A lesson inside an Oreo

Fun with food

Give each of your children an Oreo cookie to munch. Observe how the black crumbs (like sin) tenaciously stick to the white filling.

Discussion point: God is holy and He cannot tolerate sin in His presence.

Give each of your children an Oreo cookie, and let them take a small bite. Now let them open the cookie. Point out how the black crumbs tenaciously stick to the white filling. Give your children the task of licking the crumbs away until the filling is pure white again.

As your children are enjoying their Oreos, present this short scenario to them. (Or make it even more memorable by having someone actually arrive at your house all filthy.) Afterward, use the discussion questions to talk about God’s holiness and His zero tolerance for sin:

Imagine that you have just helped Mom and Dad clean the house from top to bottom. The floors have been washed and vacuumed, the garbage cans emptied, and everything is in order. You’ve even washed the walls.

But then, just as you sit down together to have a snack to celebrate the completion of the work, your sister comes home from her soccer game. She is all sweaty and completely covered in mud. Your dad tells her that she is welcome to come into the house and sit with the family, but she will need to shower first and leave her dirty clothing in the washing machine.

Your sister, however, says she is too hungry and wants to come in just as she is and sit with the family at the kitchen table.

Do you think Dad will let her come in?

Questions for discussion
  • Were you able to clean all the black specks out of your Oreo’s icing?
  • Have you ever seen our house so clean that there isn’t even a speck of dust in it?
  • Would it be possible to get every piece of sand, fluff and dirt out of our house?
  • If cookie crumbs, sand, dirt, dust and fluff are like sin, Who is the only One who can get rid of them entirely?
  • What do you think Mom or Dad would say if one of your siblings came into the house all dirty?
  • What would the dirty person be required to do before they could join you and share a snack?
  • What is the thing that God cannot have in His presence?
  • Are we holy enough to deserve to be in God’s presence? Is anyone?
  • What kind of “cleansing shower” does God offer for those who want to be with Him?
  • Is there any sin in your life that you would like to ask God to clean out?
Key concepts

A super clean house is like a super clean heart. We can do our best to tidy our house, and we can make a huge effort to be good – but just like we can’t get all the dirt out of our house, we can’t make ourselves pure enough to be close to God.

God is so perfect that He simply cannot have any sin around Him. God is a holy God and we cannot be with God if we have unforgiven sin in our lives. In much the same way, we wouldn’t like it if a person stomped into our newly cleaned house with muddy feet.

The sister in the story was expected to clean the dirt and mud off herself before coming into the clean house. Likewise, God expects people to allow Him to clean the sin out of their lives before they can spend time with Him in prayer or before they enter heaven.

God is the only One who can forgive our sin and clean the sin out of our lives. The wonderful news is that God promises to make our hearts clean so that we can enjoy being with Him. All we need to do is ask.

Note: For a more in-depth explanation of forgiveness and salvation refer to “The parable of the lost sheep” in the Bible stories section of the forgiveness lesson.

Relevant Scripture

Psalm 5:4 “For You are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil may not dwell with You.

Psalm 24:3-4 “Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully.

1 John 1:9 “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.