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And It Was Very Good (Creation 3)

June 11, 2010

This is the third (and last)lesson in the series on Creation.  It deals with the reality that the world is not always good even though God created it that way and invites the students to consider how they can participate in God’s vision for a world that is, indeed, Very Good.

Things to know about this lesson:

  • You will need to cut out paper circles in advance.  No big deal
  • Paints would be really great for decorating said circles but, if you are not set up for paints, crayons/markers/pencil crayons will be just fine.

And It Was Very Good

Materials

  • two 8-10 inch circles of paper for each person (preferably from paper bags or kraft paper).
  • paints (ideally) or crayons/markers/pencil crayons
  • newspaper
  • glue or stapler
  • string (optional)

Open with prayer. (see tip sheet)

Introduce the Story

(If necessary, refer to the introduction for the Creation lesson plan, Creation in our own Backyard in order to explain the presence of two creation stories in the Bible.)

Ask the students questions such as the following (but don’t let the conversation take too long:

  • What is your favourite animal?
  • What kind of weather do you like best?
  • Do you like forests or mountains or beaches or prairies best? Why?
  • Do you like silly, noisy people? Quiet people? People who like to play board games or play sports or have long conversations or read books?

Conclude the discussion by saying:

God likes all those things – and everything else in creation, too. Pay attention to the story and you’ll see just what God thinks about the world God made. Join in on the actions!

Read the Story (actions in italics)

In the beginning, before there was an earth or a sky, a wind from God blew over the waters and everything was dark. Then God said, (raise your arms as in prayer) “Let there be light.” And there was light. And God said, (one thumbs up) “The light is good.” God separated the light from the darkness and he called the light Day and the darkness Night.

And there was evening and morning – the first day.

Then God said, (raise your arms) “Let there be a dome to separate the water. The dome is called Sky.”

And there was a sky. And God said, (one thumbs up) “The sky is good.”

And there was evening and morning – the second day.

Then God said, (raise your arms) “Let the waters under the sky come together and let the dry land appear. The land is called Earth and the water is called Sea.” And there was earth and sea. And God said, (one thumbs up) “The earth and the sea are good.”

Then God said, (raise your arms) “Let the earth produce plants and trees.” And the earth was covered in every kind of plant and tree. And God said, (one thumbs up) “The plants and trees are good.”

And there was evening and morning – the third day.

Then God said, (raise your arms) “Let there be lights in the sky to show the seasons and the days and to give light to the earth.” And God put the sun in the sky to light the day and the moon and stars in the sky to light the night. And God said, (one thumbs up) “The sun and the moon and the stars are good.”

And there was evening and morning – the fourth day.

Then God said, (raise your arms) “Let the seas be full of living creatures and the sky be full of birds.” And there were fish and whales and turtles and eagles and sparrows and pigeons and seagulls and robins and every kind of sea creature and bird. And God said, (one thumbs up) “The sea creatures and the birds are good.” And God blessed them and said, (one hand raised in blessing) “Be healthy and have many babies so that you fill the sea and the sky.”

And there was evening and morning – the fifth day.

The God said, (raise your arms) “Let the earth be full of living creatures.” And there were cows and spiders and elephants and lizards and dogs and tigers and worms and moose and every kind of creature that lives on the land. And God said, (one thumbs up) “The land creatures are good.”

Then God said, (raise your arms) “Let there be people, made in my image, and let them take care of all the creatures in the sea and in the sky and on the land.” And God made people in God`s image. God made them male and female. Then God blessed them and said, (one hand raised in blessing) “Be healthy and have families. Fill the earth and take care of it. I have put you in charge of all the creatures and I have given you all the plants for food. I have given the plants to all the creatures for food.”

Then God looked at everything God had made and said

This is all very good.(two thumbs up)

And there was evening and morning – the sixth day.

God had made everything – the sky and the earth and the sea and all the plants and animals and people – and, on the seventh day, God rested from all the work God had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it a special, holy day for resting and enjoying all the good things that were created.

(Genesis 1:1-2:3)

Discussion

How does the story say God felt about the things God made? (they were good; very good)

Do you think that everything is still very good? Or are there things in the world that are not good?

If kids propose elements like mosquitoes or poisonous creatures or earthquakes, acknowledge that somethings can be annoying or even dangerous but that they are part of creation, too. If no one offers such ills as hungry people or pollution, say something like:

God put the humans in charge and told them to take care of everything on earth. But we have not always done a good job of that and we have caused many problems. Can you think of some problems? (provide examples, if necessary, and keep note of the problems that identified)

If they do offer human-made problems, ask:

Who did God put in charge of taking care of creation?

Have we always done a good job?

Do you think God thinks that (e.g. hunger and pollution) are good?

Can you think of some ways that we can help make the problems better? (For example:

  • hunger – don’t waste food; give to food banks
  • pollution – don’t litter; recycle; take the bus
  • loneliness – smile at people; talk to kids who don’t have many friends at school
  • violence – don’t hit your brothers/sisters/friend)
  • Conclude the discussion with something like:

    God still thinks that creation – including people – are good and are worth loving. God wants us to do a better job of taking care of each other and all of creation – and God will be there to help us do our part.


    Introduce the Activity

    Who knows the saying “I dropped the ball”? Can anyone tell me what it means? (It means to do something wrong or to not do something that you were supposed to do, especially when other people are counting on you to do it. It comes from sports like football where you are not supposed to drop the ball.)

    We humans have dropped the ball on taking care of God’s creation, including other people.

    Did you know that the earth is shaped like a ball? Today, we are going to make earth balls to take home and remind us to not drop the ball of God’s creation.

    Making “Earth Balls”

    Distribute two circles to each person and put out the crayons/markers/paints. Instruct the students to decorate one side of each circle so it looks like the earth – green land and blue water. Reassure them that it does not have to be accurate – just draw green continents and blue oceans and, maybe, white polar caps. (You may want a globe or map available for those with higher ambitions.)

    Once the circles are decorated, glue (or staple) them together around the edges with the decorated sides facing out, leaving 5 inches unglued.

    While the glue is drying, have the students crumple up small pieces of newspaper. Once it is dry, stuff the newspaper into the balls and then glue the gap shut.

    Optional: Staple (or glue) a string to the balls so they can be hung up.

    Regrouping

    Invite each student to name something they will try to do to take better care of God’s creation.


    Closing Prayer

    Creator God, thank you for making such a good world. Forgive us for dropping the ball and not taking care of it like we should. Help us and all humanity to do better in the future. Amen.

    

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