We’re busy, or we don’t get along with our families, or things just don’t go our way.
Let’s watch this short video to see how God can bring peace in those moments.
What parts of this family’s day seemed the least peaceful to you?
Does your life ever feel similar to this families?
What did they remind you of in your own life?
What can you learn from how they found peace?
Even when life gets really crazy, God can bring us peace.
Today’s bible story shows that peace is a fruit of the Spirit. We’ll find out that being friends with God helps us be peaceful with others. God can help his friends make peace, even when other people are being mean.
Our story is about a man named Isaac who had trouble keeping peace with the people living nearby. We’ll find out that he kept peace even when some other people ruined something he made. It’s no fun when someone ruins something we put a lot of time into making is it?
Issacs’ troubles all had to do with some wells. Do you know what a well is?
Wells are deep holes dug in the ground until they hit water. That way, people can lower buckets into the well and pull up fresh water. Often, there’s a little brick rim above ground at the top of the well that helps keep dirt out.
God had blessed Isaac. Isaac had a great farm, a lot of animals, and a lot of wells. But he lived near some people called the Philistines. The Philistines were jealous of everything Isaac had, so they did something mean. In Genesis 26:15-16 it says..... “So the Philistines filled up all of Isaac’s wells with dirt. These were the wells that had been dug by the servants of his father, Abraham. Then King Abimelech ordered Isaac to leave the country. “Go somewhere else,” he said, “for you have become too powerful for us.”
The Philistines ruined Isaac’s wells and kicked him out of the land! I think I would be pretty mad! But you know what Isaac did? He peacefully moved away. Isaac left his old wells behind.
When he found a new place to live he worked hard, found where water might be underground, and dug some more new wells. But just when Isaac had gotten all set up with his new wells, this happened....
“Isaac’s servants dug in the Gerar Valley and discovered a well of fresh water. But then the shepherds from Gerar came and claimed the spring. “This is our water,” they said, and they argued over it with Isaac’s herdsmen. So Isaac named the well Esek (which means “argument”).”
Last time, Isaac just walked away. But surely you’d think he would defend his well this time. He even named the place “argument”. But no… it turns out he didn’t! He just dug another well! Isaac didn’t get involved in an argument, even though digging wells is tons of work, Isaac kept the peace. He just moved on.
You won’t believe this…but then, it happened again! Isaac had dug yet another well, and someone tried to take that one from him, too! If I were Isaac, I’d be pretty frustrated by now! He needed water to drink, and to feed his animals… What do you guys think about Isaac’s attitude?
Even though Isaac’s well got stolen again, Isaac trusted that God had made enough space for everyone to find water. Lets read what happened this time… Genesis 26:22 says “He moved from there and dug another well, and they did not quarrel over it. So he called its name Rehoboth, saying, “For now the LORD has made room for us, and we shall be fruitful in the land.”
Finally, Isaac’s well was built a well, and it seemed like no one was going to take it… but then…King Abimelech came back!! – Do you remember him? He’s the king of the Philistines, the people who filled Issac's wells in with dirt! What could he want now?
Genesis 26:28-32 says ”They replied, “We can see that the LORD is with you so we want to enter into a sworn treaty with you. Let’s make a covenant. Promise that you will not harm us, just as we did not harm you. We were kind to you and let you go peacefully. Now it is clear that the LORD has blessed you. Issac prepared a big feast for them and they ate together. Early the next morning, they each promised not to interfere with each other. Then Isaac sent them home again, and they left him in peace. That same day Isaac’s servants came and told him about the well that they had dug and said to him, “We have found water.”
It turns out that this time the Philistines wanted to make peace with Issac. It was probably hard for Isaac to act peacefully when people kept ruining or stealing his wells, but Isaac didn’t start a fight.
We can’t control what other people do. Sometimes they’ll ruin our stuff, take our stuff, or hurt our feelings. But when we’re friends with God, God helps us to have peace like Issac did. Through God’s Spirit working in us, we can control how we react, and we can respond in peace.
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!”
God, thank you that you are the ultimate peacemaker. Help us when we face situations where we want to fight. Give us ways to make peace instead, even if the other person doesn’t want to make peace. Help us know when to just walk away like Isaac did.
In Jesus’ name, Amen
games and activities
Today we’ve talked about peace. Sometimes it’s easier to understand peace when we can feel it. So let’s do an activity to help us think about how peace might make us feel.
Materials needed: A bedsheet
Directions: Everyone hold onto a corner, or the edge of the sheet. Then, take turns flapping it about making it ripple wildly. Once it's been moving for a while, someone says so, everyone has to hold it perfectly still.
When we’re crazy with our sheet, it doesn’t feel very peaceful. But when we stop and hold it still, we can feel a little bit of what peace is like. Let’s do it again and see how fast we can get peaceful.
It’s fun to be wild and loud sometimes, but it’s also nice to be calm and quiet. Sometimes we want to be peaceful, but there’s too much going on around us. That’s when we can remember that God puts his peace in our hearts. God can help us feel peace even when things around us aren’t peaceful.
Have you ever had a thumb war? Find a friend to play against now......
How did you feel while you were thumb wrestling?
How do you feel when you’re in the middle of a real-life fight or argument?
In a thumb war, you and your opponent have the same goal: You both want to pin the other person’s thumb.
Real-life arguments are similar, you both want to be right! But making peace means letting go of the need to be right and instead ending the fight. It’d be like a thumb war where one person just stopped fighting the war.
Try playing again but after a time, one of you stop rying to pin the other persons thumb. What happened when you stopped trying to pin the other person’s thumb?
Making peace in life isn’t always easy. Sometimes you try to stop the fight, but the other person is still fighting! So what if you’re the only one willing to make peace?
Making peace is hard! That’s why it’s good news that peace is a fruit of the Spirit. It means we don’t have to try to make peace all in our own strength! We can turn to God for help when we need to make peace.
Peaceful Peach Finger Puppet
What you'll need: Cardstock or thick paper, coloured pencils or markers, scissors.