Scriptural basis: Job 38:1-18, 24-30, 34-5; Job 42:1-6; Luke 18:18-25
The point: Once we have a good “recipe” for doing something, we tend to keep on using it even though will sometimes give us the wrong answers. Most adults playing this game alongside the kids will shout out GREEN for one of the sheets that you hold up, even though the letters are blue.
Truth is the same way. We assume that when something works as we expect it to, then we know the truth; but, details can be important – there is often more there than meets the eye. The truth we see is never the whole truth.
The goal is to learn that the truth of God is unchanging, but that the truth as we see it will always change and deepen as we learn more.
A set of sheets of paper large enough to be seen by everyone in the sanctuary, with block letters and colors as shown below. NB: The shown sequence is CRITICAL.
RED YELLOW PURPLE GREEN BLUE
Appoint an adult as the judge/scorekeeper, and give them the sheet at the end of this article to use in recording the score. Secretly go over the rules, and the “trick” with them before the service.
Make sure lighting is adequate to see the colors on the sheets.
We’re going to play a game today with the grownups, and I think it’s a game that you kids will win. Are you ready?
I’m going to hold up a bunch of sheets of paper high enough that everyone can see them. Each sheet has letters that are in different colors. I want you to tell me what color the letters are, and I want you to shout out your answer as loud as you can, and as fast as you can, before the other side shouts out their answer. Whichever group shouts out the answer first gets a point, a tie means you both get a point, a wrong answer means you lose a point.
Are you ready? (Louder!!!)
Grownups, are you ready? (Louder!!!)
Judge, are you ready?
OK, here we go…
Go through the sheets rapidly, holding up after another, in the sequence shown above, switching to the next sheet as soon as you hear the shouted answers – the Judge will have to keep up. You may need to repeat showing the first (Red) sheet and coax the participants until you are getting decent volume and enthusiasm from both groups.
What should happen is that the adults will get the next to last sheet wrong. The color is BLUE, even though the sheet says GREEN. The kids, particularly the younger ones who don’t read as well, are much more likely to get the color right.
OK, who won? (Encourage discussion among the kids, then a few comments from the adults, then get the final answer from the judge.)
(Hold up the GREEN and BLUE sheets for everyone to see.)
Here are the last two sheets. Look at them closely.
(Pause for a moment…)
What do you see once you take some time to look at them? (encourage discussion)
Once we have a good “recipe” for doing something, we tend to keep on using it even though will sometimes give us the wrong answers. Most people playing this game will shout out GREEN for this sheet even though the letters are blue.
Truth is the same way. We assume that when something works as we expect it to, then we know the truth, but details can be important – there is often more there than meets the eye. The truth we see is never the whole truth.
This morning’s Bible readings are both stories about people who assumed that things worked the way they had always been doing them, and that to make fix things, or make them better, simply meant they had to do more of what they had always done.
But, both of them learned that this wasn’t true. What had been true wasn’t working any more. What had really changed is how they understood the truth of God. The truth itself had not changed, but the truth as they saw it had changed because they themselves had changed.
So, let’s always remember that just because something has always worked well for us doesn’t mean it always will, and that just because someone disagrees with us doesn’t mean that they’re wrong. All it means is that the truth is bigger than any of us, and that we always have more to learn.
Let us pray…
Dear God, help me to always listen to what you are speaking to me, help me to always follow the path you set for me, and to not wander away or get lost when things change. Help me Lord to love your truth, and to learn more about your truth every day. And help me to love those around me, even when their truths are different from my own.
Final Note: This time, the adults won!