Family Resources - September 27
This week, on Friday night, it’s Family Night at Cornerstone!! This is such a great opportunity for church members to gather together and rejoice together in God’s goodness to us. There will not be any childcare, but there will be fun and games and celebrations together as a church family. I really hope you all can make it!!
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 how God Has Mercy on Israel after their worship of the Golden Calf. So much happens in the story this week, from Moses interceding for the people to ask God to keep His presence with His people, to Moses’ audacious request to see God’s glory, and the consequent joy of being hidden in the cleft of the rock, covered by God’s hand, and then seeing God’s back as He walks past in all His glory, to the regiving of the 10 commandments. The biblical passage can be found in Exodus 33-34. 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.
Have your kids make forts. Each one can make a fort, or they can work together, however you would like. You can use some sheets and blankets, or just use the tables and chairs. Have them make it with one side open. Pretend this is the cleft of the rock. Have the kids get inside and take a minute to picture God’s hand covering the opening, then picture poking your head out and seeing the back of God’s glory walking away. Picture the glory and spend time in prayer to the One who has the glory.
For an easy art activity, give your child a paper plate and have them use markers to draw Moses’ face on the plate. Then take glowing paint (or just bright yellow) and paint the skin of Moses’ face so that it shines. Have them cut a piece of paper to be a veil for Moses’ face, maybe even with eye holes, and staple it to the top of the plate. Now the veil can be drawn aside or used to cover the shining face of Moses.
For this next activity, you will need 2 large, flat rocks or pieces of slate, to represent the stone tablets Moses took up on the mountain with him. Ask your kids where the stone tablets came from. Who wrote on the stone tablets, according to Exodus 34:1? What commandment was God careful to remind them of, according to Exodus 34:14? Can they remember any other commandments? (This is a good chance to review the Ten Commandments we learned about a few weeks ago).
There are a couple of teaching points that are really good to draw out to your children as you go through this story. First of all, God says He will no longer go with the Israelites. Because of their stiff-necked idolatry and sinfulness, God was going to destroy them, but He allowed Moses to plead for them and intercede for them, as Jesus does for us, and He chose not to destroy the Israelites. But now He's come up with a different suggestion: to not go with them anymore. He is still offering to send an angel with them, to drive out their enemies, to bless them with the Promised Land, but they just wouldn't have God's presence with them in the pillar of cloud/pillar of fire/tabernacle. This is what many modern "christians" want: for God to give them all the blessings and protection, but He doesn't have to go with them. Yet Moses shows us the right response, by saying that if God doesn't go with them, they don't want to go at all. Moses would rather stay in the wilderness if God is there than go to the land flowing with milk and honey without God. So again, he pleads for the people of Israel, interceding on their behalf as he asks God to stay with them, to go with them, to keep His presence among His people, and again, God chooses to show mercy to the Israelites. Which leads us to our next point, that God is a God of mercy. He gives Moses the 10 commandments all over again. He is not a father who says, “Look, you know what you need to do, so I’m not going to tell you again”. Rather, He tells them once more what they should be doing and not doing. And in the passage, He says multiple times that He is a “God of mercy” and that He is “slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love”. I’m so thankful for the mercy of God, aren’t you?!?!
This is the last week to work on our Sword Bible Memory Verse for September, which comes from Exodus 20. For preschoolers, they are learning Exodus 20:12. For K-2nd grade, they are learning Exodus 20:12-16 (which sounds like more than it is). And in 3rd grade, they are working on learning Exodus 20:10-17. To see the verses printed out, you can click here and go to Sword Verse #9.
The New City Catechism question for this week is question #9 - “What does God require in the first, second, and third commandments?” Answer - “First, that we know God as the only true God. Second, that we avoid all idolatry. Third, that we treat God’s name with fear and reverence.” The biblical passage for this lesson comes from Exodus 20. The weekly memory verse for this age group is Deuteronomy 6:13-14.
There are a couple of resources that go along with this lesson, which you can find by clicking here. The first resource is a collection of pictures of false gods. Show the pictures to your kids and talk about how each one is a false god that people worship, rather than the One True God. (The pictures are: 1-Golden Calf: Baal Worship, 2-Artemis: Greek Mythology, 3-Shiva: Hinduism, 4-Shango: Yoruba religion, 5-Altar for Ancestor Worship: Buddhism, 6-Power, 7-Possessions, 8-Family.) There are many things tempting us to worship them, but God makes it clear that He is to be Number One in our hearts. He is the only God worth bowing down to and pouring love out on.
The other resource is a heart picture. Have your child write “God” in the center heart, to show that God comes first, and no other gods are to come before Him. Then have them cut pictures out of magazines of other good things that we can have in our hearts, that we can enjoy and appreciate, and glue those pictures in the outer heart. Finally, allow them to cut some pictures out of things that are less good, that don’t have a place in our hearts at all, and glue them on the edge of the paper. (If you don’t have magazines that the kids can cut up, feel free to have your child brainstorm ideas and draw pictures instead).
Another activity in this lesson involves writing out the words to the first, second, and third commandments, then cutting them up into individual words. Hide these words around the room, and have your child search for them and put them in order to spell out the first 3 commandments. You can do them from the bible verses in Exodus 20, or from the catechism answer for this week, whatever works best for you.
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://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Lion_cub_in_rock_cleft.JPG (A picture of a lion cub hiding in the cleft of a rock. Picture Moses being hidden in a cleft of the rock, surrounded by rock on every side but one, as God covered him there with the protection of His hand, then allowed him to peek out and see God’s glory from the back.)
https://youtu.be/XmXJQjYtyLw (A song about how Jesus is our rock. An interesting thing to think about when we think about Moses being hidden in the cleft of the rock in order to see God’s glory.)
https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/are-you-obeying-the-third-commandment/ (A short article from The Gospel Coalition about not taking God’s name in vain. Addresses the abbreviation “OMG” and social media uses as well. Read it first, but I would recommend for older kids as well.)