Lessons from the geese

Note: This set of five mini-lessons touches on aspects of cooperation already covered in other activities in this lesson. It works well as a framework for a week-long study or as a lesson recap. Before beginning these mini-lessons, watch a flock of geese flying in formation.

This lesson set is based on an article written in 1972 by Dr. Robert McNeish and entitled Lessons From the Geese. Dr. McNeish, who spent many years teaching science, first wrote this object lesson as part of a sermon he presented in his church. It is now used worldwide, both in churches and in the business community, as a helpful illustration of good leadership. Sue Widemark’s research (see Suewidemark.com/lessonsgeese.htm) helped establish the validity of Dr. McNeish’s authorship and the scientific accuracy of his premises.

The facts and principles presented below in italics are quoted from Dr. McNeish’s original article.


Fact: As each goose flaps its wings it creates an “uplift” for the birds that follow. By flying in a V formation, the whole flock adds 71 per cent greater flying range than if each bird flew alone.

Lesson: People who share a common direction and sense a community can get where they are going quicker and easier because they are travelling on the thrust of one another.

Key concept: We accomplish more when we work together cooperatively.

Activity options: Try the “fun with teamwork” exercises in the hands-on options part of this lesson, or listen to the song Lean on Me.


Fact: When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of flying alone. It quickly moves back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird in front of it.

Lesson: If we have as much sense as a goose, we stay in formation with those headed where we want to go. We are willing to accept their help and give our help to others.

Key concept: To succeed, everyone needs to work toward the same goal because even one person can make or break the unity of a group effort.

Activity options:

  • Play “the power of unity” game from the hands-on options section.
  • Read the “harmonious relationships in naturehands-on option from the harmony lesson.
  • Listen to the song We Are One in the Spirit and talk about how sharing God’s love with each other makes a difference in the way we live and work together.
  • Read 1 John 4:10-11 and 1 Peter 4:8 and talk about ways that “love covers over sin” when we readily offer each other grace and forgiveness.
Sharing the lead

Fact: When the lead goose tires, it rotates back into the formation and another goose flies to the point position.

Lesson: It pays to take turns doing the hard tasks and sharing leadership. As with geese, people are interdependent on each other’s skills, capabilities and unique arrangements of gifts, talents or resources.

Key concept: “Leading” means using your God-given gifts and talents to serve God and others. Being willing to follow another person’s lead is as important as being willing to take a turn leading.

Activity options:

  • Give everyone a chance to both lead and follow by doing the “cooperating in the kitchen” activity described in the hands-on options section of this lesson.
  • Read Romans 12:4-8 and / or 1 Peter 4:10-11 and write a song or poem about using the gifts God has given each of you.
  • Listen to I Will Follow by Chris Tomlin and talk about ways you can follow and serve Jesus.

Fact: The geese flying in formation honk to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.

Lesson: We need to make sure our honking is encouraging. In groups where there is encouragement, the production is much greater. The power of encouragement is the quality of honking we seek.

Key concept: Saying positive things is like giving others a “turbo boost” of energy. It helps others around us feel strong and productive and helps to keep everyone motivated.

Activity options:

  • Do the “garbage busters” activity outlined in the hands-on options section of the courtesy lesson.
  • Listen to a song about encouraging others and talk about how we can encourage others through what we say. You Raise Me Up is a good choice.

Fact: When a goose gets sick, wounded or shot down, two geese drop out of formation and follow it down to help and protect it. They stay with it until it dies or is able to fly again. Then they launch out with another formation or catch up with the flock.

Lesson: If we have as much sense as geese, we will stand by each other in difficult times as well as when we are strong.

Key concept: An important aspect of being part of a group or a family is watching out for the well-being of other group members.

Activity options:

  • Read the story about rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. (See “standing strong together” in the Bible stories section of this lesson.)
  • Listen to the song I’ll Stand by You – or another song of your choice on faithfulness – and talk about what it means to “stand by” family members.
  • Do the “faithfulness can mean sacrifice” activity found in the hands-on options section of the faithfulness lesson.

Sweet, soft hearts

To do this experiment, you will need some lumps of hardened brown sugar and a cookie tray for each child.

  • Have your children sit at a table with a lump of sugar on a tray in front of them. Allow them to feel the lump and try to squeeze or shape it. They may succeed in breaking the lump, but they will not be able to mould it. Liken this to when people have “hard hearts” and are stubborn toward God.
  • Finish day one of the experiment by having each child place their sugar in a zipper-lock plastic bag. Slice an apple and have each child to put an apple slice in the bag with their brown sugar.
  • Enjoy eating the rest of the apple slices – plain or dipped in more brown sugar – as you read Proverbs 28:14 and Zechariah 7:12 and review the discussion questions.
  • The next day, have your children open their bag of sugar and try the same experiment. This time the sugar will be soft and mouldable. Liken this to having soft hearts toward God. Pray together and ask God to give you hearts that are willing to be moulded by Him.
Questions for discussion
  • Why couldn’t you shape the hard sugar?
  • What does it mean to be “hard-hearted”?
  • In Zechariah 17:12, how did the people make God very angry?
  • What did the sugar absorb to make it soft again?
  • How can we make sure our hearts are soft?
  • What do you think God would say about your heart?
Key concepts

People with “hard hearts” are stubborn and unwilling to change. On the other hand, soft-hearted people are more sensitive and adaptable. When our hearts are hard, God may have to “break us” to get our attention and to change our attitudes. Life is much sweeter when we let the Holy Spirit soften our hearts to give us Christ-like attitudes.

Relevant Scripture

Proverbs 28:14 “Blessed is the one who fears the Lord always, but whoever hardens his heart will fall into calamity.

Zechariah 7:12  “They made their hearts diamond-hard lest they should hear the law and the words that the Lord of hosts had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets. Therefore great anger came from the Lord of hosts.

A cooperative building project

Note: This practical suggestion works well in conjunction with the Bible storyBuilding together.”

The idea here is to build a city wall out of blocks to help your children understand what a cooperative effort looks and feels like. You will need building blocks of some sort, plus pictures or objects to represent the different gates in the wall that surrounded ancient Jerusalem.

  • First, explain to your children that you will be pretending to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Your wall will need to include structures that mimic these parts of the Jerusalem wall: the Sheep Gate, the Fish Gate, the “Old” Gate, the Tower of Ovens, the Valley Gate, the Dung Gate (have fun with this one), the Fountain Gate, the Water Gate, the projecting tower, the Horse Gate, the East Gate and the Inspection Gate.
  • Encourage your children to use their math skills in planning and designing the project. For example, there are a total of twelve gates. Ask your children how many to put on each side to ensure each side has the same number of gates.
  • Invite your children to search around your home to find objects to identify each part of the city wall. For example, for the Sheep Gate, one child might find a cotton ball while another finds a toy sheep. Place these objects near the Sheep Gate in your city wall.
  • Some children may prefer to stay on-site as builders while the others go off to find objects to identify the gates. The key is to work together toward a common goal and complete the large project together. Read some of the Bible verses provided to help your children understand the importance of encouraging each other and working in unity.
  • Afterward, help your children share their thoughts and experiences using the discussion questions below.
Questions for discussion
  • How do you feel after you’ve finished a long job or project?
  • How do you think the Israelites felt after they completed the wall around Jerusalem?
  • Where did we get our building materials?
  • Where do you think the Israelites got their building materials?
  • Do you think the Israelites ever argued about who got to do the easy work (standing around “on guard” while the others carried rocks and wood)?
  • Did you feel better when we were cooperating or when we were arguing?
  • When we were building together, did anyone encourage you? Did you ever feel discouraged?
  • Did you ever feel like quitting? If so, why did you keep building?
Key concepts

Now that we’ve built a small-scale model of the walls of Jerusalem, you’ll be able to understand, at least a little, what the real-life task was like for the Israelites! We built our model with materials readily available in our home, but the Israelites had to find real wood and stone and make mortar to complete their project. Can you imagine how tired they got and how relieved and satisfied they must have felt once the project was completed? Did you notice that arguing and complaining can make a hard job seem harder? It’s easier to keep working if we encourage each other and work cooperatively.

Relevant Scripture

Romans 15:5 “May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus . . .

1 Thessalonians 5:11 “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.

Diamonds in the sun

Begin by showing your children a diamond in a dimly-lit room. The diamond seems able to catch and reflect all the light in the room.

Next, move to bright sunlight and show your children how much more light and colour the diamond reflects.

Finally, go into a completely dark room and see if the diamond is even visible at all.

Use the discussion questions to help your children think about how people can be like diamonds.

Questions for discussion
  1. How are people like diamonds?
  2. When are people like the diamond in the room with just a little bit of light?
  3. How are people like the diamond in the dark room?
  4. When are people like the diamond that sparkled in the sun?
  5. Do you know what diamonds look like when they are dug out of the ground?
  6. How do you think they get all cleaned up and pretty like this one?
  7. How are people like “diamonds in the rough”?
  8. How can God smooth out our rough edges and make us shine?
  9. What kind of diamond would you like to be?
Key concepts

People are a lot like diamonds. In and of themselves, people can do kind things, be thoughtful to others and give generously. Good people are like diamonds in a dimly lit room. We find them attractive and enjoy being with them.

People can also be dreadful to each other. They can be like a diamond in a completely dark room. The diamond does not reflect any light at all and there is nothing about it that attracts us to it.

The most beautiful way to view a diamond is to see it in the sun. In order to shine brightly, the diamond needs to be in bright light. People are like the sparkly diamond when they follow God’s ways and reflect God’s love to others. There is no way we can reflect God’s love without His Holy Spirit helping us. We need to be filled with God’s Holy Spirit in order to “shine” in a way that makes others admire Him.

When diamonds are first dug up out of the ground, they are not polished and shiny. They look more like worn fragments of glass that have been washed up on the beach. Their surfaces are dull, and they don’t reflect light well at all. In this state, they are called “rough diamonds.” A professional diamond cutter has to cut and polish each rough diamond to make it sparkling and beautiful.

In a similar way, God smoothes our rough edges and polishes us by sending His Holy Spirit to show us the sin He wants to remove from us. When we love and obey God, we get better and better at reflecting God’s loving nature to others.

Pray with your kids, asking God to fill your home and hearts with His Holy Spirit so your family can show others what Jesus’ love looks like.

Relevant Scripture

1 John 2:6 “Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did.”

2 Corinthians 3:4-6 “Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant – not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”

2 Corinthians 3:17-18 “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”

One leg, two legs

You will need a safe, open space where each child can stand (and perhaps fall) without bumping into others, and also a backpack for each child that’s filled with a heavy load of books, rocks or cans.

You can do this activity at home in your yard, or indoors. Another ideal location for this activity is an outdoor park. As you drive home afterwards, you’ll have a captive audience for your discussion.

See the end note for an indoor alternative using building blocks.

When you’re ready to begin, your role is to call out instructions for various balancing challenges. Some will be difficult, and the children are likely to fail.

(If your kids are the type to fall over on purpose during the balance challenges, create a simple reward system. For example, one extra minute of storytime or one candy for each successful balance challenge.)

Begin by having your children stand on both legs. Call out the following instructions:

  1. Can you raise your arms over your head?
  2. Okay, now clap your hands together.
  3. Can you put one arm out to the side?
  4. Now lean forward and flap your arms as if you are a bird!
  5. Fly faster! There is a bigger bird chasing you now!
  6. Next, can I see you jump up and down?
  7. Can you jump up and down and flap?
  8. Can you jump up and down and flap and lean forward?
  9. For your next challenge, pick up your backpack. Can you hold it directly out in front of you with your arms straight?
  10. Now try to hold your backpack out to the side, using only one arm.
  11. See if you can keep holding your backpack there after you close your eyes.

If you wish to up the ante, here are more ideas to make the balance challenges even more difficult. (Choose only those that are appropriate for your children’s ages and abilities.)

  • Repeat the instructions with your children standing only on one leg.
  • Repeat the instructions with the children standing on tip-toes (on two legs or just one leg.)
  • Repeat the instructions with your children standing on a ground-level balance beam (for example, a wooden railway sleeper bordering a sand box).

For extra fun, let your children try to push you over while you’re:

  • down on “all fours” on the ground
  • standing on both feet
  • balancing on one leg
  • standing on your tippy toes.
Questions for discussion
  1. Was it harder to balance on two feet, or on one foot?
  2. Was it harder to balance on flat feet or on tippy toes?
  3. Was it harder to push me over when I was on “four feet,” two feet, or on my tippy toes?
  4. If you were standing in a windstorm, which position would be most stable?
  5. Why do you think that is?
  6. How big is God?
  7. How strong is God?
  8. How big are we?
  9. How strong are we?
Key concepts

God is big and He provides a firm foundation, just like a wide base of support does. In comparison, we are tiny, like a small base of support that can easily be toppled. If we base our confidence on ourselves, we are likely to “topple and fail” time and time again. However, when we place our confidence in God, we have a much firmer foundation to build our lives on and we will be much less easily swayed by forces around us.

Indoor alternative: Have your children experiment by building towers from blocks – towers with both wide and narrow bases. Once the towers have been built, test them to see how well they withstand various forces: wind (blow air), vibrations (shake the table) and even a “wrecking ball” (a tennis ball tied to the end of a string or slid down into the toe of a stocking).

Relevant Scripture

Psalm 59:16-17 “But I will sing of Your strength, in the morning I will sing of Your love; for You are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble. You are my strength, I sing praise to You; You, God, are my fortress, my God on whom I can rely.”

Jeremiah 17:7-8 “But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in Him. He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”

Isaiah 31:1 “Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, who rely on horses, who trust in the multitude of their chariots and in the great strength of their horsemen, but do not look to the Holy One of Israel, or seek help from the Lord.”

The perfect balance

  • Roll up a thick bath towel up (width-wise) and place it on a solid surface.
  • Next, place the lid of a large storage container across the rolled towel. (If you centre the lid on the towel, it should be easy to find a balance point.)
  • Send your children to collect stuffed animals and dolls to be weighed on your scale.
  • Line the toys up to wait for their turn on the scale.
  • Before weighing any of the toys, explain to your children that one end of the balance is called “over-confidence” or “pride.” The other end is called “under-confidence” or “self-doubt.” The centre of the balance is the perfect sweet spot called “humble confidence.”
  • After making sure your children understand which end of the scale represents pride and which end of the scale represents doubt, have your children take turns bringing an animal, doll or other toy to the scale. Your job, as the parent, is to express thoughts for each toy out loud. Using the scenarios in the chart below, have a doll say, for example, “I’m so pretty I’m sure everyone likes me.” Your children must then decide where that doll will sit on the scale.
  • Feel free to use your own ideas too, tailoring them to your children’s specific successes and struggles. For further discussion, you could also ask how the different prideful or doubting attitudes could be corrected to find a perfect balance.
Scenario Examples of pride Perfect balance Examples of self-doubt
Solving a problem “I can do it on my own. I don’t need God’s help!” “God is great! With God’s help, I can do it.” “I can’t do it! Not even with God’s help.”
Playing on a team “I’m valued for what I have and what I do.” “This is really hard for me, but I’m going to ask God to help.” “I’m not valuable. I have nothing to offer others.”
Meeting for a play-date “I’m so pretty I’m sure everyone will want to play with me.” “I’m going to ask Jesus to help me be kind on my play-date today so my friend enjoys playing with me.” “I don’t have any nice clothes to wear. The other kids won’t like me because I’m not as cute as the other girls.”
Faced with learning something new “I’m smart. Everyone should listen to my instructions.” “God has given me an ability to think well, but it doesn’t mean that He loves me more than He loves others.” “I feel like I am dumb. I will never understand this game.”
Attitude to possessions “See my new truck? Do you like my tractor too?” “Even though I like my new toy a lot, I’m going to ask God to help me to remember to share it.” “I know for sure that if I share this toy with that kid, he is going to break it.”
Inviting guests over “Everyone likes to play at my house because we have the best toys.” “Even though we don’t have the latest and greatest toys at our house, I think my friends will have fun because I’ll be a thoughtful and kind host / hostess. “I don’t want to have a friend over because I don’t have any fun toys.”
Questions for discussion
  1. Where do you think God wants you to sit on the scale?
  2. Is there one end of the scale where you are often tempted to sit?
  3. How can you make sure that you end up in the “perfect balance” spot?
Key concepts

Under-confidence is lack of trust in God. Over-confidence or pride is thinking too much of ourselves and considering ourselves valuable because of what we have or what we can do. We find balance when we think highly of God and humbly of ourselves.

God wants us to know that He loves us just as He created us. He wants us to ask Him for help when our thoughts and attitudes start to get prideful or anxious. His plan is for us to trust Him to help us be who He planned us to be and to do the jobs He has planned for us to do.

Close your time by praying and asking God to help you all find the perfect balance, humbly honouring Him with all He has blessed you with, and trusting Him when you are tempted to feel inadequate.

Note: For maximum benefit from this activity, you may want to first review one of these three Bible stories from this lesson:

Ahab’s foolish confidence (Ahab thought, I can do it on my own. I don’t need God’s help.)

Moses feels mouse-y(Moses thought, I can’t do it – not even with God’s help.)

Asa has an A+ attitude!(Asa’s attitude was, God is great! With God’s help I can do it!)

Relevant Scripture

Romans 12:3 “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.”

Fab feathers

To prepare for this activity, arrange for time alone with each of your children for a private chat. (Bedtime may be a good opportunity.) Ask your child to list all the good things about themselves. Then ask them to list all the things they would like to change.

Listening carefully to your child’s answers will reveal whether they view themselves positively, overly positively or overly negatively. You’ll use what you have learned to guide your discussion as your family completes the remainder of this exercise.

To continue, you will need to gather books about animals, or animal facts found on the Internet (try Cwf-fcf.org), plus paper and felt markers or crayons.

Have your children each draw a picture of an animal they like (or find pictures). Talk about how God has given each of those animals special features to help them function according to His grand design. Do some research together to discover the special features God gave these creatures. For example, birds have very light bones and feathers that make them light enough to fly. They also have an aerodynamic body shape. Birds of prey are equipped with strong beaks and claws (talons) to help them catch their food.

Discuss how each part of the animal is essential for its survival. Use these discussion questions, or make up your own based on each child’s animal of interest.

Questions for discussion
  1. Would a dog be able to eat if it decided, “I get in trouble for barking all the time; I don’t want to have a mouth anymore so I’ll ask my owner to tape it shut”?
  2. Could a bird still fly if it decided to get rid of its tail saying, “I don’t need a tail since I never get to wag it like my friend the dog”?
  3. What if a cow said, “I don’t need a tongue; it’s pink and rubbery, and people laugh when I stick it in my nose because they think it’s gross”?
  4. Could you ride a horse who said, “I don’t need my legs; I’d rather be a crawler like my buddy the worm”?
  5. If a grizzly bear wanted to get rid of his claws because he wanted to be cuddly like a teddy bear, could he still feed himself?
  6. What would happen to a giraffe if it had a short neck? Why does a giraffe need a long neck?
  7. What if an elephant said, “I must get rid of my trunk; it’s just a long, funny-looking nose and I don’t like it”? Would that elephant be able to move big things anymore?
  8. Can you think of other things animals might not like about themselves?
  9. Do people ever complain about how God made them? Do you think we should complain about that?

Note: Gertrude McFuzz by Dr. Seuss is a great book for encouraging children to be content with the way they were designed.

God’s love is like a drop of water: It goes on and on forever

Plan to explore the fascinating water cycle with your children. An ideal time to begin is while you are driving in your vehicle. Play a game of “I spy some water” and use the discussion questions to help your children consider the complexities of the water cycle.

While you are driving, invite your children to look at the wheels of other vehicles that pass by to see if they can see where the tires start and stop. (You want them to realize that circles and wheels have no beginning and no end, like the water cycle and like God).

Questions for discussion
  1. Who can look out the car window and find some water? (We can find water in rivers, lakes, streams, puddles, and in the air as clouds, steam, fog, snow or rain.)
  2. Is water hiding in places where we cannot see it? (Water can appear on our bodies as tears, saliva and sweat.)
  3. Can you think of anywhere else that water may be hiding?
  4. Do you think a person can live without water?
  5. How about animals?
  6. Do plants need water to live too?
  7. What would happen to us and the rest of the plants and animals on the earth if there were no water?
  8. Let’s try and think of a way to get rid of a drop of water. Do you think we can we do it? (Compare the enduring nature of water to God’s love, which never ends.)

At home, conduct this simple experiment that explores the stages of the water cycle: evaporation, condensation, precipitation, transpiration and accumulation:

  1. Explain that evaporation happens when the sun or another heat source heats liquid water, turning it into vapor or steam. Water that has evaporated becomes moisture in the sky, often in the form of clouds or mist.
  2. To demonstrate evaporation: Under careful supervision, allow your children to watch a pot of water boil on the stove. As the water boils, evaporating water is visible as steam rising from the water’s surface.
  3. Now describe how condensation occurs when water vapor (steam) cools down again and changes back into liquid.
  4. To demonstrate condensation: Show your children what happens when you hold a pot lid above the pot of boiling water. (Use an oven mitt to hold the lid, as it can get hot.) Draw your kids’ attention to the steam that’s forming visible water drops (i.e., condensing) on the underside of the lid.
  5. Tell your children that precipitation is water that returns to the earth as dew, snow, rain, hail or sleet. Water falling from the sky is called precipitation.
  6. To demonstrate precipitation: Watch the drops forming on the surface of the pot lid as they grow larger and heavier. Eventually they will begin dropping back into the pot of water (i.e., precipitating).
  7. Now move the pot lid to allow the droplets to fall into a bowl. Collect enough “precipitation” to be visible in the bowl.
  8. Describe how collection or accumulation occurs when the precipitation that falls as snow, rain, sleet or hail begins to collect in certain areas on the earth.
  9. To demonstrate accumulation: Allow your children to take turns observing the accumulated water in the bowl.
  10. Explain that consumption takes place during the water cycle too. Some of the water that sits in puddles, lakes and rivers evaporates, starting the water cycle all over again. But some of the water that sits in puddles, lakes and rivers is first consumed by plants, animals and people. It comes out of our bodies again in the form of waste, such as sweat, tears, saliva and urine, and then evaporates to continue the water cycle. Plants return water to the environment through a process similar to sweating (perspiration). In plants, when the leaves give off moisture like this, we call it transpiration.
  11. To demonstrate consumption: Share out the water that has accumulated in the bowl and allow your children to drink it. Then play an active game that has everyone moving around enough to start sweating. As water begins to show on your skin, explain that water is coming from your bodies and evaporating into the air to cool your skin. That evaporating water is starting the water cycle again.
  12. In conclusion, pray and thank God for designing water to give life to everything on the earth, and thank Him for His love that goes on forever and ever, just like a drop of water.

Note: This discussion can also help a child who is fearful during electrical storms. Use the storm as an opportunity to assure your child that God loves them, and that He is in control. For more ideas, read the Bible storiesbetter than water wings” or “a rocking sail boat” in the courage lesson. In this same lesson, also see the hands-on optionI wanna hold the hand that holds the world.”

Relevant Scripture

Job 36:27-33 “He draws up the drops of water, which distill as rain to the streams; the clouds pour down their moisture and abundant showers fall on mankind. Who can understand how He spreads out the clouds, how He thunders from His pavilion? See how He scatters His lightning about Him, bathing the depths of the sea. This is the way He governs the nations and provides food in abundance. He fills His hands with lightning and commands it to strike its mark. His thunder announces the coming storm; even the cattle make known its approach.”

Isaiah 41:10 “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”

Psalm 106:1 “Praise the Lord. Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever.”

Psalm 135:6-7 “The Lord does whatever pleases Him, in the heavens and on the earth, in the seas and all their depths. He makes clouds rise from the ends of the earth; He sends lightning with the rain and brings out the wind from His storehouses.”

Romans 8:37-39 “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Fun with Glo Germ™

Some good concepts to cover with your children include the idea that sin makes our hearts sick, much like germs make our bodies sick. We can use soap and water to wash away germs, but we need Jesus to wash the sin out of hearts. Germs can hide, and so can sin! Just as Glo Germ illuminates germs, the Holy Spirit shows us our sin.

Relevant Scripture

Psalm 51:1-2 “Have mercy on me, O God, according to Your unfailing love; according to Your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.”

Psalm 51:10-11 “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me from Your presence or take Your Holy Spirit from me.”

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

Talk about tears

You will need a large bowl, four cups of water, plastic drinking cups, one raw egg for each child, stickers or permanent markers, tablespoons and 10 tablespoons of salt.

  • Have each child decorate a raw egg with stickers or markers to represent himself or herself.
  • Place the eggs in the bottom of a plastic bowl, then have your children take turns pouring in a cup of water at a time (four cups of water in total). As each cup of water is poured in, ask your children to list things that make people cry.
  • Observe the egg sitting on the bottom of the bowl, and explain that sometimes someone who is very sad says they feel as though they are “drowning in sorrow.” Mention that, just as we can’t breathe under water, sometimes our sorrows feel so heavy that we feel we can’t handle it.
  • Read Psalm 116:1-5, then have your children begin adding salt by the tablespoonful. Be sure each spoonful is stirred and dissolved before the next one is added. As you add the salt, work through the discussion questions below.
Questions for discussion
  • What do people do when they are sad?
  • How are tears different from drops of rain?
  • Have you ever cried so hard you felt like you were going to stop breathing?
  • Do you think God sees your tears?
  • When we feel dreadfully sad, who promises to care for us?
  • If a friend is sad, how can you encourage them?
Key concepts

God gave us tears as a way to help us cope with our sadness. Tears taste salty and they contain special chemicals that are released by our bodies to help us feel better.

Even when our grief is so overwhelming that we feel we cannot bear it, we can be sure that Jesus sees our tears, and that He understands and cares. Jesus’ death on the cross made Him familiar with sorrow and pain. He knows what it is like to be made fun of, hurt, and even betrayed by a friend.

Jesus is like the salt that “lifted up” the egg. He is very good at comforting us when we experience sorrow and difficulties. He will always be with us and “carry us” through our trials and difficult days.

When we cry and taste our salt tears, we can use it as a reminder of Jesus’ care for us. If a friend or family member is experiencing sadness, we can remind them that Jesus cares about and understands their sorrow.

To enrich your children’s understanding of the fascinating way God made our bodies, especially tears, you may want to do a little research on the Internet, or look through a children’s physiology book.

Relevant Scripture

Psalm 116:1-5 “I love the Lord, for He heard my voice; He heard my cry for mercy. Because He turned His ear to me, I will call on Him as long as I live. The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came upon me; I was overcome by trouble and sorrow. Then I called on the name of the Lord: ‘O Lord, save me!’ The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion.