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Family Resources - July 19

Here we are, halfway through July, with the new school year just around the corner, and yet I feel like we’re in the same position we were in back in May, with more questions than answers about what this school year will look like.  But one thing I know for certain, is that God knows all these answers and nothing that is happening is outside of His control.  No matter what other teaching your children receive this year, I’m praying Isaiah 54:13 for you - “All your children shall be taught by the Lord, and great shall be the peace of your children.”


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 from the Gospel Story curriculum for this week is about how God Protects Baby Moses.  The biblical account can be found in Exodus 1:1 - 2:10.  If your children are older, feel free to read through Genesis 50 with them as well, to help provide a bridge between Joseph and Moses.  If you would like to read the child-friendly version of this story from the Gospel Story Bible, you may click here.  There is also a preschool version of the story of Baby Moses, taken from the Beginners Gospel Story Bible, which you can read here.  To access the weekly coloring sheet, click here, then scroll down to the last page.


A fun visual for kids is to take a roasting pan/rubbermaid container and fill it half full with water.  Take a sheet of paper and fold it into the shape of a boat (there is a pattern for this attached at the bottom of this post).  Set your boat in the water and watch it float.  Talk with your kids about why it is floating and not sinking.  Ask them what would happen if you leave it in the water for too long.  Would it continue to float, or would the paper get wet and start to sink?  What kinds of things could you do to help the boat stay floating?  Moses' mother coated his basket with pitch, which is a sticky, tar-like substance that would keep the basket from getting wet and sinking.  You can also gather an assortment of household items and toys and have your preschooler put them in the water one by one.  See if each item floats, like Moses’ basket, or sinks.  Why did God not let baby Moses sink?  He was protecting him.


For a bit of messy, but fun activity, try Save the Egg science experiment.  You will need a collection of soft items, such as foam, bubble wrap, masking tape, foam peanuts, etc.  Give each of your children a raw egg and see if they can wrap it up in such a way that it doesn't break when you drop it from 6 feet up (you'll want to do the dropping part outside, where you can hose it off).  Use salvation language with this, telling them to try to save the egg from breaking.  Talk about how God is able to save us from our sin.  God is much better at saving than man is!


For older children, have them make a basket for Baby Moses out of newspaper.  A simple basket can be made by making two separate components.  First, the ribs can be made by rolling up a sheet of newspaper.  Take two of these and make a cross.  Take two more and make a second cross, which can be laid over the first cross to make a starlike pattern.  You can use a stapler to keep these ribs in place.  The second component is the smaller strips of newspaper that can be rolled or crinkled and then woven over and under the ribs.  Again, feel free to add staples where needed.  Have fun with this project!


There are a couple of teaching points that are really good to draw out to your kids as you go through this lesson.  First of all, I think it’s important to note that Moses did not float down the Nile river in his basket.  This is a common misconception, which I blame on the movie The Prince of Egypt, a good movie that has several details that are slightly biblically inaccurate.  Exodus 2:3 tells us that Moses' mother placed his baskets "among the reeds by the riverbank".  The reeds would have been thick enough and strong enough to keep the basket from floating away, thus allowing a safe hiding place for Moses, where his sister could keep an eye on him during the day, and his mother could sneak away to nurse him periodically.  We know that the basket did, in fact, stay among the reeds, because Exodus 2:5 tells us that Pharaoh's daughter "saw the basket among the reeds".  Secondly, talk with your kids about how Moses' life is a foreshadowing of Jesus.  Moses' life was threatened from the very beginning, as a baby.  So was Jesus'.  Moses was no ordinary child, but would grow up to become the savior of Israel.  Jesus was no ordinary child, either, but would grow up to become the Savior of the world.  Both Moses and Jesus were mediators, people who stand between God's people and the holy wrath of God, pleading for mercy for God's people.  Jesus continues to do that for us today.  Finally, help your kids to see that there is blessing in fearing the Lord.  Exodus 1 tells us about the Egyptian midwives who were instructed to kill the Hebrew baby boys, but chose not to do so because they feared the Lord.  Read Proverbs 16:6 with your children and compare it to Exodus 1:17.  The midwives feared the Lord and avoided evil, and so God blessed them with families of their own (Exodus 1:21). 


For the month of June, our Sword Bible Memory Verse comes from Psalm 121.   For preschoolers, they are learning Psalm 121:7.  For K-2nd, they are learning Psalm 121:5-7.  And in 3rd grade, they are working on learning Psalm 121:1-8.  To see the verses printed out, you can click here and go to Sword Verse #7.


The New City Catechism question for this week is question #51 - “Of what advantage to us is Christ’s ascension?”  Answer - “Christ is now advocating for us in the presence of His Father and also sends us His Spirit.”  The biblical passage for this lesson can be found in Romans 8:3-39.  The weekly memory verse for this age group is Romans 8:34.


The weekly resource for this lesson can be found by clicking here.  It lists several scenarios that involve 3 persons: a reader of the scenario, an advocate, and a judge.  Choose a couple different ones and take turns with your child being the different parts.  If you have multiple children old enough for this exercise, pull them in and fill all the roles.  Talk about how we can’t always speak for ourselves, and we need an advocate to speak for us.  That’s what Jesus is doing before the throne.  He is advocating for us, speaking for us, when our sins and weakness make us unable to speak for ourselves.  Praise the Lord!


There is also a neat story about hope that you can share with your children.  After you read it, have them tell you what thought gives Carlos hope in this story:

Carlos loved to read.  When he was lost in a book, he had no idea what was going on around him.  One day, Carlos started reading a new book on the bus on the way home from school.  Suddenly, he heard the bus driver say, “Last stop, everybody off!”  Carlos had missed his stop!  Normally when this happened, Carlos told the bus driver, which was the right thing to do.  But today there was a new driver and Carlos was too embarrassed.  He picked up his backpack and got off the bus.  The other children had already scattered.  Carlos didn’t recognize any of the houses.  He had no idea where he was!  He felt totally hopeless.  He sat down on the curb with his head in his hands.  Then he remembered that he had learned in church that Jesus is his advocate in heaven, interceding on his behalf.  This made him feel less alone.  Surely Jesus could get him home.  And Jesus had given him the Holy Spirit to guide him.  Carlos felt hope rise in his heart, even though he still didn’t know how to get home.  He picked up his backpack and started walking.  In the distance, he could see a playground.  As he got closer, he recognized the swing set with the bright orange swings.  That was the playground across from his grandmother’s house!  He ran across the playground, and sure enough, there was his grandmother’s house.  Carlos prayed a prayer of thanksgiving as he looked both ways and crossed the street.  He could see his grandmother through the window.  He was not lost anymore!


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:


Easy-origami-boat-instructions-4057416 (For making boats for the Moses story)


Guest-post-paper-basket (Another way to make a basket out of newspaper.  For older kids who like a crafting challenge.  The finished product is really cute!)


Baby_by_the_river_group_activities.htm (Lots of fun Baby Moses games, arts and crafts, and snacks, to get children of different ages engaged in this story)