Jesus cares about people who are poor.

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1 A Widow Gives All She Has to God Lesson 6 Bible Point Jesus cares about people who are poor. Bible Verse Give as freely as you have received! (Matthew 10:8b). Growing Closer to Jesus Children will n learn that God loves rich people and poor people equally, n experience sharing with someone in need, and n understand that true giving is done freely and lovingly. Teacher Enrichment The Bible Basis n A widow gives all she has to God. Mark 12:41-44 While Jesus and presumably some of his disciples sat watching, numerous rich people gave large amounts of money. The disciples, who were from the lower economic classes, were probably amazed at some of the fortunes offered by these wealthy Jews. They may not have even noticed the poor widow who dropped her two coins into the treasury box. These were the smallest coins in the Roman Empire. It took 40 of these to make up a day s wages. In terms of today s wages, they would have been worth no more than a couple of dollars each. Yet Jesus knew how big the widow s gift was. Some Christians today might consider the widow s giving foolish she didn t have to give both coins; she didn t have to give even one coin. After all, she needed that money just to stay alive. But that kind of thinking is precisely what Jesus was teaching against. If we give only part of what we have of what we are to Jesus, we re holding back. Jesus wants all of us. He wants us to give him all we have and all we are and to trust him for the results. Prayer Reread Mark 12: Which of the givers in this passage are you more like? How can you trust God with everything? Pray: Lord, thank you for all you bless me with. Help me trust you more with... 73

2 Lesson 6 Before the Lesson n Collect items for the activities you plan to use, referring to the Classroom Supplies and Learning Lab Supplies listed in the chart. n Make photocopies of the Growing Together handout (at the end of this lesson) to send home with your children. n Pray for your students and for God s direction in teaching the lesson. This Lesson at a Glance What Children Will Do Classroom Supplies Learning Lab Supplies Welcome Welcome! Receive a warm welcome from the teacher, and make name tags. Bird Name Tags (p. 70), markers, scissors, tape or safety pins Attention Grabber Rich or Poor Count coins to see if they re rich or poor, and learn from Proverbs 22:2 that God loves them equally. Bible, envelopes, pencils Bible Exploration & Application Nightly News Hear an interview with the poor widow from Mark 12:41-44, and learn that she gave freely. Cookie Coins Buy snacks with their coins, listen to Proverbs 19:17, and learn that they can give freely to people who need help. Freely, Freely Practice giving in a fun way, and learn from Matthew 10:8b that giving flows freely. Bible, CD player Bible; small, round cookies; envelopes from Rich or Poor activity Bible Closing Giving Circle Collect an offering, learn that they always have something to give, and read Matthew 25:35-36, 40 to find that they give to God each time they give to others. Bible, cup 74

3 Welcome A Widow Gives All She Has to God SUPPLIES: Bird Name Tags (p. 70), scissors, markers, tape or safety pins Greet each child individually with an enthusiastic smile. Thank each child for coming to class today. As children arrive, ask them about last week s lesson and Growing Together discussion. Use questions such as What foods do our bodies need that God provides? and How does God provide for creatures in nature? Say: Today we ll learn that Jesus cares about people who are poor. Help children attach the name tags they made during Lesson 5. If some of the name tags were damaged, or if children weren t in class previously, have them make new name tags using the photocopiable handout. Tell children that the attention-getting signal you ll use during this lesson is clicking the creature clicker three times. Ask children to respond to the sound by snapping their fingers three times as they stop talking and focus their attention on you. Rehearse the signal with the children, telling them to respond quickly so you ll have plenty of time for all the fun activities planned for this lesson. Attention Grabber n Rich or Poor SUPPLIES: Bible, envelopes, pencils Use plain white paper and a stapler Before class begins, put plastic disks in each to create envelopes. You can fold envelope by the following guidelines: Onefourth of the envelopes should have one disk over the paper and staple the sides to make a pocket. in them, one-fourth should have eight disks in them, and the remaining envelopes should have four or five disks in each. Place the envelopes in the Learning Lab. Line up children in one line at one end of the room. Set the Learning Lab at the opposite end of the room. Say: When I click the creature clicker, the first person will hop to the box at the other end of the room and take an envelope out of the box. Then he or she will hop back to the line, and the next person will have a turn. Don t look inside your envelope until everyone has one. When everyone has an envelope, have children sit in a circle on the floor. Say: Look inside your envelope, and see what s there. Have children count It s important to say the Bible Point the number of plastic disks inside their envelopes and compare numbers with the rest of just as it s written in each activity. the class. Hand out pencils, and have children write on their envelopes their names and Repeating the Bible Point over and over will help children remember it the number of disks they received. Children will use these coins and envelopes again and apply it to their lives. later in the lesson. Ask: How does it feel to have more or fewer plastic disks than someone else? (I feel gypped; I want more; I like having the most; it doesn t matter because they re just little pieces of plastic.) Say: For today s class, we re going to pretend that these plastic disks are money. Just as some of you have several disks and some of you have hardly any disks, in real life some people have a lot of money while others have very little. 75

4 Lesson 6 Ask: What s the same or different about rich people and poor people? (They re the same because God made them; they re all people; rich people have lots of money, and poor people don t; rich people can have anything they want.) Say: The Bible says something about rich people and poor people. Listen to what the verse says is the same about rich people and poor people. Read Proverbs 22:2. Jesus doesn t care about whether people have a lot of money or a little bit of money. It doesn t matter that some of you have fewer disks than others. God loves all people. But sometimes people think God might not love the poor because they don t have as much stuff. That s not true. Jesus cares about people who are poor. Today we re going to find out about a poor woman who pleased Jesus. Put the pencils away, and set aside the envelopes with the disks inside to use in the Cookie Coins activity. Bible Insight It s no surprise that many people were poor during the time of Jesus. The heavy taxes imposed by Rome included taxes on animals, fruit trees, homes, crops, salt, sales, imports and exports, income, roads not to mention the Temple tax! Bible Exploration & Application n Nightly News SUPPLIES: Bible, CD player Cue the CD to track 9, Nightly News. Have children sit in track 9 a circle. Say: We have an exciting interview today from our Bible-times reporter, Ace Goodnews. As you listen, see if you can figure out what the poor woman did and why it was so special. Put your hands around your ears like headphones, and get ready for the Jerusalem Nightly News! Listen to the story, and turn off the CD player when the story is over. Say: Take off your headphones and stand up. If you think the widow was right to give away all she had, remain standing. If you think she should have kept the money for herself, sit down. Ask the children who are sitting down: Why do you think she should have kept her money? (Because it s all she had, and she had to eat; you shouldn t give away money unless you have enough for yourself.) Ask the children who are standing: Why do you think giving all her money in the offering was the right thing to do? (Because people should give to God; because God would take care of her.) Have everyone sit down. Then say: Jesus watched the widow put her money in the Temple box that day. He also saw many rich people put money in the box. Let s find out what Jesus said about what the widow did. Read Mark 12:43. Ask: Jesus told his followers that the poor widow gave more than the rich people. How could that be, when the rich people put in a lot of money and the widow put in only two coins? (She did it with a happy heart; because she gave away everything she had.) Say: The rich people gave a lot of money because they d never notice it was gone they had a lot of money left over. But the poor widow gave everything she had to give. She gave it all freely and with love. Jesus knew 76

5 A Widow Gives All She Has to God she didn t give more money than the rich people, but the gift was more important because the poor widow needed those two coins more than the rich people needed the money they gave away. Jesus was pleased with the poor widow. Jesus cares about people who are poor. n Cookie Coins SUPPLIES: Bible; small, round cookies; envelopes from Rich or Poor activity Set out a snack of small, round cookies such as vanilla wafers or gingersnaps. Distribute the envelopes from the Rich or Poor activity. Have kids form groups of four. Each group should include one child with one plastic disk, one child with eight disks, and two children with four or five disks each. Say: You ll have a chance to buy some of these cookies with your plastic disks. You ll need two disks to buy one cookie. Have the children figure out how many cookies they can purchase. Circulate among groups and help the children. Some of the children won t be able to buy any cookies. Tell them you ll talk about that problem soon. When every child knows how many cookies he or she can buy, say: It looks like some of you are richer than others! We all know that Jesus cares about people who are poor, and we can care, too. Your group will have 30 seconds to think of a way to solve this problem so each person will have cookies to eat. Give the children 30 seconds to talk within their groups. Then ask: What ways did you think of to solve this problem? (We can share cookies after we buy them; we can share our disks; we can count the number of disks in the entire class and then buy and share cookies equally.) Say: Have your group decide on a way to share. When you re ready, come up and buy your cookies. When the children have purchased and eaten their cookies, collect the plastic disks, and return them to the Learning Lab. Ask: Those of you who had only one coin, what did you think at the beginning of this activity? (I was afraid I wouldn t get any cookies; I hoped someone would share with me.) How did you feel as someone shared with you or as you shared with another person? (I felt happy; I was glad to have cookies to eat; it felt good to share.) Was it hard to share? Why or why not? (Yes, because I was hungry and wanted more cookies for myself; no, because I would feel bad eating cookies in front of other people who didn t have any.) When have you shared like this in real life? (When my friend forgot her lunch; when my family took food to a shelter for homeless people.) Say: When we help others, we re giving to God. Just as the poor widow gave her two coins to God, we can give to God by sharing. Listen to what the Bible says. Have a volunteer read Proverbs 19:17. Jesus cares about people who are poor, and we can help care for the poor by sharing with others when we have plenty for our needs. Jesus will be pleased when we care for the poor as he does. Let s find out how we can do that. This activity is an important learning experience. As children do the activity, they are being put in a situation in which they are either poor or have the opportunity to help the poor. Don t expect all groups to come up with identical solutions to the problem. There are many ways to solve it, and every group may devise a different way. If you have children who are unwilling to share, don t force them or tell them they have to. The point is to care for the poor with a generous heart. Rather, encourage kids to help make things fair. Tell them that God likes it when we give to others. 77

6 Lesson 6 n Freely, Freely SUPPLIES: Bible Have children sit in a circle on the floor. Call a volunteer to stand beside you and make a small hole by curling his or her thumb and first finger together. The hole should be smaller than a dime. Hold the Christmas garland and say: Sometimes people who have a lot of money don t want to share it with people who are poor and need help. Being selfish is like trying to pull this garland through a tiny hole. Have the child squeeze his or her fingers around the garland. Demonstrate how difficult it is to pull and tug a portion of the Christmas garland through the child s fingers. Ask: Who can tell about a time you felt really selfish and it was hard for you to share? Start the discussion by telling about a time it was difficult for you to share. Then let volunteers tell about their experiences. (I got a new toy for Christmas, but I didn t want my brother to play with it; I saved all my allowance for a month to buy something cool, but my friend didn t have lunch money.) What do you think Jesus wants us to do when it s hard to share? (He wants us to share anyway; we can ask him to help us share; we can think of a time someone else shared with us.) Say: Jesus cares about people who are poor. He teaches us to give all we can to them and to give freely and lovingly. When we open our hearts (have the child make a large circle with both arms, and then pull the Christmas garland through the circle), our giving becomes easy and full of love. And when we give to people, they can share what they have with others. Let s find out how giving can flow from person to person. Have the children sit cross-legged in a tight circle. Open your Bible to Matthew 10:8b, and read it to the children: Give as freely as you have received! Say: Jesus wants us to show our love to him and to others by freely giving. Loving Jesus and loving others is the most important thing we can do. Ask: What did Jesus mean by freely give in the Bible verse? (Give everything we have; always give.) 78

7 A Widow Gives All She Has to God Say: To learn more about freely giving, we ll play a game. To play this game, cup your hands together in front of you like you re getting a gift. Show kids how to do this. Take the jewel ball out of the Learning Lab, and say: I m going to pass this jewel ball to the person next to me, and that person will pass it on like a hot potato until it gets all the way around the circle. Careful not to drop it! After every child has a chance to receive the jewel ball, try the game again to see how fast you can go. Ask: What did you like about this game? (It was fun because it got faster and faster; I liked trying to keep the hot potato going.) How can giving in real life be fun like this game was? (It s fun to see how happy people are when we give them something; we know it makes God happy; it s nice to see everyone giving.) How can giving to the poor be fun and show that we love Jesus? (When we give, we re doing what he said; we re following him; we can work together; we can have fun.) What are some fun ways we can give? (We can collect food as a class; we can give some of our class stuff to a school in another country.) Say: Jesus cares about people who are poor. He cares about people who are rich and who are young and people who are old. Jesus wants everyone to have enough. So when we give freely, we re doing what Jesus wants us to do. Return the jewel ball to the Learning Lab. HANDS-ON BIBLE Help kids pair up, nonreaders working with readers. Give each pair two child-length sheets of newsprint and some markers. Help them find Mark 12:28-31 in their Hands-On Bibles. Say: In Mark 12, Jesus tells us to love God, and that s the most important thing we can do. One great way to do that is by giving to the poor. There are other ways we can love God, too. Have a volunteer read Mark 12: Then help pairs follow the instructions in The #1 Command activity in their Hands-On Bibles. Help kids come up with ways to love God with their hearts, souls, minds, and strength. When the kids have finished drawing and writing, ask everyone to share the load of cleaning up. Make sure the murals go home to remind kids to put their ideas of love into action. 79

8 Lesson 6 Closing n Giving Circle SUPPLIES: Bible, cup Ask: What is the most important thing you learned today? (Jesus cares about people who are poor; we can give to others; we can give, even if we don t have a lot.) Have children sit in a circle. Say: We ve been learning that Jesus cares about people who are poor. We ve also been talking about sharing and giving freely. Let s take some time to think about what we can give. Give each person three plastic disks. Say: Even if you don t have money to give, I know there s something you can give. Ask: What kinds of things can kids do to help people who are poor? (Give away their old toys; give away their clothes; earn money to give to them; be their friends.) Say: Those are great ideas! Listen to what God says about the things we can do to help others. Read Matthew 25:35-36, 40. The Bible says when we give to others, we re also giving to God. I ll pass this cup, and we ll take an offering to show that the things we can do for poor people, we re also doing for God. Think of three things you have or you could do to help poor people this week. Put one disk in the cup for the first thing you think of, and tell us what it is. We ll pass the cup around three times, and each time you can put in one disk. Pass around the cup three times. Be ready to help children think of what they can give. It s all right if children repeat answers. Then put the cup in the middle of the circle. Say: At first, it might ve seemed as if you didn t have anything to give, yet each time we stopped, you found something to offer. Jesus cares about people who are poor. When we love God, we always have something to give to poor people. Let s thank God for giving us the chance to help others. Let s take turns praying. When it s your turn, pray that God will help you remember to give in the way you said you could when we passed the cup. Begin the prayer by asking God to help you remember to give something specific this week. Then have the child on your right do the same. When each child has prayed, close the prayer. Pray: Dear God, we thank you for loving us whether we re rich or poor. Thank you for giving us the chance to help others. Please help us find ways to give to people. We know that when we give to others, we re giving to you also. We love you, Lord. In Jesus name, amen. Collect name tags, and remind children to take home any crafts they made today. 80

9 A Widow Gives All She Has to God Growing closer to Jesus extends beyond the classroom. Photocopy the Growing Together handout (at the end of this lesson) for this week, and send it home with your children. Encourage children and parents to use the handout to plan meaningful activities on this week s topic. Follow up the Growing Together activities next week by asking children what their families did together. 81

10 Jesus Cares 6: Jesus cares about people who are poor. Bible Story A widow gives all she has to God (Mark 12:41-44). Living Simply Adopt this as your family motto: Live simply so that others may simply live. There are many ways your family can trim expenses. Conserve energy. Reuse and repair items instead of buying new ones. Play board games instead of going to the movies. Create simple toys from supplies you already have instead of buying expensive toys. Work together to make fun dinners instead of having a pizza delivered or going out for burgers. Donate the money you save to a relief agency. Bible Verse Give as freely as you have received! (Matthew 10:8b). Today your child learned that Jesus cares about people who are poor. The class learned that God loves rich and poor people equally and that when we give to others, we re giving to God. Use these activities this week to help your child understand that he or she always has something to give to God. Decorate a paper cup with markers or crayons. Place a wad of modeling clay or modeling dough in the paper cup, and then stick the branch into the clay. Let family members contribute money offerings from odd jobs, allowances, and gifts to the tree. Tape thread to coins, and hang them from the branch. Attach dollar bills by taping them to the branch. Set a family goal for your giving tree; then take your love offering to a homeless shelter. Rich Man, Poor Man Cake Act of Giving As you watch a movie or television with your child, work together to point out all the acts of kindness you see in the program you are watching. Write down how many you see, and see if you can put some of them into action in your family. For an added challenge, watch for areas that someone should have given something but didn t. Talk about what that character could have done instead. The Giving Tree Have some family fun by creating a giving tree. Let your child choose a small branch from a tree in your yard or find a fallen branch from a nearby park. Make this treat with your child to help show that God loves the rich and the poor equally. As you mix the rich and poor ingredients, give your child a taste of rich vanilla and poor soda. Talk about how bad the cake would taste if just the rich or poor were used. Point out that all the ingredients combine to make a delicious cake. Put these rich ingredients in a mixing bowl, and mix: Rich Man, Poor Man Cake Put these poor ingredients into another bowl, and mix them together: 1 teaspoon vanilla ½ teaspoon baking soda 1 egg ½ teaspoon salt ½ cup white sugar 1 cup white flour ¾ cup chocolate syrup ½ stick melted margarine Mix the rich and the poor ingredients together. Spread into an 8x8-inch greased pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 20 minutes or until the cake springs back when touched in the center. 82 Permission to photocopy this handout from Group s Hands-On Bible Curriculum Grades 1 & 2 granted for local church use. Copyright Group Publishing, Inc., 1515 Cascade Avenue, Loveland, CO group.com

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