“…for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” Nehemiah 8:10
Sharing the joy of the Lord with your students will bring lots of smiles to your classroom. I recently told my second graders that the joy of having Jesus as my friend fills my heart and gives me strength each day. We reflected on how important it is to celebrate our friendship with Jesus and to turn to Him whenever we feel like we need strength.
I decided to bring the lesson alive with a delightful game. The goal of the game is simply to make your classmates smile. One volunteer comes to the front of the classroom and I tell everyone to “Wipe the smile off your face.” Then the volunteer smiles, laughs, dances, or does something funny to convince the whole class to smile. We clap and thank each volunteer for their efforts. With all the laughter this game brings it is easy to see why it has become a favorite light-hearted pastime.
At the beginning and ending of the game we read Nehemiah 8:10 together to memorize the verse and to connect it to the game. Sometimes we recall that joy is one of the fruits of the Spirit. Finally, we close with a prayer thanking God for the gift of His joy!