Scripture: Matthew 25:1-13
- Students will learn Jesus will return to earth one day to take people to Heaven.
- Students will learn no one knows when Jesus will come back.
- Students will learn we should always follow, worship and obey God so we will be ready when Jesus comes back.
- Students will participate in an activity to help them be more mindful of reading their Bibles and praying independently.
Guiding Question: What are some things we should be doing regularly to be ready from when Jesus returns.
Materials: blank books, markers, stickers, reproduction clay oil lamp (optional)
Procedure: Tell students the story of the wise and foolish bridesmaids. Explain that life was very different in the time of Jesus. When a couple got engaged, they didn’t set a wedding date. The groom would go and begin building or getting a home ready for his future bride. This usually took several months to a year.
The groom would let the bride’s family know when the home was almost ready. The bride would then gather her bridesmaids and wait eagerly for the groom and his groomsmen to come and get the bridal party. Apparently, this often happened at night. Since there was no electricity, oil lamps would be needed so guests could see the wedding and the banquet that followed. The bridesmaids knew they would need a lot of oil to keep their lamps burning for that amount of time. Those who didn’t have enough oil were considered unprepared, because it was something everyone knew was needed to be a bridesmaid.
Explain to students that this is yet another parable of Jesus. That means there is another, deeper meaning to the story. Ask students if they can explain that deeper meaning in their own words. (Add or correct any necessary information.) Ask students to list the things they think we need to do to be ready for Jesus to come back. (Make sure baptism/becoming a Christian is included in the list.)
Tell students there are several things they need to do regularly – preferably every day – in order to be ready. They need to read their Bibles, so they know what God wants from them and for them, and they need to pray.
Explain that today they will be making Bible journals. For younger students, explain that they can ask their parents to write down what Bible verses they read to them. Older students should also discuss perhaps labeling pages for things like, “Bible verses I have read”, “Questions I have after reading my Bible”, “Words I don’t understand when I am reading my Bible”, and anything else they may find helpful. Tell them they can also write their prayers down and the answers God gives them. (Older students can also decorate their journals.)
If time allows, tell students that although it is more important that we understand and do what God wants us to learn from the verses in the Bible, it is also important to know the stories well so we can tell them accurately to others. Play a game of Bible trivia to “test” them on their Bible knowledge. Explain to them that the more they study their Bibles, the more they will be able to tell people who don’t know about Jesus what is in the Bible.