God is great
Here are some ideas for each page of the book:
1. God is so great.
- A short sentence to begin this book, but it sums it all up. God is so great. When you read this line, emphasise the word ‘so’ (“God is so great”.)
- Little ones won’t necessarily know what ‘great’ means at this point. However, this book is all about explaining God’s greatness. Hopefully when you read this line with positive intonation, emphasising the word ‘so’, it will relay to your child that ‘great’ is something really good, really special, really amazing…
- As you continue to read the book, you’re helping your child to see that ‘God is great because he…’. So the rest of the book is actually an explanation of the first page.
- So now, keep reading the book! If you want to, before you turn the page, you could say something like “Let’s see how great God is...”
2. I need to sleep. God is so great he never sleeps.
- As the parent notes in the front of the book say, “Little ones think concretely, so how can we teach such an abstract idea as God’s greatness? We start with them and their world, and through comparison we see how great God is.”
- One thing that little ones do is sleep—not necessarily when you want them to! And some sleep more than others. However, sleep is something that they can relate to. It’s something they do every night, and depending on their age, every day as well.
- So here we learn that God never sleeps. You could add something like “Only God can do that!” and maybe also “You need to sleep, I need to sleep, everyone needs to sleep; but God never sleeps. God is so great he never sleeps.”
- God is awake ‘all night’ while we are asleep. You could also talk to your child about the fact that we don’t have to wait for God to wake up before we can talk to him.
- You may well be asked questions like “Why doesn’t God sleep?” At this point you can say something about the fact that God is God. God doesn’t sleep because God is God. The fact is that we, with our mortal minds and understanding, can’t fathom how God never sleeps.
- See Psalm 121:2-4 which speaks of God never sleeping.
3. I can make sand castles. God is so great he made sand and he made me!
- Here we have another comparison. I chose sand because it’s something that God has clearly made. I could have had a child making a craft of some kind, but here we have a young child making a castle with something that God has made, i.e. sand, and that man hasn’t processed or altered.
- How small sand castles look when you see the rest of a beach and all the sand!
- I realise that some of your children may not have seen sand. If so, perhaps you can look at photos of beaches together and see the vast stretches of sand along the coast. You could also look at dirt and explain that sand is a bit like dirt. If you’re willing to see your child getting dirty (!), you could add some water to dirt to make mud so that your child (with your help) can make a mud castle.
- We also read that God “made me”. There is another book in the series that is called God made me.
- Each time you read this page your you and/or your child could think of a different part of their body that God has made (e.g. God made my ears, God made my hands, God made my head, etc). You can also add that “God made all of you!”
4. I can draw a bird.
- Now for the art and craft!
- I hope you like the drawing. You need to look a while to figure out the different parts of the bird, but that’s the wonderful thing about children’s drawings. I didn’t want a perfect, adult-drawn bird.
- Each time you read this page you and/or your child could think of a different colour of bird (or type of bird if your child is old enough or interested enough).
5. God is so great he made birds and fish and all the animals.
- How wonderful a comparison it is that God’s creation is far greater than anything we could make, draw or paint.
- While you are outside you can look for birds and animals that God has made. You can say things like, “God made that bird flying in the sky”, “God made that cat sleeping on the grass.”
- You can also look through picture books or photos of birds, fish and animals, saying that God made each of them as you look at a new animal.
- Your child could draw their own pictures of birds, fish and animals. Then you could repeat the text from this page and the facing page about their drawing.
- Remember, God isn’t just great because he made different birds and fish and animals. God is also great because he made every bird and fish and animal.
6. I can draw a sun.
- A sun often appears in a young child’s drawings
- Sometime you could ask your child to draw a sun. If your child is too young to ‘draw’ but they can ‘scribble’, you can cut out a circle and give your child a yellow crayon and they can ‘colour it in’ (i.e. ‘scribble it in’!). Or you could give your child a circle of yellow cardboard for them to ‘scribble’ on, so regardless of how they ‘scribble’ it will still be a yellow sun.
- One thing you could say when reading this page is to ask your child questions like “The sun is in the sky. What else is in the sky that God made? Can you draw that?”
- We don’t have enough pages in this little book to cover all the things that God has made. On the facing page we also mention trees and flowers.
7. God is so great he made the sun and the trees and the flowers. God is so great he made everything.
- You can ask your child to point to the sun and the trees and the flowers in the photo. Can your child find anything else in this photo that God made?
- You could also ask questions like, “What other colour are flowers?” Maybe when you are in a park or garden, you can ask your child to tell you what colours the flowers are. You can also say something like, “God made red (yellow, pink, orange, etc) flowers. God made flowers in lots of different colours.”
- In Autumn (or Fall) you can also look at the different coloured leaves and trees.
- On this page we move to an important generalisation, namely that “God is so great he made everything”. You need to make this generalisation meaningful to your child by talking about lots of specific things that God has made.
- See also the book in this series God made.
- So you can springboard off this page to talk about other things that God has made. Look at things in creation, point to and name them for your child. Say that God made them. When at home you could encourage your child to ‘draw’ it. If your child is too young to ‘draw’, you could draw the thing and talk about how great God is that he made it.
- Perhaps each time you read this page you could ask your child to say one other thing that God has made (or if your child is too young, you could add at the end of the following text, “God is so great he made the sun and the trees and the flowers… and God made…”).
8. I can draw my family. But God is so great he made my family and my friends.
- If your child is old enough, you can encourage them to draw a picture of their own family. If your child is a really little one, you could draw a picture of your family on their behalf (just stick figures is fine). You can add a caption like ‘God is so great he made everyone in my family’.
- Point to and name each person in your family.
- If your child is old enough, you can also encourage them to draw a picture of their friends. If your child is a really little one, you could draw a picture of their friends on their behalf. You could add a caption like “God is so great he made my friend Thomas.”
- Alternatively, you can take photos and either paste them on cardboard and hang them, or paste/place them in a book. Either way add a caption similar to the ideas above.
9. God is so great he made everyone and he loves everyone.
- Now we move to two important generalisations, namely that “God is so great he made everyone” and also “God is so great he loves everyone.”
- Other books in this series go into these generalisations into far more depth (eg. God loves talks about lots of individual people and people groups specifically and so gradually progresses to the generalisation that “God loves everyone”). Here you need to make this generalisation meaningful to your child by talking about lots of different people God has made/loves. You can talk about relatives, people your child knows, people you see through the week (e.g. bus drivers, people who work in shops, etc)
- When you go somewhere you haven’t been to before, you can say something like “God made all the people who live here. And God loves all the people who live here.”
10. God’s love is great. God loves us so much he sent Jesus.
- Now we talk more specifically about God’s love.
- The greatest expression of God’s love is in sending Jesus.
- See also the books in this series God loves me and God loves. And read the online notes of each of these books for more explanation (especially God loves me page 12 and 13 and God loves page 13).
11. God did something really great. God made Jesus alive forever.
- When we talk of God’s greatness we can think about big, majestic things that God has made: sun, stars, sky, mountains, oceans, etc. But we need to see Jesus’ resurrection as something that is “really great”. Only God can make Jesus alive and not just that, but alive forever.
- The concept that Jesus is ‘alive forever’ can be a difficult one for a young child to grasp. At first it’s helpful for them to hear it. When you read this page it would be ideal if you could place emphasis in the following way: “God did something really great. God made Jesus alive forever.”
- The word ‘forever’ may need explaining. Jesus will always be alive. Jesus is alive forever and ever and ever… (just the repetition of this word helps support its meaning). Jesus will never stop being alive. Jesus will never die again.
12. God’s book, the Bible, tells us how great God is.
- So much of the Bible talks about God’s greatness.
- When you read the Bible yourself, it would be a helpful exercise for you to look out for great things that God has done or refer to God’s greatness. We need to be reminded about how great God is so that we can be zealous and enthusiastic in telling our little ones how great God is.
13. “O Lord, my God, how great you are!” Psalm 104 verse 1
- Explain that ‘Lord’ means God.
- God is ‘my’ God, ‘our’ God. He is a loving, personal God.
- You can read this verse placing emphasis on different words each time you read it.
- This would be a helpful verse for you and your child to learn. Over time as you read this book again and again, your child may well be able to join in with you as you read these words, thus learning the verse.
- When you are struck by God’s greatness either outside looking at his creation or reading the Bible or talking about Jesus, it would be helpful for you to remind your child of this verse by saying it. Encourage your child to ‘grow’ up with an ever-growing amazement at God’s greatness.
14. Thank you God that you are so great. Please help me remember how great you are.
- We have so much to thank God for. And perhaps we tend to forget to thank God for his greatness. Let us not take it for granted but thank God often for his greatness.
- And it’s very appropriate to ask God to help us remember how great he is. And for your child to keep remembering how great God is as they grow.
- We need to remember that God is so great he can do far greater things than we ever can. He is well equipped to look after us, now and forever. He is worthy of our trust. He shows us great kindness, great love, great mercy, great grace, great forgiveness… Indeed, God is so great.
Making your own ‘God is great’ book
You might like to make your own ‘God is great’ book for your child. In it you could include photos or drawings which can remind your child of how great God is. This can be a very individual book that’s relevant to your child. You could include photos, drawings or pictures of:
- people (family and friends especially)
- trees, flowers, gardens, fruit trees, vegetables growing, etc
- a landscape your child is familiar with, e.g. a nearby lake, a mountain, snow, beach, waterfall, etc
- birds, fish, animals
- something your child has a particular fascination with, e.g. butterflies
- a rainbow, if ever you are able to see/photograph one!
Include a caption (e.g. “God is so great he made tall trees”) with each photo or picture.
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