GOD CREATED PEOPLE PREPARING FOR THE LESSON

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1 THE BIBLE: Genesis 1:27-28, Psalm 67:6-7 GOD CREATED PEOPLE BOOK 2, PART 2, LESSON 5 THEME: The Bible gives us a record of God as creator and sustainer of the universe, and of the persons who are created in the image of God. PREPARING FOR THE LESSON MAIN IDEA: God created people in the image of God, to be like God and to have a special place in God s world. Because we are like God, we can love and we can choose what is right. MEMORY VERSE: So God created humans to be like himself; he made men and women. Genesis 1:27 CEV KEY WORDS AND CONCEPTS TO BE LEARNED: a. Human beings people that live on the face of the earth. b. Image a physical likeness or representation of something or someone. c. Gifts those abilities and talents that God has given to us. MAJOR LEARNINGS: The two stories of creation found in the Bible both tell us that God created man and woman, or humankind. We will be looking only at the first story. This story does not give great detail about how humans were created, only that God wanted to create an animal that would have dominion (control) over the other things that had been created. Therefore, God created human beings to be like God to show the attributes and characteristics of God. The Bible tells us that God created us to be a likeness of God and that creation was blessed because God saw that it was good. Those who know the Bible and study its words and origin tell us that this story was to show that people were created with intelligence, as creative beings who could also create things, and who would have the capacity to love animals, plants, other human beings and all of God s creation. It is very important to help the children understand that they are created by God and in the image of God. Doing so sets a standard of understanding, based on the biblical stories, that will help build their self-esteem and give them reason to be thankful. BIBLE BACKGROUND: God created humankind in His image, in the image of God He created them; male and female He created them. God blessed them and said to them Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth. (Genesis 1:27-28) The earth has yielded its increase; our God has blessed us. May God continue to bless us; let all the ends of the earth revere Him. (Psalm 67:6-7)

2 UNDERSTANDING YOUR STUDENTS: All children are a gift of God. However, sometimes they are treated without respect, are not allowed to express their thoughts, and are not listened to when they do. This is not as God intended. It is important for you to know that the children you teach come from a variety of backgrounds and family situations. They will need to be nourished, given love, and helped to understand that they are a very special creation of God. Even those children who have a very good home life and are loved and respected among their family need to know that the Church is a place where they are special and loved. Children do not automatically have the ability to feel good about themselves without support and nurture by those who care for them. They are very sensitive to what others say about them and think about them. If they constantly hear negative words and things that make them feel unimportant, they will soon believe that they are not important. They may have a hard time understanding that God loves them. The contrary is true also. Children who have been given love and respect will feel that they are important. They will have an easier time understanding that God loves them. DEVELOPING YOUR FAITH: Each day this week, as you find a quiet time to reflect on the stories of the creation of humankind in God s image, reflect on the ways in which you are made in the likeness of God. How are you like God? How are you different than God? Think about what you will say to the children about how they are like God, even with their human tendencies to be selfish, inattentive and sometimes annoying. Each day, do the following: Day 1: List five ways in which you think you are made in the image of God. Day 2: List five ways in which you think children are made in the image of God. Day 3: Think about four children in your class. Write down their names and list something special about each of the children. Day 4: Today write the names of five children in the class and list something special about each. (If you do not have this many children, add to your list of something related to each child.) Day 5: Once again write down the names of five children and list something special about each. (If you do not have this many children, add to your list of something related to each child.) Day 6: Compose a prayer of thanksgiving for the gifts of each of these children. Write it down and then pray it. Day 7: Reflect for a period of time on the Biblical story. What are your questions about it? Find someone to help you understand the answers and ask them to help you today. TEACHING THE LESSON 1. INTRODUCTION Today as the children arrive, give each of them something to hold in their hand. It might be a piece of paper, a rock, a flower, a leaf, a button, or a string anything at all. Each child can even have a different thing to hold. Ask them to sit and talk quietly with the others until everyone has arrived.

3 When most of the children have arrived, sit with them on the floor or at the table. Ask them if they know why you gave them the objects to hold. You will get all kinds of answers you can hear their answers and then say to them that you just wanted them to use their hand for something this morning. Have them set the object down and look at their hand. Ask them what they see. They will give a variety of answers. Reinforce those answers that indicate they see fingers, fingernails, skin, knuckles, lines, veins and whatever else might apply. Tell them that you wanted to think about how very interesting it is to have hands. Ask them what they can do with their hands. Let them give you all the things they can think of. Then ask them to remember that last time you talked about the living creatures that we call animals. Do any of those creatures have hands like ours? Tell them that you wanted them to think about how very interesting it is to have hands. (There are some that have similar hands such as the monkey, chimpanzees and gorillas but for the most part there are no animals with hands.) The answer is no, there is not any other living thing that has hands exactly like ours. Help them to sense the wonder of that. We are very different from every other creature that God created. 2. EXPLORE THE BIBLE MESSAGE SAY: The Bible has the story of how human beings were created. Do you know what human being means? Help them understand. Tell the Bible story. 3. RESPOND TO THE BIBLE MESSAGE ACTIVITY 1: Action game Lead the children in a game. You will say each line and the children will do the actions. What our bodies can do? Hold up your hands. What can they do? They can clap, they can wave, they can pat, they can snap. Look at your feet. What can they do? They can tap, they can walk, they can stomp. Hold up your arms. What can they do? They can move up and down, they can move round and round, they can touch the ground. Think of your eyes. What can they do? They can see (hold your hand over your eyes as if looking for something), they can blink, they can open wide, they can shut tight. Straighten your legs. What can they do? They can bend at the knee, they can stand on only one, they can march. Think of your ears. What can they do? They can hear (cup your hand behind your ear as if to listen), they can wiggle.

4 Look at your nose. What can it do? It can breathe (take a deep breath), it can blow (make a blowing noise). It can smell (make a sniffing sound). What about your head? What can it do? It can say yes, it can say no, it can move all around. And your mouth? What can it do? It can smile, it can frown, it can pout. Isn t it wonderful? God has created a very special you! SAY: This little game has helped us to think about all the parts of our body. God created us so that we have hands, eyes, ears, noses, arms, legs, feet, and knees all these wonderful things that help us live each day. Sometimes people are born without a complete body, or they are blind or have some other problem. Sometimes people have accidents that cause parts of their body not to work. Those people are still special to God. ACTIVITY 2: In the Likeness of God SAY: The Bible tells us that God created us to be a likeness of God. Does that mean that God has arms and hands and legs and all the body parts that we have? Maybe the answer is yes, maybe the answer is no we do not know what God looks like. But we do know that God is a creator who loves what has been created and God has given us the ability to love also. God may not look exactly like us, but God expects us to take care of our special bodies and to love and care for all of creation. Ask the children to look around the room at each other. ASK: Does everyone look exactly alike? What kinds of differences do you see? Color of eyes, hair, skin, height, and/or weight may be a little different. Some are girls and some are boys. SAY: God has created every person to be a little different, or a lot different than other people. (Artist: need picture that has some faces of people from other cultures For example: American Caucasian, Oriental, African, Hispanic, European, etc.) SAY: Look at this picture. Do you see faces of people that look different than you? Which ones? What is different? Do you remember how we talked about God creating the living creatures that are different in other lands? That is true with people also. There are people who live in countries where it is warm all of the time; there are people who live in places that are cold all of the time; there are places that have a lot of people and places that have very few people. God s plan for the creation of human beings was that they would be different, every single one of them. No two human beings are exactly alike. Isn t that a wonderful thing?

5 SAY: Another way in which every person is different is amazing. Look at your thumb on your right hand. Turn it over and look at the back of it, the soft pad. See the little lines that are there? Your thumb is different than any one else s thumb. Put your thumb up next to the thumb of someone else can you tell they are different? Maybe not because the lines are very small, but one of the amazing things is that every thumb is different. ACTIVITY 3: Making thumb stamps If you have access to paper and paints (or washable ink pad for using a stamp), do this activity with the children: Give each child a piece of paper. It can be small (about ¼ of a regular sheet). Let each child dip the pad of their thumb (only one) in the paint and have them place the thumb on the piece of paper, creating a thumb print. Make two or three prints on that same paper. Let the print dry while the child wipes the paint off the thumb. When all have a chance to do the activity, let the children share what they have created. See if you can detect differences in the actual print and point out those differences to the child. Comment on how marvelous it is that God created us with something that is different in every person. ACTIVITY 4: Lining up according to height If you do not have access to paint, paper and other supplies do this activity: Line the children up in two lines (three or more lines if the room is not big enough to do two or go outside for a walk and do this) shoulder to shoulder. As they line up, have one line face the other line so that they can see each other. Now ask them to look at the people in the line across from them. ASK: Is everyone exactly the same height? The answer will most likely be no. Then ask the children in one of the lines to figure out who is the tallest and who is the shortest in the other line. When they have done that, ask the tall one of one line to move to one end and the short one of the same line to the other end. They are then to rearrange their bodies into the way the tall one and the short one tell them to. If the other line wants to do the same thing, let them do so. Now talk with them about how God has created us to be of different heights at different times in our life. We will grow from being very small, as a baby brother or sister, to being very tall, as you are. Again, lead them in thinking about what a wonder it is that we are created differently, as are the other living creatures that God created. SAY: Not only are our thumb prints different (if you have used that activity) or our heights different (if you have used that activity), there is also one other obvious difference between the humans here in this room. Can you guess what it is? (You are looking for male and female or boys and girls.) Now have the girls get together in one place and the boys in another. Ask them to identify the visible differences, like pants, dresses, hair length. SAY: The Bible tells us that God created male and female, to live together and take care of God s world. That is another marvel of God s creation and plan for the way the world will work.

6 4. CLOSE IN PRAYER Have the children sit back down at the table or on the floor. Ask them to name some of the things that you have talked about and learned today. Review with them what the Bible verses said about God creating humankind. Go over the memory verse of this lesson with the children. Genesis 1:27: So God created humans to be like himself; he made men and women. Help the children learn it by repeating it with them several times and then hearing them repeat it as a group. ASK the children to name the things for which they are thankful today. They may call anything out that they are feeling thankful for. Ask hem then to bow their heads in prayer and to thank God out loud and all at the same time is okay, for those things. When they have finished praying (which may not take long), open your Bible to Psalm 67:6-7. Read it aloud to them. SAY: We have many blessings, some of which we thanked God for in our prayers. Let me share with you some of the blessings that I find in my life. At this point, share with the children some of the special things that you found out about them, without mentioning their name, in your preparation times this week. There may also be other things that you want to share with them that you consider blessings. SAY: All of us are created in the image of God. We are created as people who can love each other and all of God s creation. Let s think of ways that we can show God s love to others. Have the children name ways that they can show love this week to other people and to living creatures. Hear those ways and challenge them to remember to do them every day this week. PRAY: Dear God, You have created us to be very special and different from everyone else. We are a very special part of your creation. We can love others who are different from us and we can care for every part of the world that you have created. As we leave this class today, help us to look for ways that we might be like you. Help us to remember the things that we said we could do to show your love to other people. Bless us, our families, our friends, and our country. May your love go with us from this place and be in our play, in our home, and in our world. AMEN.

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