A Clean Slate

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Children’s activity on forgiveness at Christmas / New
Year

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Truth: When we pray for forgiveness, God cleanses our
hearts.

You’ll need colored glass ball Christmas ornaments and coarse
salt.

Use this prayer as part of a New Year’s celebration with middle
to older elementary kids. Give each a solid colored glass ball
Christmas ornament. (You can usually find these very inexpensively
after Christmas.) Demonstrate how to carefully pull the wire loop
and its base from the top of an ornament. Then have each child pour
a spoonful of coarse salt into his or her ornament and cover the
open top with a thumb. If the edges of the ornaments are sharp,
cover the openings with tape.

Explain that when we pray and confess our sins, God takes those
sins away and makes our hearts new and clean – this is forgiveness.
Have children close their eyes and pray silently, asking God to
forgive their wrong-doings. As kids pray, have them shake their
Christmas ornaments vigorously so the salt rubs against the inside.
After a minute, say “amen” and have kids look at their Christmas
ornaments. The salt will have rubbed off much of the shiny paint,
revealing a clear glass ball! (Some kids may need to shake the
ornament a bit more to remove all of the paint.)

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Let kids pour out the salt and then rinse and dry their
ornaments. Children can hang their clear ornaments as reminders of
God’s forgiveness and to “keep their hearts clean” during the new
year.

Extra Idea! Set out puffy paints and glitter
glue and allow kids to decorate their New Year’s ornaments.
Encourage children to write a verse such as 1 John 1:9 as a reminder of God’s
forgiveness.

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