This session is the sixth and final session in a series designed especially for all-age homegroups, those who meet intergenerationally with members from babes in arms through to great grandparents included and is based on the fiction book, Tales of Tommy Twitchnose by Terry Waite, with links to the book of Romans. The activities and discussion points are designed to include all members, as they feel able.
This sixth session explores what happens when the squirrel is caught by his own wrongdoing. Alongside this, we explore what Romans 6 has to say about how Jesus has overcome sin, and particularly looks at verse 22, that we are set free from sin.
Key Bible text: Romans 6:22
Tales of Tommy Twitchnose reference: Chapter 6, (Excerpt from pages 104-108)
Where possible, begin the time together with a shared meal, or if this is not possible, some light refreshments. Talk about your experiences from the past week. Use this time to introduce an all-age atmosphere, by gathering all members together in a shared time of food and friendship. Since this is the last session in this series, take some time to review the teaching of the last few weeks, as well as talking about what you may do next, perhaps.
Reintroduce the book, Tales of Tommy Twitchnose and recap what you have looked at so far. If you have provided copies of the book for families to read at home in between sessions, you can involve families in recapping the story so far and share what you have enjoyed about the story. Read from pg. 104 “The two mice explained exactly,” to pg. 108, “in the direction of Cheesethorpe Police Station.”
Ask the group if this story about the mice reminds them of any particular stories or verses in the Bible. You may want to remind the group of the themes of sin and salvation that you explored in the previous two sessions and how we hold an understanding of these two things together.
Remind the group that over the course of this series, we are going to be looking at some of Paul’s teaching in the book of Romans and explain that this was a letter Paul wrote to the church in Rome to encourage them to continue to follow Jesus’ teaching in their lives. Through this series, we have discovered that Paul could have written this letter for Tommy Twitchnose to read and learn from, and today we see how it relates to an incident involving a squirrel. Paul could also have written it for us to read and learn from too! Thankfully, we are able to read this letter in the Bible and discover more about what it means for us to live as followers of Jesus today. Over the previous two sessions, we have explored a little about sin and about salvation. Today, we explore how we still need to watch that we do not fall into sin, but that we remember we have been set free from the trap of sin. Encourage the members of the group to have access to their own Bibles and read together Romans 6:22. You may want to give an overview of the chapter or look together at the verses around verse 22 to give more context.
Provide a story basket with a selection of toys which support the theme of being set free. These could include linking toys, connecting beads or bricks, even padlocks and keys. You could also provide some picture story book Bibles, and perhaps some toy mice, perhaps.
Invite the group to discuss some of the following questions as are most appropriate. Be intentional about including all ages in this time of discussion, so far as you are able, rather than expecting the children to listen quietly while the adults talk. Allow the conversation to flow naturally, rather than rigidly following the questions below. You may prefer to set up the response activity first and discuss some of these questions as you do so.
Before the session, prepare a ‘net’ of knotted cords or lengths of string or wool. Gather the group together and challenge them to untie the knots together, one by one, until all the lengths of cord are ‘free’ from the mess. As you do so, take the opportunity to continue the conversation about what it is to be set free from sin, as well as talking honestly about what it means to fall into the trap of sin.
Some groups enjoy a time of shared sung praise together, whilst for others this is not helpful. Treat this time as optional, depending upon the needs of your group. For younger children, this can be a great time for joining together with the adults in praise, perhaps using percussion instruments, scarves or ribbons as you sing.
As you pray together, give people the opportunity to talk and pray individually about any particular issues raised. Pray the Lord’s Prayer together, reminding the group that we have been forgiven, and that we ask God to help us to not fall into temptation.
Provide copies of the text of Romans 6:22 for members of the group to take away and put up on display somewhere they will see it and be reminded of the things you explored during this session. Encourage everyone to use this as a reminder that we have been set free, and to ask God to help us not to fall into sin again. As this is the final session in the series, encourage families to continue to live out the things we have explored through these sessions together.