“I Am … The Gate”
Summary of Lesson Activities:
Jesus wants us to remember that He is the GATE or the DOOR. So children will be making a door decoration (doorknob hanger) to take home and put on their bedroom door or family’s front door. Whenever you see it, it can remind you of how much Jesus loves you and how much he wants you to be with him forever.
Goals for this workshop:
Children will …
- Learn what the gate of the sheepfold is for.
- Learn that Jesus called himself the gate.
- The gate/door/Jesus is how we get to heaven.
- Make a door hanging to put on their door at home to remind them that Jesus is the gate/door.
Note: We had ordered kits from Oriental Trading in 2006, but they are no longer available. So below is a lists of supplies you'll need to create you doorknob hangers:
- Fun Foam (assorted colors)
- Peel and stick: Jewels and/or Christian Symbols.
- Door Knob Hanger Pattern (attached).
- Gather the materials.
- Read the scripture ahead of time.
- Print attached 'Door Knob Hanger Pattern' onto cardstock paper.
Opening-Welcome and Lesson Introduction:
Stand inside the door of the art workshop with the door LOCKED. Wait till they knock on the door, then open it and greet them warmly. When they’re all seated introduce yourself and tell them one quick thing about yourself that will make them say “wow!”.
ASK: Who remembers these two previous lessons:
- Psalm 23 which begins “The Lord is my _______ (Shepherd)
- Lost & Found – one of the stories told us of Jesus being the shepherd who comes to find us, his lost ________ (sheep)
ASK: What do both those stories have in common? (sheep and a shepherd)
I want to share with you today another story Jesus told about sheep. Let’s find it in the Bible …
For K/1st grade you will read Bible verses to them, for 2nd/3rd and 4th/5th let them get Bibles and read JOHN 10:1-9. They may have to share Bibles.
Dig-Main Content and Reflection:
ASK: What’s the purpose of a gate?
DO: Have a couple volunteers act this out. You’ll need 1 shepherd, 2-3 sheep, 4-5 kids to be the fence --- have the “fence” form a half circle by the wall.
SAY: In Jesus’ time a shepherd would need to protect his sheep at night. There were thieves and robbers around and also wild animals that would threaten the sheep. To protect them he would take them into an enclosure. Sometimes it would have a roof or part of a roof, but often it would be open. The walls were made out of rough stones or mud bricks. Sometimes he would lead them into a cave. This enclosure or cave would keep the sheep in and the wild animals out. When all the sheep were in the pen, the shepherd would lie down in front of the entrance. He was literally the gate, the doorway, the entrance to the sheepfold.
This is what Jesus had in mind when he said, 'I am the gate.'
Have volunteers sit down.
SAY: A doorway is an important part of any building. It marks the entranceway, the entry point. That's where you get in and out. This means that a position by a doorway is an important place to be. Can you think of people who stand at doors to help people?
Porters or doormen stand by the doors of hotels and airports so they can open car doors and help people with their bags. When people have a private party they will sometimes put people security people at the door so they can control who comes in and help people leave if they cause trouble. Even pastors stand by the door, not as a guard, but so they can meet people as they come and go from worship. You came in through a door to get into the art workshop and I met you at the door and let you in. What happened when you tried to get in? It was locked, but what did you do? You knocked and what did I do? I opened it!
When Jesus said 'I am the gate', he wanted to help us understand this idea of a doorway. He wanted to tell us that he was the entrance to eternal life in heaven! When Jesus died on the cross and then rose again (on what we celebrate as Easter) he then went to heaven. Jesus told us that he went there to prepare a place for us.
So I wonder …. how do WE get to heaven? (they don’t need to answer here, just wonder)
Remember this Bible verse? “For God so loved the world that he sent his only Son so that everyone who believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
And this month’s Bible verse that Jesus said is … (have kids say it with you): “I am the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me will live a new life.” John 11:25
SAY: Now close your eyes and imagine there is a house and you know something wonderful is going on in there – a big party and you were given an invitation, but when you got to the house the door was locked and you couldn’t get in! How would you feel?
Now imagine that you hear someone say, “Just knock on the door and I’ll open it so you can come in!”
I wonder what you would you do?
I wonder what would happen if you didn’t open the door?
Jesus is like the DOOR or the GATE through which we get to heaven. When we believe that Jesus is God’s Son and we follow Jesus by doing what he said to do, then when our bodies die we too can join Jesus in heaven!
Jesus wants us to remember that He is the GATE or the DOOR. So we’re going to make door decorations for you to take home and put on your bedroom door or your family’s front door. Whenever you see it, it can remind you of how much Jesus loves you and how much he wants you to be with him forever.
While kids are working on their project, the shepherd can do wrap up and sharing with them, and close in prayer.
A lesson posted by Jan from: First Presbyterian
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