Memory Verse: “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
Items for Preparation:
- Get an empty, clean clear glass jar with a lid, like a peanut butter jar, which you can see through. Make sure that some of the Holy Spirit is in there, and then close the lid.
- Have something with you that is a symbol of your faith in something or someone. It can be a wedding ring, a cross, your offering envelope, a communion cup and wafer, chalice and paten, a nativity set, or a baptism certificate.
Background: Read the adult lesson in the print edition of Nurturing Faith and additional material online. It is mighty hard for young kids to understand the concept of faith, but they can understand the idea of something being real even if you can’t see it. We use symbols all the time to indicate our trust in invisible things we know are real. We’ll define faith as this quality of belief and trust regardless of visibility.
[Get out your jar, which we know is not empty since you made sure some of the Holy Spirit is in there. Get out your symbol too, so kids can ask questions about what you’ve got.]
Say: Who can tell me what the word “faith” means? [Allow for answers.]
Say: That’s right – faith is trusting and believing something is real even when you can’t see it. Our memory verse today says that very thing; say it along with me: “Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” What is “assurance?” And what is “conviction?” [Discuss these terms to make sure kids understand.]
Say: Now it might seem that having faith could be very hard. For example, I want you to look in my jar – inside there, even though we can’t see anything, there is a very important thing. Do you know what’s in there? [Allow for answers. Maybe they’ll say “air,” or “oxygen,” or “nothing.” Well, okay.]
Say: Maybe you can’t tell by looking, but I know the truth: some of the Holy Spirit is in this jar. I know, because I made sure some was in there before I closed the lid. I believe the Holy Spirit is in every place, all the time. I believe there is no place where the Holy Spirit is not present. So I believe there is some of that Holy Spirit inside my jar. Now, I can’t keep the Holy Spirit in here – it blows where it will, and goes where God wants to be. I can’t just bottle it up inside my jar. But I know the Holy Spirit is in here and is always with me, and with you. Do you believe me? Do you trust me?
Say: We know many things are real that we can’t see. I know that my wife/husband loves me, even though I can’t see that love right now. I know that God loves me, even though I can’t see God. I know that Jesus is my Lord, and loves me, even though I can’t see Jesus since he lived on earth 2000 years ago. I know that the Holy Spirit is with me giving me strength and comfort, even though I can’t see that Spirit. I know that when I die, I will go into Heaven to be with God, and I eat the Lord’s Supper to show that I know this, and I got baptized to show that I know this, even though I can’t see Heaven right now.
Say: What are some of the things you know are real, even though you can’t see them? [Allow for answers.]
Say: We have things we can see, like wedding rings, Lord’s Supper foods, and baptism certificates, to show people that the things we can’t see are real to us. This is what faith is: it is our knowing that the stuff we can’t see is real anyway. Faith is a marvelous thing to have. Faith feels very good!
Prayer: Say these words after I say them.
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O Comforting God,
Let us have faith
In you to bring us love,
In your Holy Spirit to bring us strength,
And in Jesus our Lord to bring us life.
In these good things we cannot see
Let us be very faithful,
In Jesus’ name, Amen.