October Children’s Ministry Theme: God is Immanent

Each month we focus on a different theme in each of our Children’s Ministry classes. This month’s theme is “God is Immanent”.

Introduction
All of God’s attributes can be organized into around two ideas: those relating to God’s immanence (Loving, Merciful, Gracious, Good), and those relating to God’s transcendence (Holy, Self-Existence, Omnipotence, Just).

The word “immanent” means “existing or operating within; inherent”. When we say that God is immanent, we are talking about how God is close and present with his creation. “Transcendence,” on the other hand, speaks about God’s “otherness” and difference from his creation. God is transcendent because he is our creator, and ontologically different from his creation. God is immanent because he is closely related to his creation, and actively sustains all things together.

Holding the tension between God’s immanence and transcendence is so important because it is only in that tension that we can understand how truly miraculous the incarnation is. The transcendent God came to earth as a human baby – he experienced intimately what it meant to be human. And through this he knows – really knows – what it means to be a human. More than that he humbled himself and sacrificed himself for us so that we can have a close, intimate relationship with him. 

Memory Verse:
“He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” Colossians 1:17

Scripture References:

God Actively Holds All Things Together
“The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven.” Hebrews 1:3
“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.” Proverbs 16:9

God Entered Creation and Became Man
“Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.” Philippians 2:6
“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us.” John 1:14
“The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.” Colossians 1:15

God Pursues Relationship with Us
“For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus,” 1 Timothy 2:5
“Who then is one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died – more than that, who was raised to life – is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.” Romans 8:34
“We love because he first loved us.” 1 John 4:19
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

Prayer Focus:
Adoration: Worship God because he is immanent – that he is closely with us, understands us, and is intimately involved with our lives.
Confession:  Confess the times we have viewed God has cold or distant.
Thanksgiving: Thank God that he knows and understands us and our circumstances thoroughly. Thank Jesus for coming to earth to experience life as a man, and can understand our weaknesses.
Supplication:  Ask God to give us an awareness of his presence, and a desire for a closer relationship with Him.

Discussion Questions:
What does it mean that Jesus “sustains everything with his powerful word”?  Or that “in him all things hold together”?
What other attributes of God are related to his immanence?
In contrast, what attributes of God are related to his transcendence?
What actions of Jesus reveal his immanence? His transcendence?
What does it look like when we neglect to understand or meditate on God’s immanence? In other words, what heresy results from not believing that God is immanence? 

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