ELEMENTARY KIDS & FAMILIES date
GOD’S SPIRIT BRINGS US TOGETHER AND HEALS THESE GAPS. Inspire (for parents) As I write this, delicate little fingernails wait for me to paint them a glittery bright pink. My petite fashionistas know that they’ll have my full attention and that our time will be a chance to chatter, giggle, and be girly. We even have a bottle of blue glitter for my son. What can I say? The energy is contagious and the sparkles so alluring!
see them differently. In the brief amount of time it takes to quietly tune in to the Holy Spirit inside of me, I get a picture of how my kids experience life and who they really are. I love them afresh—a marvelous gift after I’ve hit the 6 p.m. “Mama Wall.” With God’s Spirit, I become wrapped in gratitude for this moment, that right now I am their mother and these impressionable little souls are in my keeping. Even as we line up rainbow-colored rows of enamel possibilities on the kitchen table, if we take a moment to welcome God here, this can become a sacred space—to teach, to nurture, and to enjoy how God’s Spirit brings us together!
With four kids, these moments are more rare than any of us would like. I feel like I’m often the proverbial politician, giving diplomatic, noncommittal responses to their appeals to play. “Not now” and “Maybe later” are commonplace. The pause that follows my dodging response is a hollow void that we all feel: disappointment for them, guilt for by Missy Wetzel me. But you know what’s so amazing? God’s Spirit brings us together and heals these gaps. 8:1–8, 26–40 Scripture: Acts The truth is I could (Philip in Samaria) Together spend copious amounts ’s Spirit Brings Us Main Point: God family to have of time with my kids doing ned to allow your sig de is urch. ce ur so This re ildren attend ch the things they love but d before your ch or W imary d’s pr e Go th in e tim to be still feel disconnected from n is for parents that ow kn we cause God’s pla , Be ith children’s fa them. But when we pause eir th of rs lly re ua rtu irit nu spiritual will grow sp lly, your children and invite God’s Holy Spirit ua irit sp ow gr u as yo into our activity, I begin to as well.
Equip (for parents) Equip is additional background information that will help you introduce this Scripture passage to your children this week. In Acts 8 we read how God brought an Ethiopian eunuch into the faith community through the evangelism of Philip. This act of salvation was a radical step forward in the early church’s mission to the Gentiles. This man was not only a Gentile from a distant land but also a eunuch—a man who, because of his physical condition, was considered by the Jews to live in a constant state of ritual impurity (Leviticus 21:20; 22:24). Even so, after his long journey to Jerusalem, the eunuch would have only been permitted to come as far as the Court of the Gentiles in the temple. This man could have taken part in temple services and experienced Jewish worship from the fringes, but he would have been unable to be included into this family— not only because of his status as a Gentile, but also because of his physical condition. Though the Law had forbidden eunuchs to be a part of the Jewish faith community, a prophecy in Isaiah held hope: “To the eunuchs who keep my Sabbaths, who choose what pleases me … to them I will give within my temple … a name better than sons and daughters” (Isaiah 56:4–5). Through this prophecy, God spoke of a time when Jesus would fulfill the Law and give everyone the opportunity to be a part of His family. For this Ethiopian man, who had traveled such a great distance to worship the God of Israel, the salvation and inclusion into God’s family that he received on a desert road must have been amazing. Truly, God’s Spirit brought this man great joy by adopting him into the family of God.
EME “Let MB rule the pe ER VERS E as m in your ace of C you embe hearts hrist rs o wer , sin f And e called one bo ce be to p dy eace Colo than k ssia . ns 3 ful.” :15
Support (for parents & kids) This week, JUST FOR FUN, bring everyone together after dinner and read Acts 8:26–40. Verse 29 tells us “the Spirit told Philip.” Ask your children if they’ve ever felt led or nudged by the Holy Spirit. Then share a time in your life when you felt God’s Holy Spirit leading you. Explain to your children that they can ask God for the leading of the Holy Spirit in their lives. Make sure to remind them that our part is to listen so we can obey, just like Philip obeyed the Holy Spirit when He told Philip to stand by the chariot. Then ask, “Do you think God wants us to hear His voice? Why? Can we only hear God at church?” Share with your children that the Holy Spirit speaks to us in the natural moments of our everyday lives. His Spirit is that still, small voice inside us. Remind your children that what they just heard is a part of The Big God Story, and this week at church they’ll hear more about how God’s Spirit brings us together.
© 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.