Justice Journey 2021 || February || Module 1 || God’s Diverse Creation

Illustration, diverse children interacting over a stained-glass crown motif with text Justice Journey God’s Diverse Creation
Text: FirstPresKids Justice Journey 2021: February; Theme: God’s Diverse Creation; Focus: Creation is diverse , good + made on purpose! Weekly Lessons: Creation, Diversity, The Church + Diversity, The Kingdom of Heaven + Diversity

Justice Journey, Part I: God Created Us Diverse, Good and On Purpose!

Week 1: Creation

Key Point:

Key Word:

  • Diversity: Variety, difference. God made a variety of people, plants, animals, and planets and called them good.

Scripture:

Digital Resources:

Discussion Questions:

  • What kinds of things did God make in Genesis 1?
  • What does diversity mean? What is biodiversity? Why is diversity important on earth?
  • How can you tell that God created diversity on purpose?

Play/Do:

Art/Create:

Prayer:

Week 2: Diversity

Key Point:

Key Word:

  • Diversity: Variety, difference. God made a variety of people, plants, animals, and planets and called them good.

Scripture:

Digital Resources:

Discussion Questions:

  • How did you get your name? What is your favorite food?
  • In what ways are we similar? In what ways are we different?
  • How do the people in the video look to you? How were they different? What do you think those different things tell us about God’s image?
  • What does it mean to be made in God’s image?
  • How were the people in the video like you/your family/your friends? What do you think those same things tell us about God’s image? Why did God make us both different and the same?
  • No one knows what the first people looked like, but the variety of people in the world clearly shows God’s plan for creation. Diversity is a gift from God. Why did God create us so diversely? What is the gift?

Play/Do:

  • Pick a leader to ask questions about favorite things, places you’ve been, family traditions, what you’re wearing, your physical features, etc. and play “Stand Up, Sit Down” to see the ways we are similar, we are different and all uniquely made!
  • Watch this video on our unique identity and follow the prompts/ideas to help figure out your values and celebrate your (and everyone’s!) unique diversity!

Art/Create:

Prayer:

Week 3: The Church + Diversity

Key Point:

Key Word:

  • Diversity: Variety, difference. God made a variety of people, plants, animals, and planets and called them good.

Scripture:

Digital Resources:

Discussion Questions:

  • Pentecost was a Jewish spring harvest festival, but now we use the word Pentecost to remember when Jesus’ disciples received the Holy Spirit. God loves us so much that just as God breathed the breath of life into us, God now also breathes the Holy Spirit into us. The Holy Spirit helps us to understand the Bible and directs us to love others and live for God. What did the Holy Spirit give the disciples to help them share Jesus’s love with others?
  • Pentecost is a really big story! Before this story, people had to go to one kind of place to worship God — the Temple. The priests leading the services spoke only one language, and only one kind of service happened there. If you didn’t speak that language, or didn’t understand that service, you couldn’t worship God with God’s people. But when God sent the Holy Spirit, God was doing something new. What was the new thing? What was God saying about the kinds of people God wanted in the church?
  • Pentecost is considered “the birth of the church” because it’s when God let every one know that the new plan for worship and relationship was for everyone. From there, people who worship God and Jesus began to gather wherever they were to celebrate what God had done through Jesus. Those groups were called churches — and they still are! How does your church gather and celebrate God and Jesus? Now, before the pandemic, possibly in the future? Is the church the people or the building? Can churches gather, can “church” happen anywhere, anytime? Give an example.
  • What are some ways the kids in the video experience God? Share about a time you experienced the Holy Spirit, God or Jesus. (Each story is different, because we are all different.)
  • What are some different ways we can worship God? What are ways from the videos that are the same and different about how people worship, spend time with or think about God?
  • Why is it good that God can be worshipped in so many ways?
  • Do you think God delights in the many ways people worship? Why?

Play/Do:

  • Plan a Skype or FaceTime session with another church or religious community. Ask: Where are they located? What kind of place do they meet in? What language do they speak? What is their favorite part of worshipping together? What is their favorite story from their religious book?

Art/Create:

  • Make a Holy Spirit blow painting with watercolors, a straw and your breath (method tutorial below) — reflect on the breath of the Holy Spirit that moves in you, the way that each painting is unique like us and the diversity of the church, and the way that the paint spreads like Jesus’s love!

Prayer:

Week 4: The Kingdom of Heaven + Diversity

Key Point:

Key Word:

  • Diversity: Variety, difference. God made a variety of people, plants, animals, and planets and called them good.
  • Prejudice: Not knowing a person but mistreating them and believing things about then because of the color of their skin, gender, or where they are from.
  • Racism: When one group of people believes they are better (superior) than others and uses their privilege to create laws and systems which work better for their racial group than for other racial groups. Racism can happen intentionally or unintentionally.

Scripture:

Digital Resources:

Discussion Questions:

  • What is the biggest celebration you have ever been a part of? Describe who was there, who was the guest of honor, what you did, what you ate, what you wore.
  • Remember that God started everything by creating the earth and people, and the people messed up? Ever since then, people have been divided by the things that should unite us. Instead of appreciating how God made everyone different, some people decided that our diversity was a bad thing. People have even gone to war, killed, and enslaved other humans because they thought the color of their skin made them better than others. Even more than that, people all over the world hurt each other with words and actions because they are afraid of how we are different. Two ways this commonly happens is racism or prejudice. Many people are sad and hurting, or angry and hateful, because of these sins. Do you think God is happy with that situation?
  • God is not part of racism or prejudice. Diversity was God’s own idea! God sent Jesus to help us return creation back to the goodness that God created. But, God’s plan doesn’t stop there. At the very end of the Bible, a man named John saw a wonderful dream from God and wrote it down in the book of Revelation where people of all countries and tribes and languages were all worshiping God together. They were wearing the same white clothes that reminded everyone of the way they followed Jesus. The only thing that was different about them was the way God had made them: individual and unique, diverse and special. But they were all following Jesus and praising God. And, the end of that, in Revelation 19:9, it says they were all invited to a feast. At the end of history, people of all countries and colors will sit down at a table together, at the same feast. The most important guest will be God. How can we start living like this now? Who could we invite to a feast that doesn’t look like us and whose traditions or life experience is different from us?
  • In the videos, who surrounded the table? Who should surround the table? Was any one missing? Would you like to attend a feast like the one in the first video?
  • God will end all fighting and war; there will be no more death or sadness or pain. Do you think there will be things like racism or prejudice there?
  • In Revelation 22:1–5, we hear about a creation, like where God made all people in the first place! And in verse 2, we read that the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations, which also means ethnicities. God will use us, our love, and the Gospel to heal the wounds racism and prejudice cause. We will all be one people — God’s people. Just as God made us all different in the beginning at creation, God will love and rule over all the different kinds of people at the end of time. Why do you think God showed John this dream? Why do you think God wants to throw a big feast? Do you think there are people who would not want to come? Why or why not?
  • If you threw a feast, what foods would you have? Who would you like to share a feast with and why?
  • Since we know God has invited everyone from every place on earth to God’s great feast, it seems silly to exclude people now. How can we be kind to people now, and treat everyone with respect, as if we were getting ready to sit down to a feast together?
  • What should we do when we see others being treated unfairly or unkindly because of their differences? As fellow future guests at the table, how can we stick up for them? How might we celebrate together now? What might we learn from each other?

Play/Do:

  • Play the “Picnic Game” but instead think about the diversity of creation and the videos you’ve seen during this lesson and others and say “I’m going to a feast and I’m inviting someone who…” (has brown skin, has curly hair, eats goat, eats fish, etc.)

Art/Create:

  • Use pieces torn from magazines, catalogs or any recycling (food packaging, junk mail) and create a collage — a whole new thing! — of a feast, of what you think God’s vision looks like or of a healed and whole earth like in this tutorial:

Prayer:

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Written by Lauren Gibbs-Beadle @firstpreskidshayward Children’s Ministries @firstpreshayward | educator, creative, parent | she/her

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Written by Lauren Gibbs-Beadle @firstpreskidshayward Children’s Ministries @firstpreshayward | educator, creative, parent | she/her

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