Promises come in different shapes and sizes and can be for very big things or much smaller things.
God has made lots of promises to us, and we will be thinking about some of these and how we can take reassurance from these. When God makes a promise it is not like our promises because God loves us and will always stay true to the promises that He has made to us.
We will also be making some promises of our own and considering the difficulties that we sometimes have in keeping our promises.
Finally, we will be thinking about the promises that are made during Baptism and what this special sacrament means.
Promises can be tricky at times so it’s important to think carefully about the promises that we have made and to treat ourselves, and others, with respect so that we can build trust.
Genesis 9: 8-17
Matthew 7: 1-2
1 John 2:25
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This week’s song is about a promise that God has made to us.
The song is based on a special poem so see if you recognise the poem.
That song, which was sung by Leona Lewis, is based on a poem called Footprints in the sand. Read the poem below to find out what God’s promise is.
One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord. Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand. Sometimes there were two sets of footprints, other times there was one only.
This bothered me because I noticed that during the low periods of my life, when I was suffering from anguish, sorrow or defeat, I could see only one set of footprints, so I said to the Lord,
“You promised me Lord,
that if I followed you, you would walk with me always. But I have noticed that during the most trying periods of my life there has only been one set of footprints in the sand. Why, when I needed you most, have you not been there for me?”
The Lord replied, “The years when you have seen only one set of footprints, my child, is when I carried you.”
How does God’s promise to always walk with us and to be with us make you feel?
Although we sometimes struggle to keep our promises God will always keep His promises. Even in our loneliest times God is still walking alongside us and we should remember that promise so that we know that we are not alone.
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What is the name of the man who built the ark?
What is in the sky? Do you know what it is a sign of?
Read the scripture below to find out what promise God made to Noah, and to us, after the great flood.
God said to Noah and his sons, “I am now making my covenant with you and with your descendants, and with all living beings—all birds and all animals—everything that came out of the boat with you. With these words I make my covenant with you: I promise that never again will all living beings be destroyed by a flood; never again will a flood destroy the earth. As a sign of this everlasting covenant which I am making with you and with all living beings, I am putting my bow in the clouds. It will be the sign of my covenant with the world. Whenever I cover the sky with clouds and the rainbow appears, I will remember my promise to you and to all the animals that a flood will never again destroy all living beings. When the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between me and all living beings on earth. That is the sign of the promise which I am making to all living beings.”
(Genesis 9: 8-17)
The scripture from the book of Genesis explains that the rainbow is a sign of God’s promise that the Earth will never be destroyed by a flood again. When a rainbow appears in the sky God remembers the promise that was made and it is a sign in the sky for all of us to see that God is keeping His promise.
Think of a sign that you can draw that will remind you to keep your promises. It could be a rainbow or a drawing of something that links to a promise that you have made.
Put your picture somewhere that you will see it (for example, over your bed or on your kitchen fridge), so that it helps you to remember to keep your promises, just like God does.
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Today we are going to think about making some promises of our own.
Often when we promise to do something we want something in return. Promises don’t always work like that but a name for this type of promise is a contract. A contract involves different people or different groups agreeing to something and then signing their name to say that they promise to keep their agreement.
Sometimes people make contracts about jobs or about buying things but in these contracts they will have rules about how they will treat each other too. This is what we are going to make today – a Class Contract where everyone will agree how people in your Class should behave and how everyone should be treated.
In your Class everyone will have slightly different rules that they think are important but all the rules must be respected so that none of the rules are ignored.
Now take a few minutes to share these answers and to write them up on the board so that everyone can see.
Are there any that are the same?
Are there any that surprise you?
As a Class go through the rules and decide which ones you will use in your Class Contract!
All you need to do now is to put these rules together and to sign all of your names below!
By signing your name you are agreeing to all of these rules and you are promising to keep them. Everyone in your Class is making the same promise so you should all respect the rules and respect each other. Remember, Jesus taught his disciples:
“Do not judge others, so that God will not judge you, for God will judge you in the same way you judge others, and he will apply to you the same rules you apply to others.
Matthew 7: 1-2
Do your best to keep these rules and if anyone goes wrong then help them to follow the Class contract again!
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Sometimes we have to go to great lengths to keep a promise.
Watch this video and see how committed Sam was to the promise that he made.
Sam had made himself a promise that he would not leave Frodo and therefore he did everything that he could to keep that promise.
Do you find it easy or difficult to keep promises?
What do you do if you can’t keep a promise you have made?
It’s a big deal when we make promises to people because we are asking them to trust us and if we break that promise then they will question whether they can trust us again.
God always keeps His promises to us and we know that we can trust in God completely. We should try to be more like God by keeping our promises and allowing people to trust in us.
Think carefully about the promises you make and be a person that others can trust.
Help us to be trustworthy people who make promises that we can keep and who try to do the right thing at all times.
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There are some sacraments where we make promises to give our lives to God. One of these is Baptism.
A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Mark.
(Glory to you O Lord.)
Not long afterward Jesus came from Nazareth in the province of Galilee, and was baptized by John in the Jordan. As soon as Jesus came up out of the water, he saw heaven opening and the Spirit coming down on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my own dear Son. I am pleased with you.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
(Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ.)
What are we promising to do when we are baptised?
Who makes the promises if we are too young?
Our promise to give our lives to God is the beginning of us trying to lead good lives and trying to be like Jesus.
We know that God is loving and forgiving so if we do the wrong thing we will be welcomed back. Try your best to keep your promises to God and to give your life to God so that you are doing what you have been called to do.