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4 paper / styrofoam cups full of mud, 1 paper / styrofoam cup full of soapy water, 1 washcloth, marker to label cups
Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be white as snow. Isaiah 1:18
5 – 10 Minutes
Ask the children to name some specific sins – for example, stealing, cheating, disobedience, lying, etc. Label each cup filled with mud with the sins that are named (1 name per cup). Now ask the children for a volunteer. Have the volunteer come up front and have them stand next to you. Say to the children, ‘________’ (use volunteer’s name) is going to help us understand what happens to us inside when we sin.
You will then proceed to take the first cup of mud labeled with a sin and tell an example of that sin. For instance, if your cup is labeled stealing, you might say something like,
One day, ‘_________’ (volunteer’s name) went to the grocery store and saw a candy bar he really wanted. He didn’t have any money to buy the candy, so he slipped it into his coat and snuck it out of the store. When he got home, ‘___________’ (volunteer’s name) got out the candy bar to eat it, but he couldn’t because he felt bad inside for stealing the candy. He felt dirty inside because he had sinned.
You then dip your finger in the mud and put a swipe of mud on the volunteer’s face.
Do the same for the next 3 cups of mud, telling a short example of each sin before putting a smear on the volunteer’s face.
Once you’ve gone through all 4 cups of sin, take the cup with soapy water and say something like, Sin really makes you feel dirty inside. But when we ask Jesus into our heart and ask Him to forgive us, He washes our sins away. He makes our heart as white as snow. Write ‘Jesus’ on the cup of soapy water and then dip the washcloth in it. Proceed to wash all the mud off of the volunteer’s face. While you are washing it off, you can continue to talk about God’s forgiveness.
You can end the lesson by asking the children if they would like to ask Jesus in their hearts to wash their sins away. And for children who already have Jesus in their hearts, you can pray with them for forgiveness, explaining that we must daily confess our sins to God.
The children will love to watch the volunteer get mud smeared all over their face, and we have found that the volunteer usually loves getting dirty!
by Chadd Hatlevig