Familiarize yourself with the following passage:
John 3:1-21Nicodemus, one of Israel’s religious teachers, came to Jesus at night to ask him some questions. He wanted to know how it is that Jesus does the things that he was doing. Jesus told him that he must be born again to see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus asked how one is to be born again when they are old. Jesus told him that you are born in the flesh once, and then you must be born in the Spirit. This was confusing to Nicodemus and he did not understand what Jesus was telling him. Jesus explained to Nicodemus that God sent his only Son into the world so that all might have the chance for eternal life. He also explained that some people would rather stay in the dark so that their evil deeds are not exposed, but when we come into the light our deeds are plainly seen by God and then he can extend to us his salvation.
• The following video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QhyyPPPgL_w
1. Show this video at the beginning of class. It is a little on the long side. Pre-watch the video and make a note toward the end where you can stop it a little early. (Devin starts telling about his video sponsor.)
2. Talk to the children about the changes that the caterpillar went through to become a butterfly.
a. It was first born from an egg.
b. It created a chrysalis by shedding its old skin.
c. It was born a second time by breaking out of the chrysalis, revealing its new form, a beautiful butterfly.
3. Explain to the children that God has great things planned for our lives, but first we also must be born again. Share today’s story at this time.
4. At the end of the story reference back to the video and talk about how when we are born again of the Spirit, it is like the caterpillar being born again in the form of a butterfly. We cannot fully experience all that God has for us if we are not born again, just like the caterpillar cannot fully experience its full potential if it does not change into a butterfly.
• Large blanket
1. Gather all the children, and yourself under the blanket. (At least your heads!)
2. When everyone is under, turn on the flashlight.
3. Ask the children where the light went? Do you like the light or the dark better?
4. Tell the children that Jesus explained people love darkness when they are doing bad things and do not want to be caught. When we do things in the light we show God that we want to do good things. Even if we make a mistake, God can see it and help us do better next time.
John 3:16For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Jesus Connection:In this passage, Jesus reveals God’s mission. Through Jesus, the one and only Son of God, you can have eternal life! The only thing you have to do is believe in him! (vs. 16) This is what people have been waiting for since the fall of man, and now Jesus is telling people the time has come and the plan is simple. Is message is the same for us today. Believe in Him and you will not perish but have eternal life!
Jesus Loves MeJesus love me this I know,
For the bible tells me so.
Little ones to him belong,
They are weak but he is strong.
Yes, Jesus loves me.
Yes, Jesus loves me.
Yes, Jesus loves me,
The bible tells me so.
Blanket GameSupplies Needed:
• Small objects, enough for one per child (I used finger puppets)
• Small pieces of paper
• Before class lay out your small objects. For each object, write it down on a small piece of paper. Put all the objects in the bucket. Cover the bucket with a blanket.
• Have the children sit in a circle round the bucket. Give each child a piece of paper with the name of an object written on it. One at a time the children will reach under the blanket and try to find their object. Give them only one or two tries. See how many people grab their objects on the first try.
• Talk to the children about how difficult it was to find their objects. When we do things in the light, it is easier. Light helps is see what we are doing. Jesus is the light of the world!
Light ShadesSupplies Needed:
• One flashlight
• Large blanket
• White paper
• Multiple colors of tissue paper
• Stick glue
1. Give each child a piece of white paper and tell them to create a colorful picture using tissue paper. They can create any scene they want using scissors and glue.
2. When they are done, roll the paper into a tube and tape together so that their image is hidden on the inside of the tube.
3. When everyone is done, gather everyone under the large blanket with their creations. One at a time put the flashlight in their paper tube and let the light shine through to reveal their colorful images.