Good Morning Everyone! It is such a joy to have you “here” this is our last week that content will be available in this format–from now on please join us at 9:15 “LIVE” on Church Online and the lesson will be available on-demand Mondays afterward if you miss it Sunday.
Enjoy learning as a family!
Try this fun object lesson as a family!
painter’s tape and permanent marker
Use the painter’s tape to create a simple timeline on the floor, starting with 0 and marking every foot or so in increments of 25 years. Write the number of years each line marks directly on the tape. If possible, lay out a timeline that goes up to at least 500 years.
Guess at the Life Spans of Various Living Things
Say: Today we’re discovering something big and amazing about God—that God is forever. Forever can be a little hard to understand because in our world we’re surrounded by beginnings and ends. You might have even heard the phrase “Nothing lasts forever.” That’s true…except for God!
Let’s explore this some more with a timeline and looking at the life spans—the average length of a life—for some living things in our world.
Point out the timeline you’ve taped to the floor, and explain the increments of time you’ve marked.
You’ll call out the name of a living thing in our world, and kids can move to a spot on the timeline that they think shows the average length of that thing’s life—the year mark where that living thing’s life typically ends.
You can use the following guide for some surprising life spans in God’s creation. Call out the living thing, allow kids to move on the timeline to vote on the lifespan, and then give everyone the answer.
Butterfly (Average life span of adult butterflies of various species is about two weeks or less—some may live only a day or two.)
Sea turtle (Despite a few documented cases of longer lives, most species of sea turtles tend to have a life span around 50 years.)
Betta fish in an aquarium (Average lifespan for a well-cared-for Betta fish is two to four years.)
Honey bee—the worker bee kind that collects pollen for the hive (In the summer when worker bees stay particularly busy, their average life span is five to six weeks.)
Greenland shark (Scientists know these sharks live a long time but have had some trouble deciding exactly how long. Estimations are between 300 and 500 years, making them the longest-living vertebrates in the world!)
Tiger (Average life span in the wild is 15 years.)
Macaw parrots cared for as pets (Average life span for larger macaws is 50 to 60 years, but some have lived up to 80 years!)
African elephant (Average life span for the largest land mammal is 70 years.)
Bowhead whale (Average life span is more than 200 years! Bowhead whales live in some of the coldest waters on earth, lowering their body temperature, and scientists say this is what allows them to live so long. They’re considered the longest-living mammals on the planet.)
Bristlecone pine tree—guess how old the oldest is (So far, the oldest discovered and scientifically dated bristlecone pine is more than 5,000 years old! The locations of these ancient trees in California are kept secret to protect them.)
Turritopsis dohrnii (This jellyfish, known as the immortal jellyfish, seems to be able to technically live forever! When faced with threats or injuries, the jellyfish can regenerate and revert to a younger stage of life to protect itself. However, even this amazing creature isn’t forever like God. God created it, so it has a beginning! But God has no beginning! Plus, it can be killed by predators. And when the earth eventually comes to an end, so will this jellyfish. But not God!)
Talk About It
Ask: • What life span surprised you the most, and why?
Say: It’s hard to imagine something living for 5,000 years, like the oldest pine trees, or even for hundreds of years, like the cold-water-dwelling Greenland sharks and bowhead whales, so no wonder it’s hard to truly understand forever.
Ask: • How would you show God’s forever life span on our timeline? Give kids time to think, and reassure them there isn’t necessarily a right answer. They can simply try to show a forever life on the timeline. Then have kids explain what they chose to do.
Say: God’s life span is impossible to put on a timeline because time is all about beginnings and ends, but God never began and never ends! God is forever, and it’s one of the most amazing and mysterious things about God.