The Object Lesson – Simple Weaving
Movies and literature are full of examples of people who have split personalities. They are portrayed as having a kind person and a cruel person living inside of them, and the personality can flip suddenly and unexpectedly. Some famous examples include Harvey Dent (Batman villain), Bruce Banner (turns into the Hulk), Henry Jekyll (Jekyll and Hyde), or Good Cop/Bad Cop (Lego Movie).
Sometimes when we read about the nature of God, we can conclude that He has a split personality. When we read stories about his power and righteousness and holiness, God seems majestic, but unapproachable and distant. Then, however, we read about God’s love, compassion, and mercy, and God seems gentle and familiar. If we aren’t careful, it seems like God has two different personas, but this is not what the Bible teaches.
In order to accomplish this object lesson you will need to do some preparation. Take a pair of scissors and two sheets of different colored construction paper. Cut one piece of paper into 1-2 inch strips of paper. In the other piece of paper, you are going to cut slits. Each slit should be about 2 inches apart and cover the entire length of the paper with only a ½ inch margin on each side. (If you are performing this from the stage, you may want a larger surface to weave. You could do this with 12×12 scrapbooking paper or even two pieces of poster board if you want.)
On the whole sheet of paper (with the slits in it), write a list of things that are evidence of God’s greatness. It could be stories of healing, the evidence found in creation, answered prayers, or a favorite Bible story. On the pre-cut strips of paper write items that remind you of God’s goodness. This could include the crucifixion story, comfort you have felt, blessings you have received, or other ways you have felt God’s love.
Weave the strips into the larger sheet of paper by alternating going over and under each of the slits. As you weave these together, remind your listeners that God’s goodness is woven together with His greatness. He is not great sometimes and good at other times. He is both all the time.
Bible Lesson – Psalm 145 – The Goodness and Greatness of God
Psalm 145 is a beautiful hymn of praise directed at God, and you can essentially break the praise down into two categories. First, David praises God for his greatness (verse 3-6 and 10-13). God is majestic and glorious. His has performed mighty works and great deeds. David praises God for his power, his righteousness, and his glorious majesty.
But David also praises God for his goodness (verse 7-9 and 13-16). God is compassionate and good to all. God holds up those who fall down and provides for the needs of His people. God is not only powerful and glorious, He is also really good.
Here’s what is really beautiful about Psalm 145. For David, God’s goodness and his greatness are not two separate truths; they are one in the same. He moves back and forth between these two ideas without hesitation. They are woven together into the being of God. God is both good and great all the time. Creation may be the clearest display of God’s greatness. His power and majesty are on full display as He brings the universe into being. But His goodness is also present in the creation story. Each day ends with the simple proclamation that all God made was good.
There is no better example of God’s goodness than the death and resurrection of Jesus. It is an act of love and mercy that is unparalleled in all of history, but it is also a display of God’s greatness. His power is on full display when death is defeated and Christ is raised.
In every act of God, we find that He does not have two personalities, but one unified nature. He is both good and great all the time.
Other Scriptures to Study
There are other parts of God’s nature that are also woven together. You could use this same object lesson to teach about several biblical truths, and here are just two suggestions.
Jesus is both fully God and fully human. He was with God in the beginning and He was born in the flesh. These are not two separate parts, but they are woven together in his identity.
1 John highlights two truths about God. The first is God’s holiness (God is light) and hatred of sin. The second is God’s mercy (God is love), and how much we were loved even while we were still sinners.