Thinking through all we’ve discussed about the glory of God this week, I came up with the following points defining the glory of God in kid-friendly language.
(Your sticking points may be different.)
- God is wise and loving. He is our Creator and our authority.
- God is holy and pure (without sin).
- He is everything (perfect) we are not. We (because of our disobedience) can do nothing (we fall short) without Him.
- Christ (God in the flesh) radiates/reflects God’s glory.
- He invites us to trust Him and become His child. Only then do we experience His glory.
Here are some activities to solidify Romans 3:23.
*** Play a game of Things We Can’t Do.Start a fun discussion of things you can’t do. You might say something like: “I could never swim across an ocean.” Then go around the room with your class or back and forth with your personal kids and ask them to tell you what they can’t do. (I can’t jump high enough to reach the moon. I can’t eat 5,000 gallons of ice cream in five minutes. I can’t run across the country without stopping, etc.) Conclude the discussion with, “We can never reach the glory of God, His righteousness, His holiness, His goodness on our own.” Continue by explaining Romans 3:23
*** Take Josh’s suggestion (see Wednesday’s post). Josh did an object lesson with a broken vase. That’s a great way to explain our brokenness (falling short) of God’s glory.
*** Go to Wordart.com and make a graphic showing the attributes of God. If your kids are younger, you may need to do this for them – and ask them to call out the words they want to include. Older kids could do it by themselves. You can do a small one and make copies for everyone, but if you want, they will also (for a price) convert your graphic to a poster.
*** Discuss things that radiate: the sun radiates light, a fire radiates heat, a person might radiate charm or energy. Talk about Hebrews 1:3 and how Christ is the radiance of the glory of God.
*** Teach the kids that in Greek (the language in which Paul wrote this verse), the word sin means “missing the mark.” I’ve emphasized the word disobey to explain sin, but if your kids are older or are catching on to what you’re teaching them, you could add the Greek definition.
Then do some target practice with a Nerf target set (or similar game), but make sure the target is out of reach! (Sin is not simply missing the target by a few inches, we don’t come anywhere near it.) Talk about why they are missing the mark/target. (The target is out of reach, too far away, etc.) Emphasize that we fall short of God’s glory, no matter how much effort we put into trying.
*** Purchase a water bottle for each of the kids. Make sure you choose bottles that say “pure” or “purified” on the label. Ask the kids what that means – pure water. Ask them if they think the water is absolutely, truly, 100% pure? Why or why not?Ask: Is God 100% pure and holy? Is Christ (God in the flesh) 100% pure and holy? What difference does that make to us?
I hope this series has helped and you’ve come up with some unique ways to explain what it means to fall short of the glory of God. (I know, I know, so MUCH I haven’t talked about on the subject, but wanted to keep to a main focus.)