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Equip (for parents) date

4.13

FESTIVAL OF JUBILEE: REMEMBERING AND CELEBRATING GOD’S FREEDOM.

Inspire (for parents) While teaching a recent Sunday school The good news is that we serve a gracious lesson, I asked the kids to share some of the God who offers us freedom. He calls us to stop ways their parents served in the church. looking around at others and invites us instead I wasn’t expecting the hands to to look to Him as Father, provider, and shoot up like they did. As I King. He brings us into His big story, s g n went around the room, where it’s not about who we are ri b He allowing each child to and what we can do, but it’s us into His big chime in, things quickly about who He is and what ot story, where it’s n turned into a brag-fest, He is doing. d an e ar e w with every child trying o h about w I want to instill this truth t to make his parents u b o, d n ca e in my daughter as she w what sound the holiest (sort is e grows up. I want her to H it’s about who of a Christian version experience the freedom that of “My dad can beat up and what He is comes from understanding your dad”). One of the kids, doing. that her identity is in God alone, eager to pad his parents’ list, and everything she has comes asked, “Does the PTA count?” from Him and belongs to Him. I was reminded that morning of how even Regardless of what kind of a father I am, from a very young age it’s tempting for us to my daughter truly has a Father whom she can compete and compare. It’s in our nature to boast about. want to be better than those around us. Even by Jason Newell in my own life I’ve struggled to avoid the trap of comparing myself to others. I’ve found that dwelling on how I measure up against those around me (be it financially, physically, spiritually, or professionally) is an easy way to end up shackled by pride and envy.

This resource is designed to allow your family to have time in God’s Word before your children attend church. Because God’s plan is for parents to be the primary spiritual nurturers of their children’s faith, we know that as you grow spiritually, your children will grow spiritually as well.

Parents, every 6th and 13th lesson, we pause to remember and celebrate, just as God instructed His people to do. This upcoming week we will be highlighting the Festival of Jubilee. FESTIVAL OF JUBILEE This week, we’re highlighting the festival of Jubilee. The Year of Jubilee occurred every 50 years after seven Sabbatical years. It was a consecrated year set aside to proclaim liberty and restoration for all of the inhabitants of the land. Debts were forgiven, and those who had sold themselves to settle a debt were set free. God reminds His people that He is their provider and He, in fact, holds the deeds to all of their possessions. Therefore, He commands His people to provide for the redemption of land and housing lost because of poverty or other circumstances such as these.

During the feasts, the Israelites ate, danced, sang, played instruments, prayed, and offered sacrifices to God. NEW TESTAMENT SIGNIFICANCE The Feast of Passover was fulfilled by the death of the Messiah, the Feast of Unleavened Bread was fulfilled by His sinless sacrifice, and the Festival of First Fruits was fulfilled by His resurrection. The Feast of Harvest began with a great harvest of three thousand souls by the coming of the promised Holy Spirit, who continues to harvest souls today. The Feast of Trumpets will announce Christ’s return, the Day of Atonement will usher in His judgment of the nations, and, finally, the Feast of Tabernacles begins the journey to our new home in a new heaven and new earth.

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OLD TESTAMENT SIGNIFICANCE

(for parents & kids)

Several times a year, the Israelites gathered for a feast or festival. In Leviticus 23, “the Lord said to Moses, ‘Speak to the Israelites and say to them: “These are my appointed feasts … which you are to proclaim as sacred assemblies.”’” These seven feasts and festivals are Passover, Feast of Unleavened Bread, Festival of First Fruits, Feast of Harvest, Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, and the Feast of Tabernacles (or Booths). In addition, the Israelites would gather weekly to celebrate the Sabbath. These were times to remember what God had done for His people and to celebrate His goodness. They were times for the entire faith community to gather without the burden of work to simply worship and celebrate.

JUST FOR FUN, surprise your children this week with a celebration. Create this occasion with balloons, streamers, festive music, and a yummy treat to eat together. When your children question why your family is celebrating, explain it’s because God is so good. He loves us, sent His Son to pay the debt for our sin, and frees us from the punishment we deserve. He provides for us and cares for us as a Father. This good news gives us a reason to rejoice!

THESE WERE TIMES TO REMEMBER WHAT GOD HAD DONE FOR HIS PEOPLE AND TO CELEBRATE HIS GOODNESS.

Explain to your children that God’s people rejoiced in this truth with an entire year of remembering and celebrating called the Year of Jubilee. Then together read Psalm 96. Encourage older kids to share in reading this psalm of rejoicing. Take some time to discuss all the ways God provides for your family. Remind your children that the Year of Jubilee is a part of The Big God Story in the Bible, and this week in church they will remember and celebrate God’s freedom.

© 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.

Grades 1-5 January 6, 2013  

This preteaching tool for parents encourages families to spend time in God’s Word together before children arrive at church.