Scripture: Matthew 5:13-18
- Students will learn Jesus taught in parables to help the people understand godly principles.
- Students will learn God knew many of His Followers would become Christians, but then for various reasons not share the good news of Jesus with others.
- Students will learn God’s Plan was always for everyone to have the opportunity to become a Christian, not just the Jewish people.
- Students will participate in activities to help them practice shining their lights.
Guiding Question: What does it look like in our lives if we are salt and light to the world?
Materials: organic bread (no preservatives), salt, sandwich bags, cardstock, markers, Salted crackers, salt free crackers
Procedure: Read students the scriptures above about salt and light. Ask them how many of them turn on a light in their bedroom when it gets dark outside. Ask them if any of them have ever gone without electricity at night. Have them share how dark their house was compared to when they have electricity.
Tell students there was no electricity in Bible times. Light, whether from an oil lamp or a candle, was extremely important at night. Without electrical lights, on cloudy nights you wouldn’t be able to see anything. (Unlike today when the lights from something else might light your way.)
Give each student one salted cracker and one unsalted cracker to taste. Ask them if they can taste the difference. Explain to them salt is mostly used today to help food taste better. Explain that in Bible times salt had other uses too. It was used for keeping food safe to eat (remember – no electricity – no refrigerators) and for disinfecting things. Some places even used salt for money!
Give each student two (sandwich) bags and two decent sized pieces of bread. Have them place one piece of bread in one bag and seal it. Have them sprinkle the other with 1 tablespoon of salt and place it in the other bag and seal it, too. Tell the students to take the two bags home and check them every day. Tell them you want them to let you know next week which piece of bread started growing mold first.
Ask students why Jesus wants Christians to be salt and light to the world. (Note: With younger students, you will need to prompt them towards answers with other questions.) Have them give as many examples as possible of different ways Christians can be salt and light in the world. Then have them share things your church has done to be salt and light. Finally, have them share things they can do at school or in their neighborhoods to be salt and light.
Explain to students that serving and helping other people is great. They need to remember though, that the biggest part of being salt and light is introducing other people to God and Jesus.
They need to be ready to tell everyone about Jesus and what he has done for us. Older students should also be able to share how following God has helped them (they may need prompting for ideas). They should also be able to explain to people what they need to do in order to become a Christian.
Give students blank bookmarks. Show them the story of the Bible in symbols. (Attached) Explain each symbol to them. Have them re-create the one you showed them or create their own, Tell them they can put this somewhere like their Bible so they can remember some things to talk about when they start telling people about Jesus. Students can add additional decorations to their bookmarks to make them more attractive.