Here in Oregon (Portland area) we have many different names for rain. Each name is descriptive of a particular characteristic of the rain. Same is true for names of snow in Alaska. It is all snow, but their are different manifestations of the snow. If you live in these areas, the names become second nature to you. You wouldn’t think twice about using the correct distinction for the type of rain/snow you are experiencing. This is true also for the Hebrew people and their names of God. The different names of God don’t describe different gods, but particular characteristics of God. The names come from our interaction with our God. The more we interact with His great presence. The more wonderful characteristics we will experience with our mighty God. It is good to know the names of God and the character qualities they represent. By doing this we can start to understand a more full knowledge of our God. The more experiences we have with Him the more that understanding will grow. It is not possible to achieve a complete understanding of God until we pass from this life, but let that not hinder our pursuit of know Him better.
The lessons come from The Names of God by Institute in Basic Life Principles. The teacher’s edition is only 15 dollars. They also have a workbook for kids with fun puzzles and coloring pages. The kids workbook is only 5 dollars. The biggest bummer is that the shipping and handling seems a little high. The amount of information on each name can provide material for several Sundays. We are only going to do one lesson on each name at the church. The plan is to do one name each week leading up to Christmas. During our time we are going to add one thing to our family wreaths that reminds us of that week’s name. Each family will have their own wreath. The children in that family will all contribute to the wreath. The families have the option to buy workbooks for their children, as to reinforce the principle during the week. The church could buy the books, but I feel it is more likely that the parents will remember to help the children if they buy the books. (The church is paying for shipping.)
Directions for Wreath/Craft:
Elohim: Creator (Green raffia for the creation)- green for Creator
- With a marker, have one of the children in a family trace the letters of Elohim. Mark their initials inside the gray circle, laminate the tag and cut it out. Punch a whole in gray circle, thread it with green raffia ribbon and give it to one of the children in the family to put on their wreath. * It is easiest to get all of the tags first and laminate them together on one sheet of paper (depending on how many children you have).
- Cut 3” strips for each child. The wide raffia can be torn into thinner ribbons, if you tear it the right way. Tear with the grain, parallel to the wrinkles. Have the children tie the green paper ribbon to individual vines in the wreath. The families with multiple children can all work on the same wreath.
Adonai: Lord and Master ( Gold sparkle pipe cleaner crown or shrinky-dink)
- Like before have one of the children trace the letters of Adonai. Mark their initials, laminate, cut out, and wait for the crowns to be done. (punch the hole before placing it on the ribbon)
- There are two options here. The first is that you can make a crown out of gold pipe cleaners. The second and my favorite is to color crowns with permanent marker on # 6 clear plastic containers. Look on or near the three arrow recycling triangle. If it has a 6 you are in business. Make sure the crowns are at least 2 inches tall and wide (they will shirk) and that there is enough room on top to punch a hole. After they color them, cut them out, punch a hole (with a punch), place on a foil covered cookie sheet, and bake for 2-3 min. on 350. You are looking for them to first curl and then straighten out (though significantly smaller they are done). When cool, thread the hole with a thin ribbon of green raffia. Have the children hang them on the tree.
- Use one of the crowns (for each family) to thread that family’s Adonai tag on the same ribbon.
El Roi: God who sees (Felt heart with an eye for He sees our hearts/ He see all)
- Have one of the children trace the letters of El Roi. Mark their initials, laminate, cut out, and wait for the hearts to be done. (punch the hole before placing it on the ribbon)
- Cut a heart out of felt or a wool sweater that has been wash and dried on high heat. Have the children glue a wiggly eye onto the middle of each heart. Using a large needle, thread a thin ribbon of green raffia onto the heart.
- Use one of the hearts (for each family) to thread that family’s El Roi tag on the same ribbon.
Jehovah Raah: Lord is my shepherd (twist red and white shepherd staff)
- Have one of the children trace the letters of Jehovah Raah. Mark their initials, laminate, cut out, and wait for the shepherd staff to be done. (punch the hole before placing it on the ribbon)
- Fold the white and red pipe cleaners in half. Have the children twist the red and white pipe cleaners together. Bend the top of the twisted pipe cleaners over to resemble a candy cane/shepherds staff.
- Use a thin ribbon of green raffia at the top to make a loop for hanging the ornament on the wreath. Select one of the candy cane/ shepherd staffs to thread through the hole in the Jehovah Raah tag. One on each of the family wreaths.
El Shaddai: All Sufficient One –enough, all I need (communion cup, my cup runs over)
- Have one of the children trace the letters of El Shaddai. Mark their initials, laminate, cut out, and wait for the shepherd staff to be done. (punch the hole before placing it on the ribbon of the communion cup.)
- Clean the old communion cups with a water/bleach bath. One capful of bleach/ gallon of water. Rinse and dry the cups.
- Glue the a six inch piece of raffia (in the middle of the raffia) to a cleaned communion cup with tacky glue.
- Have the kids decorate the communion cups with permanent markers.
- Use a thin ribbon of green raffia connected to one of the communion cups to thread through the hole in the El Shaddai tag. One on each of the family wreaths.
Jehovah Tsidkenu: God of Righteousness –light, holiness (Sun)
- Have one of the children trace the letters of Jehovah Tsidkenu. Mark their initials, laminate, cut out, and wait for the shepherd staff to be done. (punch the hole before placing it on the ribbon of the Beads.)
- Mix: 2 cups corn starch, 2 cups Baking soda, 1 cup salt, 2 cups water with 2 tsp yellow food coloring. Heat over low heat until the clay thicken and looks like mashed potatoes. Spread out to cool. Let the children make any type of “light” they want to make. i.e. sun, lamp, light bulb… Be sure the end product is at least 3/4 inch in diameter, up to 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Too big and it won’t dry, too small and it won’t have a hole to hang it up.
- Make a hole the whole way through the ornament with a toothpick or sharp pencil. Place the beads on squares of wax paper with the children’s names in permanent marker. Place the squares on the baking sheet.
- Bake at 200 degrees for 1 hour. (check every 15 min.) Let cool.
- Thread the thin ribbon of green raffia through the top to make a loop for hanging the ornament on the wreath. Select one of the beads to thread through the hole in the Jehovah Tsidkenu tag. One on each of the family wreaths.)
Jehovah Nissi: God is my Banner –victory banner (Red raffia banner “God is My Victory”)
- Have one of the children trace the letters of Jehovah Nissi. Mark their initials, laminate, cut out, and wait for the shepherd staff to be done. (punch the hole before placing it on the ribbon)
- Have one or all the children in a family alternating letter write the words “God is My Victory” on the Large red Raffia in big letter across the center. The raffia should be 2 feet long, with “v”s cut out of each end, and the font can look something like below. Be sure to keep the total length of the writing to one foot. God is my Victory
- With the words in the center of the wreath, glue the banner to the sides of the wreath. Let the extra ends dangle on either side of the wreath. (You might have to fold them and crease them down to keep the sides from sticking out. Use glue if needed.)
- Use a thin ribbon of green raffia to thread through the hole in the Jehovah Nissi tag. Attach it on one of the sides of the banner. One on each of the family wreaths.
**Hang all of the beautifully decorated items on the family wreaths as you go.
***Be sure to mark the NAMES Of The FAMILIES doing on the appropriate wreaths.