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The New Creation


Workshops in this lesson set:

  • Art - decorate butterflies
  • Computers - Bibleland.com - learn about John
  • Cooking - take part in a New Creation Celebration, similar to a New Year’s Party
  • Drama - play (script included) teaches that because Jesus is coming at any time, we should be careful to stay busy serving Him until He comes
  • Games - a board game that will help us get a sense of that excitement the disciples must have felt as they expected Jesus to come back at any moment
  • Movie - Video/DVD St. John in Exile starring Dean Jones by Alpha-Omega Publications ASIN: 1563712962
  • Science - students will learn that the earth as we know it is not a perfect place. Humans do not always take good care of the earth. In Revelations 21:5, Jesus is described as “The Spring of the Water of Life.” He invites everyone who is thirsty, (longing for God), to come and drink freely. To demonstrate this analogy, the teacher and students will do an experiment to create a fountain effect. An optional object lesson is to water a wilted plant. In about 15 minutes the plant will absorb the water and be refreshed. Students will talk about the owl, and how they can teach us to look back with gratitude to Jesus first coming, his death, and his resurrection; but also to look forward to his second coming. During journal time, the students will write New Year’s resolutions.
  • Storytelling - Saint John tells the class his story

Memory Verse: The One who is seated on the throne said
“ See, I am making all thing new.” Revelation 21:5A

Bible Basis:

Revelation 21:1-7
See other passages cited in next section

What’s Going On Here?
Throughout the Bible, we are given many glimpses of a great new future that God has planned. Among some of these passages are:
Isaiah 11:1-9 The Peaceable Kingdom (WRM lesson November 2003)
Isaiah 25:6-9 Death destroyed forever; God serves a banquet!
Matthew 25:31-46 The Great Judgment
Mark 13:24-27 The Son of Man coming in power and glory
Luke 21:25-28 Creation in chaos, but your salvation is at hand!
Romans 8:18-25 Creation set free from its bondage to decay
I Corinthians 15 (esp. vv. 50-58) We shall all be changed through Jesus!

The clearest promise of a new creation, however, is in the book of Revelation—especially chapters 21 and 22. The Apostle John, the last living of Jesus’ twelve disciples (and, according to tradition, he would be the only one to die a natural death) was living in exile on the Island of Patmos, a small mountainous island in the Aegean Sea near modern Turkey. He was sent there to keep him from proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He had already seen his brother James and many other Christians executed for their faith. On Patmos, God gave John a vision of God’s final triumph over all his foes, and the beginning of a new creation. He was told to write down what he saw and send the book to the churches in seven cities (Revelation 1:9-11).
The style of writing is a form of prophecy called “apocalyptic.” There are sections of apocalyptic literature also in the books of Daniel and Ezekiel. Apocalyptic literature is written during times of persecution, and uses symbolic images as “codes” that other believers would recognize, assuring them of God’s victory. Over the years, we have lost track of what all those images represent, so the book of Revelation can be confusing and, at times, scary. People have tried to interpret the symbols to predict current political situations, or to scare others into God’s kingdom. The overall message of the Revelation, however, is clearly one of hope. The evil and problems of the current age will not last forever. One day, God’s triumph will be complete and there will be a new creation!

What is the Story?
Having experienced the joy of knowing Jesus face to face as well as living through times of great suffering and persecution for the Church, John is given a vision of God’s future. The book begins with letters of instructions to some communities of faith. John then sees the joy of heaven as angelic creatures as well as “people from every race, tribe, nation, and language” (Rev. 7:9) give God praise. Times of battle and suffering are seen ahead for the earth, but in the end God’s enemies are defeated and destroyed.
In Revelation 21, God makes a new creation—“a new heaven and a new earth” (v. 1). One can see how different that new creation is from the present one as John quotes a voice speaking from the throne of God, “Now God’s home is with mankind! God will live with them, and they shall be God’s people. God himself will be with them, and he will be their God. God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death, no more grief or crying or pain. The old things have disappeared!” (Rev. 21:3-4). The gates of the city will never be closed (Rev. 21:25) because there is no crime or threat from enemies. There are no lights—not even the sun or moon—because God’s glory gives all the light it needs (Rev. 21:23-24). There isn’t even a Temple, because people are already in God’s presence! (Rev. 21:22).
The time line for all of these events is not given. Jesus simply invites everyone to come to him in faith, and promises, “I am coming soon.” (Rev. 22:7, 12, and 20)

Why is This Important?
The promise that God will bring about a better, more just future has always given God’s people hope. That hope is probably most strongly felt at times when suffering has been the greatest. Many of the great African-American spirituals from the days of slavery, for example, are filled with images of God’s final victory. The certainty of God’s victory even over death has also given Christians courage to witness to Jesus even at the cost of their lives.
Even though we live in relatively comfortable times, evidence of trouble abounds and even young children are aware of some disturbing things in the world—warfare, natural disasters, injustice, diseases, accidents, and death. The promises of the Bible for a new creation from God show us:

  1. God is not pleased with the world the way that it is. There is much that happens in this world that is not God’s will.
  2. God has promised a better world in the future, and
  3. The future is in God’s hands.

A lesson set by Augustana Lutheran Church
Saint James, Minnesota

A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.

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The New Creation

Art Workshop (Theme Room)

Grades K-3
(Lesson by Alison and Pastor Ted, Idea from The Lutheran magazine, April 2001)

Memory Verse:
“The One who is seated on the throne said “See, I am making all thing new.”” Revelation 21:5

Objectives:

  1. The students will learn about what Jesus promised to do when he comes back to earth some day.
  2. The students will learn that no one, not even the angels in heaven know when Jesus will return. We must always be ready!

For background - see above.


Materials:

  • “The Beginners Bible” by Zondervan ISBN 10926106 Published in 1997
  • (The story “The Door into Heaven")
  • Butterfly shapes cut out of clear plastic pop bottles
  • many colors of fabric or water-based non-toxic paint
  • cotton swabs to use as paint brushes
  • glue
  • glitter
  • self-adhesive magnets (one for each student) to attach to the butterfly when finished
  • plastic lids (margarine container size) for each child’s paint
  • blow dryer with a cool setting.


Lesson Plan


Opening:

Welcome each of the students to the Art theme room.
Say:
Last month was Christmas. We are going to go around the room and everyone is going tell me what your favorite gift was that you received and who you received it from. (Everyone shares his/her favorite gift and who gave it to him/her.)
Ask:
Where do you suppose the people who gave you the got the gift in the first place? (The store, a catalog, maybe they made the gift especially for you.)
Ask:
Would you ever take one of your old toys, one that you hadn’t probably played with in a while, wrap it up and give it as a gift? (No!) Why not? (Because giving something old that we don’t like to play with anymore doesn’t mean as much as buying something that we know someone else will really enjoy and like.)
Say: When we give gifts, we buy or make something that is brand new. God talks about making everything on earth new! In the Bible, in the book of Revelation, God talks about making a new heaven and a new earth and he will come and rule on earth! That seems pretty neat! Let’s read about it in the Bible. First we will read our memory verse.
Say:
Let’s say this week’s memory verse together. (Point to the memory verse on the board.) “The One who is seated on the throne said, “See, I make all things new.”” Revelation 21: Verse 5A

Dig:

Read The Story: Revelation 21: 1-7
(Try to find a children’s Bible if possible.)

Say: That Bible verse can be confusing sometimes, but it tells us that Jesus is going to come back to earth someday. When he comes he will make it all new. No one will ever cry again. The Bible said that there would be no more grief or pain. Can you imagine a world where everyone is happy all the time! No one will ever feel any kind of a pain again.

That day will be an amazing one! However, nobody knows when Jesus will be coming back to reign on earth. It may happen today, 10 years from now, or thousands of years from now. Jesus said in the Bible that not even the angels in heaven know when that day will be. We must always be ready! We must always live following in Jesus’ example.

Say:
In our memory verse, Jesus said that when he comes back he will make everything new.
Ask:
What season of the year do you think of when you think of things being new? (Spring)
Ask:
In Spring the grass is new, new baby animals are born, what else is new? (accept all answers).
Say:
In the spring caterpillars make a cocoon for themselves. They go inside the cocoon and after about 2 weeks, they emerge and become butterflies.
Today, as a symbol of something new, we are going to make butterflies.

The Project

Hand out:
Hand out the butterflies already cut from the pop bottles. Give each child a number of cotton swabs and a plastic lid where he/she can put the paints that they chose to use on the butterfly. Show the students the already made butterfly. Encourage each to paint his/her own unique pattern on the butterfly. *Be sure the students paint on only one side of the plastic butterfly.

-After each student is finished painting the butterfly, allow him/her to use the blow dryer on a cool setting to dry the paint.

-When the paint has dried, have the student use glue and make circular patterns on the unpainted side of the butterfly. Then sprinkle the glitter on the glue design and allow the extra glitter to fall into another container.

-When the glue has dried, attach the self-adhesive magnet to the underside of the butterfly’s body. The student may hang them on the fridge or another metal surface when they get home.

Reflection:


Journal Time:

Draw a picture of one thing you hope that Jesus will change or “ Make New” when he comes back to earth. (No more doctors or illness, no more car accidents, fighting with siblings, etc.)

Closing Prayer:
Dear Jesus, Thank you for the hope of your return to earth and the joy that day will bring. Although we will never know when that day will be, help us to always live our lives following you and your example; like each day may be our last. AMEN!


By Augustana Lutheran Church
Saint James, Minnesota

A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.

Last edited by Rotation.org Lesson Forma-teer

The New Creation

Computer Workshop

Grades K-3
(Lesson by Alison)

Memory Verse:
“The One who is seated on the throne said “ See, I am making all thing new.”” Revelation 21:5A

Objectives:

Through the use of the computers and the CD-ROM- BibleLand.com, the students will:

  • Learn about what Jesus promised to do when he comes back to earth some day.
  • Learn that no one, not even the angels in heaven know when Jesus will return. We must always be ready!
  • Learn about the Disciple John’s vision that God gave him about what was to happen when Jesus returns.

Materials:

  • Bible, Personal Computer for each student,
  • Software- BIBLELAND.COM – Baker Book House Co. ISBN 0-8010-0276-1 (Out of print - left here for those Rotation churches who have it.)


Lesson Plan


Opening:

Welcome each of the students to the Computer Theme Room. Say: I am looking for you to tell me about the best or worst dream you have ever had. Please raise your hand and then you can tell me your story. (Listen to every dream, good or bad that the students would like to talk about.)

Say:

Well, one of Jesus friends and Disciples had a dream one day. I say “One Day” because he had this dream while he was awake. When a person is awake and has a dream we call it a vision. This vision wasn’t your average dream. When a person dreams at night sometimes their dreams are silly and seem to make no sense. This dream, however, was extremely important! This was a vision sent by God telling about what would happen when Jesus finally returns to earth. Then God told John to write down everything he saw and send it to all the Christian Churches.

Dig:

Read The Story: Revelation 21: 1-7 from the Beginners Bible and the story “The Door into Heaven.”

Say:

Let’s learn more about the Apostle John and his vision.

Assign each student a computer and a CD-ROM. Then instruct them as follows:

  • Insert the “BIBLELAND.COM CD-ROM
  • Click on Run
  • Click on Search
  • Click on People of the Bible
  • Click on The Disciples
  • Click on John
  • You will see the heading, “Memoirs of the Apostle John.”
  • Read aloud, or, if possible, have students read all ten points about the Apostle John.
  • At the bottom of the page, click on “Weird Visions of the Future.”
  • Read about John’s Vision
  • Ask the students: What’s the difference between a dream and a vision? (Visions happen while you are awake and dreams happen while you are sleeping. This was a vision sent by God.)
  • At the bottom of the page, click on Revelation 1:1-19
  • Paraphrase the text as students heard the story in the beginning.
  • Click on the back arrow
  • Click on Patmos (The island John was in exile on.)
  • Have one student read about Patmos.
  • Say: When John had this vision he was living on that Island, Patmos that you just read about. He was ordered by the rulers of the land to go to this island so he could not tell any else about Jesus. Let’s find out what happened in John’s life before Jesus died on the Cross and while Jesus was still alive. After all, he was one of Jesus’ best friends.
  • Click on the Home Icon
  • Click on BIBLELAND VIDEO
  • Click on the First of the Apostle John’s Home Page
  • You should see title “The Worst Night of My Life,” appear on the page.
  • Scroll down to the film Icon and click on it to see a video clip of Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.
  • Click on the Back arrow
  • Select the Second of The Apostle John’s Home Page
  • Click on the Icon for the Garden of Gethsemane to view a video clip of the night that John was with Jesus and he Jesus was arrested.

Closing Questions:

  1. Who was John? (One of Jesus’ disciples and friends)
  2. What is a vision? (A dream while someone is awake, in this case given to John by God.)
  3. Is Jesus really coming back to earth and making “a new heaven and a new earth”? (Yes, Jesus said he would so we believe that he will in his own time.)
  4. Does anyone know the date or time that Jesus will return to earth? (No. The Bibles says not even the angels in heaven know that.)
  5. If no one knows when Jesus is coming back to reign on the earth, what should I do now? (We need to always be prepared for that day. We need to live our lives as if Jesus is coming tomorrow. We need to live in Jesus’ example by being kind, honest, humble, etc. We need to ask forgiveness for the sins we have committed and try to make it right with anyone we may have hurt.)

Reflection:


Journal Time:
Read aloud Revelation 1, verses 12-17. Instruct the children to use pencils and crayons to draw and color a simple picture of what John saw that day. If this seems difficult, tell the students to pick out one phrase or part and draw it, such as “His hair was white as wool or snow.” Or “His feet shone like brass that has been refined and polished.” Etc.

Closing Prayer:
Dear Jesus, Thank you for the hope of your return to earth and the joy that day will bring. Although we will never know when that day will be, help us to always live our lives following you and your example; like each day may be our last. AMEN!


A lesson from Augustana Lutheran Church
Saint James, Minnesota

A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.

Last edited by Luanne Payne

The New Creation

Cooking Rotation - Our Daily Bread


Bible Lesson:

Revelations 21:1-7

Memory Verse:
“The one who was seated on the throne said, ‘See, I am making all things new.” –Revelation 21:5a

Lesson Objective:

The learners will take part in a New Creation Celebration, similar to a New Year’s Party. They will make a Happy Face Cheese Sandwich, to remind them that God will wipe all tears from their eyes, and all who obey the Lord will be happy. The students will drink ice water, to remind them that in the book of Revelation, Jesus is called the Water of Life--we are invited to drink freely and thirst no more. Serve fruit to the students to remind them that in the Holy City of the New Creation, we will eat fruit from the Tree of Life. Jesus invites us all to come and be a part of his kingdom, now here on earth and in the world to come. Since this lesson is designed for K-3, use pictures or posters to help illustrate the theme verses.


Supplies:

  • Posters, pictures, or pictures scanned into a laptop to demonstrate the theme Bible verses. (Calendars from service organizations such as Food for the Poor are a helpful source.)
  • Ice water – one glass per learner. (or clear soda such as ginger ale or 7-Up)
  • Fresh fruit – one small serving per learner.
  • Open faced sandwiches: round sliced bread or round crackers; cheese whiz or peanut butter; raisins, chocolate chips, sliced olives, miniature M&Ms, etc. to decorate sandwich as a happy face.
  • New Year’s party decorations and favors: napkins, plates, balloons, noisemakers, party hats, etc. (or paper, string, scissors, glitter, etc. to make your own party hats.)
  • Construction paper, curling ribbon, scissors, crayons, glue (Journal time: New Year’s Resolutions.)

 



Lesson Plan


Opening Prayer: Creator God, thank you for always keeping your promises. We look forward to learning about the new and wonderful world you have promised to make when Jesus comes again to earth. And all God’s children said, AMEN.

Say: I’m so glad all of you came to class today, because we are going to have our own New Year’s celebration. We just marked the beginning of a brand New Year, and that is always exciting. But someday we will have something even more wonderful to celebrate. Jesus promised that he would come to earth a second time, and recreate the world into a place where pain, suffering, and even death, are gone forever. But before party time comes, let’s talk about the world we live in now, and how it will be different after Jesus comes again.

Theme verses for the cooking lesson:
(Show a picture of a person in tears, perhaps a child from a third-world nation. A collage of pictures showing various kinds of sorrow and suffering would serve as a reminder that the world today is not the perfect world it will be when Jesus comes again.)

Talk with the students about the hungry people, wars, sorrow and sadness that exist in our world Then tell them that when Jesus comes back and creates a new world, he will take away all tears and suffering. “He will wipe away all tears from their eyes. There will be no more death, no more grief or crying or pain.” Revelation 21:4a

“Listen! Says Jesus. “I am coming soon! Happy are those who obey the prophetic words in my book.” Revelation 22:7 (Show a picture of Sunday school students listening to a Bible story or someone reading the Bible.)

“Come whoever is thirsty; accept the water of life as a gift, whoever wants it.” Revelation 22:17b (Show a picture of a child drinking some water.)

(Display a picture of a tree filled with ripe fruit.) In the new world, suffering and death will be destroyed forever. “Happy are those who was their robes clean and so have the right to eat the fruit from the tree of life.” Revelation 22:14.

God Serves a Banquet! [/i] Isaiah 25:6-9 “Here on Mount Zion, the Lord Almighty will prepare a banquet for all the nations of the world – a banquet of the richest food and the finest wine. Here he will suddenly remove the cloud of sorrow that has been hanging over all the nations. The Sovereign Lord will destroy death forever! When it happens, everyone will say, ‘He is our God! We have put our trust in him, and he has rescued us. He is the Lord! We have put our trust in him, and now we are happy and joyful because he has saved us.” Isaiah 25:9 (picture of people eating at a banquet, or perhaps a church fellowship meal)

Say: On that day, we will get to go to a wonderful party to celebrate the great day when Jesus makes all things new. A few weeks ago, we celebrated the birth of a New Year. Who would like to share how you celebrated on New Year’s Eve/Day?

Perhaps you threw confetti, shook some noisemakers, or wore party hats. And eating special food is always a wonderful way to celebrate. Let’s prepare some party food together. To remind us how happy everyone will be when the New World is created, let’s make sandwiches with “Happy Faces.”

Dig:

Prepare the Party Food:
Pass out paper plates and a piece of bread to each learner. If necessary, help them spread cheese on the bread and create a happy face out of M&M’s, raisins, chocolate chips, sliced olives, etc.

Say: Remember that Jesus said, “To anyone who is thirsty I will give the right to drink from the spring of the water of life without paying for it. Pour glasses of water, (or clear sparkling soda).

Say: To remind us that Jesus also invites us to “eat from the fruit of the tree of life,” you may each take some fresh fruit to eat.

Pass out party hats noisemakers to the children.

Party Time!
Say: Before we eat this party feast, let’s say the Lord’s Prayer together. In this prayer we ask that God’s Kingdom will come on earth, just as it is in heaven. Then we ask God to help us here on earth as we watch and wait for that time to come:
“Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name, Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. . . . For thine is the kingdom and the power and glory, forever and ever, AMEN.

Reflection:

Journal Time: New Year’s Resolutions

  1. Have the children cut out a balloon shape from construction paper.
  2. Write a resolution on the balloon. (Very young students could draw a picture.)
  3. Attach curling ribbon to the bottom of the balloon and hang up the balloon.


Say: A wonderful New Year’s tradition is to write a New Year’s resolution. Can anyone tell me what a resolution is? (Accept all answers.) A dictionary describes a resolution as “a firm determination to do something.”

Today, let’s write a resolution that will help us act/live like Jesus wants us to.

Say: Today we learned what a wonderful and happy place the world to come will be. Until then, however, things that happen on this earth are not always good, and people are not always happy. What did Jesus ask his disciples (and us) to do while we wait for that wonderful day to come?

Idea List:

  • Pray – e.g. He taught his disciples the Lord’s Prayer.
  • Worship with your church family.
  • Make disciples of all nations: Before Jesus was lifted up into the clouds, he told them to go everywhere and tell the good news of eternal salvation.
  • Be kind to each other: The greatest commandment Jesus taught was “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
  • Be thankful—remember to tell God thank you every day.
  • Go to Sunday school each week, and learn more about Jesus from the Bible stories.
  • Forgive those who are not nice to you.
  • Obey your parents. (Honor your father and your mother, is one of the 10 Commandments.)
  • Find ways to help people who are hungry or poor. (Bring food to the Food shelf, offerings for the Sunday school project, etc.)
  • Bring baby clothes or blankets for the layette mission. (The layettes go to poor families.)


Clean-up and Dismissal:
Help the children tidy up. End class by saying: Go in Peace. Serve the Lord. Help the children to respond: Thanks be to God.


Resources:
Cook and Learn, Teacher Created Materials, Inc. ISBN #1-57690-597-7 p. 54 (New Year’s Resolution idea)
Scripture references from the Good News Bible, Today’s English Version (except where noted.)

Special thanks to Lisa M. For suggesting the New Year’s party theme on the Help Exchange at rotation.org.


A lesson by Kirsten,  from: Augustana Lutheran Church,
Saint James, MN 

A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.

Last edited by Rotation.org Lesson Forma-teer

The New Creation

Drama Workshop

The Surprise Guest
Grades 4-6

Memory Verse:
“The One who is seated on the throne said
' See, I am making all thing new.'” Revelation 21:5A

Lesson Objectives:

  1. The students will learn about what Jesus promised to do when he comes back to earth some day.
  2. The students will learn that no one, not even the angels in heaven know when Jesus will return. We must always be ready!

Materials:

  • Bibles, (one for each student)
  • Costumes- Chyrstal- “Valley Girl” clothes such as high heels, big hair (a wig) and gaudy jewelery.
    Richie- large glasses, sports coat, bowtie


Lesson Plan

Opening:

Welcome each of the students to the Drama theme room.
Say: Today, we will learn about what God told the Disciple John in a vision.
The Apostle John, the last living of Jesus’ disciples (and, according to tradition, he would be the only one to die a natural death) was living in exile on the Island of Patmos, a small mountainous island in the Aegean Sea near modern day Turkey. He was sent there to keep him from proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He had already seen his brother James and many other Christians executed for their faith. On the Island of Patmos, God gave John a vision of God’s final triumph over all his foes, and the beginning of a new creation. He was told to write down what he saw and send the book to the churches in seven cities. The overall message of Revelation is one of hope. The evil and problems of the current age will not last forever. One day, God’s triumph will be complete and there will be a new creation!

Dig:

Say: Before we read the story, I want you to pay close attention to what you are reading. A short memory game will follow and prizes will be awarded to the person that can answer the most questions correctly.
Read The Story: Revelation 21: 1-7
Hand out each student’s journal and give everyone a pencil.
Say: I will ask 5 questions. After each question is asked, you will be given time to write your answer. When I say
“Reveal your answer,” You must hold up your answer for everyone to see. I will keep tallies on the board to remember which questions you and your classmates answered correctly. The person with the most correct answers gets the prize. You may use your Bible to search for the correct answer and I know some of the questions will require that you do so.

  • Which Disciple wrote the book of Revelation?

  • When John wrote this book, he actually saw what he was writing about.
    God actually revealed this information to him. What do we call it when God SHOWS someone information like that?
    (a vision or revelation)

  • In the first verse, John said “Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth.” What happened to the first earth as we know it? (It disappeared.)

  • Using your Bibles: Finish the phrase that reads (“Now God’s home is with mankind. He will live with them and _____ _____ ___ ___ ______.” (They shall be his people.)

  • In Revelation 21, verse six, God said “I am the first and the last, the beginning and ___ ____.” Finish that verse. (The End)


*Add up the points and tell the winner that his/ her prize is to pick out who will play the characters in the following skit. The characters must be chosen from volunteers (no one will be forced to play a part they don’t want.)
Choose- Someone to be Chrystal, a Valley Girl.
Richie- A boy who gets everything confused.

*Characters should get into costumes.

*If time allows, have students act out the script again, picking other students to play the parts.

Reflection:

Closing Questions:

  1. Is Jesus really coming back to earth and making “a new heaven and a new earth”?
    (Yes, Jesus said he would so we believe that he will in his own time.)
  2. Does anyone know the date or time that Jesus will return to earth?
    (No. The Bibles says not even the angels in heaven know that.)
  3. If no one knows when Jesus is coming back to reign on the earth, what should I do now?
    (We need to always be prepared for that day. We need to live our lives as if Jesus is coming tomorrow. We need to live in Jesus’ example by being kind, honest, humble, etc. We need to ask forgiveness for the sins we have committed and try to make it right with anyone we may have hurt.)

Journal Time:
Write one thing you would do today if you knew that Jesus would be coming tomorrow.
(Examples- Apologize to someone I have hurt. Thank someone who has helped me. Stop telling little white lies. etc.)

Closing Prayer:
Dear Jesus, Thank you for the hope of your return to earth and the joy that day will bring. Although we will never know when that day will be, help us to always live our lives following you and your example; like each day may be our last. AMEN!


The Surprise Guest
by Paul Zeron & Rey Edwards

Purpose: This play teaches that because Jesus is coming at any time, we should be careful to stay busy serving Him until He comes.
Characters: Richie, who gets everything confused, Crystal, a "valley girl"

Richie: (Richie comes on stage) Good morning everyone! Hey, has anyone seen Crystal? She was supposed to meet me here for Sunday School today. Help me call her: Lillian!
Crystal: (Crystal comes on stage) Like, good morning everyone. Like, Richie, aren't you going to get ready?

Richie: I am ready.

Crystal: Well, you look like you're ready for church.

Richie: That's because I am going to church.

Crystal: Like, what about the party?

Richie: What do you mean, "party"?

Crystal: Aren't you, like, going to get ready for the party?

Richie: Crystal, you're always going to a party. You make me feel like I'm on Old McDonald's Farm...here a party, there a party, everywhere a party, party...

Crystal: But this one is going to be, like, special!

Richie: Why? Because you are going to be there?

Crystal: Good guess, but not just because of that! There's, like, also going to be a surprise special guest.

Richie: Oh! Who is it going to be, Bill Gates?

Crystal: Like, noo! Like, he was at my last party. I'll give you a hint...He's like totally out of this world!

Richie: Is it Neil Armstrong, the first astronaut to walk on the moon?

Crystal: No.

Richie: Give me a different clue.

Crystal: Like, He's a ruler.

Richie: Is it the mayor?

Crystal: No, He's like, higher than that.

Richie: Is it the governor?

Crystal: No, He's like way more important than that.

Richie: Is it General Colin Powell?

Crystal: No, like, since when is a famous ballet dancer a ruler?

Richie: Is it Pastor Edwards?

Crystal: No, He's even more groovy than that!

Richie: I give up. Who is it?

Crystal: Puh-leeeeze, like, it's Jesus!

Richie: Jesus is coming to your party?

Crystal: Like, yeah...isn't that just like totally awesome! He should be here any minute! He's like, coming to church and we're going to party!

Richie: But Jesus is always here at church. Who do you think we are singing to and praying to when we come here to church. Jesus said, "...lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen."

Crystal: I know that, but I heard on like, the radio a preacher say that Jesus might come today!

Richie: Well, that's true, too. He might, but we really don't know. Jesus said, "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only."

Crystal: But like, the man on the radio sounded so sure.

Richie: Jesus did promise He would come back, so it is definitely true that He will come back...but the apostle Paul thought that Jesus was coming back in his day and that was almost 2000 years ago. He could wait another 2000 years if He wanted to.

Crystal: 2000 years? It only takes me a five hours to do my makeup and hair and nails!

Richie: What about choosing your clothes to wear?

Crystal: Well, I do have to take extra time for that, but that's only an extra three hours.

Richie: So it takes you eight hours to get ready for work?

Crystal: Work!? Like, get with it! Who has time for work? I take eight hours to get ready for a party! If Jesus has taken 2000 years to get ready then it must be a pretty bodacious party! Like, you must be clueless or something...I can't believe you didn't figure that one out!

Richie: Well, whether Jesus comes back today or if He comes back years from now there will be a big party. All the believers from all the ages are going to be there. The streets will be gold and there will be walls with all kinds of precious stones.

Crystal: Well I'm like, totally gonna have to change all my plans...NOBODY told be it would be formal...

Richie: No, no...Jesus said that we should occupy till He comes.

Crystal: That's, like, the whole idea! I will, like, be occupied shopping.

Richie: That's not what He meant. He meant that we should stay busy serving Him. You wouldn't want to meet Him empty handed, would you?

Crystal: Oh, duh, like, I knew that, I just wanted to see if you did...what will you get for him? I don't want to, like, you know, get the same thing...

Richie: No, that's not what He meant either. He wants you to get busy telling others about how to get saved and go to heaven so they can be with Him, too.

Crystal: You mean, like, I can invite some friends?

Richie: He would be disappointed if you didn't!

Crystal: Okay...but like, what if I'm out and I miss Him when He comes?

Richie: Don't worry about that. If you belong to Him then He won't miss you.

Crystal: That's great. I want to tell everyone and Jesus how glad that makes me.

Richie: Okay. Let's go to church and do just that.

Crystal: Like, cool!


The Surprise Guest, Puppet Scripts No. 46, ©1999 by Paul Zeron. This script may be edited, copied, and distributed without prior permission if there is no charge made for the work produced and this copyright notice is included. If this work is edited, then the copyright notice should indicate that it is an edited copy and the name of the editor under the author's name.

A lesson by Augustana Lutheran Church
Saint James, Minnesota

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Last edited by Luanne Payne

The New Creation

Games Workshop

Grades 4-6

Memory Verse:
“The one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.” --Revelation 21:5a

Scripture Reference:

The Book of Acts; Particularly Acts 1:6-11

Objectives:

Through this lesson and by playing the game, the students will:

  • Learn about the joys and challenges faced by early Christians
  • Discover that it is “not for you to know” the time of Christ’s return
  • Experience the urgency that Jesus’ return gave to the apostles
  • Consider how the expectation of the new creation might affect the way that we live now.

Materials:

  • “I am Coming Soon” Game Board (see directions to make at end of lesson)
  • Game card files attached.
  • Checkers (2 boxes?)
  • One die (preferably large size)
  • Variety of small items to serve as game markers
  • Kitchen timer
  • Paper bag (large enough to hold the timer!)
  • Bible for each student


Lesson Plan


Opening:

Welcome the students to “Abraham’s Arcade.” Say, “During Jesus’ time, he often talked about the coming Kingdom of God. He promised to come again to bring about a wonderful new world. Other parts of the Bible speak about this new creation, too. Jesus would not tell his disciples when he would return. While they waited, though, Jesus’ followers were to tell others about him. Today we’re going to play a board game that will help us get a sense of that excitement the disciples must have felt as they expected Jesus to come back at any moment! Although we don’t always think about it in the same way, we are waiting for this promise, too—Jesus could come back at any moment. Let’s begin our class with prayer:”

Opening Prayer:
Dear God, you have promised us a wonderful new world when Jesus comes back. Help us think about this promise, and how we are to live as we wait for it to be fulfilled. And all of God’s children said…AMEN.

Dig:

Bible Lesson:
Tell the class: Once the disciples fully understood and believed that Jesus had been raised from the dead, they were very excited. Since God had proven that he was stronger even than death, they expected that Jesus would soon bring about the Kingdom of God that he had talked about where God would fully be in charge, and people would live in peace and justice. Some of them thought it would be an earthly kingdom, based in Israel. When Jesus told all of his disciples to gather together one day on a hillside outside of Jerusalem, they thought that an announcement was coming. We’re going to read about that day from the Bible. Notice what Jesus, and later an angel, said about God’s plans for the future, and what Jesus’ followers were supposed to be doing!

Encourage all students to look up Acts 2:6-11. Ask a volunteer to read the story aloud.

Review: What did Jesus say about God’s time schedule? (v. 7—It’s not for you to know!) What were Jesus’ disciples supposed to be doing as they waited? (v. 8—Be witnesses for Jesus in Jerusalem, and all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth!)
What did the angel say to the disciples after Jesus went into heaven? (v. 11—What are you doing here? Jesus will come back!)

Introduce the Game:
Our game today will help you get a sense of what those early Christian believers felt like as they expected Jesus to return soon with the great new Kingdom of God. They faced a lot of dangers and sadness, but they knew that God had something better coming. They wanted to tell everybody about Jesus before he came back. They had a lot of success, too, as the Holy Spirit worked through them.
You will be in groups of two or three as you play the game. Each team will start with five checkers, representing Christians in your group. The goal of the game is to make as many more Christians as you can. The group with the largest number of Christians (checkers) at the end of the game wins!
I will set a timer, and then hide it in a bag so that you won’t know when it will ring. When the timer rings, though, the game is over. This is to remind us that we don’t know when Jesus will return!
As you play, some squares will be marked as “Witness opportunities.” This would be if your group met some other people and tried to decide whether or not to talk to them about Jesus. Of course you want to make more Christians, but in those days you could also be killed if you talked to the wrong people! Will you chance it or not?? If you decide to take the chance, you roll the die. If you get an even number (2, 4, or 6) you made another Christian, and your team gets another checker. If you get an odd number, though (1, 3, or 5) one of your people gets killed. Turn over one of your checkers to the “crown” side, and put it aside.
Some squares are marked, “Signs of Hope” or “Times of Trouble.” These are like the “Chance” or “Community Chest” squares in Monopoly. Draw a card, read it out loud to the group, and follow the instructions.
I will now assign the teams, and have each team pick out a marker. Put your marker on the “Jerusalem” square to begin. Each team will be given their starting checkers. When you’re ready, I will set the timer and we’ll begin playing. Have fun!

Play the Game!

Reflection:

Did you all have fun?

Were you surprised when the timer rang? How aware of it were you as you played the game? (probably some were thinking more about it than others—or they thought about it more at the beginning than at the end. This is like how we don’t always think about Jesus’ promise to come back—but it will happen whether we think about it or not!)

All of the “Times of Trouble” and “Signs of Hope” stories came from the book of Acts. They are actually things that happened to the early Christians. Which ones did you find most surprising?

How do you think that expecting Jesus to come back real soon affected the disciples? (maybe gave them a sense that they had to hurry up; maybe gave them hope in hard times)

Is there anything else that you want to talk about from this game?

Journal Question:
We are still waiting for Jesus to return and bring about the promised new creation. Probably most of the time we don’t think much about this. If you really thought that Jesus was going to come back tomorrow, what would you do differently today?

Closing Prayer:
Holy God, we thank you for your promise to come again and to make all things new. Give us patience as we wait, and help us to live as your people. Let all God’s people say…AMEN.


“I Am Coming Soon” Game
by Pastor Ted, St. James, MN
Game Board & Pieces
Game Board Instructions Start with a piece of 22x28 inch tagboard (also called "poster board" or "white bristol board"). The path around the edge are 3 inch squares (5 on the short side, 7 on the long side) with corners larger to make it work. The corners I labeled "Jerusalem," "Judea," "Samaria" and "The ends of the earth" I had two "Times of Trouble" spots and two "Signs of Hope"--each calling for drawing a card from the center. There was a "Witness Opportunity" square on each side, and we added a "Go forward three" and a "Go back two" square to add interest.

Goal of the Game: Make as many new Christians (checkers) as possible before the timer rings, symbolizing the return of Christ and ending the game.

Materials Needed:

  • “I Am Coming Soon” Game Board
  • Game card files attached.
  • One die (preferably large size)
  • Variety of small items to serve as game markers
  • Kitchen timer
  • Paper bag big enough to hold the timer
  • Checkers (2 boxes ?)


Preparing to Play:

  • Set up the game board with the cards and the die available.
  • Divide the group into teams of 2-3 players.
  • Each team selects an item to be their marker, and places it on the Jerusalem square.
  • Each team is given five checkers (color is irrelevant) to begin with. These checkers represent Christians who are part of their group.
  • The leader will set the timer for an undisclosed amount of time (about 10-15 minutes) and places it in a paper bag so that the time remaining cannot be seen.


Taking a Turn:
One member of a team throws the die, and moves their marker clockwise that number of spaces. Corners and blank spaces are “free.”

Witness Opportunity Squares—The team landing here must decide whether or not to risk telling others about Jesus. The Church doesn’t grow without witnessing, but talking to the wrong person in a time of persecution can lead to death! If the team decides not to witness, the next team takes its turn. If the team decides that they will witness, however, they throw the die again. If it’s even, you made a believer and gain another checker. If it’s odd, one of your group has died. Turn one checker over to the “crown” side (“the crown of life!) and set it aside.

Times of Trouble/Signs of Hope—Draw the top card from the appropriate stack and read it aloud to the whole class. Follow any instructions and place the card at the bottom of the stack.

Ending the Game:
When the timer rings (symbolizing Christ’s return) the game ends. Teams can count their checkers to see which team “wins,” although all who have come to know Christ have won!

“Dead” Christians
The game will tell you to turn some of your checkers to the crown side (“the crown of life”) to represent Christians killed for their faith in Jesus. These people are still counted at the end of the game, however, and even if all of a team’s checkers are turned over, the team may continue playing. This represents the fact that people’s willingness to die for Jesus continued to speak about Jesus long after their death.


Resources

Game card files attached.


A Lesson Plan Prepared by Pastor Ted from: By Augustana Lutheran Church
Saint James, Minnesota


Attachments

Images (6)
  • Signs_of_Hope_Page_1
  • Signs_of_Hope_Page_2
  • Times_of_Trouble_1
  • Times_of_Trouble_2
  • Times_of_Trouble_labels
  • Signs_of_Hope_Labels
Last edited by Neil MacQueen

The New Creation

Movie Workshop


Memory Verse:
“The one who was seated on the throne said, ‘See, I am making all things new.” Revelation 21:5a

Scripture Reference:

Revelation 21:1-7

Lesson Objective:

The students will learn how St. John the Apostle came to live in exile on the island of Patmos, the setting of his vision or revelation that was recorded in the Book of Revelation. St. John in Exile is a monologue that is played in front of a live audience.


Supplies:

  • Popcorn, water, or other beverage
  • Video/DVD St. John in Exile starring Dean Jones by Alpha-Omega Publications
    ASIN: 1563712962


Teacher Preparation:

  • Understand and practice how to play chapters on the DVD.


Lesson Plan


Opening:

Welcome: Greet the children warmly. Pass out popcorn and a drink.

Opening Prayer: God of love, thank you for this delicious snack. Bless our time together this morning as we learn more about the amazing message you sent to us through Saint John the Apostle. In Jesus name, AMEN.

This morning we are going to watch some excerpts from the movie St. John in Exile. When John was a very old man, he was imprisoned for his faith in the Lord Jesus. The government rulers were afraid to kill him, however, and they sent him to the island that is called Patmos. John’s living quarters on the island are the setting for this movie.

During John’s captivity he received a vision. John recorded his vision in the very last book of the Bible, so that Christians from every age could hear the message. In the Revelation, God showed John what the end of the world would be like. A lot of the book is confusing, and some parts are scary. The main point, though, is that God is going to win the final victory over all the forces opposed to God, and will one day make everything new.

Dig:

This movie is a little different than others we’ve watched here. St. John in Exile is a monologue--one actor, Dean Jones, performs the entire script in front of a live audience. You may remember Dean Jones from older movies such as Herbie the Love Bug. Here he portrays St. John, the disciple whom Jesus loved very much. Let’s let “St. John” tell us how he met the Lord.

Play Chapters 4: 7 ½ minutes, and 5: 5 ½ minutes. Stop the DVD at the end of chapter 5.
Say: We just heard John’s recollections of how he was called to be a disciple of Jesus, and a “fisher of men.” John spoke of several miracles. Did you remember some of these stories from Sunday school lessons of other years? (Accept all answers.)

After the death and resurrection of Jesus, the disciples were gathered in a room, not sure what to do next. Jesus comes to stand in their midst. Let’s watch what John had to say:

Resume with Chapter 11 (8 ½ minutes.) Jesus promises the disciples that if he leaves, the Holy Spirit will be sent to them, and they will do mighty works in the name of Jesus.

Chapter 12 – (6 minutes 45 seconds) John tells how “he came into the spirit on the Lord’s Day,” and received the command from God to write his vision in the book of Revelation. This chapter also shows John coming to an understanding of how he should tell his story of Jesus’ life on earth—the book we know as the Gospel of John.
Stop the DVD at the end of Chapter 12. Spend some time on these discussion questions:
[list]

  • In the vision that God gave John, what would be different about the future God has planned?
  • How would that sound like good news to John as he sat on an island as a prisoner?
  • How did John say that the Gospel he would write would be different from what Matthew, Mark, and Luke wrote?"


Skip the following two chapters: 13 – John tells of the martyrdom of his fellow disciples and Paul. (5+ min.) and 14 [i] – John talks about his relationship with his jailer, and how he came to write the Gospel of John, and the Book of Revelation.
If time permits, play chapter 15: the short conclusion (2 ½ to 3 minutes) ending with John’s famous exhortation;“Love one another, love one another.”

Reflection:


Journal Time:

In the movie, we see John coming to understand that Jesus was the Alpha (the first Greek letter, meaning the beginning) and the Omega (the last letter of the Greek alphabet, which has come to mean “the end.”), the A to Z, the first and the last. Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, today, and forever! That is how John begins his gospel, “Before anything else existed, there was Christ, with God. He has always been alive and is himself God. He created everything there is—nothing exists that he didn’t make.”

Ask: Did you recognize some favorite Bible verses in this movie? (Accept all answers.) Write one or more of these in your journals:
Suggested answers: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son. Whosoever believes in him shall not perish, but shall have everlasting life.” John 3:16
“Beloved, love one another.” I John 4:7

Closing Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank for your precious teachings, spoken to us through the words of the Apostle John. Through them we know that you love us, and that we should love each other. We joyfully watch for a new and even more wonderful world on that day when your son Jesus comes again. And all God’s children said, Amen!


By Augustana Lutheran Church
Saint James, Minnesota

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Last edited by Rotation.org Lesson Forma-teer

The New Creation

Science Workshop


Memory Verse:
“The one who was seated on the throne said, ‘See, I am making all things new.” Revelation 21:5a

Scripture Reference:

Revelation 21:1-7

Lesson Objective:

The students will learn that the earth as we know it is not a perfect place. Humans do not always take good care of the earth. In Revelations 21:5, Jesus is described as “The Spring of the Water of Life.” He invites everyone who is thirsty, (longing for God), to come and drink freely. To demonstrate this analogy, the teacher and students will do an experiment to create a fountain effect. An optional object lesson is to water a wilted plant. In about 15 minutes the plant will absorb the water and be refreshed. Students will talk about the owl, and how they can teach us to look back with gratitude to Jesus first coming, his death, and his resurrection; but also to look forward to his second coming. During journal time, the students will write New Year’s resolutions.


Supplies:

  • Chip Mining: One chocolate chip cookie and two toothpicks per student
  • Thirst: Wilted plant, water (optional object lesson)
  • Fountain: Ball-point pen Plastic tub with lid (e.g. a sour cream container)
  • Small stones Large bowl of cold water
  • Green food coloring A thermos of very warm water.
  • Learn from the Owls: A picture of an owl


Lesson Plan


Opening Prayer:
Dear God, thank you for being a “Promise Keeper.” We are looking forward to learning more about the second coming of your son Jesus, and the better world that you have promised to create in the future. In Jesus Name, AMEN.

Dig:


Today’s Earth is Not a Perfect Place

Say: God created a wonderful and amazing world. Humans learned many ways to use the great numbers of resources placed here for our use. But not all things done to the planet Earth by humans have been good.

Chip Mining: Pass out a chocolate chip cookie, a napkin, and two toothpicks to each learner. Let’s think of these as “Earth Cookies.” Carefully check where the chocolate chips are located. Imagine that the chips are nuggets of gold you want to remove from the earth with your tools (toothpicks.) You will be paid $500 for each whole chip you get out. To make sure you take good care of the earth, you will be fined $100 for every broken cookie piece that is larger than a pencil eraser. How much did you earn in your chip mine?

Note: Use the time the students spend “mining” to talk about human suffering and damage to the earth that is caused by natural events (hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, etc.) and brought about by humans (wars, pollution, overuse of nonrenewable resources, etc.).

What can we learn from this?
No matter how careful we are, our cookie (the earth) doesn’t look the same as when we started. In Genesis, God told Adam and Eve that everything on this earth was for our use. Humans were put in charge of taking care of the earth. But the earth is changing, and much of it is not for the better. God knew that, and part of his Big Plan is to make a New Heaven and a New Earth. Let’s read what the Apostle Paul and Saint John had to say about this in the Bible:

Have the students read aloud: Romans 8:18-22 and Revelations 21:1-7.

Jesus is the Water of Life (Revelations 21:5)
It’s no accident that water is used as an analogy for God’s presence in the new world he will someday create. Scientists know that the movement of water is the single largest force shaping the surface of the earth, whether by a slow-moving river, a glacier, or pounding ocean waves.

Thirst: (Body Book p. 156-157, 260)
Say: Humans need water to survive, more than any other nutrient. When God created us, he gave us the gift of thirst, so we will know when we need to drink more water. Does anyone know how your body knows when to make you thirsty? It takes body-wide cooperation of all your organs, and it works like this:

  • When you become dehydrated the volume of your blood is less, and your blood pressure drops.
  • Arteries also contain salt sensors that report the blood’s salt concentration.
  • Messages that your blood pressure is low and that your body fluids have a high concentration of salt are sent to your kidneys. This tells them to conserve water.
  • The same signals are sent to your brain. A part of your brain called the hypothalamus gives you a craving for water. In other words you feel thirsty! 


Thirst is one of the many wonderful ways God helps you to take good care of yourself.
In Psalm 63:1, David said “O God you are my God, and I long for you. My whole being desires you; like a dry, worn-out, and waterless land. My soul is thirsty for you.”
Jesus called humans from every age to drink deeply of the “Water of Life.”

It’s true! Humans are hard-wired to “thirst for God.” When we are filled with the Presence of God, that need is satisfied.

Optional Object Lesson: Pour water on a wilted plant. It should refresh in 15-30 minutes.

In Revelations 21:6, Saint John wrote “To anyone who is thirsty I will give the right to drink from the fountain of the water of life without paying for it.” We all enjoy watching the rise and fall sparkling water in a fountain. And isn’t it refreshing to stand under the spray from a fountain on a hot summer’s day! Let’s create our own fountain.

Jesus, the Fountain of the Water of Life
Warm Water Fountain, The Usborne Book of Science Experiments p. 48

  • Make two holes in the plastic tub with your ball-point pen: one in the lid of the pot and one in the side near the base of the pot. Fill the bowl a couple of inches from the top with cold water.
  • Cover the hole in the side of the pot with your thumb and fill it to the brim with warm water. Add a few drops of green food coloring to the water. (Green symbolizes life.) Then put the lid on the pot.
  • Stand the pot in the bowl of water and put stones on its lid to hold the pot down. Make sure that the hole in the lid is uncovered. What happens to the colored water?


The warm (colored) water will rise. As it cools, the colored water will fall, creating a fountain effect.

How the Fountain Works:
When liquids are heated, they expand and become less dense. This makes them rise above cooler liquids. As they cool, they become more dense and sink down again. That is why the warm water rose out of the top of the pot into the cold water and then slowly sank towards the bottom of the bowl.

Say: So the next time you see a beautiful fountain, a bubbling spring, or a glass of fresh ice water, remember that Jesus is the Fountain of the Water of Life. All who are thirsty can drink freely and be filled with his life-giving presence.

How should we live now? Take a lesson from an owl? “Looking Both Ways”
Say: What does the story of the New Creation tell us about how we should live now, as we watch and wait for the second coming of Christ? We can learn a lesson from the owl. Our Creator gave owls a very special ability. Can anyone tell me what that is?

It’s true, owls have excellent eyesight and amazingly sensitive hearing. But the owl has one especially unique feature: an owl’s head is mounted on such flexible bearings that it can rotate at least 180 degrees. (A Longeared Owl can actually rotate up to 270 degrees!) So an owl’s body can face one way, while its head is looking in the opposite direction.

Humans cannot physically face their heads both ways, like an owl. But spiritually we can and should. Let me explain: Christians are always facing both ways, for we gratefully look back to the first coming of Christ on the original Christmas Day, and to his death and resurrection. At the same time, we look forward to his second coming at the end of the world, when Christ will return in “power and great glory.” Mark 13:26b.

For now, we are caught between two worlds. Holy Communion reminds us of these things. The apostle Paul wrote, “Whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.” I Corinthians 11:26 Both the past (the Lord’s death) and the future (the second coming) are mentioned in this verse.

Reflection:

Journal Time: New Year’s Resolutions
Say: Today we learned what a wonderful and happy place the world to come will be. Until then, however, things that happen on this earth are not always good, and people are not always happy. What did Jesus ask his disciples (and us) to do while we wait for that wonderful day to come?

We recently celebrated the birth of a New Year, 2005! A wonderful tradition is to write a New Year’s resolution. Can anyone tell me what a resolution is? (Accept all answers.) A dictionary describes a resolution as “a firm determination to do something.” Today, let’s write a special resolution in your journals—one (or several) that will help us act/live like Jesus has taught us.

Idea List: Pray – e.g. He taught his disciples the Lord’s Prayer.

  • Worship with your church family.
  • Take part in the Lord’s Supper. The Lord’s Supper is also called “Communion,” because it is a special time to experience “communion with God.”
  • Make disciples of all nations: Before Jesus was lifted up into the clouds, he told them to go everywhere and tell the good news of eternal salvation.
  • Be kind to each other: The greatest commandment Jesus taught was “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
  • Be thankful—remember to tell God thank you every day.
  • Go to Sunday school each week, and learn more about Jesus from the Bible stories.
  • Obey your parents. (Honor your father and your mother, is one of the 10 Commandments.)
  • Find ways to help people who are hungry or poor. (Bring food to the Food shelf, offerings for the Sunday school project, etc.)
  • Forgive others, just as Christ has forgiven you!
  • Bring baby clothes or blankets for our church’s layette mission. (The layettes go to families who are in need.)


Closing Prayer: God of Love, thank you for the first coming of your Son, Jesus born on earth to be our Savior. Thank you for the Water of Life that satisfies our soul with peace and love. Help us to live in close communion with you, looking forward to that wonderful day when Jesus will come again. In Jesus Name, AMEN.


Resources:

  • Geology Rocks! By Cindy Blobaum, Williamson Publishing ISBN 1-885593-29-5 p. 5 Chip Mining
  • The Usborne Book of Science Experiments, by Jane Bingham, EDC Publishing ISBN: 0746008066 p. 46, 48
  • The Body Book, by Sara Stein, Workman Publishing, NY ISBN 89480-805-2 p. 156-157, 260 Thirst
  • The Birds Our Teachers, by John Stott, ISBN 0-8010-1238-4 Baker Book House Company p. 23-32 Owls
  • Scripture references taken from Today’s English Version, except where noted.

A lesson by Kirsten, from: Augustana Lutheran Church,
Saint James, MN

A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.

Last edited by Rotation.org Lesson Forma-teer

The New Creation

Storytelling Workshop


Memory Verse:

“The one who was seated on the throne said, ‘See, I am making all things new.” –Revelation 21:5a

Scripture Reference:

The book of Revelation; particularly Revelation 21:1-7

Lesson Objectives:

Students will learn:

  • That John, one of Jesus’ twelve disciples, became a prisoner on an island because of his faith.
  • That John sometimes became frightened or discouraged by the evil in the world.
  • That God has good plans for a wonderful new creation

Materials Needed:

  • This script (or your notes or memory)
  • For supplemental work: Coloring Sheets or Worksheets
    Crayons or pencils


Lesson Plan

Opening:

Introducing the Lesson
(This story will be told from the point of view of the Apostle John. It might be most effective if a Shepherd could open the class, saving the storyteller until he begins speaking in that role. If that is not feasible, the theme room leader should be clear about when he is beginning to “put on” the role).
Greet the students warmly. Say, “When you are watching a movie or TV show, or reading or listening to a story, do you ever worry about how the story will end? Do you wonder if the main character is going to get through all their troubles OK? Sometimes knowing how the story ends might ruin it for us, but at other times it helps us relax and enjoy the story knowing that the bad guys aren’t really going to have their way! This can be true, too, thinking about the real world. There are a lot of bad things that happen in the world, aren’t there? In our Bible story this month, though, we find out that God has the ending all planned out—and it will be a happy ending! That can help us not worry so much at some of the bad things that we see going on. Before we get to today’s story, let’s open with prayer:

Let us pray: Dear God, we thank you that you have made us and all of creation, and that you love us very much. Be with us today as we learn about the happy ending which you have planned for our world, so that we know that the future is in your hands. And all God’s children said…AMEN.

Today, we will be hearing from a man named John who was one of Jesus’ twelve disciples and one of his closest friends. Today he will talk to us a little about his time with Jesus, but also about many things that happened after Jesus went back to heaven—and especially what he found out about God’s plans for our world! Please help me to welcome Saint John!

Dig:

Saint John’s Story:
(Note: Please feel free to “play” with this script, and extemporize as you are comfortable and see fit. If you have been doing the opening, at this point put on your robe or do some other action to show that now you are “becoming” Saint John)

Good morning! Thank you for your kind welcome! As your teacher told you, my name is John. When I first met Jesus, my brother and I were fishermen, working for our dad, on the Sea of Galilee. Does anybody know my brother’s name? I’ll give you a hint—your town was named after him! That’s right, his name was James! When we first met Jesus, James and I were sitting on the shore, fixing our fishing nets. It seemed like they were always tearing—and if there was a tear in the net, the fish would get out. So, we were mending the nets when Jesus walked by. He told my brother and I to follow him. I’m not sure why we did—it just seemed like the right thing to do! I sure am glad that we did follow him. We had some amazing experiences with Jesus.
I went with Jesus almost everywhere that he went for the next three years. I heard him teach, and watched him do miracles. What miracles can you think of that Jesus did? (Allow the children to name some, if they can. After each, assure them that you were there and saw it happened! If they cannot remember any, tell briefly of a few—healing a blind man, helping a lame person be able to walk, stilling a storm, etc.)
Not everything was happy, though. I also followed Jesus to a hill called Calvary and watched as Jesus was nailed to a cross by his enemies. I stood there and watched, very sad, as Jesus hung there and died. I was the only one of Jesus’ disciples that stayed there that day with Jesus. Three days later, our friend Mary came and told us that Jesus had been raised from the dead! Peter and I were so excited we raced to Jesus’ tomb and found that it was empty, just like Mary said. Soon after that, Jesus appeared and spoke with us so we knew that he really was alive again. God was stronger than death!
The time came when Jesus said that he had to go back to heaven. He told those of us who believed in him that we should continue telling other people about him, and he promised to give us God’s Holy Spirit to give us courage and strength. We sure needed that. Before too long, some of Jesus’ enemies tried to make us shut up and stop talking about Jesus. They threatened us, and arrested some of us. They even killed some people for talking about Jesus. The one that made me the most sad was my own brother, James. Do any of you have a brother? Then you know that even though brothers fight some times, they really do love each other. James and I were very good friends. One day, King Herod ordered that James be arrested because he was telling too many people about Jesus. Then, he ordered that James’ head be cut off! I was so sad! The only thing that gave me comfort was knowing about Jesus’ resurrection, and that God is stronger than death.
Eventually, I was arrested too. My head was not cut off, but instead, I was taken to an island called Patmos, where I lived as a prisoner. I guess it was a beautiful location. The island was surrounded by beautiful blue water, but that water kept us from escaping to do what we wanted to do. I could not travel any more to tell others about Jesus. Some times I would get very sad thinking about the people that had died for Jesus, and thinking about how I was trapped on the island. I knew about wars going on, and earthquakes, and other bad things, too. It seemed to me like the world was a mess. What are some things that you hear about in the world that make you sad or worried? (children might mention war, earthquakes, storms, etc.). Those are all bad things—and they are like the things that bothered me, too.
One day, though, when I was feeling especially sad, God gave me a vision. A vision is kind of like a daydream. Do you ever daydream, letting your mind wander? A vision is different from a daydream, though, in that I was not in control of what I saw or thought about, and it was much more real than a daydream is. It was like I really saw and heard these things. In the Bible, the story of what I saw and heard is called, “The Revelation,” because God “revealed” or showed to me his plans for the future.
In the vision, it was like God pressed the “fast-forward” button on life, and took me to the end of time. He showed me that God would one day destroy all of the evil people and forces that cause so much trouble. They won’t always be bothering people, and they won’t stop God from doing what God wants to do!
Then, God showed me that through Jesus, he would make everything new. People who were dead would be made alive again—alive and well. And people who are sick or in pain now will be given new bodies that won’t be sick anymore. In that new world there won’t be any sadness or crying, because there won’t be any sin or trouble. Even nature would be made new. Why do you think nature would need to be made new? What problems does nature have now? (Help students think about pollution, threatened species, earthquakes and dangerous storms). The Bible says that all of those things are somehow related to human sin. So, the God who made the first creation will make a new creation where we won’t have to worry about floods, or dangerous storms, or pollution.
I felt so much better when I knew how the story of the world would end. Bad people would not win! God would be stronger than all the bad guys! In fact, the end of the world was actually just a beginning—the beginning of a wonderful new world where people would live in peace, and in health, and where we would know God as our friend! Toward the end of my vision, I heard a voice from God’s throne say, “God’s home is now with his people. He will live with them, and they will be his own. Yes, God will make his home among his people. He will wipe all tears from their eyes, and there will be no more death, suffering, crying, or pain. These things of the past are gone forever.” Then the one sitting on the throne said, “I am making everything new”
(Revelation 21:3-5 CEV).
I hope I didn’t ruin the story of the world for you, by telling you how it will end. I thought that you, like me, might like to know that God has good plans for us. He will one day live with us in his new creation—one of the greatest of the mighty acts of God!

Review Questions:

What were John and James doing when they first met Jesus?

  • (they were mending their fishing nets)
    What kinds of things made John sad or worried?
  • (wars, earthquakes, people being killed because of their faith in Jesus)
    Why did the vision that God gave John make John happy?
  • (It told him that the world would have a “happy ending”—and a new beginning!)

Reflection:

Journal Question:

Why does Jesus’ promise to make all things new make
you
happy?

Or…Draw a picture of what you think heaven looks like.

Closing Prayer:
Dear Jesus, we are glad that one day you will make all things new. On our sad days, help us to find comfort in this promise. And all of God’s children said…AMEN.


A lesson by Pastor Ted from: By Augustana Lutheran Church
Saint James, Minnesota

A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.

Last edited by Luanne Payne

I absolutely love this lesson set - especially the object lesson game using the checkers and kitchen timer.  I have a question regarding the cards that are drawn on "Signs of Hope" and "Times of Trouble".  What are some examples of what you put on these cards?  


Moderator had answered this question in the Help Lounge:

The cards were located in a separate post by original author.  The game lesson above has now been updated with game directions and game cards.

Last edited by Luanne Payne

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