Conference on World Mission and Evangelism


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John 4:1-42

M. Campbell

This study will introduce the significance of water in faith community. It transcends common forms and functions to gather people of all ages and ethnic orientations in celebrating the many God-given gifts they share, such as: membership in God's family through baptism, hearts overflowing with love and grace to share, the privilege of serving others as Jesus offered to serve the woman at the well and requested that she would do the same.

Introductory activity:

Preparation and Supplies:

• An activity sheet for each child

• Pencils, crayons or markers

Leader's Notes:

Refer to the water droplet on the activity sheet. Encourage children to make note of people and places that provide water for recreation, cleansing and refreshment in the space provided. Identify ways people gain access to water, for example: from a river or a lake, a well, a pump, a faucet, a fountain or a hose. Refer to the Bible verse at the bottom of the handout as you point out the invitation Jesus made to come to his "water party".

Story Presentation

Read or act out the following story:

One day Jesus was on a road trip through the country of Samaria. He stopped near a well to rest. When a woman came by to draw water, Jesus asked her to give him a drink. She was surprised to hear his request because people from his country didn't get along with people from her country. They began to talk and soon she discovered who Jesus was! She was surprised to hear some of the things she heard him say! Jesus said, "Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water I will give them will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life." She asked him for the water he was offering. Then, she left her water jar and went back into the city to tell others to come and meet Jesus. They came and many more believed he was the Saviour they had been waiting for. (John 4:1-42)

Interpreting the Story

Complete the following activity as you engage children in a discussion about water. Pour water from a pitcher high above a cup to create a dramatic

sound effect. Fill a cup three-fourths full of water for each child. Use the cup as a visual aid to point out that about 75% of their bodies are made up of water. Even though a body is packed with bones and muscles, it has gallons of life-giving water flowing through it. To stay healthy, we need to drink at least 4 litres of water to replenish our bodies each day. And, just like in the Bible story, sometimes we need a little help from from others to get the

water we need

Discussion Questions

1) One day Jesus was on a road trip and he became thirsty. Who did he ask to give him a drink? What do you know about her?

2) As they talked Jesus told the woman that he had a special kind of water to drink. How did he describe it?

Point out that Jesus offered to fill her heart with God's love, acceptance and forgiveness, and he promised her that it would last forever. He set aside any human reasons why they shouldn't get along and nurtured a "come-asyou-

are" friendship, with God's grace flowing freely between them. We still see the same thing happening today as God claims us as God's own and invites us to be active members of God's global family.

Jesus Loves All the Little Children

Preparation and Supplies:

• Four clear cups or plastic glasses

• Substances that produce a variety of different pigments, like: tea, onionskins and other food colorings or edible plant dyes

• A small spoon or paintbrush

• A black or dark permanent marker

• A pitcher of water

Make the following design on each one of the cups. (1) Draw an outline of a person on one side of all 4 cups. (2) Draw a heart on the opposite side of the cups so it is positioned within the outline of the person. (3) Place a cross inside the heart.

Leader's Notes

Perform a science experiment to illustrate that, no matter where we live or what colour our skin, God calls us to gather, in friendship and community, for worship and for service as God's love flows like living water in and through us.

Fill each cup three-quarters full of water. Recognize water to be a symbol of God's love and acceptance. Place a different pigment in each cup. Identify the coloured versions of each outlined design. Note their similarities. Then, combine pigments to make new colours. Add just enough colour to indicate a change, but still retain the outlined design. Record the colours you combine to make new colours.

Summarize the discoveries of your experiment and interpret it to be a concrete demonstration of God's unconditional love for people of all ages and places.

Optional: Sing or say the words to the song "Jesus Loves the Little Children"

"Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world. Though we come from many lands, Jesus holds us in his hands. Jesus loves the little children of the world."

Waterworks

Supplies:

• An activity sheet for each child

• Pencils, crayons or markers

Leaders Notes

Refer to the Bible verse printed at the bottom of the sheet with the glass on it. Suggest that "living water" is intended to do more than just sit in a cup. Living water isn't really even associated with a cup, at all. It come in a bowl, a font or a pool at baptism.  It pours in with a hug and a random or intentional act of kindness. It is meant to gush and flow - in and through us - as God's love inspires us to draw people into community and provide hope and refreshment for tired and weary hearts and minds. Invite children to make a note of things they might do to share God's refreshing and life-giving love with others as they grow in friendship and community with them. Close your time together in prayer, thanking God for providing water to refresh our bodies and love to refresh hearts that are thirsty for signs of God's life-living love.