- God’s invitation is open to all people.
- God makes himself known to those who want to know about him.
- God does not show favoritism.
- Peter was part of a group that felt that God was only for them but God wanted all people to know him.
“Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right.”
– Acts 10.34-35 (NIV)
National Identity (Object lesson)
(You’ll need a passport and maybe a world map)
Show the children your passport and ask them if they know what it is. Explain to them that it’s a document to prove that you belong to a certain country. People have made up rules that say that you can’t just go to another country unless you have permission. You have to get a passport first and then you get a stamp in your passport from the country that you’re visiting. There are many different nations in the world with many different types of people living in each country. God created everyone and he wants us to know that he loves everyone; and he wants us to love them too! Some people get confused and think that God only loves certain kinds of people or that God belongs to a certain country. Do you think that God has to carry a passport? No!
Tell the Bible story from Acts 10.1-48
It’s fairly long so if you want you can read parts of it from the Bible and tell parts of it in your own words. Here’s some interesting background information:
Cornelius – he had likely adopted Jewish worship but was still considered a gentile (it was as though he didn’t have a Jewish passport)
Centurion – captain of a hundred soldiers
Rome – occupied Israel since 63 BCE
Unclean food – Set the Jews apart (Lev. 11, Deut. 14). Peter’s vision showed that with Jesus things had changed and that faith in God wasn’t just for people who ate the same food and practiced the same customs as the Jews.
Peter realized that God wanted all people to be part of his kingdom. God’s kingdom isn’t limited to one country or one people group. That is why Jesus is the King of kings. He is king over all kings. When we put our faith in God it’s like we become citizens of the kingdom of heaven. It doesn’t matter what country we come from or what passport we carry here on earth because we belong to a glorious kingdom with a good king!
Pray that we wouldn’t only live for this world but that we would live for our king Jesus. Pray that people everywhere would come to know God and his great love for them.
- IDEA: Passport to heaven
- Supplies: Craft paper, blank paper, stamps, crayons, pencils
Have the kids make passports to heaven. Let them write their name and draw their own picture in it. Let them put stamps in their passport from a passport stamp sticker book.
- IDEA: Snowball Fight!
- Supplies: Paper, masking tape, timer
Goal: To move as many paper balls to the opponent’s side as possible.
– As much paper as you can find- Leftover newspaper or leftover printer paper that needs to be recycled
– Masking tape
How to Play Snowball Fight:
- Place masking tape on the floor to mark two equal sections of the room (similar to a pie shape). Split everyone into two equally numbered teams. No one can cross to the other section. Distribute the pieces of paper and newspaper equally to the two groups..
- When you say “go”, everyone needs to crumple the pieces of paper and try throwing the crumpled paper balls to the opponents’ sides.
- Time the group for 3 minutes. Then, tell everyone to stop. Count the number of paper balls in each side. The team with the least paper balls gets a point.
- Repeat step 3 and play the game again. The team that reaches 2 points first wins the game.
Image Credit: Vision of Cornelius the Centurion by Gerbrand van den Eeckhout, 1664