Use this children’s Sunday School lesson to teach kids that Jesus takes our guilt and worry, and gives us His rules in exchange.
Needed: Bibles, a scale and various items to weigh, a heavy object (such as bricks or boxes of rocks)
Intro Game #1: Doctor, Doctor
In this game of Freeze Tag, students will come to you for “healing” to get back in the game.
First, divide students into two teams. One team starts as It, chasing the other. Set a timer for 5 minutes. When a student is tagged, they have to pretend they’re sick or injured and hop on one foot to where you are. You’re the Doctor that can heal them. If they make it to you before they’re tagged again, you can pronounce them Healed and send them back into the game as a normal player. If they get tagged before they make it to you, they’re out.
The round is over when your timer goes off or when the It team tags all the members of the opposite team before they can hop over to you for healing. Have the teams switch roles and play again.
Intro Game #2: How Much Does it Weigh?
Bring in a kitchen or body weight scale and make a game show out of having kids guess how much various items weigh. Choose only one student at a time to come forward and answer your questions.
Round 1. Gather a variety of items and simply have kids guess how much they weigh.
Round 2. Weigh an item and have kids guess how much lighter or heavier the next object will be.
Round 3. Set a target weight limit and have kids bring you an item they think will be as close to that as possible. If it’s more than a pound lighter or heavier, reject it.
Give students your heavy object. You can have an object for each of them or have them take turns holding one thing.
Say, Let’s see who can hold this the longest. Whoever can hold it the longest wins.
Was that pretty heavy? Now, try this. (Hand them each a Bible.)
Is that a little less heavy?
(Read Matthew 11:28-30.)
“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
What does Jesus say He will do for those who are weary and burdened? (He will give them rest.)
What does it mean to be weary? (To be tired.)
What does it mean to be burdened? (To be carrying something heavy.)
Sometimes, the heavy things we carry are sins. When we’ve done something wrong, it makes us feel guilty, and when we feel guilty, it makes our souls feel heavy and sad.
Sometimes, the heavy things we carry are worries. We worry about things, and that makes our souls feel heavy, too.
But Jesus says He will take our heavy things and give us something lighter. We can give Him our sins and our guilt, and He will forgive us. We can give Him our worries and then, not worry about them anymore.
Then, when we give Jesus our sins and our worries, He gives us His rules to follow. But following Jesus’ rules is much easier than making our souls heavy by carrying around all those sins and worries. We can give Jesus our sins and the things we’re worried about, and all we have to do is follow His rules.
Game: Doctor, Doctor part 2
Play the intro game again, but this time, have students pretend that when they are tagged, it’s their spirit or soul that feels bad and that they have to come to Jesus for spiritual healing. Remind them that Jesus takes the guilt and the worry that makes our souls feel bad, and gives us His rules instead.
Jesus, we thank You for taking our guilt and our worries to that we can feel lighter in our souls. Because You’ve taken those things from us, help us to follow Your rules and honor you. Amen.
You can also find this lesson for Kindle or in print in my book, The Parables and Teachings of Jesus Vol. 1.