Supplies: God Time pillows, candle and holder (see “Gathering,” below), My First Hands-On Bible or a family Bible with this story, access to the internet, a copy of the activity sheet printed on card stock for each person, a hole punch, yarn or string, crayons or markers for coloring.
Gather: We like to sit in a circle on the floor for God Time. Finding some pillows or cushions to sit on makes it even more comfortable. My kids like to use pillow pets for this purpose! Once you are in a circle, light a candle (or turn on a battery-operated one; we use an LED tea light in a pretty metal container).
Story: Read “The Good Samaritan” in the First Hands On Bible, your Bible, or you can check out this version: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+10%3A25-28&version=ERV
STOP after Jesus tells the man about the greatest commandment. We will get to the story of the Good Samaritan over the next couple of weeks!
Discuss: According to Jesus, who are we supposed to love? How much are we supposed to love them? How much do you love your parents? How much do they love you? How much does God love you?
Song: The Greatest Commandment with Actions
This week’s song is not so much a song as a fun way to memorize this passage. Here are the words with actions:
What is the greatest commandment? (shrug with palms up)
Love (arms crossed over your heart)
the Lord your God (point to heaven)
with all your heart (point to heart)
and all your mind (point to head)
and all your soul (sign language for Holy Spirit in front of your heart,
left hand palm up, right hand rising in tornado fashion from left hand)
and all your strength (muscleman arms)
and your neighbor as yourself (shake hands with someone nearby).
Repeat this until you have it down. I promise that it will stick with you!
Activity: Print out the activity sheet on heavy paper, one copy per person.
You can find it here: The Greatest Commandment Mobile
Let everyone color them as they wish, cut them out, punch holes in the top and bottom of each piece, and attach to one another with yarn or string. As you color them and put them together, reinforce the greatest commandment for your kids. Here are some pics of our finished products:
Hang them up someplace in your house where you will see them often and can remind each other about Jesus’ words.
Prayer: (You can do this all together, or as a “repeat after me” prayer, depending on reading ability) Dear Jesus, we thank you for the greatest commandment. Help us to love you with all our hearts (point to heart), and all our minds (point to head), and all our souls (Holy Spirit sign in front of heart), and all our strength (muscleman arms), and our neighbors as ourselves (shake hands). Amen.