How was your week?! What did you get up to? Did any of your extra curricular activities start up yet? What are you doing?
This is the last week that we are studying God's commands in Exodus and then we will be moving on to a new and exciting series on different gifts and talents that God gives each of us :)
Before we get started, lets shake out some of those wiggles and worship God together!
SUNDAY SCHOOL WORSHIP
Phew! who else feels warmed up after all those actions?
Alright, let's jump in!
So we've been learning about the commands that God gave to Moses and to us. The commands God gave us aren't just a list of rules for things for us NOT to do.. it's not as if he doesn't want us to have fun... God gives us these guidelines because he loves us and he wants us to be safe.
This week we are learning about what it means to be jealous, and how to NOT BE jealous. We have good, healthy friendships when we’re not jealous. Jealous means we want something someone else has. God gives us everything we need, so we don’t have to be jealous!
As we read the Bible today, we’ll hear about some brothers who were jealous. They were jealous about something their younger brother was going to get to do.
Sometimes people get to do things that we want to do, but God says we’re shouldn't be jealous and we can be thankful for the things we already have. It’s okay to want things, but when we’re focused on wanting what other people have, that’s jealousy. Let’s watch a boy named Gift who doesn’t have very much but isn’t jealous.
What do you have that Gift doesn’t?
What did Gift have to be jealous about?
Why do you think Gift wasn’t jealous, even though he didn’t have what the other kids had?
We shouldn't be jealous, whether we have a lot or a little, we can be thankful for what we have instead of comparing ourselves to others. We’ll be much happier!
GAME / ACTIVITY
God has given us all the ability to create wonderful things. Let’s see what we can create with what we have here today.
Supplies: various building supplies (blocks, playdough, lego, plastic cups)
Directions: Give one type of building supply to each child. Encourage each child to build whatever they can with what they have in three minutes. Help kids focus on what they can make with their own supplies, not on another child's supplies.
We all had different things to build with, but we could all make fun creations.
What’s your favorite thing to build with?
You may have wanted something different to build with. But when you focused on what you had, instead of what you didn’t have, you were able to make something wonderful. We’ve all been given lots of wonderful things by God. If we focus on those things, we’re not jealous, and we can enjoy all that we have.
Have you guys ever experienced favoritism? Or felt like someone was playing favourites and leaving you out? It's really not a very nice feeling. When people play favorites, our natural reaction is to be jealous. But let's read today’s commandment from God together. It's found in Exodus 20 verse 17.
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”
Covet might be a word you aren’t familiar with, and it means to be jealous. So this commandment says we’re not to be jealous. Let’s see how some brothers reacted when their dad played favorites.
"Joseph was a young man, 17 years old. His job was to take care of the sheep and the goats. Joseph did this work with his brothers, Joseph told his father about the bad things that his brothers did. Joseph was born at a time when his father Jacob was very old, and he loved him more than he loved his other sons. Jacob gave him a special coat, which was long and very beautiful."
Joseph’s brothers weren’t so happy about Joseph’s present. God’s commandment says we’re not jealous, but we can understand why they were!
"When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father loved Joseph more than he loved them, they hated their brother because of this. They refused to say nice things to him."
After that, Joseph had a dream, and their jealousy got worse....
One time Joseph had a special dream. Later, he told his brothers about this dream, and after that his brothers hated him even more. Joseph said, “I had a dream. We were all working in the field, tying stacks of wheat together. Then my stack got up. It stood there while all of your stacks of wheat made a circle around mine and bowed down to it."
His brothers said, “Do you think this means that you will be a king and rule over us?”
His brothers hated Joseph more now because of the dreams he had about them.”
When Joseph’s brothers heard about that dream, they were even more jealous. Their jealousy led them to hate Joseph!
Then Joseph had another dream...
Then Joseph had another dream, and he told his brothers about it. He said, “I had another dream. I saw the sun, the moon, and eleven stars bowing down to me.”
Joseph also told his father about this dream, but his father criticized him. His father said, “What kind of dream is this? Do you believe that your mother, your brothers, and I will bow down to you?” Joseph’s brothers continued to be jealous of him, but his father thought about all these things and wondered what they could mean.
God commands us not to be jealous, but it was a tough situation not to envy Joseph. He was the clear favorite, and God gave him dreams about his brothers bowing to him! They didn’t like that.
Today’s commandment sounds like a negative one…what not to do. And we can understand how Joseph’s brothers failed miserably. So let’s flip it. Let's think of some words that are the opposite of jealousy.
One word that’s the opposite of jealousy is gratitude. When we’re grateful for what we have, we’re not jealous of what other people have.
What could Joseph’s brothers have been grateful for in this story?
Joseph’s brothers had a big, wealthy family and animals to provide food and clothing. Now, let’s make it personal.
Close your eyes and think of a situation where you’ve been jealous. Now replay that situation, and think of all the things you could’ve been grateful for. When we focus on what everyone else has, it’s normal to be jealous. But when we focus on God’s blessings to us, we’re not jealous. Instead we’re focused on being thankful for everything God has given us. There’s always something to be thankful for!
CRAFT / COLOURING
There will always be things other people have that we don’t. If we think about what we don’t have, it makes us sad. God gives us lots of wonderful things. When we think about those things instead, that makes our hearts happy.
We’re learning that we’re not to be jealous. One way to keep our attitudes from being jealous is focusing on thanking God for what we do have. We’re going to make gratitude jars to help us do that.
Supplies:“Gratitude Jars” handout (click the link to print it out) - If you don't have a printer, perhaps you have another container you could use and decorate for this exercise.
There will always be people who have things we don’t have. But we also have a lot of things other people don’t have! Instead of comparing what we have and what others have, we can be thankful that God gives us what we need. That way, we’re not jealous.
God takes care of us and gives us everything we need! We don’t need to be jealous of other people. When we’re not jealous, it’s better for our lives and our friendships. Let's pray together now..
Thank you for all of the blessings that you have given to us. Thank you also for all of things that you have blessed our friends and family with. Please help us not to be jealous of the things that other people have. Please help us to be grateful for what we have, and be reminded that you love us, that you always provide for us all that we need.
In Jesus name,