Equip (for parents) date
IT HAD ALSO BEEN AN OPPORTUNITY FOR HIM TO LEARN TO TAKE HIS PAIN AND DISAPPOINTMENT TO GOD. Inspire (for parents) My son lost his cell phone. He’s 10. I know. Some may feel that’s too young to have a cell phone. Believe me, I actually felt the same way. But his cell phone is really for my wife and me. As my son is gaining his independence by walking home from school and to friends’ houses, the phone ensures he can contact us in an emergency. The day he got his phone, he was so excited that opening and closing it became a minute-by-minute routine. He started to conveniently pull it out of his pocket when people were around so they would see how cool it was that he had a cell phone. At least that’s what he thought. Not long after receiving his phone, he lost it. He was really upset, to say the least. Several months passed, still no phone. Suddenly one summer evening, as we prepared to go out, he pushed himself up and off of the couch and, amazingly, there in his hands was his cell phone! “WHAT! Where did that come from?” he chuckled with excitement.
After the miraculous reappearance of the missing phone, I learned the rest of the story. Losing his phone had been a “major” event for my son. It had also been an opportunity for him to learn to take his pain and disappointment to God. At church he had helped create a prayer box. When he lost his phone, he wrote to God about it on a piece of paper and dropped it into the box. In faith, he went to God—by himself, without crying, complaining, or whining about it. So when he found the phone, he knew God had answered his prayer. In a time of disappointment, he reached out for God and God rewarded his faith. by Jonas Barber
g Star(Stimeeodn and Anna) Gettin Luke 2:21–40
Scripture: of His People Honors the Faith Main Point: God your family to designed to allow is ce ur so re is Th your children d’s Word before have time in Go n is for parents Because God’s pla attend church. ildren’s faith, rturers of their ch nu l ua irit sp e th to be lly, your children you grow spiritua as at th ow kn we lly as well. will grow spiritua
Simeon and Anna had unwavering faith that they would one day meet the promised Redeemer. They met God’s Son when Mary and Joseph brought Jesus to the temple in accordance with Mosaic law, which directs Jewish parents to circumcise their sons— performed in the temple on the eighth day after a boy’s birth. Because Jesus was the firstborn son, His parents also brought Him back 40 days later with an offering, according to Leviticus 12. Economic class determined the type of sacrifice—a young lamb for a wealthy couple, a pair of doves for a couple of lesser means. Mary and Joseph offered a pair of doves. This ceremony also included the official naming of the child. In Judaism, naming a child was significant because names offered prophetic insight into a child’s purpose. The angel Gabriel commanded Mary and Joseph to name their child Jesus, meaning “God saves.” Jesus’ name reflected His destiny—He would be the world’s Savior. When Simeon saw Jesus in the temple, God gave him the foreknowledge that Jesus would be the One to save people from their sins. God also gave Simeon the foreknowledge that the choice to have faith in Jesus would drive many people out of their comfort zones. Simeon knew that, through Jesus, God was ushering in a new era in which He would not only reward the faith of His people over and above their adherence to Mosaic law, but He would also bring salvation to the Gentile nations as well.
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Support (for parents & kids) JUST FOR FUN, watch for opportunities this week to begin conversations with your kids about what faith looks like. Point out situations that require faith; try and use examples that you may take for granted like sitting in a chair or turning on a light switch. Lead the discussion into spiritual faith. This kind of faith requires us to believe in something or someone we cannot see. This is a great place to bring up people you know or people in the Bible who show us what spiritual faith looks like. Afteward, read together about Simeon and Anna and the faith they had in Luke 2:21–40. Before reading, pray together that the Holy Spirit will open their eyes to the faith found in Simeon and Anna. After reading this part of The Big God Story, see if your children can identify what Simeon and Anna had faith in. Ask them what that faith must have looked like to God’s people at that time. Talk about how your faith in Jesus might look to your friends and neighbors. When you are finished reading the passage and talking with your children, share with them that what they just heard is a part of The Big God Story in the Bible and that they will hear it in church this week. Close your time by praying and thanking God that He rewards us for our faith in Him.
© 2011 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.