Pause for Thought in the Classroom - What Is God Like: Part 1
God loves beauty and variety
by Janice Ross
Suitable for Whole School (Pri)
To consider that we can discover what God is like by looking at the world that he created.
Preparation and materials
- You will need to have the means available to display the poem in the ‘Assembly’, Step 9.
You may also wish to practise it ahead of time with the children using actions. The second verse lends itself to the use of instruments, too.
- Optional: for the ‘Extension activities’ section, you may need some paint colour charts or some squares of painted card (Activity 2) and a leaf, a shell, a feather and a magnifying glass or microscope (Activity 3).
- Tell the children that you are going to start off by playing a game. You are going to describe someone in the room and you want the children to guess who it is. (Describe someone by their appearance, making sure that everything that you say is positive.)
- Next, describe someone else, but rather than describing what they look like, identify their characteristics. For example, ‘This person works hard and is always kind . . . I saw them this morning picking up some litter . . .’
- Ask the children what they think God is like.
Listen to a range of responses.
Explain to the children that over the next few weeks, we are going to be considering what God is like.
- Point out that when we are asked to describe someone, we tend to say what the person looks like. However, we can’t describe God in this way because we don’t actually know what he looks like!
Most of us know that we should never look directly at the sun because we will damage our eyes. Christians believe that, even if God was right in front of us, we wouldn’t be able to look directly at him because he is so pure and full of light. Christians believe that when they get to heaven, they will be able to see God face to face.
- Explain that, although we can’t look directly at God, we can look at all the wonderful things that he has made to get clues as to what he’s like.
- Ask the children whether they can guess some of the things that God has made from the following descriptions. (You can adapt the clues depending on the age of the children.)
- I am something that God made. I am very tall. I live in Africa. I reach up to eat leaves from the tops of trees.
- I am something that God made. I am an animal from Australia. I have a special pocket in which I keep something precious.
- I am something that God made. You might not want to pick me up because I’m prickly. I hibernate in the winter.
- Point out that God has made animals of great variety. He didn’t make all animals the same, just as he didn’t make all humans the same. He made each one of us different.
God likes variety.
- Ask the children whether they can guess some more things that God has made from the following descriptions. (You can adapt the clues depending on the age of the children.)
- I am something that God made. I am white and tiny. I am the first flower of spring. My head is bell-shaped.
- I am something that God made. I am red. I have a lovely scent. Many people buy me in February.
- I am something that God made. I sparkle and I can be seen high overhead on a clear night.
God likes beautiful things.
- Show the poem below.
Explain that the poem describes more things that God made for us to enjoy. Ask the children to read it with you.
God made people, and still he does;
All he makes and all he loves.
Tall people, small people,
God made me, and God made you.
God made mountains and rivers and trees,
Tiny little insects and round fat bees,
Streams that gurgle
And waves that splash,
Birds to sing and thunder to crash!
God made stars and planets and the sun,
And when he’d finished, he looked at all he’d done.
‘It’s all very good,’
He said with glee,
‘Everything is just as I wanted it to be.’
Time for reflection
Sum up by saying that we may not be able to see God with our eyes, but we can see all that he has made and this tells us what he is like. God is creative and he loves variety.
You may wish to close with the following prayer.
Although we can’t see you, there is so much around us that tells us about you.
Thank you for your beautiful creation.
Thank you that you have such an imagination that no two things are the same.
Thank you for making even the tiniest thing so beautiful.
‘All things bright and beautiful’, available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FT_oDqOEGpc (2.40 minutes long)
- Encourage the children to make up guessing games for each other, starting with the words, ‘I’m thinking of . . .’
They might choose to describe seasonal fruit, vegetables, flowers and so on.
- Give groups of children a paint colour chart or a square of painted card. How many things that God made can they find that match the colour?
If you are giving this lesson in autumn, you may like to choose oranges, reds, browns and purples.
- Use a magnifying glass or a microscope to examine a leaf, a shell and a feather and discuss your findings.