David C Cook COVID-19 Response

Upper Elementary

Pieces of the Puzzle

Lesson 12 


Summer 2021


By: RLD Editorial Team 


August 22, 2021

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Lesson Focus:

Those who believe in Jesus will live with Him forever. ECHOES Focus: God plans for His people to join together for instruction.

Bible Basis:

John 14:1-3, 18-20; Acts 1:6-11

Materials Needed:

Step 1:

  • Internet access

Summary & Links:

To help students focus on what it means to live with Jesus forever, students will watch a video and take a quiz on things they do and don’t know about space.

Memory Verse:

Because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself.
—2 Corinthians 4:14

Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding.
—Proverbs 3:13

Step 1:

To help students focus on what it means to live with Jesus forever, students will watch a video and take a quiz on things they do and don’t know about space.

Materials Needed:

  • Internet access

Before class, print out enough copies of the “What Do You Know about Space” Quiz so that each of your students has a copy.

Ask for a show of hands: How many of you have learned about space in school?  

  • What are some things you have learned about space? (Allow you students to share their knowledge of planets, etc.)

As you’ve learned about space, many of you may have heard about a program called Mars One. This program selects candidates to travel to Mars, colonize, and live out the rest of their lives on Mars. Because of the nature of this lifelong mission, there are many requirements for selecting candidates! 

  • If you were someday given the chance to move to Mars forever, would you take it? (Answers will vary.)

When everyone is finished, share the following information about “Selecting the [Mars One] Crew” from the official Mars One website. You can also share other information from this page as time allows:
Official Mars One website

“There are multiple requirements to become a Mars One astronaut. Applicants’ characteristics must fit with those of an astronaut. Meaning the candidate needs to be:
Trustworthy and Trusting
Above the age of 18
A2 English level
Other physical requirements”

Even after the intense selection process, the people selected must go through a lot of training together—about the journey into space, colonizing Mars, and building a new life together. The selection and training are very important on this mission.

There is so much about space that we just don’t know—that we haven’t explored. Even with new missions and programs to discover more about space, there are still so many things we can’t even begin to understand. Only God, the Creator of the heavens and the earth, knows everything about outer space. 

  • What are some other things we only know bits and pieces about even though there is a lot more to know? (Allow students to speculate about ocean life, the human body, events before recorded history, etc.)

This morning, we are going to be talking about a place that we sometimes think we know a lot about—but we really don’t. But one thing we know for sure—Jesus will be there!

Looking for Steps 2, 3 & 4?

You can find Steps 2 and 3 in your teacher’s guide. To purchase a teacher’s guide, please visit: Bible-in-Life or Echoes.

Step 4:

Materials Needed:

  • Internet access
  • Poster board cut into puzzle pieces (1 piece per student plus at least 5 extra)
  • Crayons/markers

Before class, cut large puzzle-shaped pieces from a piece of poster board. Make sure that there is one puzzle piece per student plus at least 5 extra. Number the back of each piece in an easy-to-reassemble order; make sure that the extra unused pieces are scattered throughout the whole puzzle.

Have a volunteer read 2 Corinthians 4:14 out loud. This verse makes it very clear that in dying on the cross and being brought back to life, Jesus will one day take us to heaven. It’s hard for us to understand what eternity will feel like, but we know from what God has told us in the Bible that He is preparing a pretty incredible home for us!

The Bible gives us glimpses of what heaven looks like and what we’ll do when we get there, but there is so much that we don’t know. Think of heaven as a puzzle; God has given us a few of the pieces, and we’ve put those together, but the puzzle isn’t complete. We won’t get those other puzzle pieces until we actually get to heaven, but God allows us to use the creative minds He gave us and our imagination to take what we know and try to complete the puzzle as best we can. When we ask questions like “What is heaven like?”; “What do you do in heaven?”; and “Who will be in heaven?”; we can start trying to put together more pieces of the puzzle. 

Distribute the puzzle pieces, markers and/or crayons. Direct students to picture or imagine something about heaven—how it looks, what we will do when there, a certain person who is there, etc. They can choose something they already know about heaven, or they can be creative and choose something they imagine might be part of heaven.

Give students time to decorate their puzzle pieces to reflect whatever they have imagined. When students have finished, assemble the puzzle on a table or the floor where everyone can see it, putting pieces in correct order. Be sure to put the blank, unused pieces in their proper place.

While students are working, play the following video:
Heaven Is My Home [4:29]

If time allows, let students share with each other what they included on their puzzle pieces.

Earlier, we discussed the training the Mars candidates go through and how important it is that they’re able to work well as team. Part of the reason it’s so important is that, since no one knows everything about Mars, bringing together what each team member does know gives everyone a better idea of how to prepare for the journey. In the same way, sharing what we know or think about God and heaven helps us learn more than we ever could by ourselves, like in the pictures in this puzzle.

Our puzzle shows some pretty amazing ideas of what we’ll experience in heaven. What’s even more amazing is that even our most imaginative ideas don’t begin to compare with what God has planned for us! The blank pieces represent the parts we don’t know about and can’t imagine—we just know that they are good!

It’s important to remember that the gift of heaven is for those who believe in Jesus as their Lord and Savior. You may have someone in your life who doesn’t know Jesus; without Him and without making the commitment to love and honor Jesus, they can’t receive eternal life.  Your puzzle piece can serve as a reminder this week to pray for this person; you can ask Jesus to show you the right time and place to share your puzzle piece with this person and talk with them about heaven. The Lord may use you and your puzzle piece to bring that person to Him!

Before students leave, have them retrieve their puzzle piece.

Close with the following prayer: Thank you, Lord, for loving us so much that You sent your Son to die on the cross for our sins. Thank you for the gift of salvation and the promise You made to return to earth and take us to heaven. It’s hard for us to fully understand what eternal life with You will be like, but we trust in Your perfect plan. Thank you for choosing us, for loving us, and for wanting us to be with You. Help us to be examples of You to those who might not know Jesus as their Lord and Savior; give us opportunities to share the hope of heaven with them. Thank you for Your love and grace. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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