The wind was still. All was quiet as the two men walked on the road to Emmaus.

“It’s so peaceful today,” said Cleopas. “I’m glad we are away from the crowds in Jerusalem.”

His friend agreed, “Yes, and we can talk now. Everything has been so mixed up. I’m still not sure I understand what’s been happening. But I do know that Jesus died on that cross and . . .”

Hearing footsteps behind them, the two men turned and watched as a Stranger approached. When He caught up with them, they began to talk together. After a moment, He looked at the men’s faces. “You both seem so sad. What is troubling you?”

Cleopas and his friend looked at Him with surprise. “Don’t you know? You must be a stranger in Jerusalem if you haven’t heard of all the things that have been happening there.”

“What things?” the Stranger asked.

“Why, about Jesus of Nazareth!” Cleopas said. “He healed people and taught them with a power that could only come from God. But the chief priests and rulers had Him arrested. Then they crucified Him on a cross.”

“We thought He was the One who would come and free Israel,” explained his friend. “And now it looks like the Romans will still rule.”

“Besides that,” exclaimed Cleopas, “now His body is gone! Some women went to take burial spices to His tomb this morning and found it open – and empty. They said they saw an angel who told them Jesus was alive.”

Then the Stranger began to speak. “Didn’t you understand that this was God’s plan for Jesus, the Savior, to suffer these things?” Then He began to explain what the Scriptures said about the Savior.

Cleopas and his friend listened carefully to the Stranger. They were filled with wonder at what He told them. It seemed like just a short time before the Stranger and the two men arrived at Emmaus. They asked Him to stay and eat with them. At first, it seemed He would travel on, but at last He agreed to join them.

As the Stranger blessed and broke the bread for the evening meal, something wonderful happened. Suddenly the two men knew who He was. He was Jesus! As soon as they recognized Him, Jesus disappeared right before their eyes!

After He was gone, they looked at one another in amazement. “I felt like my heart was burning when He was speaking to us on the road!” exclaimed Cleopas. “He explained the Scriptures so we could really understand them.”

“Let’s hurry back to Jerusalem,” said his friend. “We must tell the others. Come on! Jesus is alive!”

Parent’s Corner


This lesson is about Jesus meeting two of His disciples on the road to Emmaus. At first they did not recognize Him, but later, after they had sat down to eat together, they realized that He was their Lord.

Use the memory verse as the focus of your time together with your child. Because it compares the Word of God to a lamp, there are many possibilities for visualizing this verse. Have your child count how many lamps (or sources of light) he can find in your house. Talk about why we need light. Use a light to make shadow pictures on the wall. Hide an object in a dark room and let your child look for it with a flashlight.

After spending some time on these activities, read the verse again together. Let your child explain to you why he thinks the Word of God is like a light.

FAMILY DEVOTIONS


Verses to help your child understand this Bible lesson.

SUNDAY: Psalm 119:105

MONDAY: John 5:24

TUESDAY: John 1:12

WEDNESDAY: Psalm 119:130

THURSDAY: John 6:40

FRIDAY: John 6:35

SATURDAY: John 12:46

Jesus did many wonderful things when He was here on this earth. His disciples were almost always with Him. Just imagine how they must have felt as they watched Him heal the sick and raise the dead. Jesus didn’t always tell His disciples what He was going to do. Sometimes He had surprises for them.

One bright, sunny morning, Jesus called two of His disciples. He wanted them to go to a nearby city and bring back a donkey. He added that if anyone asked why they were taking the donkey, they should tell him, “The Lord needs it.”

How curious those two disciples must have been as they walked to the city. How did Jesus know exactly where the donkey would be? They probably wondered what He was going to do with that donkey. Would the owner really let them take it when they told him Jesus wanted it?

When the disciples came to the city they went to the place where Jesus had told them to go. They found the donkey exactly where Jesus had said it would be. Quickly they untied it. As they did so, some people standing nearby asked them what they were doing.

The disciples told them that Jesus needed it. So the people let the disciples take the donkey.

The disciples brought the donkey to Jesus. They laid some of their own clothes on the donkey’s back to make a soft cushion for Jesus to sit on.

As Jesus rode the donkey into the city of Jerusalem, the people came from all around. They knew Jesus was the One who had done many wonderful miracles. They shouted and sang, “Hosanna; Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” Many of them spread out their clothes on the dusty ground for Jesus to ride over. The people cut down palm branches from nearby trees and laid them on the road also. They waved some of the palm branches in the air as they continued to sing praises to Jesus.

Jesus rode the donkey through the streets of the city of Jerusalem. It was a good day. Everyone was happy and full of joy. There was much singing and praising the Lord. The people loved Jesus more than ever. They wanted Jesus to be their King!

We will never see Jesus riding into our city on a donkey. But still we can praise and honor Him. Being a Christian is exciting! Jesus does so many wonderful things for us. He makes us feel so good inside that we want to shout and sing praises to Him!

Parent’s Corner

The reason we will not be studying Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem on the traditional Palm Sunday, is that we want to give an in-depth coverage to the events immediately preceding Easter. The lessons would be out of sequence if we waited to study this text on the Sunday before Easter.

When we think of praising the Lord, as the people did when He rode into Jerusalem, we often think of music. Make some musical instruments with your child this week. A drum can be made by covering a cardboard oatmeal box with colored paper. Dip a coffee filter in water and stretch the damp cover over the open end of the box. Fasten with a rubber band, and allow to dry before playing.

Maracas can be made by removing the caps and plugs from two plastic lemons, dropping in some rice or small beans, and pushing in pencils for handles. A paper towel tube makes a good fife. Punch five small holes in a row along the cylinder, and cover one end with waxed paper. Have your child hum into the open end.

The earth was shaking as we walked toward the tomb, carrying the burial spices for Jesus’ body. Our hearts had been heavy when we started out, and now we were frightened. We didn’t know what was happening! “Oh, Mary, let’s hurry!” I said.

When we arrived at the place where Jesus had been buried, we were very surprised by what we saw. The huge stone that had been placed in front of the opening had been rolled away. The tomb was open! What had happened?

We hurried to the entrance of the tomb, and fearfully looked inside. What would we see? “It’s empty. The tomb is empty! Oh, what has happened to Jesus? Where is His body?” Mary spoke these words in a shocked voice.

I could not answer her. I didn’t know what to do. These past few days had been so very sad for all of us. It was just last Friday when an angry crowd of people had nailed our beloved Jesus to a cross on a hill outside Jerusalem. They had put a sign over His head that said, THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS. The people had made fun of Him and laughed at Him.

It had made our hearts break to see Him there. How could those people have been so cruel to One who had done only good? After Jesus died, the sky had become black as night and a great earthquake shook the land. Oh, it was an awful time. And now this! Jesus’ body was gone from the tomb where we had laid Him. It must have been stolen.

Mary and I just stood there looking around. Then we saw someone—an angel! He must have seen the fear on our faces, for he told us not to be afraid. He knew we were looking for Jesus. He told us that Jesus was not there because He had risen from the dead just like He had said He would.

Yes, Jesus had said He would rise again! Joy filled our hearts as we remembered. Our fears disappeared at the words of the angel. Suddenly we had the hope of seeing Jesus again.

The angel told us to go quickly and tell all of Jesus’ disciples that He was risen from the dead. Jesus was going to see them again in Galilee. What a wonderful message!

Quickly we left the place where Jesus had been buried. We had been afraid, but now we were very happy. Jesus was alive and we wanted to tell everyone right away. We felt so much joy. We just knew that all the people who loved Jesus would be joyful also. We ran as fast as we could to find Jesus’ disciples. We had to tell them, “Jesus is alive!”

Parent’s Corner

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ, the dramatic event of the first Easter Sunday, is the focal point of our Christian beliefs. Make a special point of emphasizing that event this week with your family. One way would be for each of your family members to use the Easter greeting/response used by the Early Church: “Christ is risen!”/”He is risen indeed!”

Build reminders of Easter into your meal menus for this week. Prepare your family some foods that might stir thoughts about the first Easter week. Some possibilities: bread (Matthew 26:26); fish (John 21:12-14); hot cross buns (Luke 23:33); souffle (something that’s risen) (Mark 16:6); angel food cake (Matthew 28:5-6). At meal time, let the family members try to guess which is the special food and explain why it is significant. If they get stuck, give them the Scripture text to look up as a clue.

FAMILY DEVOTIONS


Verses to help your child understand this Bible lesson.

SUNDAY: Luke 24:34

MONDAY: 1 Corinthians 15:20

TUESDAY: 1 Peter 1:3-4

WEDNESDAY: Matthew 28:5-6

THURSDAY: Matthew 28:8

FRIDAY: Luke 24:6-7

SATURDAY: Acts 4:33

What a terrible time it was! After we ate the Passover supper together, we walked with Jesus to the Mount of Olives. When we arrived at the place called Gethsemane, Jesus said, “Sit here while I go and pray.” He took three of us with Him. When He finished praying, He told us that the person who was going to betray Him was coming.

Right after He said that, a big group of people came to where we were. Some were carrying swords and other weapons. They were looking for Jesus. And who was leading them but Judas, one of Jesus’ own disciples! We started to get scared, but Jesus wasn’t afraid.

Judas had told the people with him that the person he would kiss was the man they wanted. He walked right up to Jesus, called him Master, and then kissed Him. How sad it was for Jesus to have a friend betray Him. But He already knew Judas would do that.

The people led Jesus away to see the chief priest and the elders of Jerusalem. These men wanted to kill Jesus. But they had a hard time finding a reason to do so because He had done only good. Finally they decided Jesus should die because He said He was the Son of God. They sent Him to the Roman governor, Pilate.

Pilate wanted to let Jesus go. He knew the chief priests and the elders were jealous of Jesus’ power. Suddenly he had an idea. Every year the people chose a prisoner to go free. He asked the people who they wanted freed this time, Jesus or Barabbas, a wicked man who had robbed and killed people.

The crowd began to shout, “We want Barabbas!”

Pilate was surprised. He asked the people, “What shall I do with Jesus?”

“Kill Him! Crucify Him!” the crowd yelled louder and louder. Pilate finally gave in.

Jesus was to be crucified. Roman soldiers took Jesus to a nearby room where they made a crown of thorns and placed it on Jesus’ head. They laughed and made fun of Him as they beat Him and spit on Him.

Jesus never once fought back. He loved these people.

They led Jesus out of the city to a hill called Calvary. There they nailed His hands and feet to a big cross. Jesus suffered greatly on that cross. He looked up to Heaven and cried out to God His Father, “It is finished.” Then He bowed His head and died.

At first I didn’t understand why this had happened. But now I know that Jesus suffered and died to take the punishment for the sins of everyone. Now, whoever will tell Jesus that they are sorry for their sins can be forgiven.

Parent’s Corner


This lesson is about the crucifixion of Jesus. As your family begins to think about Easter, let your child help you make popcorn crosses to give to friends or family members as special Easter gifts.

In a saucepan bring 1/2 cup butter, 2 cups brown sugar, and 1 cup light corn syrup to a boil. Stir in 1 (15 ounce) can of condensed milk. Simmer on low heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a soft-ball stage (235 degrees). Remove from heat and stir in 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Pour over 10 quarts of popped corn, and stir to coat.

When the popcorn is cool enough to handle, have your child butter his hands and form it into crosses. Write Easter messages or Bible verses on small slips of paper. Wrap the popcorn crosses with plastic wrap and enclose a note or verse in each on

Jesus knew that His work on earth was almost done, and that soon He was going to die. He had spent many days teaching His disciples to love God and obey His Word. He wanted them always to remember why He had come to this world. So during the Passover feast He planned to do something special to help them never to forget.

On the evening when everyone was celebrating the Passover, Jesus and His disciples were alone in an upstairs room. The Passover foods had been prepared. While they were eating, Jesus took bread and prayed over it, blessing it. Then He did something very special. He handed a piece of bread to each of the disciples, telling them not to forget how His body would be given to die for their sins. Next He gave them the cup to drink from, and He told them always to remember that His Blood was shed for them. He told them to repeat this action often.

No doubt, as the disciples ate and drank with Jesus, they felt how much He loved them. They may not have understood completely that very soon He was going to die on the cross. But Jesus had to die so that all people could be forgiven of their sins. After a while the disciples would understand.

When they were all done with the meal, Jesus got up from the table. He took a towel and wrapped it around His waist. Then He took water, poured it into a small basin, and began to wash His disciples’ feet.

At first, Jesus’ disciples were puzzled. Why was He doing this? Peter even told Jesus that he did not want Jesus to wash his feet. Jesus helped him to understand how important it was, then Peter wanted Jesus to wash his feet.

Jesus knew it was important for the disciples to remember this night always, so He gave them some instructions. He told them to follow His example and wash each other’s feet also. Jesus blessed His disciples for obeying Him.

Jesus blesses us when we read and follow what the Bible tells us to do. We still follow Jesus’ example. Every so often, people who love Jesus get together and take the Lord’s Supper. This means they eat bread, remembering that it represents Jesus’ body which He gave for our sins. Then they drink grape juice and remember how Jesus also shed His Blood for them. After that, God’s people wash each other’s feet. We do these things because Jesus told us to. And because He has promised we will be happy if we do them. We don’t ever want to forget how much Jesus loves us.

Parent’s Corner


This lesson relates what happened during and following the Lord’s Supper—Jesus’ last meal with His disciples. At that time, Christ set an example for His followers, encouraging them to repeat the actions He had demonstrated, in remembrance of Him. On the primary level, our focus will be that Jesus promised we would be happy if we did these things.

Help your child make his own “Be Happy” stickers to reinforce the point of this lesson. On white paper, let him draw and color simple shapes that can be cut out. (Smiley faces are easy and fun to draw. Other ideas might be hearts or speech balloons with short messages.) Have them paint the back of each drawing with a solution made from equal amounts of Elmer’s or Lepage’s mucilage and water mixed together in a small container. Let the glue dry and then cut out each shape.

When your child is ready to use the stickers, he will only have to dampen the backs slightly to make them stick.

FAMILY DEVOTIONS


Verses to help your child understand this Bible lesson.

SUNDAY: John 13:17

MONDAY: Luke 22:15

TUESDAY: Mark 14:18

WEDNESDAY: Luke 22:19

THURSDAY: Luke 22:20

FRIDAY: 1 Corinthians 11:26

SATURDAY: 1 Corinthians 10:16

Jesus stood outside the big, dark cave. In front of it was a large stone. He looked at the people standing around Him. Many were crying. Their good friend Lazarus had died and was now buried in that cave. Jesus looked at Lazarus’ two sisters, Mary and Martha. He had visited them and Lazarus many times in their home in Bethany. They were always so glad to have Jesus come and eat dinner with them when He traveled to their city. Most of all, they loved to listen to Him talk about His heavenly Father and about the things God had planned for them.

Jesus saw how sad Mary and Martha were now. He knew how unhappy they felt because their brother had died. They were His friends. Jesus loved them, and He loved Lazarus too. How sad He felt. Tears ran down Jesus’ face.

Did you know that’s the way Jesus is? He always knows exactly how we feel. When we are sad, He feels sad right along with us. Jesus wants to take away our sadness. He wants to take care of us and help us feel happy.

As Jesus stood by the cave, He decided it was time to show the people just what God could do. He gave a command to the people standing with Him, “Take away the stone!” At first the people did not think that should be done. “He has been dead four days,” they told Him. But Jesus said that if they would believe, they would see the glory of God.

Slowly the stone was taken away from the cave. Then Jesus prayed and said, “Father, thank You for hearing My prayer.” Jesus knew that God always heard His prayers, but He wanted the people to know that He really was the Son of God.

After Jesus prayed, He cried out in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth!” And that’s exactly what happened!

Lazarus was still wrapped in grave clothes as he came into sight. Jesus told the people to unwrap him and let him go. How glad they were to see him. Lazarus, who had been dead, was now alive! Mary and Martha and all Lazarus’ friends were so excited!

The people who saw this miracle told others about it. Soon, many people began to believe that Jesus really was the Son of God. He had made the dead to live again!

That was a wonderful miracle! But even more wonderful is the miracle that Jesus does when He saves us. Life here on earth is important, but it’s more important to be ready for Heaven. There we will have eternal life with Jesus.

Parent’s Corner


This lesson tells about one of Jesus’ final miracles—the raising of His friend Lazarus from the dead.

For the primary child, the focus of our teaching will be on life. Try to help your child visualize the scene portrayed in the lesson by talking about how thrilled Lazarus’ sisters must have been to have their beloved brother restored to them.

This week challenge your child to make an alphabet book illustrating the life that Jesus gives. Have him cut out or trace a picture of a living thing beginning with each letter of the alphabet. If he cannot find a picture, let him write on the page a word beginning with that letter and illustrate it by drawing a picture. Let your child mount the pictures and assemble them into a book. Title the book “Alphabet Alive.”

FAMILY DEVOTIONS


Verses to help your child understand this Bible lesson.

SUNDAY: John 11:25

MONDAY: John 5:28-29

TUESDAY: Acts 24:15

WEDNESDAY: John 6:40

THURSDAY: 2 Corinthians 4:14

FRIDAY: 1 Thessalonians 4:14

SATURDAY: Daniel 12:2

Vanminh climbed slowly out of the bus. Usually he loved Sunday school, but today he didn’t want to go in. “Good morning, Vanminh,” Teacher Clara greeted him as she held the door open for the children. He couldn’t say a word. That big lump was in his throat again.

Quietly he found a chair in the assembly area. He didn’t feel like working at the activity center. He noticed Teacher Sarah standing by the piano. All of a sudden those thoughts were back in his mind again. Like a fly trapped in a jar, they buzzed round and round in his head.

Teacher Sarah had given the review last Sunday about friends. She had brought a pretty lady with white hair. She told the children that this lady had prayed with her. She helped Teacher Sarah when she had a big trouble or worry. Whenever Teacher Sarah didn’t know what to do, she asked this nice lady. When she finished the review, Teacher Sarah told the children that the lady was her mother!

That was what was making Vanminh feel so bad. His mother didn’t know about Jesus. She didn’t know how to pray, so how could she pray for Vanminh?

Just then Teacher Clara sat down next to him. “Vanminh, is something wrong? I miss your big smile.”

At first Vanminh thought he couldn’t tell her. But when he looked at her worried face, it all came out. “I feel so unhappy,” he said. “I do not have anyone to pray for me. Not my father. Not my mother. Not my big brother, Hong. So what can I do?”

Teacher Clara put her arm around his shoulder. “Vanminh,” she said softly, “even though your family does not know Jesus, many people pray for you. I pray for you every week. Other teachers here in Sunday school do too. But I have some even better news. Jesus prayed for you!”

Vanminh’s brown eyes showed surprise. “Jesus prayed for me? No, that cannot be, Teacher. Jesus lived a long time ago. He did not know me.”

Teacher Clara pulled a Bible from her purse. ”Yes, He did, Vanminh. See, it says here that Jesus prayed for His helpers, and for all the people who would believe on Him through their words. You believe in Jesus, don’t you, Vanminh? I remember the Sunday you asked Him to come into your heart.”

“Oh, yes, Teacher Clara,” he replied.

“Then you were part of Jesus’ prayer, Vanminh.”

Slowly a big smile came across Vanminh’s face. The thoughts that had troubled him all week melted away. “I think I will go to the activity center,” he told Teacher Clara. “I will do the project now.”

Parent’s Corner


This will be our final lesson in this unit on prayer. The main point will be that Jesus prayed for us who are His followers. What a wonderful thought!

Help your child sense what a special treasure this is – to know that Jesus looked down through the ages of time and mentioned us in His prayers. Let your child make a special bookmark emphasizing this thought as his project for this week. Cut two 2-inch strips of waxed paper. Put a praying-hands sticker in the center of the waxed side of one strip. Arrange tiny flowers or designs cut from gift-wrapping paper around it. Place the other strip on top, waxed sides facing. Carefully press the two strips together with a warm iron. Punch a hole in the top of the bookmark, loop a piece of yarn through the hole, and secure with a knot.

Alicia skipped along beside her mother. They were at the mall to buy a birthday gift for Jamie, Alicia’s little brother. Alicia wanted to get a big, white teddy bear with a stocking cap and cute red neck scarf. She had seen it in the toy store two weeks ago.

A short time later, Alicia left the toy store carrying a big sack with the bear inside. Then Mother said, “Alicia, would you like to see a puppet show?”

Alicia gave a jump for joy. “Oh, Mommy, could we?”

They walked to a big area beside the escalators. There were lots of children in front of the puppet stage. Alicia watched excitedly as the curtain opened, and two puppets danced onto the stage. They talked and sang with squeaky voices. Everyone laughed and clapped. Alicia put her sack down beside her so she could clap too.

Soon the show was over. People started walking and pushing and shoving. There were so many people that Alicia couldn’t see her mother. That scared her!

She ran quickly over to the escalator and climbed up onto a bench. Now she could see over heads. “There she is,” cried Alicia. Jumping down, Alicia ran to catch hold of her mother’s hand.

“Mommy!” she said. “I thought I had lost you!”

Her mother gave her a quick hug. “Well, you found me. So don’t worry anymore. Now, we’d better get home and start the birthday dinner.”

Birthday! All of a sudden Alicia realized that she didn’t have the sack with Jamie’s bear. She remembered setting it down so she could clap for the puppets. She must have left it where she had been standing.

They looked around the area, but there was no sign of the bear. What should they do? Suddenly a verse from the Bible popped into Alicia’s mind. “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; … ”

“Let’s pray, Mommy,” she said. “Jesus can help us find the bear.” They sat down on a bench and bowed their heads. “Jesus, please help us find the bear,” Alicia prayed. “I really want to give it to Jamie for his birthday.”

When they stood up, Alicia’s mother had an idea. “Let’s go where we bought the bear,” she said. “Maybe someone took it back there.”

Sure enough! When Alicia went to the counter in the store, the lady pulled out the bag. “Someone found it near the stage. They saw by the sack that it had been purchased here, so they brought it back.”

There was a big smile on Alicia’s face as she walked out of the store. “God answered my prayer,” she said. “All I had to do was ask.”

Parent’s Corner


This lesson develops the theme of A.S.K.—Asking, Seeking, and Knocking—when we come to God in prayer. Review the memory verse with your child, and talk about what it means, and the differences in the three methods of approach.

Stage a treasure hunt for your child using these three key words. Write a number of clues on pieces of paper which will guide him step by step to the treasure. On each clue, include one of the three words. For example: “Ask your father for the next clue.” “Seek for the next clue inside the front cover of one of the books on the dining room table.” “Knock on your sister’s door and wait to be given the message taped on the inside.”

A fun treat as the treasure at the end of the hunt could be the three letters A, S, and K made from chocolate, or cookies cut into these shapes. Be sure to end your search by reinforcing the thought that we can receive many treasures from God through prayer if we Ask, Seek, and Knock.

Family Devotions


Verses to help your child understand this Bible lesson.

SUNDAY: Matthew 7:7

MONDAY: John 14:14

TUESDAY: John 15:7

WEDNESDAY: John 15:16

THURSDAY: 1 John 5:14

FRIDAY: John 14:6

SATURDAY: John 14:13

 

Levi walked toward the Temple, his robe swishing around him. It was nearing time for evening prayer. Certainly, he would not fail to be there. Levi was careful to go to every prayer time. In fact, he was careful to follow every part of the Law. After all, he was a good Pharisee, he told himself proudly. His chin lifted higher in the air. Surely no one could find an evil word to say about Levi.

He glanced to the right and left to see who was noticing his arrival at the Temple. To his disappointment, the only people near were the beggar beside the steps and a publican who was also coming to pray.

“Give me money. Have pity on me,” Levi heard the beggar call. He frowned. Beggars were so disgusting. He drew his robe aside so it would not brush the filthy man. And publicans aren’t much better than beggars, he thought as he stepped in front of the other man. No one likes them. They’re just dishonest tax collectors.

Behind Levi, Neri the publican came to the stairs. Unlike the Pharisee, his head was down. He was feeling sad as he thought of his sinful life. Could he come before God, wicked as he was? Then the voice of the beggar reached his ears. “Money, kind Sir. Give me some money.”

Neri hesitated. He was going to God’s house to ask for forgiveness. Could he refuse to give to someone else, and expect God to give to him? Reaching into his pouch, he drew out a handful of coins and dropped them before the beggar.

Inside the Temple, Levi chose a spot where everyone would see him. Raising his hands, he began his carefully prepared prayer. He spoke loudly and reminded God of all the good he had done. Noticing through half-shut eyes that the publican had also entered, he thanked God that he was not like that person. When he was sure that he had been seen by those about him, Levi lowered his hands and moved slowly out of the Temple.

Neri’s prayer was different. He found a place where few would notice him. Kneeling down, he cried out to God. “Lord, be merciful to me a sinner!” He was sorry for all the wrong he had done. “Forgive me.” Neri did not notice when the Pharisee left. He thought only of God.

Suddenly great peace came into his heart. In an instant, the sadness went away. He felt new and clean inside. Could it be that God had heard his prayer? Yes, yes! That must be this great joy he was feeling. Humbly he again bowed his head. “Oh, God of Heaven, I thank You!”

Two men went to the Temple that day. Two men left. Whose prayer did God hear?

Parent’s Corner


Our lesson on prayer will focus on having the correct attitude when we pray to God. By studying the lesson of the Pharisee and the publican, your child will realize that these two men approached God in very different ways. The Pharisee with the proud spirit did not receive the answer he wanted to his prayer, but the humble publican did.

To help your child understand the difference between a humble attitude and a proud attitude, help him make two simple stick puppets. Have him trace around a cup twice to make two circles on a piece of white paper, and draw features on these circles making one a proud face and one a humble face. Then he can cut out the circles and tape each of them onto a popsicle stick.

Use these puppets to illustrate proud behaviour and humble behaviour. Be prepared with some situations he could use to dramatize these two different attitudes.

FAMILY DEVOTIONS


Verses to help your child understand this Bible lesson.

SUNDAY: James 4:6

MONDAY: Psalm 10:17

TUESDAY: 2 Chronicles 7:14

WEDNESDAY: Isaiah 57:15

THURSDAY: Matthew 18:4

FRIDAY: Matthew 23:12

SATURDAY: Psalm 25:18

“Mom, what does this spell?” Kimmie asked, looking up from her Sunday school lesson. “E-X-A-M-P-L-E.”

Her mother answered, as she continued to fold clothes, “That spells ‘example.’ Do you know what an example is?”

Kimmie answered thoughtfully. “Doesn’t that mean when you show someone how to do something?”

”That’s right. Tell me some things you have learned by example, Kimmie.”

Kimmie thought for a moment. “Let’s see. Well, you showed me how to make a bed because I didn’t know how to get the covers straight.” She thought for a bit longer. “I know! Daddy showed me how to shoot with a bow and arrow.”

Her mother smiled. “Good! Now, how does the word example come into your Sunday school lesson?”

Kimmie looked down at the story sheet in front of her. “Our lesson for next Sunday is on The Lord’s Prayer. It says Jesus gave us this prayer as an example. I guess that must mean He was teaching us how to pray with this prayer.”

“That is exactly right, Kimmie,” her mother agreed. “Think some more about how you learned to make your bed, and shoot with a bow and arrow. Do you think I could have taught you how to make a bed just by telling you? Could Daddy have told you how to hold the bow and fit the arrow onto the string without showing you?”

Kimmie grinned and said, “I don’t think it would have worked very well.”

“Jesus could have just told His disciples they should pray. He could have told them to bow their heads. Or He could have said they should close their eyes when they pray. But then would they have known how to pray?”

Kimmie shook her head. “Not really, because they still wouldn’t have known what to say. Jesus taught them how to pray when He prayed The Lord’s Prayer.”

Her mother finished folding the clothes and laid them in the basket. “That’s right. He gave them an example. And it was a very good one, Kimmie. If you study that prayer carefully, you will see that it mentions everything we need each day. Jesus didn’t leave anything out.”

“Really?” Kimmie asked, “I’ve known The Lord’s Prayer for a long time, but I never thought about that.”

“I’ve got an idea,” her mother said. “Why don’t you make a list of all the things you need each day. Then see if you can find somewhere in the prayer where that need is mentioned.”

“That sounds like fun!” Kimmie said. “I’m going to do it right now!”

Would you like to try it too?

Parent’s Corner


We are beginning a unit on prayer. Your child will learn that prayer is a vital link with Jesus, and is a necessity if he is to grow as a Christian. Our first lesson is based on the Lord’s Prayer, which Jesus gave to His disciples as an example of how to pray.

Discuss with your child the many things we learn by example. Make a project of pin-pointing as many of these as possible during the week. Post a list in some obvious place, and add to it as you think of things. Some possibilities to get you started: how to make a bed, how to make hot chocolate, how to tie a shoe.

If your child has not learned the Lord’s Prayer already, this is a good time to begin to help him memorize it. Break it into sections, and help him study one portion each day. He should understand that if Jesus gave us this prayer as an example to teach us how to pray, it must be very important to learn it.

FAMILY DEVOTIONS


Verses to help your child understand this Bible lesson.

SUNDAY: Matthew 6:9-13

MONDAY: 1 Chronicles 16:10-11

TUESDAY: Philippians 4:6

WEDNESDAY: Hebrews 4:16

THURSDAY: Matthew 7:11

FRIDAY: Luke 11:4

SATURDAY: 2 Peter 2:9

Maybe you think you are too small or too young to work for Jesus. Oh, no you aren’t! Let me tell you about Paul the Apostle and his young friend, Timothy.

Paul loved Timothy like a son, and used to write letters to him. In our Bible, we can read some of the things that Paul wrote.

He encouraged Timothy to read God’s Book. When Timothy was a very young boy his mother and grandmother taught him all about Jesus and God’s Word. You might say, “I can’t read the Bible. There are so many big words in it I don’t understand.” Maybe so, but, just like Timothy, you can listen carefully when someone reads the Bible to you. You can ask questions about the things you don’t understand. There will be lots of stories you already know, but there will be many new and exciting things for you to learn. And remember, everything in God’s Book is true.

Paul told Timothy it was important for him to pray. Prayer is talking to God. It is also listening carefully to the things He will tell you. You can talk to God about anything. Tell Him when you are happy or sad. Thank Him for what He does for you. And if you have been naughty, tell Jesus you are sorry. When you need something, just ask Jesus. Remember, He always does what is best for you.

Telling other people about Jesus was a very important part of Paul’s message to Timothy. And at the same time, Timothy was told to be an example for Jesus.

You can tell others about Jesus. Tell your friends at school that Jesus loves them. Invite children to come to Sunday school with you. Share your Bible-story books with someone so they can read them in their own home. In this way they will know that you love Jesus. This is also a part of being a good example for Jesus. What are some other ways you can be a good example? One way is by being happy. Don’t grumble! Tell your problems to Jesus and not to everybody else. Visit your friends if they are sick. Or, if you can’t visit, send them a get-well card. Visit with older people. They love to have company, and your cheerful smile can make them happy. Share with others. Help people. Be kind to everyone. There are so many ways to show people you love Jesus.

Paul’s message to Timothy is important for us too. Reading the Bible, praying, telling the good news of Jesus, and being an example for Jesus are important things we all must do until Jesus comes. These things will keep us busy and happy if we do them for Jesus.

Parent’s Corner


This is our concluding lesson in the unit on Paul the Apostle. The Bible text covers Paul’s final encouragement to his young friend and co-worker, Timothy. Your child will learn that even as Paul was nearing the end of his life, he made sure that Timothy understood the importance of working for the Lord.

The necessity of “doing” for Christ is an important lesson for your child to learn too. Study the memory verse with him, as it is the theme of this lesson. Then let him do a little building project in connection with this Bible verse.

Give your child one gumdrop for each word of the memory verse, and a box of toothpicks. Let him construct something, using the candy and toothpicks, which represents part of the unit on Paul: a crown (for King Agrippa), a ship (for the shipwreck), etc.

The wind howled and giant waves splashed over the deck of the ship. The sails blew wildly, ripping from the force of the wind. The boards of the ship creaked and began breaking as the sailors tried to bring it to land.

“Let’s try to make the ship lighter!” the captain shouted. They began throwing everything they could into the sea, hoping that the water wouldn’t come over the side. The sailors were terribly afraid. The ship was about to sink! They thought for sure they were going to die!

Not everyone on the ship was afraid. Paul wasn’t. Paul was one of God’s preachers, and he was not on that ship by choice. He was a prisoner. Soldiers were taking him to another city across the sea to put him into a jail.

The men on the ship wished with all their hearts that they had listened to Paul. Before they left land, he had told them the ship should stay where it was. But the captain wanted to travel to another place where it would be nice to stay for the winter. So they had set out. And now look at the trouble they were in!

Paul began to pray. He believed God would take care of him. God had always watched over him, no matter what happened.

The sky grew blacker and blacker, and the ship rocked down into the angry waves. Days and nights went by and the sailors never saw the sun or the stars. Was there any hope?

Then one day, Paul stood before all the other men and told them some good news. God had sent an angel with this message, “Don’t be afraid, Paul. God wants you to finish this journey so you can see Caesar. Everyone on this ship will be safe.” But Paul told them the ship would be broken to pieces. And that’s exactly what happened!

The sailors had been working hard to save the ship. They were tired and hungry. Paul told them that they needed to eat, so they would stay healthy. And they didn’t have to worry, because God had promised to take care of them.

When the ship got near land, it suddenly ran aground and broke into pieces. Paul and some of the men began to swim. A few of the men held on to broken boards from the ship and floated to the shore. They were cold and wet. But when morning came, the sailors found out that not one of the 276 men who were aboard the ship had drowned! The sailors and Paul had landed safely on an island, just as God had promised.

God still takes care of those who love and trust Him. We may never be in a shipwreck, but we know God will be with us wherever we are.

Parent’s Corner

This lesson is about how God protected Paul during his perilous journey to Rome, and how his life was spared when a shipwreck occurred. As you read the Bible text and talk over this lesson with your child, make sure he understands that God cares for us too, and has promised to be our Protector.

Try to imagine what the news media of the day might have said regarding the incident in this lesson. How would the “Rome Daily” have described what took place? After discussing this with your child, help him use your daily paper to make his own headlines and illustrations.

Cut out and discard a front-page picture and headline from your newspaper. Paste a piece of white paper behind the empty space so your child can illustrate the Bible event of Paul’s shipwreck. Then have him compose a headline to go with his picture. If your child enjoys writing, he might even like to do a brief reporter’s coverage of the event. Help him to be sure to cover the five W’s of professional journalism—who, what, where, when, and why.

“I want to talk to you about the paper you wrote,” said Mrs. Nielsen as she looked across her desk at Linda. “Would you please stay a few minutes after class?”

“Sure,” Linda replied as she returned to her desk. The rest of the class started collecting their books when the last bell rang. Linda thought of what the teacher had asked them to write about. It was a paper on what they would do if this were the last day of their life.

In her mind, Linda went over what she had written on the paper she had turned in yesterday. “If I had only one more day to live,” she had started out, “I’d spend all day telling lots of people about Jesus. You see,” she had continued, “Jesus is my Savior, and I’d want other people to be saved too.”

Linda’s heart began pounding fast as the last of her friends left the room. She wondered what her teacher would ask her. Silently, she prayed and asked Jesus to please help her say the right things.

“Linda,” Mrs. Nielsen said as she sat down beside Linda at the next desk. “Your paper was very different from the others I received. You started out by saying Jesus is your Savior. ‘Savior’ is a big word for a third-grader to use. Can you explain what it means?”

Linda was surprised. “Oh, yes, I can!” She said. Then she began to tell her teacher about Jesus. “Jesus came as a Baby and lived on this earth. He did many good things and taught the people about loving God and how to go to Heaven. Jesus is God’s Son, and He died on the cross so that our sins could be forgiven. When I prayed He forgave my sins and gave me a clean heart. That’s why I call Him ‘Savior.'”

As Linda finished, her teacher smiled and handed her the paper. “When I read this, I wondered if your mommy or daddy had helped you write it. But you answered my question very well. It sounds like you have been listening as well in Sunday school as you do here in this class.” She paused, then added, ”You may go now, Linda. Thank you for telling me about your Savior.”

Linda’s feet felt light as she skipped home, swinging her book bag. She had given a testimony today! Just then something popped into her mind. Last Sunday’s lesson in Sunday school had been about how Paul stood before King Agrippa and gave his testimony. Today had been her chance! God had helped Paul, and Linda knew that God had been with her too. How happy she was that she had been able to tell her teacher about Jesus.

Parent’s Corner


Our third lesson on the life of Paul features his testimony before King Agrippa. Your child will learn that though Paul was a prisoner and was taken before a king, he was not afraid. He saw the situation as yet another opportunity to witness for Jesus.

During your time together with your child this week, focus on the importance of telling others about Jesus. Help your child make custom-designed witnessing postcards to send to his friends and acquaintances. Provide him with six 4×6-inch unruled cards. On one side of each card, have him divide the card in half with a vertical line. Draw three horizontal lines on the right-hand side for the address. Draw a small square in the upper, right-hand corner and print the word “Stamp” in it. Use the left-hand side of the card for a written greeting.

Let him decorate the front of the cards with designs and a message such as, “Jesus Loves You,” “God Cares and So Do I,” or some other phrase. Encourage him to send the cards to those he would like to tell about Jesus.

FAMILY DEVOTIONS


Verses to help your child understand this Bible lesson.

SUNDAY: 2 Timothy 1:8

MONDAY: Mark 13:9

TUESDAY: Luke 21:12-13

WEDNESDAY: Psalm 27:3

THURSDAY: Psalm 56:4

FRIDAY: Psalm 118:6

SATURDAY: Isaiah 12:2

Clank! The cell door slammed shut. Tramp, tramp, tramp. The sound of the jailer’s boots echoed through the cold, dark prison as he hurried away.

It was quiet now. The only sounds were of a rat scurrying across the dirt floor, and the heavy breathing of the prisoners. They slept if they could, or just sat waiting, waiting, waiting through the long, lonesome night!

Time passed. At midnight, when the prison was darker than ever, the prisoners heard a strange sound. Was that music? Yes! Someone was singing! They’d never heard anything like it before. Happy songs of praise were coming from somewhere. Who could be singing here in a dark, miserable, prison?

It was Paul and Silas. They were in the middle of the prison, and they couldn’t sleep. Their feet were swollen from being locked in stocks. Their backs hurt from the beatings they had received that afternoon. Some very bad men had hurt them and locked them in prison just because they were working for Jesus!

Paul and Silas were not afraid or angry because of the way they had been treated. They loved God. They knew that God loved them, too, and was right there in the cell with them. They were so thankful that Jesus was their Friend. They prayed, and felt so sure God heard their prayers that they couldn’t help but sing!

As Paul and Silas sang, there was a great earthquake. The prison began to shake, and the doors of the prison flew wide open.

The jailer was terribly afraid when he saw the prison doors had opened. He thought for sure the prisoners had all run away and escaped! He was going to kill himself, but as he drew out his sword, Paul cried, “Don’t hurt yourself. We are all here.”

The jailer quickly got a light and came into the cell. He fell down in front of Paul and Silas. He knew God had sent the earthquake to set those good men free. He wanted to know how he could be free from all the sins he had in his heart.

Paul and Silas were happy to tell him about Jesus. The jailer believed what he heard. He gave his heart to Jesus, and then took Paul and Silas to his very own home. There he washed their sore backs and gave them something to eat. After that the jailer and his family and Paul and Silas all rejoiced and praised God together.

Jesus is our Friend too. And it doesn’t matter if we are happy or sad, we can always sing because Jesus loves us and is always with us.

Parent’s Corner


This Bible lesson is the story of Paul and Silas in prison. Your child will learn that because those two men trusted in God, they were able to sing and praise God even under trying circumstances.

Help your child make a poster highlighting the theme for this week. Give him a large piece of brightly coloured construction paper. From another sheet of paper, cut out block letters spelling the words, “Trust God.” Arrange the letters on the construction paper. Dip an old toothbrush in white tempera paint and rub the toothbrush across a piece of screen held over the construction paper. The white paint will splatter through and around the letters.

After the paint has dried, carefully remove the cutout letters. Encourage your child to mount the poster where he can see it often.

FAMILY DEVOTIONS


Verses to help your child understand this Bible lesson.

SUNDAY: Psalm 5:11

MONDAY: Psalm 119:165

TUESDAY: Psalm 4:8

WEDNESDAY: John 14:27

THURSDAY: John 16:33

FRIDAY: Acts 16:25

SATURDAY: 1 Thessalonians 5:8

Panic gripped Dylan. Ten minutes just had to be enough time to find the lost key.

Saul was deep in thought as he hurried along the road to the city of Damascus. He frowned as he thought about the people there who called themselves Christians. He hated them! He was glad that at last he had a plan to get rid of these people.

Before leaving Jerusalem, he had gone to see the high priest. The high priest did not like Jesus either. In fact, he had helped those who put Jesus to death on the cross. He was happy to do what he could so Saul could get rid of the Christians. He gave Saul a letter with orders that would give him permission to bring the Christians back to Jerusalem. There they would be beaten and put into prison. Some of the Christians would even be put to death. Isn’t that awful?

Because Saul hated the Christians so much, the high priest could count on him to carry out his orders. Saul was going to Damascus to find them. But Jesus had other plans for Saul.

As Saul went down that dusty road, a bright light shone right down from heaven all around Saul. It was so bright that Saul could no longer see. The light had blinded him!

Saul was so afraid, he fell to the ground. Suddenly he heard a voice speaking from Heaven. “Saul, Saul, why are you treating Me this way?”

Saul shook with fright. He said quickly, “Who are You, Lord?” Then he heard the voice say, “I am Jesus.”

At that very moment Saul believed that Jesus was really God’s Son. He asked Jesus, “What do You want me to do?” Jesus told him to go into the city, and someone there would tell him what he should do.

Saul stood up. He opened his eyes but he still could not see. The men with him had to lead him by the hand the rest of the way to Damascus. When he arrived he stayed three days in the home of a man named Judas. There he spent his time praying.

You see, Jesus had special plans for Saul’s life. He told a Christian by the name of Ananias to go to Saul. At first Ananias was afraid. He knew that Saul was an enemy of the Christians. But Jesus told him that He had special plans for Saul’s life. He would tell many people about Jesus.

When Ananias came to the house where Saul was, he prayed for him, as God had told him to do. Saul’s eyes were healed! He could see again!

Saul was a changed man. No longer did he hate Christians. Now he was a Christian! He spent his time telling other people about Jesus and how they could become Christians too. He later became known as Paul the Apostle, and he worked for God all the rest of his life.

Parent’s Corner


We are beginning a unit on the life of Paul the Apostle, the great missionary-evangelist to the Gentiles. Our Bible story for the first lesson of this unit tells us of the unusual events which surrounded his conversion.

As your child studies the great change which took place in Paul’s life, he will learn that salvation for each person is just as real, though possibly not as dramatic. The Bible tells us that at conversion, old things pass away and all things become new. To illustrate this point for your child, let him help you make a collection of old and new items. Some examples might be: an old shoe and a new shoe, an old magazine and a new one, an old toy and a new one.

Arrange the items you selected in a display on a table. Then let your child explain to the rest of the family the significance of the grouping and how a person’s life can be changed through salvation.

 

“Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
Leading Wise Men from afar,
To the place where Jesus lay,
On that first glad Christmas day,
Twinkle, twinkle, little star,
Leading Wise Men from afar.”

When Jerry, Neal, and Robby finished singing their song, Teacher Edna clapped her hands. “That was really good, boys,” she said. “I think you are ready for the program tomorrow night.” The boys laughed excitedly as they left the platform.

The rehearsal was soon over and Jerry hurried home. His Uncle Adam and Aunt Bonnie had promised to come to the Sunday school program tomorrow night. They lived in another city and had to travel a long way.

Jerry ran into his house and called to his mother. “Are they here, Mommy? I didn’t see their car.”

His mother told him his aunt and uncle wouldn’t arrive until the next evening. They now planned to drive straight to the church and meet the family there.

“But, Mommy, they have never been to the church,” said Jerry. “What if they get lost?”

“Don’t worry, Son,” replied his mother. “I gave them directions, so they should be able to find the church easily.”

The next evening, as the boys sang their song, Jerry looked for his uncle and aunt. He saw them sitting with his mother and father in the third row. He smiled, and sang even louder.

As soon as the program was over Jerry ran to greet them. “Uncle Adam, Aunt Bonnie, did you like the program? Did you see me?”

”Yes, we saw you. You sang so well,” answered his uncle. “I’m glad you were one of the Wise Men. We found out tonight how they must have felt. From you, and from our trip too.”

“What do you mean? Did you see a bright star?” Jerry asked.

“No, we didn’t see a bright star,” laughed Uncle Adam. “We tried to follow your mother’s directions but at one time we couldn’t remember which way to turn. It was when we saw the light shining in the church steeple that we knew we were going the right way. It was very nice to see a light we could follow.”

“It really was like the Wise Men,” said Aunt Bonnie. “They followed the Star to find the Baby King, Jesus. They wanted to see Him and give Him gifts. And tonight, we were happy to see the lighted steeple. We didn’t want to miss hearing you and the other children tell the story of God’s Greatest Gift – Jesus.”

Parent’s Corner


“Wise Men Visit Jesus” is the theme for this Bible lesson. Your child will learn about how a special star led the Wise Men on their long journey to the place where the Christ Child was.

Emphasize to your child that these Wise Men were very brave to have journeyed such a long distance in search of the infant King. Very likely they had some exciting adventures! Start a group story with your family about an adventure they might have had during their travels. Use a bell or timer to signal the next person’s turn to take up the story where the last person left off.

If you have several children in your family, it might also be fun to pantomime the actions of the Wise Men. Encourage them to act out following the star, talking to King Herod, finding the Christ Child, presenting their gifts, and receiving their dream of warning.

Family Devotions


Verses to help your child understand this Bible lesson.

SUNDAY: Matthew 2:10

MONDAY: Matthew 2:1-2

TUESDAY: Matthew 2:6

WEDNESDAY: Matthew 2:9

THURSDAY: Matthew 2:11

FRIDAY: Jeremiah 29:13

SATURDAY: Isaiah 55:6

Michelle and Charlie’s mom read in the newspaper about the Tyler City Christmas Festival. There would be a Christmas play, the Joyful Noise Carolers, a Christmas craft sale, and much more. The family planned to go on Friday afternoon and come home on Saturday. That would give them lots of time to see everything.

It took them almost two hours to drive to Tyler City. But they had fun looking at the winter scenery and the Christmas lights along the way.

The first thing they did when they arrived was to stop at a motel. Michelle, Charlie, and Mom waited in the car while Dad went inside. He soon returned to the car and told them there were no more rooms available in that motel. In fact, the manager had told him there might not be any rooms available in the whole town!

“Wow, I guess the Christmas festival is more popular than we thought,” said Michelle. “What will we do, Dad?”

“If we can’t find a room in town, I guess we will have to go back home tonight,” answered Dad. “We’ll stay and see the Christmas play anyway.”

They stopped at several places, but the motel manager had been right. There were no rooms available.

“I’m sorry, children. I know how much you wanted to spend the night in Tyler City,” said Dad. “Next year we’ll make reservations. But right now let’s go see the Christmas play.”

As the play began, Michelle was still feeling very sad that they hadn’t found a room to stay in. It would have been so much fun.

They watched as Joseph and Mary traveled to Bethlehem. Then Joseph knocked on the door of the inn. He asked for a room for Mary and himself. The innkeeper told them there was no room.

“Mom, Dad!” whispered Michelle excitedly. “That’s what happened to us! Oh, I know just how they must have felt. Such a long trip and then no room! How sad!”

“Yeah, and they couldn’t just turn around and go back home!” said Charlie. “They had come a long way.”

Going home that night, Michelle said, “In that play the man said that God sent Jesus to earth because He loved us. Why couldn’t that innkeeper find a good room for Him. If I had been the innkeeper I would have made room for Joseph and Mary. Then Jesus would have been born in a nice place.”

“Yes, God really did love the world, Michelle,” said Dad. “And He showed it by sending Jesus, His very best Gift. The innkeeper couldn’t find a nice room for Jesus, but you and Charlie can still give Him a room. You can give Him a room in your heart.”

Parent’s Corner

This lesson focuses on the Christmas story—the birth of the Christ Child. Help your child make a Baby Jesus ornament as a way to center his attention on this important event.

Dip two cotton balls in a mixture of flour and water (about pancake batter consistency) which has been lightly colored with a bit of red food coloring. On a greased cookie sheet arrange the cotton balls touching each other, one as a round ball to form the head and the other slightly elongated to make the body. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes or until the “baby” seems hard to the touch. Let cool.

Use a pen to draw on features, and if de­sired make a halo from a yellow pipe cleaner. Use a small piece of flannel as a blanket to wrap around Baby Jesus’ body, and glue in place. If you wish, make a man­ger from a tiny cereal box painted brown and filled with straw.

Scott and his mother had come downtown to shop for Daddy’s Christmas gift. They were looking at some nice ties in a store window when his mother said, “Listen to the carolers, Scott. They are singing Silent Night.”

It was always fun to hear carolers. Scott looked at the group of singers standing in front of a large Christmas tree. The tree had been put up next to the department store. The decorations were bright and colorful.

“Mom, I know two of those boys!” exclaimed Scott. “They go to my school. Hi, Brennan. Hi, Jason,” he called to them.

His friends smiled but kept on singing.

“They really sound nice, Mom,” said Scott. “Do you think that is how the angels sounded when they visited the shepherds after Jesus was born?”

“Even though they do sound nice,” replied his mother, “I think that the angels probably sounded different. Remember, they filled the whole sky! But their message is the same. These carolers are singing songs about the first Christmas. The angels told the good news and praised God.”

When the carolers had finished, Scott rushed over to his friends. “You sure sounded good,” he told them.

“Did you choose a name from the tree?” asked Brennan.

“What do you mean?” Scott looked puzzled. “What name?”

“See all those cards hanging from the tree branches,” said Jason. “Each one has the name of a kid or a grown­up on it. Whoever chooses a card gets to give a gift to the person whose name is on the card, something to help that person have a nicer Christmas. It could be a new doll for a girl or a new ball for a boy.”

“Or maybe the person needs food for his family’s Christmas dinner,” Brennan added.

“Our pastor said this is one way we can help celebrate Jesus’ birthday,” Jason continued. “When you give your gift, there is a little story card that you put on the package. It tells all about God’s greatest Gift—Jesus. At the bottom of the card it says, Good Will Toward Men. That is what the angels said when they told the shepherds about Jesus.”

Scott turned to his mother and asked, “May I please choose a card, Mom? I want to help someone this Christmas. It might be someone who would end up with nothing. Please, Mom?”

“Yes, Scott,” his mother replied. “And, I think I will choose a card also. Helping other people and telling them about Jesus makes God happy. It is one of the ways we can thank God for His special Gift to us. Thank you, boys, for telling us about this special tree.”

Parent’s Corner


Our Bible story tells about an important message which was delivered in a very special way. Your child will learn how the angels brought word to the shepherds that the Christ Child had been born.

As you talk about that wonderful night, help your child create a special “angelic” message to send a friend or relative this week. On a piece of white paper, draw a simple angel shape, without any features or clothing details filled in. Let your child cut out the shape and use this as a piece of stationery on which to write his message or special holiday greeting.

You may wish to arrange the angel cutout over a sheet of lined paper to help your child write neatly. Suggest he also include his memory verse for this week as part of the message.

Everybody likes to receive gifts. There’s something so exciting about a big box wrapped in bright paper with a big bow on top. But not all gifts come wrapped up like that. Did you know that you were a gift?

God gave you to someone special. Lots of children have a mother and father to love and care for them. Others may have a grandma or grandpa, an aunt or uncle, or someone else who loves and takes care of them.

How excited your special people must have been when they learned you would be living with them! They probably told everyone they knew that you were coming. What good news! All of a sudden there were so many things they needed to think about.

They probably wondered if you would be a boy or a girl. Should they buy a dress or some overalls?

Names, names, names! What would be a good name for you?

Jill or Melissa are nice names for a girl. Kevin or Brian would be better for a boy. Your special people wanted you to have just the right one. After all, they needed to decide on a good name that would be just right for you.

What would you be like when you grew up? Would you like music? Would you like to draw? You might want to be a fireman, or a great cook, or a nurse, or a farmer, or a house painter. Oh, there were so many things you could be! What would you choose? But everyone had to wait to find the answers to these questions. What an exciting and fun time!

Let me tell you about another Baby, a very special Baby. He was God’s special Gift to everyone—Jesus!

God chose Joseph and Mary to be Jesus’ parents while He lived here on earth. God was careful to choose just the right people to care for His Son.

He sent an angel to tell them the exciting, good news! The angel said they would have a Son, so they knew ahead of time that their Baby would be a boy. The angel even told them that God had already chosen the name—Jesus. Joseph and Mary liked that name.

The most important thing the angel told them was that their Baby was God’s Son. He would someday become the Savior of the world. That meant He would save people from their sins.

Mary was so excited that she took a long trip to tell her cousin, Elisabeth, all about her special Baby.

Today, we still share the good news of Jesus’ birth. We celebrate His birthday every Christmas. It is a perfect time to tell others about God’s Gift to the world.

Jesus was truly the very best gift God could give.

Parent’s Corner


The theme of this unit is the Christmas story, and throughout the month we will be studying the story in step-by-step detail. This lesson tells how the angel appeared to Mary and Joseph, and revealed the awe-inspiring news that the Child born to them would be the Son of God.

As an activity for this week, let your child make an angel picture on a paper plate. Around the edge of the plate, help him print the words, “God’s Angel Brought a Message.” Cut out the center of the plate. Glue tissue paper on the back of the plate over the hole. Lightly paste the shape of an angel, cut from the same kind of tissue paper, in the center.

Tie a bow on the top for a hanger, and let your child place his creation in a window so the sun can shine through the tissue paper.

“It’s always so much fun to visit Uncle Al,” Andy said as he and his dad got into the car.

His father smiled as he started the car. “I enjoy it too. Tell me, Andy, what is it you especially like about Uncle Al?”

Andy thought for a minute. “Well, he’s such a neat guy, Dad. He has great stories to tell, and his stories always make me feel happy.”

Andy’s dad raised his eyebrows. “Oh? Now it seems to me that many of Al’s stories have to do with some very hard times. There’s the one about when his boat capsized and he nearly drowned. There’s the story about how his army buddies made fun of him because he wouldn’t do all the wrong things they did. Then he tells about the time his wife died and he had to raise three little children by himself. Are those happy stories?”

“No . . .” Andy answered, “not exactly. I guess they make me feel happy because Uncle Al’s stories always have a happy ending.”

His father smiled. “I think you’re right, Andy. Uncle Al found out that even though there are hard places in life, there is victory when you have your trust in God.”

Andy nodded. “When you hear Uncle Al tell it, it never sounds so bad because he lets you know how God helped him.”

“That’s it exactly,” Andy’s dad agreed. “You know, in these last fifteen years or so that I’ve known Al, he has always made me think a little of the Apostle Paul.”

“Paul?” Andy looked puzzled. “But he doesn’t look anything like the picture of Paul in our Bible storybook. And he never got put in jail or went on any big missionary trips, or anything like that.”

“Oh, I don’t mean how he looks,” his dad replied. “And I don’t mean the actual things that happened to him during his life. I mean his spirit, the way he reacted to the things that happened to him. Remember how Paul wrote to Timothy when he looked back at his life? In spite of all the hard places he had gone through, he was thankful to God for a life of victory.”

“That sure does sound like Uncle Al,” Andy agreed. “You know, Dad, Uncle Al is pretty old. And now he’s sick too, and he looks kind of weak. Someday, before too long, he’ll probably go up to Heaven. That makes me feel a little sad because I will really miss him. But I just had a happy thought. Won’t the Apostle Paul and Uncle Al have a good time getting to know each other up in Heaven?”

Parent’s Corner


Our final lesson of this unit will be on the Apostle Paul, and stresses the theme of victory. Your child will learn that Paul’s testimony to his young friend, Timothy, was full of thanksgiving.

Read the Bible text together and talk about what it feels like to be victorious. As a climax to this unit of study, plan a Victory Celebration with your child. Let him decorate paper napkins with the word “victory” or appropriate symbols such as a trophy or crown.

Noisemakers and paper hats could also add to the festivity of the occasion. Plan a special menu and have your child explain to the rest of the family what the Victory Celebration is all about, stressing that we can all be winners, just like Paul was.

“Now I’d like to go around the class and have each one of you tell me one thing that you are thankful for,” Justin’s Sunday school teacher said. “Katrina, will you start?”

Katrina said, “I’m thankful for the sunshine because it is so nice and warm when I go out to play.”

Lance was next. “I’m thankful for good food, especially hamburgers.” Everybody laughed because they already knew that Lance’s favorite food was hamburgers.

“I’m thankful for my mommy and daddy,” Suzie said next.

“I’m thankful that God made the pretty flowers and trees,” said Margie.

Then it was Justin’s turn. “I’m thankful for my cowboy boots.” He stopped, and then went on. “Could I tell you all why I’m thankful?”

His teacher nodded. “Of course, Justin. We’d love to hear.”

Justin explained. “I’ve wanted cowboy boots for a long, long time. I even told Mom I would give her my allowance for two whole months if she would get me some. But she said they just cost too much money. Daddy hasn’t been able to work since he hurt his back, and we have to use our money for food and stuff like that.”

“Mom told me to pray about it, so I did. Every night I asked God to help me find a way to get some cowboy boots. And He heard! You know what? Last week Mrs. Jensen, who lives next door to us, brought over a sack of things that had belonged to her grandson. She thought maybe we could use them. And right at the bottom of the sack were … these!” Justin stuck his feet out from under his chair so everyone could see the shiny brown boots.

Justin’s teacher smiled. “Justin, thank you so much for sharing this with us. We are so happy to hear how God answered your prayer. Isn’t He good to us?”

Justin nodded soberly. “I just wish there was something I could do to show God that I love Him.”

“Very well,” said his teacher. “Could you please put these Bible-story books back on the shelf?” Justin got up and put the books back. “Now, please pass these attendance charts out to everyone in the class.” Again, Justin did as he was told.

“Do you know what you just did, Justin?” she asked as he took his seat. “By being a helper to me, you were saying thank you to God. Whenever you help other people, you are helping God. It is a good thing to be thankful to God. And being a willing helper is one of the very best ways to say thank you!”

Parent’s Corner


“Giving thanks to God,” has been chosen as the theme for the next unit of lessons. The unit opens with a general lesson on the importance of being thankful.

This week, help your child make a scratch picture showing something for which he is thankful. Using one or more bright colors, have him color an entire sheet of paper. Then have him color over this with a black crayon.

Take a sharply pointed instrument and scratch a picture, removing the top layer of black to reveal the bright colors underneath. Be sure to have him scratch a title on his work.

FAMILY DEVOTIONS


Verses to help your child understand this Bible lesson.

Sunday: Psalm 92:1

Monday: Hebrews 13:15

Tuesday: Psalm 35:18

Wednesday: 1 Chronicles 16:8

Thursday: 1 Peter 2:9

Friday: Ephesians 5:19

Saturday: Philippians 4:4

Dear Cousin James,

I have some exciting news to tell you! Do you remember the last time I came to your home in Ramah, when we talked about the Man named Jesus? Well, James, I have seen Him! I have heard Him speak! And it is true, He does work miracles! I have seen it with my own eyes.

Last week, word came that Jesus was travelling our way. You can imagine the excitement, for we had all heard so much about this Man. Why, just a short time ago the Widow Esther’s son heard Him speak, and with his own eyes saw a lame man healed! So when we heard that Jesus was coming, nearly everyone wanted to go hear Him.

Even my father left his leather shop, and early one morning we started out. It was late in the afternoon when we found Him, and already a great many people were there. We had to work our way through the crowd in order to get close enough to hear.

James, I wish you could have heard Him. He spoke as One who knew everything! When He began to teach, the crowd was silent. Everyone listened.

Time went by so quickly that it still seems hard for me to believe. He rested for a while in the hours of darkness, but early in the morning, He began teaching again. We were there for three days! We just could not leave. Every thought of home and what was going on in our city just disappeared. We thought of nothing but Him.

We had not gone prepared to stay so long, and there was little food among us. On the third day, someone brought Jesus seven loaves and a few fishes, but of course, that was not enough to feed so many. Everyone was hungry.

It was then I saw the miracle. Jesus bowed His head, and He prayed aloud to His Father in Heaven, thanking Him for this food. Then His disciples passed the loaves and fishes among the people nearby and went back to Jesus. More was given out.

In the end, the entire group was fed. And afterwards, seven baskets of pieces were gathered together! Truly, this could only have been done by the power of God.

Looking back, I think that what remains most clearly in my mind is Jesus bowing His head over that food. He had power, James, power to make that little bit of food feed so many. Yet He prayed and thanked His heavenly Father for it!

I will never again eat a meal without following His example.

There is much more I could write, but I hope that you will soon be able to visit us here in Bethsaida. We have much to talk about.

Your Cousin, Andrew

Parent’s Corner


Being thankful for the food that God provides is one aspect of gratitude. This Bible story tells how Jesus gave thanks for seven loaves and a few fishes, and then used this little amount of food to feed 4,000 people.

This would be a good week to learn a new table grace with your child. Practice it together and surprise the rest of the family one night this week by having him say it at mealtime.

You might also like to prepare a special snack together during the week, making seven muffins or seven small loaves of bread to represent the food with which Jesus fed the multitude. Cut small “fish” out of lunchmeat slices to go with the bread.

Jennifer stared down at the blank piece of paper in front of her. Should she do it? What if everyone in the class made fun of her?

Mrs. Morrow had told them to write about, “What I Am Thankful For,” and then draw a picture of what they had written about.

The first thought that had popped into Jennifer’s mind was that she was thankful for Jesus. She was! Jesus had done so much for her and she really loved Him.

All of her friends had decided to write about their mommies, or their homes, or their pets. It might be embarrassing to write about Jesus. If the teacher was the only one to read it, that wouldn’t be so bad. But Mrs. Morrow had said that all the papers were going to be put up on a Thanksgiving bulletin board. That meant all the kids in the class would see what she had written!

Let’s see. What else could she write about? Maybe about her mom and dad like some of the others were doing? She was thankful for them, but … after all, Jesus was the One who had given her a good mom and dad. Should she write about her pet kitten, Somecat? She was thankful her prayer had been answered and she had received a kitty for her birthday last June. Or maybe she should write about food – all her favorites like strawberries and peaches and corn on the cob. Jesus made all these delicious things to enjoy.

But somehow Jennifer couldn’t get started writing. Nothing seemed to be just right. She kept thinking, But it’s Jesus who gave me all the good things I’m thankful for. I really should write about Him.

Maybe if she tried drawing a picture first that would help. She tried drawing her mom and dad, but they looked funny. The kitten she worked on next looked more like a dog. She erased her strawberries and peaches too. By that time her paper was all smudgy. She threw it away and reached for her notebook to get another sheet.

Then her eyes fell on her lesson leaflet for next Sunday. Just this morning, she had read the story about the woman who met Jesus at the well. That woman hadn’t been afraid to tell others about Jesus! She had run right into the city and told everyone she met about Him. She was a witness for Christ because she was so thankful.

All of a sudden Jennifer knew what she was going to do. This was her chance to be a witness! She could tell all the kids in her class about Jesus. Her paper might be a little different from all the others, but it was one way she could say thank you for all the blessings Jesus had given her.

Parent’s Corner


Our lesson is about the woman who met Jesus beside a well and then ran to tell the people of her city about Him. Your child will learn that being a witness for Christ is one way we can show our gratitude to Him.

As an activity together this week, help your child compose a picture letter to give to a friend telling him about Jesus or inviting him to Sunday school. Help him print simple sentences, drawing in pictures to represent words whenever it seems appropriate.

If you have a Bible bookstore in your city, it is a good source of stickers which could possibly be worked into the letter. For example, a sticker of Jesus could be used each time His name would occur in the letter.

FAMILY DEVOTIONS


Verses to help your child understand this Bible lesson.

Sunday: Psalm 26:7

Monday: Philippians 2:11

Tuesday: 1 Chronicles 16:8

Wednesday: 1 Chronicles 16:9

Thursday: Mark 5:19

Friday: Isaiah 43:10

Saturday: Matthew 10:32

It was going to be another sad day for the ten men. Nothing to look forward to. No place to go. All of their families and friends lived inside the village. The ten men got very lonesome for the people they loved.

These ten men had a very bad disease called leprosy. Any person that had leprosy could not live inside the cities or villages. They had to live apart so that other people would not become sick with leprosy. The people who lived in the cities would stay away from them and go another way when they saw them coming. This made the ten men very sad.

One day they were standing together and they saw Jesus entering their village. They had heard about Jesus and what He had done for other people who were sick. They wanted Jesus to do the same for them. Would He make them well? Should they ask Him? It was worth a try.

They all called out, “Jesus, have mercy on us. Jesus, have mercy on us.” They wanted Jesus to hear them. They wanted Jesus to make them well.

Jesus saw them and heard their cries. He called out to them and told them to go and show themselves to the priests. The priests were the ones who could tell them the disease was gone and they could go back to their families.

They hurried to get to the priests as fast as they could. As they went, one of the men looked at his skin, and he could hardly believe what he saw. The leprosy was gone! They all looked at their skin. They were healed! They were so happy. Now they would be able to live with their families.

Nine of the men ran on into the village. They wanted to tell everyone! But one of the men was so thankful that he ran back to Jesus. He fell down at Jesus’ feet and said, “Thank You, Jesus.” Jesus was so happy that the man had come back to thank Him. He asked the man where the other nine men were. Jesus was sad because they didn’t say thank you.

The one man that did thank Jesus was extra happy. Jesus gave him the greatest blessing of all—He took the sin out of his heart. Oh, he was so glad that he had come back to thank Jesus.

Did you know that Jesus wants us to thank Him too? When we have a need and ask Jesus to help us, He is always there. He likes for us to thank Him when He helps us. When we pray, Jesus wants us to thank Him for all the many blessings He gives us.

Parent’s Corner


This Bible story is a specific example of one man who was thankful. One leper, from among ten who were healed, came back to thank the Lord. Your child will learn that the one leper received a special blessing from God because he was truly thankful, and expressed his gratitude.

Spend some time with your child this week to help him learn his memory verse for this lesson. Talk about ways we can make a “joyful noise” unto the Lord.

There are many good tapes and records of religious music for children. Choose a song from one of these to learn together, and at the end of the week let your child sing it for the whole family.

FAMILY DEVOTIONS


Verses to help your child understand this Bible lesson.

Sunday: Psalm 95:2

Monday: Psalm 147:3

Tuesday: Acts 2:47

Wednesday: 2 Thessalonians 5:18

Thursday: 2 Corinthians 2:14

Friday: Psalm 67:3

Saturday: Psalm 29:2

David pulled on his new shirt and, with a big grin on his face, ran down the stairs to breakfast.

“Say, you’re speedy this morning,” his mother smiled as she buttered the toast. “Breakfast isn’t even quite ready and here you are, all bright and shining.”

“Today’s the day, Mom!” David reminded her, “I’ve been waiting and waiting, and at last it’s here.”

“That’s right,” his mother agreed. “I know how much you’ve looked forward to this, and I hope it turns out to be a super-special day for you.”

David’s big sister Jessica came into the kitchen just in time to hear the last of what her mother said. “What’s so special about today?” she asked. “Must be something important to get David down here before me!”

“Today David starts his time at school as Student of the Week,” her mother reminded her. “Remember, Mrs. Elgin sent home a calendar at the first of the school year assigning each child a special week. And David’s turn is finally here!”

Jessica grinned. “That’s funny,” she said. “I was just reading in my Bible about another David who had to wait a long time for something important. It’s our Sunday school lesson for next week.”

“Tell me about him,” David said, looking up from the plate of scrambled eggs his mother had placed in front of him.

“Well,” Jessica started, “our lesson is about David who killed the giant, Goliath, remember?”

David nodded. “Sure. That’s one of my favorite stories.”

“Even before that happened, David knew that someday he would be king,” Jessica went on. “God’s prophet, Samuel, had come to his father’s house one day. God told Samuel to choose David from all his brothers, and anoint him to be the next king of Israel.”

“How come he didn’t just make him king right then?” David asked.

Jessica looked a little puzzled. “I’m not sure … Mom, what do you think?”

“Well, I believe it was because God knew the best time for David to become king. Perhaps there were more lessons David needed to learn about trusting God and looking to Him for help. David had to wait and be patient for a while.”

Jessica nodded. “Anyway, David did wait, and one day God’s promise to him came true.”

David finished his breakfast. “And this David had to wait too, but today’s the day! I wonder if that other David was as excited as I am when his big day finally came.”

Parent’s Corner


The final lesson of this unit brings out the climax of David’s becoming king of Israel at last. Your child should learn that David saw the promise fulfilled which was made when he was anointed to be king. This will be related to their day-to-day living by the assurance that God will also keep His promises to us.

Talk with your child about what a promise is, and the importance of keeping one’s promise. Encourage him to make a promise to someone this week—perhaps a job he will do for someone or something of this nature. Help him write it down, and post it where it can serve as a reminder.

When the promise is fulfilled, let him place a smiley face sticker on the written promise, and reward him with a small prize or a special treat of some kind.

FAMILY DEVOTIONS


Verses to help your child understand this Bible lesson.

Sunday: 2 Samuel 12:7

Monday: 1 Chronicles 11:3

Tuesday: Psalm 28:8

Wednesday: Romans 4:21

Thursday: Luke 21:33

Friday: Ezekiel 12:25

Saturday: 1 John 2:25

How would you like to have a prince for a friend? That would be exciting, wouldn’t it? Imagine getting to visit in a palace!

David, the young shepherd who killed the giant, Goliath, was not just going to visit a palace. He was going to live there! He would stay with Jonathan, King Saul’s son. Jonathan would be his friend. How excited David must have been!

Jonathan was happy too. He thought David was the bravest person he knew. He also knew that David loved God. Jonathan loved God too.

At last the great day came. David arrived at the palace. The two young men became good friends. To show David how much he liked him, Jonathan gave David some of his very own clothes to wear. Now David was dressed just like a prince! Then Jonathan gave David his own special sword and bow. He was not jealous of David, even though he knew that someday David would be king instead of him.

David was only a poor shepherd and he had nothing to give to Jonathan in return, except his friendship. He promised always to be a good friend to Jonathan.

One day David was in trouble. King Saul was angry because everyone cared for David more than they cared for their own King! The people liked David because he had been brave and killed Goliath. King Saul was so jealous that he decided to kill David!

David asked Jonathan what he should do. Jonathan told David he must run away and hide so that King Saul could not find him. It was a very sad time for the two friends. They knew they might never see each other again.

Before David left they made a promise to each other. David promised he always would be kind to Jonathan and his family. They agreed that the friendship between their families would last forever.

Jonathan and David said goodbye to each other and David went away. David never did see his friend Jonathan again, but he always remembered what a good friend he had been. David knew Jonathan had helped to save his life. He had warned David and had helped him get away from Saul, Jonathan’s own father.

Later, when David did become king, he welcomed Jonathan’s crippled son into his home and took care of him. In this way, David kept the promise he had made to Jonathan those many years before.

Parent’s Corner


David and Jonathan had a beautiful friendship, despite their differences in background and position in society. We want your child to know that true friends love each other in good times as well as bad.

Help your child make a “Friendship Booklet” to give to a special friend. Across the top of each page let him write the words, “A friend is…………. and then finish the sentence. He might also like to illustrate the message.

Punch holes in the left side of each page and thread the pages together with brightly coloured yarn.

FAMILY DEVOTIONS


Verses to help your child understand this Bible lesson.

Sunday: Proverbs 17:17

Monday: John 15:13-15

Tuesday: John 13:35

Wednesday: Acts 2:42

Thursday: 1 Thessalonians 5:15

Friday: Proverbs 18:24

Saturday: 1 John 3:11

“Who wants to fight me?” shouted the big, mean giant. “You’re all afraid!” he roared. “Come on out from your hiding places. I dare you! We’ll see who is the strongest!”

David, just a young shepherd, watched as the giant called to the people. He looked around expecting to see a brave soldier from the army of Israel rush out to fight Goliath, the giant. But no one moved.

David was surprised. He asked some nearby soldiers, “Who is this Philistine? Why does he make fun of Israel?” Goliath may be strong, thought David, but my God is stronger. Then David realized that everyone was afraid. “I’ll fight Goliath,” David said as he jumped to his feet. “God has always taken care of me. He will protect me now when I fight this giant.”

David was taken to King Saul. King Saul was surprised when he saw how young David was. He tried to talk David out of fighting Goliath, but David told Saul all about his God and how he knew that God would help him.

King Saul put his own armor on David. But David could not go out to meet Goliath dressed like that. He took it off because his trust was in God, not in the armor.

David ran down into the valley without any armor at all, his sling in his hand. He found a small stream of water and searched for some smooth stones. When he had found five stones he put them into his shepherd’s pouch. Then he went to fight Goliath.

Goliath was angry when he saw David coming! Why, Goliath was over nine feet tall and David was so much smaller! How Goliath raged!

David wasn’t afraid when he heard Goliath. He called out, “I come to you in the name of the Lord.” David told Goliath that God would win the battle. Then everyone would know how great the God of Israel was.

David put a stone in his sling. He ran toward the giant, swinging the sling around and around. Suddenly, David let the stone fly. THUD! The stone hit the giant right in the head. Down he went, flat on his face! God helped David defeat the giant.

David was right! His God was greater than a giant. His God was stronger than a giant. He didn’t have to be afraid.

God loves and helps all of us too. God’s people never have to be afraid.

Parent’s Corner


This Bible story is one that is sure to stir the imagination of your child—the story of David confronting the giant, Goliath, and winning a mighty victory for the Children of Israel through his courage. The emphasis for this lesson is that God will be with those who trust in Him.

The Philistine champion was reported to be over nine feet tall. To illustrate to your child how high this is, measure that distance and have him stand beside it.

A simple shepherd’s pouch can be made by cutting a circle from a brown paper bag approximately 7″ in diameter. Punch small holes around the circle, about 1/2″ from the edge. Crumple the circle between your hands to make it resemble leather. Thread a cord through the holes and pull up to form a pouch. Let your child search for five smooth stones to put into the pouch.

David, a young shepherd, picked up the smallest lamb. “How small and tiny you are,” he said quietly as he petted the animal’s head. “Don’t worry little lamb,” he continued. “Someday you’ll be as big and as strong as any of these sheep.”

David put the lamb down beside him on the soft, green grass. He picked up his harp and played a song, singing words about God and His goodness.

How happy David was! He loved the green meadow. He loved the tiny lambs and the big sheep. He loved to sing and play his harp. But most of all, deep in his heart, David loved God.

Many times during the day, David prayed to God. He told God how much he loved Him, and thanked Him for the beautiful world He had made. David knew God was his special friend. He knew that God loved him too, and would always take care of him.

One day as David was taking care of the sheep, a man brought him a message from home. “David, come quickly!” the man exclaimed. “The Prophet Samuel is at your father’s home and he wants to see you!”

David knew that the Prophet Samuel was a very important man. He knew that Samuel was a worker for God. Many times, God would tell Samuel what was going to happen in the future. But David didn’t know why Samuel wanted to see him.

He didn’t know that God had sent Samuel to David’s own house to find the future king of the people of Israel. Samuel had already looked at David’s older brothers. As each brother walked by him, Samuel had thought, Surely this is the one! But each time God said no. Samuel saw only fine looking men, but God was looking at their hearts.

David hurried home. He was almost out of breath from running so fast. Samuel saw what a good-looking young man he was; his cheeks were red, his hair was blown by the wind, and his skin was brown from the sun.

When God looked at David’s heart He saw something very special. He knew David would be a good king. God spoke to Samuel’s heart. He told Samuel to anoint David to be the next king of Israel.

Samuel obeyed God. He took oil and poured it on David’s head. All of David’s family saw Samuel do it. They knew that God had chosen David to be the next king.

From that day on, David loved God even more. He knew God had a special plan for his life. He knew God would always be by his side.

Parent’s Corner


We are starting a unit on the life of one of the most well-known and loved Bible characters—David. Our study will begin with David as the young shepherd who was anointed to be the future king of Israel.

Your child will learn that David was chosen because God looked at his heart and recognized qualities there that would make him a good king. To visualize this thought with your child, help him draw a heart on a piece of paper. Provide him with magazines or newspapers, and let him look through these and find words which tell what might have been in David’s heart. (If he cannot find whole words, let him cut out letters to form appropriate words.) Have him paste the words he finds inside the heart outline.

FAMILY DEVOTIONS


Verses to help your child understand this Bible lesson.

Sunday: 1 Samuel 16:7

Monday: Luke 12:2

Tuesday: Psalm 44:21

Wednesday: Psalm 33:13-15

Thursday: Romans 8:27

Friday: 1 Timothy 2:19

Saturday: Proverbs 21:2

“Hi, Uncle Mark!” said Emily excitedly. “I’m sure glad to see you. Wait till you hear what happened in school today.”

Uncle Mark was always glad when Emily came to visit. “Come in and have some cookies while you tell me about it.”

“Do you remember how sad I was after Scotty was born?” asked Emily, as she sat down at the table. “At first I was glad to have a baby brother. Then when he seemed to get all the attention I thought no one loved me anymore.”

“I remember,” answered Uncle Mark. “That really was a sad time for you.”

“I didn’t think I was important to anyone. I tried to get people to pay more attention to me,” said Emily. “I drew pictures for everyone and sang songs. And then one day I told you that nobody loved me.

“You sure set me straight. You told me that everyone is different. We love and are loved in different ways. We love babies in a different way than older children. But everyone is loved. You said we all have a different part in the family, in school, at church, and even in the city where we live.”

“Wow,” Uncle Mark grinned. “You really remembered a lot of what I said!”

“And that’s not all,” continued Emily. “You said God made each of us special. You told me God had a special plan for me. I think what happened today was part of God’s plan!”

“This sounds exciting,” said Uncle Mark. “Hurry and tell me about it.”

“Well, last week Karla told us all about her new baby sister. She was really excited about her. But today Karla started crying while we were playing at recess. When I asked her what was wrong she said no one loved her anymore. She said her baby sister gets all the attention. And, Uncle Mark, I could tell her all about when Scotty was born. I told her that everyone really does love her and that God especially loves her. He wants her to be happy.”

“You were certainly being a witness for Jesus,” said Uncle Mark. “You were able to help Karla because the same thing had happened to you. I’m glad you know that God has a special plan for you. Telling others about Jesus is a part of His plan for all of us.”

Emily got up to leave and said, “Thanks for the good cookies, Uncle Mark. And thanks for listening to me. I need to go home now. Did I tell you that Scotty is starting to walk? He’s so cute. I just love him.”

Parent’s Corner


Developing a child’s understanding of the fact that God loves him as an individual is one of the most important tasks facing parents and Sunday school teachers. It is vital that the child realizes he is special to God and that God knows all about him.

Use a stamp pad to help your child make a set of his own fingerprints on a sheet of paper. Look at the fingerprints through a magnifying glass, and compare them with your own prints and those of others in your family. Draw his attention to the fact that no two are exactly alike. At the top of his paper, write the words, “I’m One of a Kind!” Let your child add features, arms and legs, or other details that will turn his fingerprints into unique animals or faces.

Family Devotions


Verses to help your child understand this Bible lesson.

Sunday: Matthew 5:16

Monday: Job 31:4

Tuesday: Psalm 139:4

Wednesday: Psalm 48:14

Thursday: 2 Samuel 22:33

Friday: John 15:16

Saturday: John 15:8

God was happy with everything He had made. He looked at the land covered with beautiful green trees and plants. He saw the wide blue ocean filled with different kinds of fish, and all the many animals that lived on the earth.

God knew His world was good but He was not finished yet. He needed to make one more thing and then His creation would be complete. He was going to create man. This would be the most special part of His creation. God wanted someone to love Him, and to take care of His world.

God took some of the dust of the ground and made a man. Then He breathed into him, and suddenly that man came alive! God called the man Adam.

One of the things God wanted Adam to do was to name the animals. God brought them to him. Adam looked at each animal and decided what it should be called.

Guess what Adam named each of these animals?

In front of Adam walked a huge gray creature. It had big ears and a long trunk. Do you think Adam named that one an elephant or a mouse?

Next, a fluffy little white animal with long ears hopped up to Adam. Do you think Adam named that one a kangaroo or a rabbit?

Then a black and white striped animal walked by. It looked a little bit like a horse. Do you think Adam named that one a zebra or a skunk?

Adam had a big job to do. There were many, many animals and Adam wanted each of them to have just the right name. God told Adam that he was to be in charge of all the animals, the fish, and the birds. Adam loved God and wanted to do the best job he could.

Even though Adam had all the animals for company, God knew he needed a special friend. So God made Adam go to sleep, and while he slept, God made a woman to be Adam’s wife and friend. Adam called the woman that God gave him, Eve.

God wanted His people to be happy because He loved them very much. He had made a beautiful garden called Eden for them to live in. They were happy to live there.

In the evening God visited the Garden and talked to Adam and Eve. They must have talked about many things.

God looked at everything He had made. He looked at Adam and Eve. He loved His people the very best of all.

He said, “It is very good.”

Parent’s Corner


The emphasis of this lesson is on God’s creation of man. Your child will be learning that man was created to praise and glorify God, and that God gave man dominion over all the rest of His creation.

Discuss with your child the fact that, although the animals and plants God made were beautiful, they were not able to commune with God or to worship and praise Him. So He created man with that special purpose in mind.

Let your child make a “People Mosaic” this week. Have him cut pictures of people from catalogues and magazines and glue them onto a background. Beside each figure, help him draw a speech balloon and the words “I can praise God by,” letting him fill in the blank space.

Family Devotions


Verses to help your child understand this Bible lesson.

Sunday: Psalm 148:5

Monday: Genesis 1:26

Tuesday: Psalm 92:1

Wednesday: Genesis 9:2

Thursday: Psalm 96:4-5

Friday: Psalm 107:8

Saturday: Psalm 8:6-8

A long time ago there was no dry land at all. There was water everywhere! God knew that part of His creation would need dry land so He said, “Let the dry land appear.” And it did!

God wanted the land to be beautiful. He covered parts of it with green grass so we could have parks, pastures, and yards. Isn’t it fun to play in the grass and feel it tickle your toes?

God made all the grains of sand. There is sand in the desert where the cactus plants grow. God put some of it by the ocean so we could build sand castles at the beach.

He made different kinds of flowers ­red roses, white daisies, yellow daffodils, and so many more. And they smell so sweet!

God made many kinds of trees. There are forests of trees that are used to build houses. There are orchards of trees that grow fruit such as apples, oranges, and pears. He made nut trees so we could enjoy walnuts, pecans, and almonds.

He made vegetables—more kinds than we can name. Bright orange carrots, juicy red tomatoes, big brown potatoes, and leafy green lettuce are just a few of the things God put on the earth for us to eat. Can you think of some others? What are your favorites?

Flowers, trees, and vegetables all grew on the land that God had made. The world was finally ready for living creatures.

First God created the things that would live in the water—big sharks for the ocean and little trout for the lakes. He made the tiny goldfish that swim in fish bowls, and the huge whales that swim in the ocean.

Then God made the birds that fly in the air—chirping sparrows, noisy crows, and ducks that quack. Blue birds and black birds, brown birds and white birds were created for us to enjoy.

Finally God made the animals that live on the land. He made big tigers that roar, elephants that wave their trunks, and tiny insects that crawl.

He made some animals that are fun to have as pets, like cuddly kittens that meow and frisky puppies that wiggle and play with you.

Some animals are not meant to live with us. The big bears and graceful deer live in the woods. The alligators belong in the warm rivers. We can see many of these animals when we visit the zoo.

God saw that everything he made was good, and that made Him happy. God made these for us to enjoy too, because He loves us.

Parent’s Corner


An awareness of the beautiful world God created for us to enjoy is something that should be developed in each child. This lesson is about God’s creation of the plants and animals. Now would be a good time for you to help your child become more observant of God’s creation’s in the world around us.

Make some nature lists together. Have your child name as many kinds of dogs as he can think of. Or let him name all the names of flowers or birds that he knows.

For a hands-on activity this week, let your child make a punch-dot mosaic. Have him draw a simple outline of a butterfly or flower on a piece of paper, and then fill in the outline by gluing on dots punched from various colors of paper.

What an exciting day this had been for Jason. He had taken his first airplane ride and now he was at his Grandpa’s new farm.

After dinner, Grandpa asked Jason if he wanted to go with him to the barn. As they walked, Jason looked up into the nighttime sky. He had never seen so many stars! There was hardly any space between them. “Wow,” he whispered. “Grandpa, what happened to the sky? Where did all those stars come from?”

His grandpa laughed. “The sky is always this full of stars, Jason. You’re just used to seeing it from the city. It is darker out here in the country at night, so the stars seem brighter.”

“But, Grandpa, the sky is full of them! I can just about count the ones in the sky at home. But no one could ever count the ones in the sky out here!” exclaimed Jason.

“God can,” said his grandpa. “He made all of them. The Bible says God knows the number of stars. He even calls them by name! Isn’t that exciting? God knows every one of them.”

“I wonder which star God made first,” Jason said.

“He created them all at once,” said his grandpa. “Remember, God just said, ‘Let there be lights in the firmament … and it was so.’ After seeing the sky out here in the country, aren’t you glad God made so many?”

“I sure am,” answered Jason.

When they reached the barnyard, Grandpa went to check the doors and gate to make sure they were fastened shut. Jason leaned against the fence and watched the sky.

The moon was so big tonight. Jason remembered Grandpa telling about the big harvest moon at this time of year. Grandpa said it was closer to the earth in the autumn. Maybe that’s what his Sunday school teacher meant when she said that God made the moon and sun so we would have day and night and different seasons of the year.

Just then Grandpa joined him by the fence. “OK, Jason, time to get some sleep. You’ll have lots to dream about tonight. You enjoyed your aeroplane ride today but you act even more excited about the stars God created.”

“I am!” exclaimed Jason. “And I can hardly wait until tomorrow. God made the night out here in the country so beautiful. I just know the country sunshine must be great.”

Parent’s Corner


 

We are starting a new unit titled, “The Bible Tells Me Why.” This series of lessons will deal with the subject of the Creation, and our first lesson will be about God forming the universe. During the class time your child will learn that the universe was created to declare the glory of God and to reveal His power.

As you discuss with your child the different things that make up our universe—the sky, the sun, the stars, the moon—suggest to him that he might like to make a sun catcher to remind him of the things God has made for our enjoyment. Begin by dipping a length of craft cord into white craft glue. On a piece of waxed paper or plastic wrap, shape the drenched cord into a simple shape representative of something in the universe, such as a star, and let it dry. Peel the shape from the paper and coat the backside of the shape with glue. Lay the shape on a piece of brightly coloured tissue paper, and allow it to dry. Cutaway excess paper from the shape and glue a thread loop hanger to the shape. Display your child’s creation in a sunny window.

John the Baptist was a special person. To look at him, you might not think so because he did not dress like other people. His clothes were made from camel’s hair and leather. His food was locusts (those are very large grasshoppers) and wild honey. He didn’t have time to worry about the fancy things of life. He had a very important message to tell everyone­ “Get ready because the Savior has come!”

John preached to large crowds of people. Many of them had sin in their hearts. They needed to change. But there were also some people who already loved God. They didn’t like all the sin that was going on around them. They were praying for a Savior to come. They wanted Someone who would make everything better.

Well, the Savior had come. Jesus was the Savior. But the people thought that Jesus was only a carpenter from Nazareth. He was just thirty years old. He lived quietly at home with His family. The people had never seen Jesus do any miracles yet. They had never heard Him preach. How could He, just a carpenter’s son, be their Savior? They didn’t know that He was really God’s Son.

God sent John the Baptist to tell the people all about the Savior. God wanted the people to be ready for His Son.

Hundreds of people went to hear John the Baptist preach. John spoke to them about their sins. He told them they should be sorry that they had done wrong. He told them that very soon the Savior would come.

Many of the people began to see how wrong they had been. They asked God to forgive their sins. Then John baptized them in the river. This was a sign to others that they had given up their sins, and that God had forgiven them.

One day, when John was preaching and baptizing at the Jordan River, Jesus came to be baptized. John knew that there was something very special about Jesus. He said that Jesus should baptize him. But Jesus said John must baptize Him because that was God’s plan. So John baptized Jesus.

And as soon as Jesus came up out of the water a wonderful thing happened. The sky was opened and the Spirit of God came down. He appeared like a dove and came to rest on Jesus. Then the people heard a Voice which said, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” That was God’s voice. John knew that Jesus was the Savior. He was very happy that God had chosen him to tell the people to get ready.

Parent’s Corner

This lesson is about John the Baptist and how he was used of God to tell people about the Savior, thus preparing the way for Jesus’ ministry. John performed his appointed task well, and many came to know Jesus because of his efforts.

Explain to your child that John’s special job, given by God, was to tell about the Savior who was to come. Liken this to a menu. It prepares the people who are going to eat the meal by telling them what is coming, perhaps even describing how the dish is fixed or the ingredients used.

Let your child prepare the family for their evening meal by making an advertisement or menu for the planned meal. He might cut out pictures of food or write a brief description of each dish. Allow him to present his creation to the family at mealtime.

How would you like to be a spy? Wouldn’t it be exciting to be sent on a secret mission? What if you were sent to a faraway place and told to search through the land? You would have to take notes and then report back to the person who sent you. That person would expect you to tell carefully about everything that you had seen and heard. Do you think you would have a hard time remembering everything?

A spy has to be a very special person. He must be someone who can be trusted, someone who will obey orders and bring back a true report. A spy must be brave and strong, not afraid and weak.

Many years ago, God gave special instructions to Moses, the leader of the Children of Israel. Moses was to choose twelve spies to go into the land of Canaan and look all around. Their job would be to find out all about the country. Was it a good land or bad? How large were the cities? How many people lived in the land? The spies were also told to bring back some of the fruit that was grown in Canaan. They were to show this fruit to Moses and the people.

Among the twelve spies chosen by Moses, were Joshua and Caleb. Both were men who loved and trusted God. They believed God and obeyed Him.

For forty days the spies searched through the land of Canaan. They must have been excited by what they found. The land was beautiful. It had flowing rivers and lots of trees and good fruit. When it was time to leave, the men cut down one cluster of grapes to take back to Moses. That cluster was so big that it took two strong men to carry it!

The twelve spies told Moses that everything was exactly like God had said it would be. But ten of the spies were afraid. When they looked at the land they saw the high-walled cities and the people of the land who looked like giants. Those ten spies said, “We cannot take this land! We are not able to do it.” They forgot that God had promised to help them. They forgot that God had said the land would be theirs.

Joshua and Caleb didn’t forget. They trusted God and knew He would give them the land. Caleb told Moses and the people, “We can take this land! God is on our side.” But the people were afraid. They listened to the other ten spies. They didn’t believe Joshua and Caleb. They, too, forgot God’s promise.

Many years later Joshua and Caleb were the only two of those twelve spies who went into the promised land with the Children of Israel.

Parent’s Corner

Joshua and Caleb were the two brave spies who brought back a good report of the promised land. Even though the other ten spies were fearful of the high-walled cities and the giants who inhabited the land, these two men had the courage to say that they knew that with God’s help the land could be taken.

Discuss with your child the fact that sometimes things look difficult or impossible by man’s judgment. But God has all power, and we should trust Him.

To reinforce this thought, let your child make a heart puzzle. Draw a large heart shape on a piece of construction paper. Tell your child to mark it into sixteen puzzle pieces. On each piece have him write one word from the memory verse, including the reference. He can cut the puzzle apart on the lines he has drawn, and then reassemble it as he learns the verse.

How would you like to be a spy? Wouldn’t it be exciting to be sent on a secret mission? What if you were sent to a faraway place and told to search through the land? You would have to take notes and then report back to the person who sent you. That person would expect you to tell carefully about everything that you had seen and heard. Do you think you would have a hard time remembering everything?

A spy has to be a very special person. He must be someone who can be trusted, someone who will obey orders and bring back a true report. A spy must be brave and strong, not afraid and weak.

Many years ago, God gave special instructions to Moses, the leader of the Children of Israel. Moses was to choose twelve spies to go into the land of Canaan and look all around. Their job would be to find out all about the country. Was it a good land or bad? How large were the cities? How many people lived in the land? The spies were also told to bring back some of the fruit that was grown in Canaan. They were to show this fruit to Moses and the people.

Among the twelve spies chosen by Moses, were Joshua and Caleb. Both were men who loved and trusted God. They believed God and obeyed Him.

For forty days the spies searched through the land of Canaan. They must have been excited by what they found. The land was beautiful. It had flowing rivers and lots of trees and good fruit. When it was time to leave, the men cut down one cluster of grapes to take back to Moses. That cluster was so big that it took two strong men to carry it!

The twelve spies told Moses that everything was exactly like God had said it would be. But ten of the spies were afraid. When they looked at the land they saw the high-walled cities and the people of the land who looked like giants. Those ten spies said, “We cannot take this land! We are not able to do it.” They forgot that God had promised to help them. They forgot that God had said the land would be theirs.

Joshua and Caleb didn’t forget. They trusted God and knew He would give them the land. Caleb told Moses and the people, “We can take this land! God is on our side.” But the people were afraid. They listened to the other ten spies. They didn’t believe Joshua and Caleb. They, too, forgot God’s promise.

Many years later Joshua and Caleb were the only two of those twelve spies who went into the promised land with the Children of Israel.

 

Parent’s Corner

Joshua and Caleb were the two brave spies who brought back a good report of the promised land. Even though the other ten spies were fearful of the high-walled cities and the giants who inhabited the land, these two men had the courage to say that they knew that with God’s help the land could be taken.

Discuss with your child the fact that sometimes things look difficult or impossible by man’s judgment. But God has all power, and we should trust Him.

To reinforce this thought, let your child make a heart puzzle. Draw a large heart shape on a piece of construction paper. Tell your child to mark it into sixteen puzzle pieces. On each piece have him write one word from the memory verse, including the reference. He can cut the puzzle apart on the lines he has drawn, and then reassemble it as he learns the verse.

One day God looked down from Heaven and saw a man named Abram, whose name was later changed to Abraham. He lived in a tent in the land of Ur. Most of the people who lived in that country prayed to idols. They didn’t love God. But Abraham loved God. He prayed to God and tried to do God’s will.

God could see that Abraham loved Him, even though sinful people lived all around him. Because Abraham was faithful, God chose him to be part of a very important plan. God was going to send Jesus to this earth so that people could be saved from their sins. He wanted Jesus to be born into a special family. Abraham was chosen to be the father of this special family because he believed and trusted God. He would do whatever God said.

“Take your family and leave this place,” God told Abraham. “Go to a land far away that I will show you. I will make your family a great people. All the families of the earth will be blessed because of you.”

Abraham obeyed God. He called his whole family together. They helped him gather his sheep and his cattle. They helped him pack his tents and everything else that he owned. Then they all started on a long journey.

At last they came to the land of Canaan. It was a beautiful land. There were wonderful fields where the sheep and cattle could eat. God spoke to Abraham again. He said He would give all that land to Abraham, and to his children, and to their children.

Abraham and his wife had no children. But God now promised them that they would have a son. God told them to name their son Isaac. God also told Abraham that he would have many, many grandchildren and great ­grandchildren. And there would be so many more that they could not even be counted.

Now, Abraham loved God more than ever before. He built an altar and made an offering to God. He was thankful that God trusted him to be part of His wonderful plan.

All the promises that God gave to Abraham came true! The special family that God promised to him, later became known as the Jewish nation. And on the very first Christmas night, near where Abraham had once lived, Jesus was born into that family.

God has a plan for each of us too. But, like Abraham, we must obey God. If we do this, God will know that we love and trust Him. I wonder what special plan God has for you?

 

Parent’s Corner

This lesson is about Abraham and how he trusted God and obeyed His commands. Because of this, God made him the father of His chosen people and promised him that his descendants would be as the sand of the sea. Look at a handful of sand with your child. Can he count the grains?

As an activity with your child this week, make a sand painting. Mix clean dry sand with small amounts of liquid poster paints to make a variety of different colors. Spread colored sand on sheets of newspaper to dry. Paint the inside and lip of a shoe box lid with poster paint and let it dry.

Using large block letters, help your child print on the inside of the lid the words, “Abraham Trusted God.” Cover one letter with white glue, and sprinkle the glue with one color of sand. Repeat for remaining letters. When the glue has dried, spray the finished picture with varnish or lacquer.

 

Many, many years ago a man named Noah built a huge boat. Other people have built boats, but that one was very special. God told Noah to build that one. God even told him what size to make it, and what kind of wood to use.

Do you know why God wanted Noah to build that big boat? God knew Noah would need it when the Flood came. Do you know what a flood is? That is when all the ground is covered with water. God was going to send so much rain that the whole earth would be covered with water. He was going to do that because all the people in the world were being very bad – all the people except Noah and his family. Noah loved God. The other people didn’t love God.

No one had ever seen a flood before. They did not believe it would really happen. But Noah believed God. He and his family started right away to build the big boat.

When Noah’s boat was finished, God told him to take at least two of every kind of animal into the boat. I wonder what the people thought when they saw all the bears and lions and elephants and monkeys and other animals go into the boat.

When Noah and his family and the animals were all inside the boat, God shut the door. Then He sent rain. It rained and rained all day and all night for forty days and nights! It rained until all the bushes and trees and houses and mountains and people were covered with water.

Noah and all that were in the boat with him were dry. Noah trusted God and knew He would keep them safe.

Finally the rain stopped, but for a long time the water stayed on the earth. Perhaps Noah looked out the window many times and wondered when they would be able to leave the boat. It was many more days before the land was dry again. When it was time for Noah and his family to leave the boat, they were so happy. Noah built an altar so they could pray and thank God for keeping them safe.

God was happy to hear Noah’s prayer. He promised that the whole world would never again be destroyed by a flood. He sent a special sign of His promise. It was a beautiful rainbow!

Now whenever we see a rainbow in the sky we can remember the story of Noah. Noah trusted God and we can trust God too. We know God always keeps His promises. He loves us.

Parent’s Corner

Our lesson on Noah’s Ark provides an opportunity for a fun game that can be played in pairs or teams, using family members. Give each team or individual a bag containing three unrelated items. For example: a toy boat, a whisk broom, and a picture of an animal; or a paintbrush, the word “sun­shine,” and a book.

The teams must use the pictures, objects, or words as the basis for making up a story about Noah and what they would do in the ark during all that rain. They may practice telling it before acting it out. Emphasize that they should mention each item at least twice during their storytelling.

The other teams then try to guess the three key words. The children might choose to show the contents of their bags before beginning, instead of making it a guessing game.

 

Noah’s Big Boat

Many, many years ago a man named Noah built a huge boat. Other people have built boats, but that one was very special. God told Noah to build that one. God even told him what size to make it, and what kind of wood to use.

Do you know why God wanted Noah to build that big boat? God knew Noah would need it when the Flood came. Do you know what a flood is? That is when all the ground is covered with water. God was going to send so much rain that the whole earth would be covered with water. He was going to do that because all the people in the world were being very bad – all the people except Noah and his family. Noah loved God. The other people didn’t love God.

No one had ever seen a flood before. They did not believe it would really happen. But Noah believed God. He and his family started right away to build the big boat.

When Noah’s boat was finished, God told him to take at least two of every kind of animal into the boat. I wonder what the people thought when they saw all the bears and lions and elephants and monkeys and other animals go into the boat.

When Noah and his family and the animals were all inside the boat, God shut the door. Then He sent rain. It rained and rained all day and all night for forty days and nights! It rained until all the bushes and trees and houses and mountains and people were covered with water.

Noah and all that were in the boat with him were dry. Noah trusted God and knew He would keep them safe.

Finally the rain stopped, but for a long time the water stayed on the earth. Perhaps Noah looked out the window many times and wondered when they would be able to leave the boat. It was many more days before the land was dry again. When it was time for Noah and his family to leave the boat, they were so happy. Noah built an altar so they could pray and thank God for keeping them safe.

God was happy to hear Noah’s prayer. He promised that the whole world would never again be destroyed by a flood. He sent a special sign of His promise. It was a beautiful rainbow!

Now whenever we see a rainbow in the sky we can remember the story of Noah. Noah trusted God and we can trust God too. We know God always keeps His promises. He loves us.

Parent’s Corner

Our lesson on Noah’s Ark provides an opportunity for a fun game that can be played in pairs or teams, using family members. Give each team or individual a bag containing three unrelated items. For example: a toy boat, a whisk broom, and a picture of an animal; or a paintbrush, the word “sun­shine,” and a book.

The teams must use the pictures, objects, or words as the basis for making up a story about Noah and what they would do in the ark during all that rain. They may practice telling it before acting it out. Emphasize that they should mention each item at least twice during their storytelling.

The other teams then try to guess the three key words. The children might choose to show the contents of their bags before beginning, instead of making it a guessing game.