Lesson 3: Get Rid Of The Labels
The Colossian people had difficulty welcoming people that weren’t exactly like they were. So, Paul re- minded them that “In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gen- tile, circumcised or uncircumcised, bar- baric, civilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us.” We can’t look down our nose at others and think we are better than they are. We can’t judge others based on where they grew up, what they look like, or anything like that. God loves EVERY- ONE the same! HE is all that matters! We have to look at others the way GOD looks at them! In this lesson, the children will learn to see others the way God sees them.
Chuck: (comes in doing karate moves) OH YEAH!! I am THE MAN!!! (looks out into the audience and begins to freak out. Quickly hides behind the Leader)
Leader: Chuck! What are you doing?? Are you okay, buddy?
Chuck: No I am NOT okay! You didn’t tell me there was one of THOSE people here today!
Leader: “THOSE” people?? What are you talking about?
Chuck: YOU know what I mean! There’s a kid here wearing a GREEN shirt!!
Leader: Um…where? (looks out into the audience) Oh! Hey buddy! (waves to a random kid wearing a green shirt out in the audience)
Chuck: (grabs the Leader’s waving hand and pushes it down) Are you NUTS?! You almost lost your arm!
Leader: Chuck, you’re acting crazier than usual.
Chuck: I seem to be the only SANE person here! Everybody knows that kids that wear green shirts can TURN INTO LIZARDS!
Leader: Ohhh. Wait. HUH?!
Chuck: (sighs) I guess I have to be the smart one…AGAIN. Kids that wear green shirts are DANGEROUS. They can turn into giant lizards! And they can breathe fire! And smash through buildings! Next thing you know everybody’s running around screaming things in Japanese!! (runs around like he is in a B Monster movie. When speaking he makes it sound as if his voice has been badly dubbed) OH NO! IT IS GIGANTOR-KID! HE IS HEADED FOR THE COOKIE FACTORY! NO GLASS OF MILK IS BIG ENOUGH TO STOP HIM!!
Leader: Chuck!! Calm down! That is the single most ridiculous idea you have EVER had!
Chuck: More ridiculous than the time I was convinced my grandma was just Big Foot wearing a disguise? She had really hairy toes, hung out in the woods --
Leader: (interrupts) Nevermind about all that! Where in the WORLD did you get the idea that just because a kid wears a green shirt they can turn into a giant fire-breathing lizard??
Chuck: A very reliable source.
Leader: And who might that be?
Leader: Chuck, I hate to say this buddy…but you’re wrong.
Chuck: Do what?? I mean, c’mon! It makes sense! Green shirt! Lizards are green! So I just assumed by lookin’ at ‘em they could turn into a giant monster and squish me like a bug! Is that such a crazy idea?
Leader: Chuck you can’t just judge people by how they look on the outside!
Chuck: You can’t?
Leader: Of course not! Today we’re talking about seeing people through the eyes of God! God sees your first as HIS CREATION that he LOVES! No matter what you look like! You could be tall, short, rich, poor, dirty, or clean! It doesn’t matter what color your skin is or where your from! If we’re going to Dress Up and be like Jesus, we have to see people the way God does!
Chuck: I see what you mean…I can’t go around judging people just by the way they look! (looks out into the audience) I’m sorry for calling you a lizard creature! It could’ve been worse! I could’ve said giant piece of broccoli…or a giant BOOGER! That’d be so gross! (begins miming being a B movie again) BOOGER-SAURUS! NO HANKIE IS BIG ENOUGH--
Leader: (interrupts) Chuck, I think it’s time to go.
Chuck: I agree. That was SNOT funny. I NOSE it…and they NOSE it…
Chuck: I’M Chuck FOO! KICK IT!!
- Play: Game Slide
Snatch It! Dress Up Edition
You will need: Clothing or costume items that can be grabbed quickly, such as a shoe, hat, scarf, glove, sock, rainboot, etc. You will use one item per round and need at least 1 item per pair of kids, more items means a longer game.
How to play:
1.Divide the group into two equal teams. Have the two teams stand face-to-face in two parallel lines, with enough gap in between.
2.Find as many clothing items as you can and place only one in the center.
3.Assign a number (in sequence) to each member of a team, such that every member of one side has a counterpart with the same number in the opposing team.
4.The leader will call out a number at random (from the assigned numbers), and the kids with that assigned number should try to grab the item in the center. Once they have it they must put it on.
5.The team that gets the item gets a point, and the team wearing the most snatched items wins.
Read Acts 10:9-48 to become familiar with all the details of the Bible Story.
We have been talking about what it means to “clothe ourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ.” We learned that the spiritual “clothing” we put on must help other people see Jesus in our lives. It’s a decision we have to make every day—to “put on Jesus.” We have been studying in the book of Colossians, chapter 3 where the Apostle Paul is teaching what it means to be clothed in Jesus Christ. Last time we learned that we need to take off the clothes of sin. In Colossians 3:11, Paul teaches the next thing we need to do in order to clothe ourselves in Jesus.
“In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, civilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us.” What is Paul saying? He’s saying...
Paul lists off a lot of different groups of people. He says that it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or not, if you are slave or not, whatever. Christ is all that matters, and He lives in all of us. God sees everyone the same. He doesn’t love one group more than the other. He loves Americans as much as He loves Africans. He loves tall people as much as He loves skinny people. Everyone is equal in God’s eyes.
We don’t always act like that is the case, though, do we? Sometimes we act like we think we are better than others. That’s what the people in the church that Paul was writing to thought. They looked at other people who were not like them and put labels on them.
We do that sometimes as well. We label others and put them in groups. Some people we think are more important than others. (ask for five volunteers to come up to the stage) Take these people for example. We look at others and we put labels on them, deciding what they are “worth.” (write the word “nerd” on a label and place it on the first child) We decide, “That person is a ‘nerd.’ They aren’t good for anything but reading books and taking tests.” (write the word “athlete” on a label and place it on the next child) We decide, “Well, that person is a strong athlete, so they are probably not that smart.” (write the word “poor” on a label and place it on the next child) We decide, “That person doesn’t have much money and they don’t dress very nice. I can’t be their friend, or I wouldn’t be as popular.” (write the word “liar” on a label and place it on the next child) “This person told a lie once, so they are not to be trusted, ever. I hope nobody is ever their friend.” (write the word “popular” on a label and place it on the last child) “That person is the most popular kid in school, so they must be so cool and amazing.”
We put these labels on others. We decide how much they are “worth” based on the label that we give them or that others give them. The problem is, when we label others, many times it keeps us from showing them God’s love.
It’s like the Apostle Peter. Even though Jesus had told the disciples just before He went to heaven that it was their job to “Go and make disciples of ALL nations, ALL people, ALL types.” This was their instruction. It was very clear. You would think that the disciples understood that this meant they were to take the gospel to EVERYONE.
The disciples didn’t get it. They had a real problem with anyone who was not a Jew by birth. They took the gospel to the Jews – no problem. They refused to include the non-Jews, or Gentiles, in their efforts to reach people.
So, at a much later time, God appeared to the Apostle Peter in a dream as he was sleeping.
The story is found in Acts 10.
God showed Peter a vision of a blanket coming down from Heaven that had a bunch of animals on it. God told Peter to kill the animals and eat them. This food was the kind of food that Peter had been taught to NEVER eat.
Peter told God, “I have NEVER eaten any food that is impure.” God told Peter, “Do not call anything impure that I have made clean.” This happened three times, then Peter woke up.
There was a knock at his door. The servant of a man named Cornelius asked Peter to come to his house. Peter went and met with Cornelius who was a non-Jew.
Through this encounter and the vision Peter had, Peter realized what God was trying to tell him. Peter said, "I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right.” - Acts 10:34,35
Cornelius and his entire family gave their lives to Jesus that day because Peter finally understood that he should not label others as “not worthy” of God’s love.
We need to understand the same lesson that Peter learned. We must NEVER label others as “not worthy” or “not as good as us.” Instead…
We must get rid of the labels and begin to look at others through God’s eyes. God sees everyone as important. He sees everyone as worthy of His love. He sees everyone as worthy of sending His Son to die for them.
We must stop labeling others and begin to show EVERYONE God’s love because… “In this new life, it doesn’t matter if you are a Jew or a Gentile, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbaric, civilized, slave, or free. Christ is all that matters, and he lives in all of us.”
(play soft music) Pray with the children who have been guilty of labeling others. Pray with them for forgiveness and help to see others through the eyes of God.
What was today’s Big Idea? Answer: “I Will Look At Others Through The Eyes Of God!”
What was the name of the designer that Geaurbaux did not like? Answer: Darra Davenport
Which disciple did we talk about today? Answer: Peter
What was on the blanket that lowered from the sky in Peter’s vision? Answer: animals
What was the name of the man who invited Peter to his house? Answer: Cornelius
In our lesson today, we learned “Everyone Is _______ In God’s Eyes.” Answer: Equal
In our lesson today, we also learned “We Must Never _________ Others.” Answer: Label
In our lesson today, we also learned “We Must Look At Others Through The _______ Of __________.” Answer: Eyes Of God
True or False: All of the people in Cornelius’ house were saved. Answer: True
Where was our Power Verse found? Answer: Colossians 3:11