Use this creative object lesson on forgiveness in your children’s ministry for the New Year.
Truth: When we pray for forgiveness, God cleanses our hearts.
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You’ll need colored glass ball Christmas ornaments and coarse salt.
Use this prayer as part of a Christmas or New Year’s celebration with middle to older elementary kids. Give each child a solid colored glass ball Christmas ornament. 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.)
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.