This term, our 5-11s are learning about what Jesus teaches in the Sermon on the Mount. This week we got to the section on oaths or promises. After some discussion, we focussed on verse 37- the part where people are told to let their yes be yes and their no be no!
To make the point about how easy we find it to break promises but how hard it is to keep them, I gave everyone an egg.
The children then had to play a running and jumping game holding their egg and continue caring for it until the end of the session. This made the point that, in order to keep a promise and not break it, we had to take constant care! In other words, don't say you will do something unless you are willing to go the distance with it and put in the effort. I did give out raw eggs. If you are less brave (or possibly much more sensible!) you might give the children hard boiled eggs. We only had two cracks by the end of the session and only one of those required cleaning up (thank goodness!) We discussed that fact that, as Christians, it is sometimes hard work to follow what Jesus teaches us.
We looked in depth at the story of Hannah asking God for a child and giving Samuel back to God- a really hard promise for her to keep. This provoked a lot of discussion about what the children would do in that situation. We used our bag of odds and ends to create pictures to show their responses to the story and the teaching...
A reflection of the word 'promise'
This child explained that the pink heart was Hannah and the red heart was God. The small heart was Samuel on a journey from his mother to God, but in both places he was loved.
The hearts are promises and the bangles around them are protective barriers that can't be broken. This child covered the picture with gauze and shells because they were shiny and this emphasized the special nature of promises.
This child used her egg as Samuel to show that the promise was protected by love.
This child made a heart out of mirrors to reflect God's promises to us and the bangles are our promises to God, reflecting that there is a two way process.
This picture shows a person with a cross in their head and a person with a tick, illustrating that some people do the right thing and keep their promises and others don't.
This picture shows a 'nest' to protect the promises that are made.