Family Resources - May 10
Happy almost Mother’s Day! How wonderful that our church has decided to open its doors this week and allow people to once again gather for Sunday service! And if you’re one of the families choosing to remain at home, for health reasons, or because you are waiting for Children’s Ministry to open up so that you have a safe haven for your kids to go to while you worship, I pray that you would have a special and blessed Mother’s Day still, enjoying being together as a family, able to live stream our service.
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 our Gospel Story Curriculum this week is about Jacob’s Lie, when he tricked Isaac into giving him the blessing meant for Esau. The biblical account can be found in Genesis 27. 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. The curriculum suggests taking lengths of yarn and cutting them to the size you need to glue them on Jacob’s arms and neck after you finish coloring, to make him feel more hairy.
There are several suggested activities that involve blindfolding your kids and having them feel things, like Isaac felt Jacob. If you want to stay more biblically accurate, put some cologne or strong smelling scent on a piece of faux fur, and dress yourself in it. Let your children use their 4 other senses as Isaac did, since their sense of sight is taken from them. Let them feel you, smell you, listen to your voice, and taste some food you give them (doesn’t have to be meat, can be any kind of snack). If you’d like to give them more of a challenge, choose a collection of their stuffed animals and disguise them by dressing them in baby clothes/doll clothes, or by using rubber bands to attach pieces of felt or cloth to them, so that they feel differently. See if they can identify the stuffed animals, as Isaac tried to identify which of his sons had come to him. And if you’d like to just keep it simple, or if your children are younger, gather a collection of items from around the house and let them use their senses (other than sight) to try to figure out what each item is.
Another activity is to have your children act out the story, with an Isaac, a Jacob, and Esau, and a Rebekah. Double up some of the roles if you need to. Narrate it for them, so that they can just mime through the story as you dictate. After acting out the story as it actually happened, have a discussion with them about how God turned this situation into something good, even though Jacob lied, which was wrong. Even when we sin, God is still working out His purposes. Then ask your children what is another way God could have made this happen, for Isaac to give Jacob the blessing instead of Esau, without Jacob having to lie. Perhaps He could have sent an angel to Isaac, telling him to bless Jacob? Or Rebekah, instead of helping her son lie to her husband (which was wrong), could have simply gone to Isaac and reminded him of God's word to her that the older son would serve the younger, so that Isaac blessed Jacob? Whatever you and your kids come up with, act out those scenarios as well.
If you’re looking for an art object lesson, you will need blue and red crayons, paper, and red tissue paper. Have the children draw a picture or write a message in blue first, then draw more pictures and basically scribble all over it with the red crayon. Now it’s hard to see the thing you drew first, and it can be a little confusing to look at the paper and see what you’re supposed to see. With two sons fighting over the blessing, Isaac was a little confused, too. Now put the red tissue paper on top and smooth it down and look at the picture. Only the blue message remains. When we get confused, we need God to help us see things His way, and then we can see what we need to see.
There are a couple of teaching points that are really good to draw out to your children as you go through this lesson. First of all, it’s good to take this time to teach your children that lying is wrong. Jacob should not have lied to his father, and Rebekah should not have helped him lie to Isaac. They were trying to help Jacob get the blessing, because Jacob had been chosen by God, but their way of doing it was not right or honorable. They should have trusted that God would work out His promise to bless Jacob in His own way. However, it’s also good to point out to your kids that God took what fallen, sinful people did and used it for His glory to accomplish His plans. Jacob got the blessing, which is what God had planned all along, not because Jacob made wise choices and never lied, but because God chose to bless Jacob. In Acts 3:13, Peter refers to God as "The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob". Not Esau, but Jacob, who was chosen by God to receive His blessing and mercy, and to be in the family line of Jesus.
For the month of May, the Sword Bible Memory Verse is taken from the middle part of Psalm 145. For preschoolers, they are learning Psalm 145:8. For grades K-2, they are learning Psalm 145:8-10. And in 3rd grade, they are working on learning Psalm 145:8-13. To see the verses printed out, you can click here and go to Sword Verse #5.
The New City Catechism question for this week is question #41 - “What is the Lord’s Prayer?” Answer - “Our Father in heaven, hallowed by Your name, Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” This is the last week of our 4 part study of prayer. The biblical passage for this week’s Q&A comes from Matthew 6:5-15. The weekly memory verse for this age group is Matthew 6:9.
There is an emphasis in this lesson on not only teaching the words to the Lord’s Prayer, but on showing the children that it is a pattern for how our prayers should look. Jesus begins by addressing God as “Father”. As Christians, we have been adopted into God’s family, and can boldly approach Him, calling Him Father. Jesus praises God, as we should do. He then prays for God’s kingdom to be furthered. Talk with your kids about what that means. When Jesus prays for “our daily bread”, it helps us know that we can bring our requests to God for the things we need each day. Next, we pray for forgiveness, recognizing that being forgiven gives us the grace to forgive others in our lives. Finally, we ask God for help to flee temptation, to save us from future sins.
In the spirit of bringing these points home, have your child pull out their prayer journal again. Have them write their own prayer to God that follows the pattern Jesus shows us in the Lord’s Prayer. Encourage them to be as specific as they want, particularly in the areas of daily needs or in asking forgiveness for specific sins. This is not something they need to show anybody when they’re done, it is between them and God.
There are some resources this week that go along with the lesson. You can access them by clicking here. The first is a page full of pictures of people doing learned skills. Talk about each one with your kids, emphasizing that this is a skill the person did not have when they were born, but had to be taught how to do it by a teacher. Use this as an introduction to the lesson, to encourage your children that prayer is taught as well, and our Teacher is Jesus. When a person takes, say piano lessons, the more they listen to their teacher and practice their skill, the more beautiful the music they can play. When we are learning to pray, the more we listen to our Teacher and practice our skill by spending time in prayer with God, the more beautiful our prayer life becomes as we draw nearer to our Savior and King. The other resource is a bookmark with the Lord’s Prayer printed on it. Have your child decorate this bookmark and keep it in their bibles as a reminder of how we should pray.
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/hGs1WfRKIoM (This video about Jacob and Esau is about 4 minutes long)
Old-testament-coloring-pages (Here are some coloring pages of the books of the Old Testament)
https://pin.it/F44y1et (Some Mother’s Day craft ideas for your kids to do)
https://pin.it/10auYQz (A Mother’s Day questionnaire for your kids to fill out)