ELEMENTARY KIDS & FAMILIES date
WE HAVE A WONDERFUL OPPORTUNITY TO BE LIVING TESTAMENTS OF THE TRUTH WE HAVE COME TO KNOW. Inspire (for parents) As parents, the greatest thing we can pass on to our children is our faith. But I wonder if we sometimes miss opportunities to introduce them to God. I saw this firsthand during a recent conversation with a close friend. I noticed something was bothering Nancy, so I gently inquired. It wasn’t long before she opened up about a conversation with her fiveyear-old son. “Chris came home from school and told me Jesus is fake,” Nancy said, exasperated. “I didn’t know what to say. There are many people who don’t believe Jesus is God’s Son or the only way to salvation. I think my son will need to figure that out on his own.” I felt compelled to ask Nancy what she believed. “I believe what Jesus told us,” she said earnestly. “I believe He is the Son of God and His death on the cross saved me from my sin.” I paused and drew on God’s Spirit to boldy speak His truth. “Nancy, wouldn’t you want to raise your children in that truth?” I asked. “Our kids are at
an impressionable age, and they’ll be exposed to many false teachings. I believe we need to ground our kids in the truth while they’re young.” Nancy took another sip of coffee and changed the subject. It was not the perfect outcome, but our conversation reminded me that we, as parents, are God’s ambassadors to our children. We have a wonderful opportunity to be living testaments of the truth we have come to know. Jesus’ words are clear: “I am the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6). It is in His great love, and with His tender grace, that we share this saving truth with others.
by Sue Funkhouser
Scripture: Joh (Jesus Rises) h, and the Life the Way, the Trut Is us es J t: in Po Main mily to have d to allow your fa ne sig de is ce ur This reso children attend d before your or W e d’s Go in time r parents to be th e God’s plan is fo we , ith fa n’s church. Becaus re child nurturers of their ll primary spiritual , your children wi lly ua irit sp ow gr u yo as at th know well. grow spiritually as
Equip (for parents) Equip is additional background information that will help you introduce this Scripture passage to your children this week. The Old Testament records hundreds of prophecies about the coming Messiah being the way, the truth, and the life. Many striking examples of these prophecies are found in the book of Isaiah, particularly in the four “servant songs,” which the prophet wrote 700 years before the birth of Jesus. In Isaiah 53, the prophet describes a Savior who would take upon “the iniquity of us all,” would be “a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering,” and someone with “no beauty or majesty to attract us to him.” Also prophesied in these servant songs, none of Jesus’ disciples or followers would defend Him in His trial, saying, “By oppression and judgment he was taken away. Yet who of his generation protested?” (v. 8 TNIV). Isaiah even prophesied specifics about Jesus’ death. He used terms like “pierced” and “crushed,” and described the Messiah as “disfigured beyond that of any man ... marred beyond human likeness” (52:14). Considering the beatings and torture Christ was subjected to, we can easily assume He was disfigured beyond recognition. Jesus’ death fulfilled many more of these specific prophecies, including prophecies that foretold the glorious purpose in it. Isaiah prophesied that, on the cross, Jesus would “[bear] the sin of many.” Then, after He he had suffered, God would “see the light of life and be satisfied ... [and] justify many” (v. 11). Isaiah also prophesied Jesus would prove through His death and resurrection that He is the Source of life, the way to the Father, and the truth of God’s love.
EMB “How ER V ERS E the awes L o o m rd M e is the g all t reat K ost Hi g he e i arth ng over h, !” Psa lm 47:2
(for parents & kids) Read John 18:16—20:8. Then, JUST FOR FUN, create a storytelling atmosphere by gathering in a circle and using a special chair or reading lamp. Share with your children that what they’re about to hear is true. In fact, it’s the foundation of our entire faith. You may also wish to mention that there are some sad parts in these passages. But this part of The Big God Story gives us hope and joy in our relationship with God both now and forever. After reading this passage, ask your children what stood out to them. Have them share how they felt when they heard about what happened to Jesus. Then ask them how they felt when they realized Jesus had risen from the dead. Discuss what it means when we say Jesus is “the way, the truth, and the life”—knowing that Jesus provided the way to be in relationship with God, that we can believe it’s true, and that He gives us a new life now and forever! Remind your children that what they just heard is a part of The Big God Story, and they will hear more about Jesus dying and rising from the dead in church this week.
© 2012 David C. Cook. TruResources are developed in partnership with ROCKHARBOR Church and a national network of family and children’s ministry leaders. All rights reserved.