Prior to class, inflate the beach ball and find a space where students can toss it around. If weather permits, take this outside; otherwise, find an area inside where you won’t disturb others. Form a circle and ask students to think about a happy moment in their lives that they would be willing to share with the group—something praiseworthy or worth celebrating. Bat the beach ball around the circle. If someone misses it and it falls to the ground, that person will know it’s their turn to share.
- Why do some moments in our lives fill us with such joy? (Answers may include: We are surprised by them; we feel love and happiness when we “make the team” or our play performance is perfect. It is overwhelming to have a new baby cousin or a puppy to hold. When things go well, we have emotions inside of us that well up and those feelings are interpreted as happy, thankful, etc.)
- What are some ways you express joy? (Answers will vary but may include cheering, laughing, clapping, singing, doing a “happy dance,” etc.)
Emmanuel Korir is an Olympic runner who recently competed for Kenya at the Tokyo Olympic Games. Emmanuel had been disqualified from the 400-meter Olympic race for a false start. After the disappointment with that race, he still had the 800-meter race to run. In spite of the first race not going well, Emmanuel refused to let it deter him from doing his best in the 800-meter race. Watch and see what happens.
Share this video with your students [2:15; stop at 1:07]:
Ferguson Rotich and Emmanuel Korir reach 800m final at the Tokyo Olympics
- Emmanuel won the 800-meter run at the Tokyo Olympics! What did you notice about Emmanuel’s reaction when he won? Were you surprised by it? (Answers will vary. Students may answer that they were surprised by how humble he seems after the win. He isn’t throwing his success in the faces of his competitors. Instead, he looks happy and overwhelmed with excitement, but he also kneels as if in prayer to thank God for the outcome of his race.)
- How do you think you might react if you won a competition this big? (Answers will vary. Encourage students to be honest.)
Emmanuel Korir showed joy at his success in the 800-meter race. When we experience successes and joys in life, we can choose to worship God with joy. Let’s look further at how we can do the same as we worship God together with other people.