Summary of Lesson Activities:
Discuss and take photos to ultimately create a photo collage of the seven imperatives in this Psalm – MAKE, WORSHIP, COME, KNOW, ENTER, GIVE, BLESS.
For scripture and objectives, see above.
- Read the scripture for this lesson.
- Read and reflect on the overview material provided for this lesson.
- Gather the materials.
- Digital camera
- Bibles [Note: This room is equipped with NRSV Bibles. Thus this is a different version than the Bible Overview material, which is for the NIV.]
- One purple Adventure Bible with tabs (Law, History, etc.)
- Easel paper; marker
- Paper to write upon; appropriate writing tool
- Card stock (or other heavy paper) – seven sheets 8.5 x 5.5”
Note: only readers are attending this class.
Before Start of Class:
- Print the seven imperatives on card stock - MAKE, WORSHIP, COME, KNOW, ENTER, GIVE, BLESS
- On the easel paper draw a large bulls-eye made up of four circles
Opening- Welcome and Lesson Introduction:
Greet your students warmly, introducing yourself and any other adults. Pass around a basket to collect any offering.
[Note: The Shepherd will quietly take attendance, etc. while you are starting your lesson.]
Ask for any prayer requests. Ask if anyone would like to lead the group in prayer. Be prepared to say a prayer yourself, working in prayer requests. A suggestion: “Dear God, we are thankful to be here to learn about your word. Help us today to listen, to participate, and to rejoice in our learning. Amen.”
Dig- Main Content and Reflection:
Say: This month we are studying Psalm 100. Part of the last verse in this psalm includes the words: “For the Lord is good.”
As an introduction, let’s all go around the room say your name and one experience you have had that shows you the Lord is good. [Repeats are ok.]
Say: God is an amazing God. You have listed praises to God. A long, long time ago, before Jesus was born, the Hebrew people wrote their praises down and used them in worship. These special praise songs or poems are called “psalms”. Many of them are collected together in one book in the Bible, the Book of Psalms. We are going to look at one of these psalms today – Psalm 100.
Ask: The psalms were written many years before Jesus was born. Where do you suppose would we find this book in the Bible? (old testament)
Will someone explain why the Bible is divided into two testaments? (New Testament was written after Jesus was on earth; the Old Testament is the Bible that Jesus learned when he was a child)
Say: It’s easy to find the book of Psalms. If you open your Bible about in the middle you will probably open it right at the book of Psalms, or very close.
Help the students locate Psalm 100 in their Bibles.
Say: Besides being divided into two testaments, the 66 books in the Bible are further divided into collections. We say that the book of Psalms is part of a collection of Bible books called “Poetry”. Poetry books include: Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Songs.
Say: If you have your own Bible today, be sure you receive a tab for the poetry section of your Bible. [Show the classroom Bible with tabs.] (See Carol Hulbert for tabs.)
The writer of Psalm 100 is not known. Notice that at the top of this psalm, are the words: “a psalm of thanksgiving.” This is the only psalm out of the 150 psalms that receives this title. It is a song of thanks! As we read, let’s think about putting thanksgiving into our voices. Also, listen for what this psalm is commanding us to do.
Have students take turns reading out loud, Psalm 100.
Ask: What is this psalm telling us to do?
Say: We are commanded to worship God with loud, vocal praise – MAKE a joyful noise,
WORSHIP with gladness, COME singing... notice how there is almost a list of commands.
Go through each imperative, asking the students to refer to their Bibles for the next “command”. (Show the imperatives written on card stock.)
Say: We will be going out of the classroom to take photos to represent this psalm, and the photos will later be made into a collage. Think for a moment about seeing this psalm represented in photographs. Let’s talk about these commands and what we could photograph.
On the easel paper write “MAKE” in the outer circle of the bulls-eye.
Ask: What could be photographed for the command to MAKE a joyful noise? [Take notes or ask a student to take notes.]
Write “WORSHIP” in the next inner circle.
Ask: What could be photographed for the command to WORSHIP the Lord with gladness?
What is worship?
Say: This psalm was originally written in Hebrew. The Hebrew word used for “worship” means to work or to serve. We might think of the word worship as what happens for an hour once a week, but in reality this word worship includes what we may do at any time – experiencing joy in serving the Lord.
Ask: Are there any different ideas about photos, since we now have a different understanding of what worship means in this case?
Write “COME” in the next inner circle.
Ask: What could be photographed for the command to COME into his presence with singing?
Write “KNOW” in the center of the bulls-eye.
Ask: What could be photographed for the command to KNOW that the Lord is God?
Who is our God that we worship? (accept any answers)
Say: We are told in this psalm that God is our creator and that we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. Admitting that God is our shepherd means acknowledging our weaknesses. God is in charge, not us.
Ask: How does that thought change your view of God?
Say: I’ve been writing on a bulls-eye. We are at the center of this psalm; the rest of the commands sort of match up with the ones that I’ve already written.
Write “ENTER” in the next outer circle.
Say: Come and Enter…We are directed to enter the open gates with thanksgiving.
Ask: What could be photographed for the command to ENTER?
Write “GIVE” in the next outer circle.
Say: Recall that worship meant to serve; we were to worship with gladness, to experience joy in serving the Lord. According to the Psalmist this joy is to be expressed with thanksgiving – Give thanks to him.
Ask: What could be photographed for the command to GIVE thanks?
Write “BLESS” in the outermost circle.
Say: This circle in our bulls-eye includes the words Make a joyful noise and Bless his name. This sums up how we should worship – with enthusiasm.
Ask: What could be photographed for the command to BLESS his name?
Ask: Why should we obey these rings of commands?
Say: We are left with verse 5, a final verse stating three reasons as to why we would sing Psalm 100.
Write “FOR THE LORD IS GOOD” at the bottom of the bulls-eye.
Have a brief discussion about how students should act while you are out and about – stay together, be quiet, stay focused on the lesson.
Go about the church (and outside, weather permitting) to take photos. (See attachment for some ideas.) Be open to suggestions for new photo taking ideas.
Return to the classroom after picture taking, if you have time.
Say: When we figure out that God is our creator and our shepherd, then we are invited to step into his presence. We do so, entering our worship with praise and gladness, our joy bubbling out of us in shouts. For we recognize that we serve a God who is good, shows us enduring love and is perpetually faithful.
- Sigurdson, W. “Psalm 100 Photography Lesson Sketch.” 2003. https://www.rotation.org/topic/psalm-100-lesson-set
- The scripture quotations contained herein are from the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1989, by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
A lesson written by Carol Hulbert from: First UMC
Ann Arbor, MI
If you use this material, even in a modified form, please include the following reference:
Hulbert,Carol. Lesson set posted at rotation.org:"Psalm 100: Photography Workshop." August 2006. Place URL where lesson found inside angle brackets<>.
A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.