Family Resources - April 11
We wanted to share with you some highlights from our curriculum, so that your child will be able to follow along with the lessons they are being taught in Children’s Ministry. This blog post contains information about this week’s lesson from our Gospel Story curriculum, which is being taught to 3 & 4 year olds, up through 3rd grade, as well as this week’s lesson from our New City Catechism that is being taught to 4th-5th graders. May it brighten your week and bless you!
The lesson for this week from the Gospel Story Curriculum is all about David the Psalmist. Specifically, the lesson focuses on Psalm 23. If you would like to read the child-friendly version of this story from the Gospel Story Bible, you may click here. To access the weekly coloring sheet, click here, then scroll down to the last page.
For this first activity, you will need some soy nuts or other similar healthy snack, and some chocolate. Leaving the chocolate put away, offer a bowl of the soy nuts to your child and allow them to munch on them while you read Psalm 23 aloud. At the end of the reading, ask them if they would like to trade their remaining soy nuts for some chocolate. If they ate all the soy nuts (good for you, having healthy kids!), then you can offer them the option of either more soy nuts or some chocolate. Talk with them about how their desire for the soy nuts faded when they heard they could have chocolate, because the chocolate was better, sweeter. If they had never tasted chocolate before, they might still prefer the soy nuts, but since they have tasted chocolate before they know how good it is and they want more of it. This psalm shows us that David feels the same way about God. When he knows how good God is, his desire for the world fades, because he'd rather have that which is better and sweeter, his Lord.
Psalm 23 has been set to several different melodies over the years. If you know a version of this song set to music, teach it or sing it to your child. If you're looking for a version to sing, the lesson plan recommends singing "The Lord Is" from the Sovereign Grace music CD, Psalms. There is a link to this song at the bottom of this post.
A good way to help younger children internalize this psalm is to read it aloud, slowly, and let your child act out the psalm as you go. When you read the line about "He makes me lie down in green pastures", have them lie down. When you read "He leads me beside still waters", have them pretend to walk beside a river.
A good activity for older children is to delve into verse 3 of this psalm, where it says that God leads us "in paths of righteousness for His name's sake". Look up the following verses with your child and talk about how they relate to this amazing statement: Psalm 106:7-10, Psalm 143:11, Ezekiel 20:44, and Romans 1:5-6.
There are a couple of teaching points that are good to draw out to your child as you go through this lesson. First of all, it may be helpful to help your child understand what a psalm is. A psalm is a written song of praise, like a worship song. There are 150 psalms in the book of Psalms, many of them written by David. David loved God and loved singing songs to praise Him. We don't have the tunes to these psalms, but we do have the words because God's Spirit inspired David and others to write them down and put them in the Bible for us. You could also talk with your child about what a shepherd is. A shepherd's job is to look after the sheep. Sheep can't protect themselves, so a shepherd kept them safe, protecting them from evil. Sheep don't know where to go to find the best grass and water, so a shepherd takes them to where they can eat and be fed. Shepherds love their sheep that they take care of. Jesus is our Shepherd, who protects us, provides for us, and loves us. Which leads to our final point of this lesson. This psalm ends with the idea that God's "goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever". We know that there is only one way that this could be true, and it's because of Jesus. Because He died on the cross to take away our sins, we can experience God's goodness and mercy. Because He rose again from the dead, we can have the hope of living in the house of the Lord forever. Praise be to God!
Our April Sword Bible Memory Verse has us learning parts of Matthew 28. For preschoolers, they are learning Matthew 28:6. For K-2nd grade, they are learning Matthew 28:5-7. And in 3rd grade, they are working on learning Matthew 28:1-7.
The New City Catechism question for this week is question #37 - “How does the Holy Spirit help us?” Answer - “The Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin, and He enables us to pray and to understand God’s word.” The biblical passage for this lesson comes from Ephesians 6:10-20. The weekly memory verse for this age group is Ephesians 6:17-18.
There is a resource to go along with this week’s lesson, which you can find by clicking here. It is an illustration of Roman armor, so that as you read through the armor of God, you have some visuals to go along with it. Place particular emphasis on the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Reference Hebrews 4:12, to help them understand that the Word is a sword, and reference 2 Peter 1:20-21 to help them understand that the Word was inspired by the Holy Spirit. You may also want to focus on Eph 6:18, which talks about praying in the Spirit, in order to help them see that the Holy Spirit is an essential component of a Christian’s prayer life.
To understand more about what the Holy Spirit does, have your child look up some scripture references. Each of these verses below talks about the role of the Holy Spirit. Have your child try to see in each verse what the Holy Spirit is doing. Here are the references:
- John 14:16
- John 14:27
- John 15:26
- John 16:7-8
- John 16:13
- Romans 8:11
- Romans 8:26
An art activity you can do is to have your children make swords out of construction paper. Ask them to write the words “The Sword of the Spirit - Ephesians 6:17” on it. They could also write out the 66 books of the Bible, or perhaps a favorite Bible verse.
If you’re looking for other resources for ideas and activities you can do with your children to help them use their time to invest in God’s kingdom, here are some we recommend:
https://youtu.be/H7-L8Sn9DTA (The Lord Is song by Sovereign Grace Music)
https://pin.it/2wfNlg5 (A coloring page for Psalm 23)
https://pin.it/1KVMiVZ (An Armor of God Scavenger Hunt you can do with your child)