In this Bible object lesson involving some “let’s pretend,” kids will have a chance to think about life if Jesus showed up at any minute—and how they ought to think throughout their days about what he might catch them doing!
• Bag of candy, enough for each child to have six or more pieces
• Piece of paper
Put the candy in the bucket and put it on the table in front of you.
Very soon, I am going to throw this candy all over the floor. You are going to pick it all up. You may use only your two hands to pick it up. You may not take candy from another person’s hands. However, if a person’s hands are overloaded and they drop a piece, you can grab it.
If your hands get too full, you may take what candy you have back to the table, put it at your place, and start again with empty hands. What you have left on the table may not be picked up by another student.
Is everyone clear on those rules? If someone is not clear, go over the rules again.
Take the bucket of candy, give it a good fling and say, “Go!” Have your assistant be watchful and take notes. Don’t let the students know—whisper to each other!
Help her out:
• If somebody jumps the gun, make a mental note, but do not call him or her back. If someone tattles on a gun-jumper, make a note, but do not call the gun-jumper back.
• If kids step on each other’s toes or push each other, make a note. If someone pushes another person and fails to say “excuse me,” make a note.
Essentially, make a note of any behavior that is more self-centered than considerate. You will not be using these in any negative or remonstrative way.
When all candy has been gathered, have everyone return to their seats.
If you just stand there watching quietly, they should start their own game of “count and see who has most.” Look very interested.
• If someone gloats about having the most, make a note of it.
• If someone makes a face about not having as much, make a note.
• If someone accuses someone else of cheating, make a note.
Do not let them eat any yet.
Eventually they should simmer down.
So, what happened out there? Listen to them recite the details. It should contain a few brags and a few accusations.
Now, let’s pretend something. Let’s pretend (point to the corner) that Jesus was standing in that corner. Let’s pretend that he was watching you the whole time. What might you have done differently? Take answers.
This is where you can use your list. [Assistant] and I saw one person push. We saw another person grab. We heard another person call a name. And so on. But generally, we saw a game where everyone was looking out for themselves, and trying to get the most candy for themselves.
Jesus is coming back. This is the last thing he tells his apostles before his ascension into heaven. In 2 Peter 3:10, the apostle Peter says, “The Day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night.” We don’t know when that hour will be. But let’s just say it’s this hour. What would Jesus find you doing? How would he find you behaving?
What would you have done differently in this game, if you knew Jesus was in the room with you? Taken less, been less bossy, been less greedy, given some to a person who wasn’t getting much, not pushed, not accused, not have been so greedy.
Some people take risks, like going skydiving. Others give generously to charities to show the world that they are giving their “all” in being charitable. As Christians, we can show that we are giving our “all” for Jesus. One of the best ways to do that is to keep the question out there: How would you be acting if you knew Jesus was coming back today?
In Luke 17:26-27, Jesus says this: “And just as it happened in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: they were eating, they were drinking, they were marrying, they were being given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came…” Noah and his family were prepared, having gotten to know God well and loving him like a father. But everyone else was busy thinking of themselves and what they could get out of life, rather than what they could give.
Here is one more great all-or-nothing Scripture. In Revelation 3:15-16, Jesus is trying to snap the Church of Laodicea out of a really selfish funk they had gotten in. He says, “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.”
We don’t want to waste time being afraid of Jesus or of his return. Let’s pray to have that thought in our hearts, so it will flow on through when we are tempted to do wrong: What if Jesus was standing right behind me? How would I be acting differently?
Let’s push all candy to the middle of the table and split it. That would make Jesus happy…We don’t want to condemn competition, which can be fun. We’ll let the winner chose the first piece…
If you are using the treat bag craft – Eat one piece now but save the rest! We are going to make treat bags to take it home in!