Coventry Cathedral Visit
What does it mean if God is loving and holy?
LO - Make clear connections between Bible texts studied and what Christians believe about God; for example, through how churches are designed.
Christians respond to the idea of God as omnipotent, eternal, and so on, in lots of ways. Here are two: Church architecture and worship.
What do cathedrals show about what Christians believe about God. How do they show that Christians believe God is worth worshipping? Find out about the parts of a cathedral (or a local church). Take the words from the description of God in the earlier activities using the Bible texts and see if they could be used to label parts of the building.
For example: stained glass tells stories; the altar talks of sacrifice; confessionals talk of forgiveness; in larger churches you can see where people used to be separated from the holiest part, the altar, by the rood screen; the size and scale of cathedrals speak of God’s power as well as human creativity (in God’s image); the cross shape and all crosses/ crucifixes talk of God’s love through Jesus (see Digging Deeper).
You might like to focus on Coventry Cathedral for this, with its stunning artwork and architecture: www.coventrycathedraltour.org.uk/node.php
What does it mean if God is both holy and loving?
LO - Explain connections between biblical texts and Christian ideas of God, using theological terms
Discuss the features of God pupils have come up with. They are now going to look at the words of three people who claim to know the God of the Bible personally — David (Psalm 103 — a psalm or prayer/ song), Isaiah (Isaiah 6:1–5 — a prophet tells of a religious experience) and John (I John 4:7–13 — a letter).
Divide these up and give a section to groups of pupils. They are looking for words and phrases from the texts to describe what God is like, what God does and what God does not do; and also to identify how the writer knows this.
Focus on two important ideas about God: Christians see God as holy as well as loving. God’s holiness is to do with being apart from all others, being pure, being without sin. Read Exodus 19:1-19 to show how serious this is in the Bible. Get pupils to go back to the texts and identify the ones that are to do with God being holy, and those to do with God being loving.
What does it mean if God is holy and loving?
LO- Investigate using technical terms accurately
Build a god: ask pupils to write down all the words they might use if they were to describe a being who could be ‘God’ — including this god’s power, character, actions. Resource Sheet 1 offers some words to help — some are more helpful than others! Use these to help pupils learn some key technical words, such as omnipotent, omniscient, holy, loving and spirit.
Why are those features important for a God?
Which feature is the most important?
What kind of world would your God be king over?