Jesus taught us to love God & love our neighbors! Today we will get into the holiday spirit by learning about who are neighbors are and how to love them. Fun craft idea: Make a Gingerbread house neighborhood! ;)
“Love Others” Unit: Unwrapping Christmas
LESSON PURPOSE: Jesus taught us to love our neighbors!
MATERIALS: Cut out 2 hearts and write on them: “Love God, “Love Others”.
AS CHILDREN ARRIVE: Choose 1 Sensory Activity:
Lincoln Logs- Have children create homes, villages- neighborhoods with lincoln logs or other blocks.
Nativity Set- Let children play with a toy or craft made nativity set.
Nativity Mini Book- Have children color in the pictures, trace words in their mini book for the next few lessons to take home on Christmas Sunday.
SCRIPTURE: Display the weekly scripture reading, have an older child read it or use it in the lesson as you like.
"There is a saying, 'Love your friends and hate your enemies.' But I say: Love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!” -Matthew 5:43
"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”-John 13:34
“Today, I tell you clearly that God's strategy and tactic for human salvation is to love your enemy.” -Rev. Sun Myung Moon
INTRODUCE the Lesson:
WELCOME: SONG, PRAYER, TP Greeting
REVIEW & TRANSITION:
Last week we learned about God’s abundant love! God, Jesus & TP love us so much! And we should Love God our Heavenly Parent! Today we will learn about God’s 2nd greatest commandment to Love our Neighbor as Ourselves!
ATTENTION GRABBER: choose 1
Neighbor- Draw or make a few houses out of playdoh or blocks- Ask children to guess what you are drawing. Ask them “What is a neighbor?”
“Hello Neighbor” Chant together: Hello neighbor. (wave) What do you say? (shake hands) It’s going to be a beautiful day! (make circle with both hands in front of you) So clap your hands and stomp your feet, Jump up and down and have a seat!
INTRO: TODAY WE WILL LEARN ABOUT Loving our neighbors!
CHOOSE 1 OR 2: READ A STORY, SING A SONG OR POEM, WATCH A VIDEO:
VIDEOS: click on the link for educational, sing along or dance videos
READ ALOUD STORY:
SONG OR POEM:
Hello, Neighbor! Tune: "Good Night, Ladies" Hello, neighbor. (Wave to partner.) What do you say? (Give high five.) It's going to be a Happy day. (Slap, clap, tap hands.) Greet your neighbor. (Shake hands.) Boogie on down. (Wiggle hips.) Give a bump, (Bump hips.) And turn around. (Turn around.)
*TEACH the Lesson:
TEACHING POINT 1: Love Your Neighbor!
Story of Young Jesus in the Temple:
One day Jesus was was at the temple teaching many people about the word of God. Some wise religious leaders tried to ask Jesus a tricky question- “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment?” They didn’t think he could answer this hard question! But Jesus replied and said that the greatest commandment is to: “Love God with all our hearts, soul and mind.” (Hold up heart that says “Love God”.) And the 2nd greatest commandment is to: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Hold up heart that says “Love Others”.) Everyone was amazed at the simplicity and depth of his answer. Today we will be learning all about Jesus’ teachings of loving others!
Jesus told us that we should love our neighbors. (optional: show a neighborhood of homes). We should treat them the way we’d like to be treated. To be kind, helpful and forgiving. Who was Jesus referring to when he said “neighbor?” Neighbor refers to EVERYONE besides ourselves. We should love everyone we meet, even our enemies!
Who did Jesus say we should love? Love God & Love our Neighbors!
Who is our neighbor? neighborhood friends, classmates, teammates, church friends… everyone!
How can we love others?
TEACHING POINT 2: Who are our neighbors? *OPTIONAL EXTENSION
TEACHING & DISCUSSION: “Our Neighbors”Using the worksheet as a guide- discuss who “neighbors” are and how we can love them.
Family- God gave us our family. Name someone in your Family. We see our family everyday! We can love them by… telling them we love them, appreciating them, patience, spending time together, laughing, gratitude, helping around the house.
Immediate family- mom, dad, brother, sister
Extended family- Grandparents, Cousins, Aunts, Uncles
Friends- God gave us friends. Discuss about how to be a good friend. What are good friends like? (sharing, taking turns, kind, forgiving). It’s important to choose good friends and to be a good friend to others, turn the other cheek.
Classmates- Ask children for some names of their classmates or friends.
Community- God gave us community. How can we love our community? We can be kind and use our helping hands to make a difference! Clean up our neighborhood, volunteer...
Neighborhood- Ask children for some names of their neighbors.
Church- Have children name some church friends. ;)
Community City- Have children name some community members such as: teachers, coaches, police officers, fire fighters, doctors etc.
Today we learned about Loving Others! Jesus taught us that we should love our neighbors, everyone, with a loving, kind, forgiving heart! We can even love our “enemies” (those that are harder to love) and pray for those that may make us upset or hurt sometimes. True Parents also teach us that we start by loving within our family, then impact our community, nation and world! It’s so great to have neighbors, friends and a community to share life with- let’s love the people God surrounded us with!
Sing Barney Song: “I love you! You love me! We’re a happy family! With a great big hug and a kiss from me to you! Won’t you say you love me to!”
TITHING & PRAYER:
Dear Heavenly Parent, thank you for all the people you have placed in our lives! We want to be good neighbors by loving each other- showing kindness and forgiveness. Help us to spread holiday cheer as we prepare for Christmas- by loving you and loving others! Amen. Aju!
ADVENT: (Optional) Light a candle each week during prayer for the 4 weeks of Advent, leading up to Jesus’ birthday party!
APPLY the Lesson:
GROUP ACTIVITIES: choose 1
Let’s practice loving each other & being a good friend in an activity!
Christmas Decor: Have children help decorate the classroom or areas of the church for the holiday season, making ornaments, decorating a tree etc!
Clean Up: Provide children with baby wipes- and work together to clean the classroom- wipe down tables & chairs. Go outside and pick up trash.
Prayer Buddy: Pair up children and help them to say prayer for each other. Friends pray for each other.
Role Play: Have children act out different scenarios on how to love someone even when they’re hard to love, to forgive. (Mom asks you to clean up, dad won’t let you watch tv, friend takes a toy, brother steps on your toes, classmate cuts in line…)
Human Knot: have children grab hands together and try to untie the human knot. ;) Demonstrating that we are all connected and can work together to help each other.
CRAFTS: choose 1
Gingerbread House: Provide children with a mini milk carton, graham crackers, frosting and candy decor to make a neighborhood of gingerbread houses!
Print out Gingerbread Houses: Have children make gingerbread houses out of cardstock and other craft decor such as pom poms, stickers, glitter.
Stable/Nativity Ornament: Create ornaments using popsicle sticks, glue and paint. (When baby Jesus was born the keepers at the Inn were good neighbors by letting Mary & Joseph stay in the stables to give birth to baby Jesus- even when there was no room at the Inn.)
Hand print Ornament: Have children make brown paint handprints earlier in the lesson. Later in the lesson, remind children how Jesus taught us about helping hands- and glue on the baby Jesus.
Oven Mitt Handprint: Provide children with a oven mit and have them put their hand print on the oven mit as a reminder of our helping hands & a present for parents.
Love Your Neighbor Printable: Have children draw a picture of how they can love others.
Gingerbread Men, Gingerbread houses!
Enjoy the lesson! Feel free to submit photos to firstname.lastname@example.org Love seeing lessons come to life and each community