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Bible passage: Micah 4:1-5
Background: Micah’s role as a prophet was to remind the Israelites of God’s judgement. God had a high standard when it came to how he wanted them to live in order to represent him as his people.
Many people think of Micah 6:8 when they think of this book, and it’s a helpful one to remember the essence of what God was calling his people to be like through Micah. The creative response encourages the group to think of ways these ideas may be enacted. It’s important that the group thinks about what this means and that participants put these ideas into action in their own contexts, so think about how you might develop this outside the session.
As you invite the group to begin, make the space welcoming and inviting with accessible questions. Share out any refreshments you have. Ask group members if they have any news to share, or what the highlights of their week have been. If you would like to introduce the session’s theme, ask: “What rules do you find hardest to keep?”
You will need: large sheet of paper; marker pen
Ask the group to imagine they are setting up a new community on an island. You get to start completely from scratch! As well as all the building projects and farming, one of your jobs is to write a ‘code of behaviour’ that everyone has to stick to in order to make the new community run as smoothly as possible.
Gather around a large sheet of paper. Ask the group to think about what their rules would be, writing them down as you go along.
Let disagreements unfold, and ask probing questions to help the group members unpack what they mean and why their suggestions are important to them.
You will need: large version of Micah 6:8 (written on paper or a PowerPoint slide)
Read Micah 4:1-5 aloud, choosing a version that is easy to understand (such as a children’s Bible or The Message). You could have copies and ask the children to volunteer to read out sections if they’d like to.
Explain to the group that Micah was a prophet to the Israelites. His job was to tell the people what God wanted them to hear. In the case of Micah, God was warning the Israelites about what might happen if they strayed from him and his ways, and encouraging them to live the way he wanted them to. In the passage you’ve just read, Micah encourages the Israelites to walk in ‘God’s paths’. Ask the group what they think Micah meant by this.
Later on in the book, Micah spells out what it means to walk in God’s paths. Micah 6:8 (ESV) says:
“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”
Show them your large version of this so all the children can see it. Split the group into smaller clusters and ask them to come up with ways that make it easy to remember this verse. They can come up with rhythms, tunes or actions that help them memorise it. They might want to shorten it or make it into a rhyme! Once everyone has finished, ask them to come back and share what they have come up with.
The phrases ‘do justice’, ‘love kindness’ and ‘walk humbly’ might seem quite abstract. Use this time to unpack these ideas and make them more accessible:
- What is justice? • What do you think Micah meant when he told the Israelites God wanted them to ‘do justice’?
- What does it mean to ‘love kindness’?
- What does ‘humble’ mean?
- How can you ‘walk humbly’?
You will need: pens and paper
This response gives the children a chance to put some of these ideas into action. Split the group into three. Allocate ‘Do justice’, ‘Love kindness’ and ‘Walk humbly’ to each group. Ask the groups to think about what they can do as a group in today’s world to do each of these things. Get them to come up with a plan that will enable the whole group to put these ideas into practice. This may involve activities outside the session, or perhaps setting aside another session to do so.
You will need: coloured thread; beads; beads with letters on
Invite the group to make prayer bracelets to help them remember today’s passage, to pray that we might be people who do justice, love kindness and walk humbly, and to take them home and remember to keep praying.
Find some online tutorials for making friendship bracelets (though the children may already know ways of making them). Either ask them to spell the three key phrases out in bead letters on different strands, or to choose three beads that represent these ideas.
Once you’ve finished making the bracelets, ask the group to pray, holding the bracelets open in their hands as an offering to God that they will try to walk in his paths:
“Dear God, thank you that you love justice, kindness and mercy. Help us be your people by doing justice, loving kindness and walking humbly. Amen.”
Encourage the children to take the bracelets home and use them as a reminder to pray.
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