Friday, 29 June 2012

Using colours and objects to explore the idea of Heaven

Every week we go into school to do a lunchtime club with 7-11 year olds.  Because everyone's learning style is different it's hard to keep everyone focussed at the same time,  but this activity had everybody participating for the whole time and they loved it!  More than that, it really helped us to go deeper with the children and to help them express their ideas about spiritual matters.  

The children had expressed a real interest in talking about Heaven.  We'd discussed it the previous week but I wanted the children to show me their ideas and to see what being creative would uncover!

We started by asking the children to imagine a place where they felt entirely safe and entirely happy.  We then invited them to choose a foam sheet of a colour that represented that place to them.  Next we told them that the Bible says that heaven is a place where there is no more death or crying or fear or sadness (except maybe tears of joy as one pointed out!). 

 We asked them to use the selection of objects we had to show what they thought heaven was like (arranging them on the sheet).

Next we lit a candle in the middle of the circle  and said that Heaven was like a place of light in comparison with the way in which the world can sometimes feel dark and worrying.  How did the children think you got to heaven?  We next asked them to make a path from their sheet to the candle using the objects, showing how they thought people got to heaven.  For safety purposes we blew out the candle while we did this!!

At this point we asked the children to explain what they'd done if they wanted to...

One child had used a silver ribbon in a winding pathway because she thought her personality was represented by something sparkly and silver but she thought the path to haven wasn't very easy.

Another had put a cross on her path because she thought that Jesus helped you get to heaven,  It was really fascinating to discover why children had used certain objects on their 'heaven' sheet and on their pathways and almost everyone wanted to share!  I explained that I had put a cross on my path because I believed that Jesus was the way to heaven.

Finally we relit the centre candle sand talked about how Jesus had taught us to pray 'your kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven'.  How could we bring a bit of what heaven will be like into our lives now?  Again there were lots of suggestions, including not getting into any more fights!

We put out some mats and lit a candle for each child from the central flame, representing bringing some of heaven to earth now.

Here are some pictures of the final arrangement!

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