Family Time - ask the parents to catch a butterfly or a caterpillar with their children and talk with their child about how the caterpillar changes into a beautiful butterfly. If the parents aren't Christians or don't come to church this allows and opportunity for the children to witness to their parents.
I have found that it is a good time to tell the children that we all have a spirit inside of us and that it is the spirit that is born again.
To help explain this I use this example. The trees have sap in them and when the sap starts to come up into the trees in the spring and they start blooming they have new life in them. The sap is on the inside but the change is on the outside where it can be seen. That is what happens to us when our spirits are born again.
You could bring in two branches, one that is not blooming and is bare and a flowering branch. Use this to explain rebirth.
If you live in an area where the trees are not blooming yet you can cut a branch and bring it in the house and put it in water to force it to bloom.
Scriptures I used to study and prepare for the lesson and bring out points.
John 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. ---Why we need new life --- Jesus said we need to be born again.
Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; ---Old life
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.---our choices are sin and death or the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ
Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. --- Rebirth
Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. --- Every one who will or wants to and will call on the name of Jesus will be Saved or reborn into new life.
You can even order butterfly gardens or farms on-line and do a release after they are reborn, or changed from the caterpillar to the butterfly. These work by filling out some paperwork and mailing it in and they send you either caterpillars or cocoons along with the food they need and they change to butterflies and then you release them.
Craft - what you will need: clothes pins (the kind you squeeze together to open the other end), images of butterflies with wings spread, construction paper, pop-poms, small wiggly eyes, magnetic tape. Print the images of butterflies on construction paper. You need this for the stiffness and sturdiness of the construction paper. I got my images from my print program on my computer. You can also use coloring book pages or clip art. The butterfly will need to be about as long in the body as the clothespin is. Cut out the butterflies and glue the body to one side of the clothespin. Add the pom-pom with the wiggly eyes to the area of the butterfly head. Bend the wings up a bit. Put magnetic tape on the other side of the clothes pin.
Make a card with the child's name that says I am a new creation in Christ. Put the card in the mouth of the butterfly. You can preprint the card on your computer or you can leave a blank space for the child to write his own name. They can put the butterfly on the fridge at home and use it as a chip clip or message/recipe holder.
Click here for the word search puzzle I created based on John 3:3 and 2 Corinthians 5:17.
If you want a butterfly with markings on top and bottom of the wing you will have to come up with a mirror image and glue two of them together.
You could also do a coloring picture on white construction paper if you want the children to color their butterflies to put on their clothes pins.
You can find dot to dot pictures, coloring pictures of caterpillars and butterflies online or in coloring books to give the children to take home.
Copyright 2008 Shirley Vance
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