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This week we are thinking about building bridges.

When we have made a bad choice and have fallen out with our friends we need to begin to build our relationship up again. It takes both sides to come together and build a bridge which will unite them.

The bridge shows that we can overcome tough things that get in our way and that we can still be friends, despite the things that come between us.

As you go through the resources this week think about the relationships you share with the people around you.

Do you need to start building a bridge with someone?

Do you need to make the bridge that you have built with a friend even stronger?

How strong is the relationship that you have with God? How can you make it stronger?

Scripture Bank

If you would like to reflect on some more of the scriptures related to this topic then you can use some of the scripture references below.

Most of these are taken from Open Bible – you can use their Topical Bible Search facility to find lots more ideas! Just remember to change the Bible translation to ‘Good News Translation’ when you click on the link!

If you have found any pieces of scripture that you think link to our theme this week then please add them in the comments box below to share the Good News so that we can all enjoy them!

1 John 1:9

Romans 3:23

John 13:16

Isaiah 43:10

John 10:34-36

John 10:33

John 10:29

Hebrews 1:2-3

Genesis 6:6

John 5:30

Click here for the Music Resource

Close your eyes and listen carefully to this song and the words that it uses.

What is your favourite line from this song?

What do you think this song is about?

“Like a bridge over troubled water, I will lay me down.” This line could be about what Jesus did for us, he laid down his life for us because he loves us.

No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

(John 15:13)

Bridges are there for when there are difficult things ahead and we need something to carry us. Jesus is that person for us because even “when times get rough” He is there for us to carry us through whatever difficult things lie on the path ahead.

Sometimes the difficult things are because of bad choices that we have made. It can be very difficult to admit that we are wrong and to say sorry, but God is always there to help us and to support us when we need a friend.

Listen to the song again and this time imagine when you have felt like the words in the song.

Think about those people who have carried you and helped you in difficult situations. Thank God for caring for you and bringing people into your life that love you, help you and care for you, even when things go wrong.

Click here for the Picture Resource

Have a look at this picture of an arch bridge structure.

Click on the picture to enlarge it.

herman-arch-keystone_1207593_inl

The arch bridge is the strongest bridge structure.

As you can see there are lots of pieces that have to come together to make it this strong. This is a lot like our friendships, there are lots of things that we have to do to be good friends and to build strong relationships.

The blue block in the picture is called the keystone. For us, the keystone in our relationships is God. It is God and God’s love that makes us strong and leads us to make the right choices so that we can be good friends.

But what about the other blocks? What other qualities do we need to have to make strong relationships?

Discuss what you think is important to have a successful friendship with others and make a list.

In an arch structure if any piece is removed then the bridge would fall apart. It is important that we are always the best friends that we can be, and that we follow Jesus’ teaching so that we can stay strong.

Saint Paul explained to the people of Corinth that just like all the blocks of an arch bridge, every part of the body has important part to play:

Christ is like a single body, which has many parts; it is still one body, even though it is made up of different parts. In the same way, all of us, whether Jews or Gentiles, whether slaves or free, have been baptised into the one body by the same Spirit, and we have all been given the one Spirit to drink.

(1 Corinthians 12: 12-13)

We all have an important role to play in our friendships, and in our relationship with God. We must always try to do the best that we can to show love to one another and to God so that we can have strong relationships with each other.

Take some time to think about what would make your relationships stronger. Ask God to help you to be the best friend that you can be.

Click here for the Action

You will need some craft materials for this activity or alternatively the bridge designs can be drawn instead!

We know that by building bridges with each other we are putting bad things behind us and trying to be friends once again.

Today we are going to build some friendship bridges!

You can’t build a bridge or a relationship on your own so find some other people to work with to build your bridge.

You can use any materials that your teacher gives you. Take a look at these pictures (click on the pictures to enlarge them), for some ideas of bridge designs and materials and then follow the instructions below. If your design would be too tricky to make then you could draw your bridge design instead!

You will need a strong sturdy structure with firm foundations.

Discuss what things make our relationships stronger. Write your ideas on the materials you use to build the bridge. (If you are using lego or wooden blocks then you can stick these ideas on with post it notes!) You might find some of the words and ideas from this piece of scripture useful for this:

You are the people of God; he loved you and chose you for his own. So then, you must clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience. Be tolerant with one another and forgive one another whenever any of you has a complaint against someone else. You must forgive one another just as the Lord has forgiven you. And to all these qualities add love, which binds all things together in perfect unity. The peace that Christ gives is to guide you in the decisions you make; for it is to this peace that God has called you together in the one body. And be thankful.

(Colossians 3: 12-15)

There are things that get in the way of our relationships with each other and with God.

Discuss what things get in the way of our relationships and drive us apart. Put these things under the bridge.

By building your bridge over these things it shows that you can overcome these things and still be friends by concentrating on showing love, peace and care to others.

Think about the people that you would like to be joined with and to have a better relationship with.

Make these people and place them on your bridge, with you, to show that by having a strong bridge with firm foundations it will bring you together with other people.

Take some pictures of the bridges you have built and post them on the Be Inspirational site, don’t forget to come back and check what children at other schools have made too!

Click here to watch the Video Resource

Watch this video clip from the film Evan Almighty. In this clip Evan is meeting God for the first time and God tells him that he has to build an Ark. Listen carefully for what God tells him that he has to do.

So, God tells Evan that to start building an Ark and to change the world he has to start with one Act of Random Kindness at a time. Acts of kindness are what can help us to build bridges with those people that we have upset and hurt.

What is an act of kindness?

Write down an idea of an act of kindness that friends who have fallen out could try to rebuild their friendship.

Swap ideas in your class. Try to do these acts of kindness to make stronger relationships with the people around you and to live as God has asked us to live.

Click here for the Scripture Resource

Today we are going to hear The Parable of the Lost Sheep.

Watch the video and read the scripture below.

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke.

(Glory to you O Lord)

So Jesus told them this parable:

“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them – what do you do? You leave the other ninety-nine sheep in the pasture and go looking for the one that got lost until you find it.

When you find it, you are so happy that you put it on your shoulders and carry it back home. Then you call your friends and neighbours together and say to them, ‘I am so happy I found my lost sheep. Let us celebrate!’

In the same way, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine respectable people who do not need to repent.”

The Gospel of the Lord

(Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ)

(Luke 15: 3-7)

In this piece of scripture we learn about the great love that God has for us. Saint Paul talks about this great love in his letter to the Romans when he says:

For I am certain that nothing can separate us from his love: neither death nor life, neither angels nor other heavenly rulers or powers, neither the present nor the future, neither the world above nor the world below – there is nothing in all creation that will ever be able to separate us from the love of God which is ours through Christ Jesus our Lord.

(Romans 8:38-39)

Even though we sometimes turn our back on God by making bad choices and walking down the wrong path, God will always look for us and be ready to welcome us back because he loves us.

Think about a time when you have found it difficult to appreciate God’s love and when you have found it hard to do what God asks us to do.

Have you ever been like the Lost Sheep in the video who thought the grass was greener on the other side? Did you think you knew a better way to live your life than the way God wants us to live?

Discuss in your Class times when you have been lost and going the wrong way but someone has found you and helped you to go the right way.

Take some time to pray and to God to ask for help in times when you are lost and do not know the right way to go.

Jesus is the Shepherd who always cares for us and loves us. Try to remember to show love to God, just as He always loves us.