Family Resources - November 8
Well, election day has come and gone. I don’t know who you voted for, and I don’t need to, but I would guess that not everyone is happy with the choices before us this year, and that there are people who will not be happy with our country’s leader for the next 4 years, whoever it may be. But one thing we can all agree on and take comfort in is that our country has a Leader who will always be there, even in the difficult times, guiding our lives and those of our neighbors as well. We can trust Him through the good times and through the storms. What joy and what peace to know our Leader, Jesus Christ!!
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 about Rahab’s Help. You can find the biblical account in Joshua 1 & 2. 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.
As an opening object lesson, hide 2 quarters under your feet, ideally by taping them to the bottom of your shoes/feet. Show your child a third quarter and tell them there are 2 more hiding somewhere in the room, and if they find them, they can keep them. Feel free to give "hints", such as "They were on the floor over there at one point". After they've searched and searched, show them the quarters under your feet. Explain how you hid them, then sent your child on a search with faulty or incomplete information. Someone in our bible story today hides something very important, then sends others off the wrong way to find it. See if they can figure out what.
This is also a fun story to act out. Use a blanket to represent the bundles of flax on the roof. You be Rahab, and help your child hide, then either act out both parts of Rahab and the king's police, or else have another child be the king's police and come looking for the spy. Direct them to look elsewhere, then free the hiding spy. You could also put a rope on the floor and have your spy pretend to climb down the wall with it. Feel free to play again, switching parts.
For this activity, you will need some red ice cubes, a pitcher of hot water, and a basin. Read Joshua 2:8-11 with your kids. Place the red ice cubes in the basin, then review the reasons why the hearts of the people of Jericho might have melted in fear of the God of Israel:
God sent the plagues upon Egypt
God parted the Red Sea to let the Israelites through, but then shut the waters on the Egyptians
God gave Israel victory over their enemies during the time of wandering in the wilderness
Now Israel is coming to Jericho
With every reason you and your kids come up with, pour some of the hot water over the ice cubes. By the time you finish, the ice cubes should be melted. But here's something interesting to note: Rahab doesn't mention the people of Jericho repenting or deciding they should worship God, just that they were afraid of Him. Rahab heard these same stories, and it made her love God and want to follow Him.
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, let’s talk about how these spies gave a better report than the spies Moses sent into Canaan, back in Numbers 13. At that time, the spies returned and told the people that it was too dangerous, that they could never defeat the people who lived there. These 2 spies return with good news, even though they've been to a strong city with impenetrable walls. They report to Joshua "Truly the Lord has given all the land into our hands" (Joshua 2:24). That's faith! Secondly, it’s good to note that Rahab was the first sign of a promise God intended to keep. In Genesis 12, God promised that all the nations of the earth would be blessed through Abraham. The people of Israel were chosen to be God's people and to bring that blessing to others. Rahab was not an Israelite, she was a Canaanite, of a different nation, and yet she was saved by God and called to repentance. We later learn that she became the mother of Boaz, who married Ruth. That makes her the great-great-grandmother of King David, and part of Jesus' family line! God's promise of salvation is for all nations, tribes, and tongues!!
Our Sword Bible Memory Verse for November comes from Psalm 18. For preschoolers, they are learning Psalm 18:30. For K-2nd grade, they are learning Psalm 18:30-32. And in 3rd grade, they are working on learning Psalm 18:30-35. To see the verses printed out, you can click here and go to Sword Verse #11.
The New City Catechism question for this week is question #15 - “Since no one can keep the law, what is its purpose?” Answer - “That we may know the holy nature of God, and the sinful nature of our hearts, and thus our need of a Savior.” The biblical passage for this lesson comes from Romans 3:19-20. The weekly memory verse for this age group is Romans 3:20.
As an opening object lesson, have your child look in a mirror. What do they see? A mirror helps us see what we look like on the outside. God’s law is like a mirror, that helps us see what we look like on the inside. Just like the flashlight exercise from last week, we look at ourselves through God’s law, and we see how we fall short, how our hearts are sinful, and that leads us to God and to repentance.
This next activity was written for a classroom, where the children would be partnered up. To use it at home, they could partner with a younger/older sibling, or you can be their partner. Set a timer for 10 minutes, and during that time, neither of you may speak or make any sound. You must each tell each other 3 things about yourselves: your favorite color, what you want to be when you grow up, what you want to do on Saturday, what you want for Christmas, etc. But with no words or sounds, you’ll have to just use hand gestures and motions, like charades. Of course, unlike charades, your partner cannot guess out loud, so you won’t know if they guessed rightly until the timer is over. Then see if you both understood each other and the 3 things you were trying to communicate. This lesson is to show that it’s hard to learn things about someone if they don’t talk to you. The best way to get to know more about someone is when they speak and make themselves known. God’s law shows us more about Himself, because in it He is speaking to let us know who He is.
Go through the Ten Commandments again with your child, and talk about what we can learn from them about who God is. What do the commandments reveal about His character and nature? Write down a list of things, and be awed by God’s goodness and greatness. When your list is done, think of a song that properly embodies your awe of who God is, and sing it together.
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:
http://adventuresinmommydom.org/joshua-battle-jericho-activities/ (A fun game for younger children about Rahab and the Spies)
https://pin.it/7CWl74o (A fun snack art you can make with your kids for Rahab and the spies, although I’d cut the Bugles, as those are more about next week’s lesson.)
https://youtu.be/QsYyuK1w3q0 (A worship song that embodies part of my awe of who God is)
https://youtu.be/ZOargNFiDd4 (Another great worship song embodying awe of our great God)