BIG IDEA: I CAN HAVE HOPE IN JESUS
AIM: The ‘High Hopes’ Childrens Lesson on Joseph and His Coat will get your children thinking about what it means to have hope and to put your hope in Jesus. This is the first lesson in the ‘God of Hope’ teaching series.
- Robe Relay. (regular/widescreen) Children race to one side of the room to put on a robe and a beard and take it off before racing back to tag the next person to do it. The team that all complete the relay first are the winners.
- Post it Note Coat. (regular/widescreen) Children are given a pack of post it notes in their team and must race to attach them to one player in their team to create a coat. The team with the best post it note coat is the winning team. (You will need lots of post it notes for this activity so make sure you buy cheap ones – and recycle them afterwards!)
- Coat Collection. (regular/widescreen) Create a large coat shape out of different colored pieces of paper. Then tape parts of the coat around the room (or use blu tac). In their teams children must collect the different parts of the coat and put it back together in their groups. The first team to piece their coat back together is the winning team.
BIG VERSE: May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13.
ICEBREAKER: Who are you closest to in your family?
SET the Scene:
Read Genesis 37:1-4. Explain to the children that over the next few sessions we’ll be looking at the story of Joseph and his brothers.
- Where did Jacob live? (Canaan)
- How old was Joseph? (17)
- What did he and his brothers do? (tend flocks)
- What did Joseph bring to his father? (A Bad report about his brothers)
- Who did Jacob (Israel) love more than any of his other sons? (Joseph)
- Why did Jacob love Joseph most? (He was born to him in his old age)
- What did Jacob make for Joseph? (an ornate robe)
- What did the brothers feel when they saw that Jacob loved Joseph most? (hate)
SPOT the Simple Meaning:
1) WHAT IS HOPE?
You will need two balloons. They should look identical. One should be filled with helium, the other should not. You may want to tie a string to the balloon filled with helium. Alternatively, use an object that sinks and an object that floats to compare the difference and have a see through tub or bucket so that children can see what happens.
Say: Having high hopes doesn’t mean that we are wishful thinking. Hope is a strong expectation of what God has promised. So to have high hopes is to really expect that God is going to do what He has said He will do. A person that has hope is every different to someone without hope. Both will say and do things that are very different.
A hopeless person will talk miserably. They don’t see a good future. This person will think of the bad things and do things that show they do not believe life is good. Like this balloon (or heavy object) the hopeless person feels and looks down. They don’t see anything going well for them [let go of the balloon or the heavy object].
A person with high hopes sees God in everything – even the worst! They believe that what God says is true so nothing brings them down. They know that God has a good future for them and that He is good – no matter what happens in life. [Let go of the helium filled balloon or the floatable object]. No matter what happens they can live knowing that God is in control.
Which person would you like to be like?
2) A GOOD FATHER HAS HIGH HOPES FOR HIS CHILDREN
Dad: Our baby is so gorgeous!
Mum: I know! I can’t believe we have a little baby boy!
Dad: I hope he has everything he ever dreams of!
Mum: I know, me too!
Dad: I mean, I hope he gets to do everything he wants to do! I hope I can help him to be the man he is meant to be.
Mum: I’m sure he will be.
Dad: I just love him so much!
Mum: Me too!
Say: [You may want to have a doll that you can hold as you talk.] Jacob loved Joseph more than any of his other sons! That means that he wanted the best for Joseph and he cared about him. Jacob had high hopes for Joseph’s life. A good father cares about his children. He wants the best for them and does the best they can for them.
I don’t know what your father is like. Maybe he is like Jacob (Israel). Perhaps he isn’t. Whatever our father on earth is like, we can all know that we have a Heavenly Father who loves us and cares about us and has high hopes for us. He has a good future for us – because even better than an earthly dad, our Heavenly Father knows our future! We can trust that our Heavenly Father has high hopes for us – not wishful thinking – but a solid hope. Hope is a strong expectation of what God has promised.
3) WE CAN HAVE HIGH HOPES IN JESUS
To keep with the star wars theme we have a fun clip “Help me Obu Wan Kenobi You’re My Only Hope” (you should play it for a few seconds starting at 2:20)
Did you see the clip? Princess Leia needed help. She had a strong expectation that Obu Wan Kenobi could help her and she put her hope in him. She said “help me, Obi Wan Kenobi, you’re my only hope.” Turning to Obi Wan Kenobi was all Princess Leia could do. She hoped that he could help her.
We don’t need to be fearful like Princess Leia. We can know that our God is bigger and stronger than anyone or anything else we might ever face. We can be like a person full of high hopes because we know that Jesus is our hope! Jesus came to the world so that we might know God! He has made it possible for us to be friends with God! So we can always have high hopes with Jesus! He is God and He is able to do anything! So we can put our hopes in Jesus and trust that He will be there to help us no matter what!
So, who is your hope in? Who do you look to for help?
SEARCH the Scriptures:
Preparation: Print off the Hope Bible verses and find an old box that you can wrap with wrapping paper or newspaper. You’ll need to wrap a number of layers. Place the bible verses in between each layer of the box with a piece of candy.
HAVE HOPE. (regular/widescreen) Do you have hope? That’s the question of this search game. Children will see if they have hope as they open each layer of a box. A dice is passed around the circle and when someone throws a six they can open one layer of the box. Each layer will reveal a bible verse and a candy of your choice. Inside the box is a definition of hope:
Remember: Hope is a strong expectation of what God has promised.
- What does the word ‘hope’ mean to you?
- What does a hopeful person do? (i.e. complain, nothing because lazy or something else?)
- How does a hopeful person speak? (i.e. moaning, groaning or something different?)
- What does a hopeful person think? (i.e. negative or positive thoughts)
- What are you hopeful about this year?
SENSE How You Feel:
Encourage the children to imagine that they are Jacob. Ask them to think about the question below as they do one or more of the activities below:
Why did you give your son Joseph the coat?
- Create Joseph’s coat out of different fabrics using the Joseph template Joseph template and some colored tissue paper.
- Color in/Fill out the activity booklets for 5-7s and 8-11s
- Sensory: You could have a few different dolls and dolls clothes on the sensory table for children to play with. Alternatively place different pieces of fabric on the table with different textures that children can touch and feel.
- Build: a lego word that says ‘Hope’.
- Mould: your own jacket or coat out of play dough or clay.
Who is your hope in?
What is your big hope for this week/month/year? Are you hoping in Jesus or something else? Fill out the little card that says ‘I am Hoping…’ and then answer the ‘My Hope is in…’ at the end. Our hope can be in all sorts of things; people, things, achievements. But the greatest thing and person our hope can be is Jesus because He is eternal and all knowing, a solid rock and foundation.
Alternatively, (although a more expensive option) you could use helium to fill balloons and attach the cards to them, then watch as they float away, trusting that God will help you see your hope come alive.
Father God, thank You for the hope that you give us in Jesus. Thank You that Jesus is our hope. Help us to hope in You. Amen.