Faith is not seeing

This past Sunday, while I was discussing the book of Job with our Hightide students, the K-3rd graders were doing a follow-up lesson to Easter. They talked about the reason Jesus appeared to so many people after his resurrection instead of returning directly to heaven. The more people that saw Jesus, the more people would believe that he was truly alive. But now, we can’t see Jesus, because he is in heaven. We have to believe on faith.

Chris came up with a great object lesson to talk about how you can believe something exists even if you don’t see it. He had one of the boys build a tower of plastic cups on a table. Then he asked the kids who thought they could knock it over. Of course, all of them raised their hand, so he chose a young girl to come up on stage. He had her stand about a foot away from the tower, and told her to try to knock it down–but she wasn’t allowed to touch it. She looked at Chris confusedly until finally trying to blow it down. When that didn’t work, Chris handed her an Airzooka (if you don’t know what that is, click here). When you pull back, it releases a huge puff of air, which knocked down the tower. So Chris asked the kids what knocked it down, and when they all answered “AIR,” he said, “How do you know? Did you see the air?” He led their discussion to the eventual point that, even though we can’t see air, we can see its effects. In the same way, we can’t see Jesus, but we can see His effect on our lives and the lives of others.

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Easter Sunday

We kept our whole elementary school class combined for our Easter services (in addition to our usual 9:30 and 11:15, we added a service at 4:30 on Easter Saturday that had kids church). While the Hightide (preteens) class usually breaks off after worship, we all stayed together.

The kids performed a song on stage for the entire church congregation, a wonderfully fun mash-up of “Oh Happy Day” and the popular “Happy” by Pharrell Williams. If you’re interested, you can watch it here. This singing performance took away a little bit of our time downstairs, but we still had a really good class.

When we got back downstairs, the kids all sat down and we talked about the Easter story, from the Last Supper to the resurrection. I tried to keep the mood calm and semi-serious, and started out the story by asking lots of questions and being very interactive, then asking less and less questions as we got to the crux of the story, keeping the kids focused.

After the story, my husband (and co-children’s pastor) came up and did an object lesson with the kids about sin. He had two kids come up, one as “God” and one as “man.” He talked about when man sinned in the Garden of Eden, they took a step away from God. Every subsequent sin takes us further and further from God. But then when Jesus came, he bridged that gap–we had a large wooden cross on a stand, and laid it down between “God” and “man” so that the child who was “man” could return to God.

For the last part of our time, we broke the kids off into small groups by age–because we had plenty of leaders we were able to do 5 groups, leaving about 6-8 kids in each one. Within their groups they talked about what sin is, why Jesus makes a difference, and how God loves us despite our sin. Each child was given an index card and wrote on it “something bad” they’ve done. When the group was finished with their questions, they prayed together and brought their cards up to the cross (which was standing again) and we taped them on, showing how Jesus took our sins and although he didn’t stay on the cross, our sins did. We then closed out our service singing You Gave, a great worship song from VBS last year.

It was definitely a special Easter service, and we look forward to many more to come.

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