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You are There (Psalm 139 2)

August 21, 2010

Not only is this the last (of two) lessons on Psalm 139, it is also the last (of 39!) lessons in this first year of Stories on the Way: Lesson Plans for Small Sunday Schools! PDF’s of all the units will be posted in the coming week, just in time for the year to begin in September. Keep an eye out for some more Kids in Church tip sheets, as well as some thoughts on how to incorporate the Six Marks of Mission into some of the lesson plans.

The scavenger hunt activity in this lesson is intended to be played outside but could also be used indoors if weather or facilities require it. The best part about it is that it does NOT require you to go hide anything in advance NOR does it require kids to collect little piles of stuff. All it requires is a little imagination. Have fun!

You Are There


  • List of scavenger hunt items (see below)
  • paper and pencils (optional)

Open with prayer. (see tip sheet)

Introduce the Story

Recap what a psalm is:

Today’s story is a poem called a psalm and it comes from the Book of Psalms in the Bible. The psalms are very very old songs and poems that the Israelites used to use when they talked about or prayed to God. The psalms are still used by Jewish people and by Christians today.

Different languages make poetry in different ways. The psalms were written in the Hebrew language and we translated them into English. That means that they don’t sound quite like the poems you might be familiar with. They don’t rhyme and the rhythm is a little different. But they are still beautiful and full of interesting ideas and images.

Today, I want you to notice the different places the writer describes.

Read the Story

O Lord, you have searched inside my heart. You know me completely.

You know when I sit down to rest and when I get up;

You see my thoughts even from heaven.

You see where I go and when I lie down; you know everything I do.

You know my words before I speak them.

You are always with me – behind me and in front of me, you lay your hand upon me.

I cannot understand how this wonderful thing can be true!

Is there anyplace I can go where your spirit will not be?

Is there any place where you cannot see?

If I go all the way up into the sky, you are there.

If I dig a hole to the centre of the earth, you are there.

If I follow the sun and settle far across the sea, even there your hand will lead me and protect me.

If I hide in the dark, waiting until the day has become the night, you will see me because the night is as bright as the day for you.

For it was you who made me; you put me together in my mother’s womb.

I praise you, for I am wonderfully made. I know how wonderful your works are.

My body was not hidden from you while I was being made in secret.

You saw me before I was shaped and you saw the days in which I would live before they were formed.

Your thoughts are greater than I can imagine, O God.

There are so many of them! I try to count them but you have more thoughts than there are grains of sand.

When I come to the end – you are still with me.

Psalm 139:1-18


What are some of the places the writer describes? (in the heavens, in the earth, across the sea, in the dark)

What is the same about all those places? (God is there)

What point do you think the writer is trying to make? (God is everywhere)

What does the writer say God is doing for us in all those places? (protecting us, being with us)

How does that make you feel?

Introduce the Activity

We’re going to go outside today and have a special kind of scavenger hunt. Instead of looking for things, we’re going to look for places. And we already know who we will find in all those placed don’t we?…God!

Scavenger Hunt

Depending on the size and age distribution of your class, you can break into groups, work together, or do the hunting individually. You can distribute copies of the place list to those who can read or you can simply call out places as the hunt progresses.

Students can either write down the places they identify or people can name them aloud as it goes along. It’s not enough to just think of places, though. Students have to actually find examples.

Places List (pdf)


Gather everyone into a circle.

Which place was the hardest to find? Why?

Which one did you like finding the most? Why?

Let’s take a moment to look around and think about the fact that God is here with us, right now. (Silence)

Closing Prayer

Dear God, thank you for your presence. Help us to always be aware that you are near and we are not alone. Amen.

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