Object Lesson – Chopsticks Christian Living
We just celebrated Chinese New Year here in Asia, which gave me the idea of games using chopsticks. Chopsticks always come in pairs and work together to pick up items. It reminds me of the Helper, the Holy spirit, who always works along side us to accomplish God’s purpose in our lives and the world.
Games Using Chopsticks
NOTE: For these games you will need Chinese chopsticks (kebab sticks or even a couple of pencils could be used if you have a hard time finding chopsticks). You could also try your local Chinese takeout to grab some chopsticks. As awards you can use martial arts designations like “Blackbelt in Chopsticks.” (Yellow Belt, Orange Belt, Green Belt, Brown Belt, Black Belt)
- Chopsticks & ping pong ball relay– give every team member a pair of chopsticks and line them up in a row. With one hand behind their backs, team members must pass a ping pong ball down the line. The first team to pass the ball to the end of the line wins.
- Chopstick Transfer– For this game you will need a pair of Chopsticks, a bowl & Plate for each team. You will also need some items to pick up with chopsticks. Marshmallows or cotton balls are easy, but you can also use peanuts, uncooked rice grains, peas, beans, jelly means, M&ms, ice cubes, small candies, popcorn, peanuts, and even marbles. Set a timer or stopwatch for 1 Minute. See how many Items can be transferred from the Bowl to the plate in 1 Minute using the chopsticks in one hand only. Who ever can transfer the most in that time Wins. Alternatively put different items in the bowl with more difficult items being with more points.
- On the Hook– In this game, contestants must hold a chopstick in their mouth, attached to a piece of string and an open paper clip. The contestant has to fish 4 keys off a stand (or stool) within 60 seconds. Alternatively, the Team to get all four in the fastest time wins.
- Chopstick Pickup Dash– Played like “chopstick transfer”, place the bowl and plate about eight feet apart. Some objects are easier to carry than others. Each youth’s bowl should contain the same number of items. Using only their chopsticks, the participants carry the items from the bowl to the plate. Each team member takes a turn carrying an item before handing the chopsticks off to the next player.
- Chopstick in the Hole– You need at least two youth to play this game. Give each player a single chopstick. Tie a string around the end of the chopstick. For youth, tie the other end of the string around the waist. Younger children can play with the string tied to their wrist. The object of this game is to get the chopstick into a glass bottle (or any other object with a small hole at the top) without using hands. Have the participants lean over the bottle and try to lower the chopstick through the hole. The first one to get it in wins. This game works as a relay as well. Choose teams. Time the rounds instead of stopping when the first player succeeds. The team with the most chopsticks in the hole wins.
- Chicken Wok– Youth line up in two teams with the first person from each team standing
on a starting line. Give the first youth in line two chopsticks. On the signal to begin, the first student will pick up the rubber chicken from inside a hula hoop using only chopsticks. (They may not use hands or stick the chopstick inside the chicken). If you can’t get rubber chickens you can also use bean bags, or a blown up rubber glove. They will have to bring the chicken down to their wok or stir fry pan, then give the sticks to the next youth in line, who then repeats the process. The process continues until everyone has had a turn. First team to have every person go wins.
- Chopstick M&m Sort– For each team, put a bag of m&m’s in a bowl. Team members must hold one hand behind their backs and use chopsticks to separate the colors into different bowls. The team to correctly separate the most M&ms in 1 minute wins.
- Balance Pasta With Chopstick– For each team, you will need 7-8 Mezze Penne uncooked pasta pieces and a pair of chopsticks. As the time starts, the participants have to grab the chopstick and place it into their mouth. Once the chopstick is placed in their mouth, the participants are not allowed to use their hands. They have to keep them behind their backs. The participants must pick up the pennes one by one using the chopstick in their mouth. The participants should be careful while picking up the pennes so that the pennes already on the chopstick do not fall off. If they fall on the ground they can not be picked up, but if they fall on the table they can pick them up again. Penne can touch a participant’s lips, but they should not enter their mouth. The participant who is able to hold the maximum penne pasta on his/her chopstick in one minute wins.
- Chocolate and chopsticks – Place a chocolate block in the center of the table. The candy should stay in its wrapper and, to make the game last longer, you could wrap the chocolate block in layers of gift-wrapping paper as well. Each person sitting around the table takes a turn at rolling the dice. The 1st person who rolls a six gets to start eating the chocolate block – but only with one hand behind his or her back and using only a pair of chopsticks. While they are getting ready to eat the chocolate block, the group keeps taking turns rolling the dice. If someone rolls a six, then the person who rolled the six before him relinquishes his right to the chocolate block, and the 2nd person must try to eat the chocolate before someone else rolls six. The game is over when the block of chocolate is finished. This can also be played with packages of M&ms.
- “Pick-up Sticks” with wooden chopsticks – Split a class into small groups. One youth on each team starts the game by dropping a handful of chopsticks on a table or floor. The chopsticks will end up in a pile. Each participant on the team must remove a chopstick from the pile without touching or moving any of the other sticks. If a youth fails, he or she loses their turn. The student(s) with the most chopsticks at the end of the game is the winner. To add an interesting twist, Roll a slip of paper with a scripture verse around some of them. A piece of tape or glue will help hold the paper in place.
- Tallest Tower – Have students work in teams to construct towers out of wooden chopsticks. You can add rubber bands or only permit participants to use the plastic or paper wrapper that pairs of chopsticks usually come with to tie their towers together. The team that builds the tallest tower in a designated amount of time wins.
- Lemon Roll – You will need a pair of chopsticks, One lemon and a timer. The objective is to get the lemon from you to the next person on your team, and eventually all the way to the end of the line. participants may only use the chopsticks to manipulate the lemon.
- Pass the Object – Arrange the youth in a circle and give them each a pair of chopsticks. Choose an object such as a marshmallow, a peanut, a walnut, a gummy bear or a marble. Give the item to one youth to start the game. The youth should pass the item around the circle using their chopsticks. If someone drops the item, he is out. Move the circle in and continue the game until there is only one player left standing.
- Chop Stack – In one minute or less, use a standard pair of chopsticks to grab and stack four tubes of lip balm, creating a vertical tower. Place the chopsticks on the table, as well as the four tubes of lip balm. The lip balms should be resting horizontally (on their sides) rather than standing up. The contestant starts off by standing in front of the table, facing the laid-out supplies. Start the timer. The player can now pick up the chopsticks and arrange them in one hand, using them in the traditional manner. Then, he or she picks up the tubes of lip balm, one at a time, and stacks them. The tubes must stand straight up (with the lid facing upwards), and the completed tower of four lip balm tubes must be free-standing. The tower of tubes must remain standing, without any support, for three seconds to qualify. Complete this task in one minute or less and you win the game. As a team competition you can do the fastest time or the team member who gets the most in one minute.
- Chopsticks On A Jar – You will need one wide-mouthed container, such as a peanut butter jar and several pairs of chopsticks. The group’s goal is to have all of the chopsticks successfully balanced on top of the jar simultaneously. Each youth takes a turn placing one of the chopsticks on the mouth of the container. The youth attempts to place his/her chopsticks without spilling any of the previously placed chopsticks. At the end of one minute, the team with the most chopsticks balanced on the jar wins.
- Jacks – Divide the youth into groups of three. Give each group a rubber ball or tennis ball and ten chopsticks. Each youth in the group will have a turn. The first youth in the group will take the bundle of 10 chopsticks and spread them on the ground. Sitting down in front of the group of sticks, throw the ball up (not too high). Quickly pick up one chopstick and then catch the ball, allowing the ball to bounce just once. Continue the game until all the sticks are retrieved one at a time. If the person cannot pick up the chopstick or misses the ball, his/her turn is ended. If the person successfully picks up the ten sticks he/she goes on to the next step. The next step is picking up chopsticks by two’s. Then picking up chopsticks by three’s, then by four’s, five’s, sixes, seven’s, eight’s nine’s, and all ten. After all these steps have been completed, the player will hold all ten chopsticks in one hand and tap them on the ground three times while the ball bounces once. The first player to complete all these steps wins the game!
- Jelly Feast – Most jelly eaten with chopsticks in one minute wins.
- Crossed or uncrossed – Take a couple of chopsticks.. sit in a circle and explain to the Youth that they have to figure out the secret to this game. Key a few youth in before you start. Pass the chopsticks to your right asking, “Are they crossed or uncrossed?” The key to this game has nothing to do with the chopsticks being passed. The answer depends on the legs of the person doing the passing, if the legs, ankles, feet of the passer are crossed, the answer is “Crossed”, if they are uncrossed, the answer is “uncrossed.” Again, as the game goes on, make the crossing of the legs more obvious. These games are fun when you exaggerate the motion or positioning of the objects they are trying to figure out because the key has nothing to do with the object.
- Jolly Javelin – Use individual chopsticks as a javelin. The youth who tosses it the furthest wins.
- Nut Job – Arrange 8 iron nuts in a row at the end of a table and provide the contestant with a chopstick. The contestant has to string the nuts into the chopsticks without using his hands. All 8 nuts have to be on the chopstick at the end of the minute.
TAKE IT TO THE NEXT LEVEL
MAKE IT SPIRITUAL
Lessons from Chopsticks
- Chopsticks Only Work in Pairs – Since chopsticks must be used in pairs, in Chinese culture, it stands for “close cooperation”.
- Patience – It takes patience and care. Sometimes instead of rushing we need to wait on God and His timing.
- Only pick up one thing at a time – We often try to do too much at once, but sometimes we need to fully focus on only one task at a time and seek God’s direction for what he wants us to focus on at the time.
- Don’t hold on too tight – Sometimes God chooses a delicate and gentle touch, a quiet whisper, to accomplish mighty things.
- No matter how careful you are, sometimes you’ll drop something. God chooses to use us even though he knows we will fail him. But he is always merciful and redemptive and will pick us back up and use in might ways for His glory.
After Jesus announced to His disciples that He would be leaving them soon, He encouraged them: “And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever – the Spirit of Truth” (John 14:16=17). The Greek word translated “Comforter” or “Counselor” or “advocate” (as found in John 14:16, 26; 15:26; and 16:7) is parakletos. It is made up of the preposition para, “beside,” and the adjective kle-tos, “called.” It means “to come alongside to help”, “one called to the side of another,” with the secondary idea of counseling or supporting him or her. A paraklete is someone who can do something for you that you cannot by yourself.
MAKE IT PRACTICAL
- In John 14, how does Jesus say the Holy Spirit will help the disciples?
- What does it mean that the Holy Spirit is our Paraklete? Our Helper?
- What are the benefits of having the Holy Spirit as a helper alongside us?
- What roles does the Holy Spirit have in our lives and in the world? What does he help us with?
MAKE IT PERSONAL
- What choices do you have to make this week that you need the Holy Spirit’s help with?
- What thing do you need to do this week that you need the Holy Spirit’s help with?
SCRIPTURES RELATED TO THE ROLES OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
- Conviction – John 16:8 “And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment.”
- Baptism – Matthew 3:11 – “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.” Mark 1:8 – “I baptize you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
- Regeneration – Titus 3:5 – “he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,” John 3:5-8 – “Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”
- Indwelling – John 14:17 – “the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.” I Corinthians 3:16 – “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?” (See also 6:19)
- Sealing – Ephesians 4:30 – “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” II Corinthians 1:22 – “set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.”
- Filling – Ephesians 5:18 – “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit,”
- Guiding – Galatians 5:25 – “Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” Galatians 5:16 – “So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” Romans 8:14 – “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.”
- Development of Christian fruit – Galatians 5:22-23 – “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
- Teaching – Jesus promised that when the Spirit came he would lead believers into truth. The Spirit illuminates the mind of the believer to the revelation of God’s will through his Word. – John 14:26 – “But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” John 16:13 – “But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.” 2 Tim 3:16-17 “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 1 John 2:27 – “As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit – just as it has taught you, remain in him.”
- Gives us spiritual gifts – I Corinthians 12, Romans 12:3-8, and 1 Peter 4:10-11 reveal the names of many gifts God’s Spirit provides to believers. Each believer has at least one (1 Corinthians 12:7), and each person is specifically gifted for the acts of service God has prepared for him or her (Ephesians 2:10).
- Assists in evangelism – Acts 1:8 – “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” Acts 4:31 – “After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.”
- Prayer – Romans 8:26 – “In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words”
- Empowers us for all aspects of the Christian Life and transformation – Ephesians 3:14-19 – “For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge – that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”