PRESCHOOL & KINDERGARTEN KIDS & FAMILIES date
She didn’t understand strokes or death. But she did understand the heart of Jesus. Inspire (for parents) We were gathered for a Bible study at some friends’ home when my dad got the call that his father had passed away. My grandpa had suffered a stroke several days before, and we all knew his remaining breaths were numbered. Dad stepped outside to take the call, and when he reentered the house a few minutes later, his eyes were red with tears that hadn’t yet fallen.
or death. But she did understand the heart of Jesus. So when her grandpa came back into the house, she walked over to him with her arms stretched out. He bent down and picked her up as she wrapped her chubby tan arms tightly around his neck and held on, his silent tears wetting her untamed curls.
Precious Jesus, forgive my own heart. I want a heart like a child again, because I know that is I knew I should say something, do something, what You love. feel something. After all, my dad had just lost his father. But I couldn’t shake the seeds of by Sharron Jackson apathy that for years I’d allowed to take root in my heart. My grandpa was a religious man and could probably have quoted more of the King James Bible than anyone I knew. But he was human, and in his humanness, he’d made mistakes, mistakes that 3–15 atthew 19:1 Scripture: M hurt people I love. So in this med) co el (Children W moment when my daddy needed e M s sus Love someone to hug him, to hold him Main Point: Je ur family to ed to allow yo gn si de is ce and give him permission to cry, I ur This reso your children ’s Word before od G in e just stood by and stared. tim have plan is for Because God’s . ch ur ch nd atte al nurturers of My daughter Jalynn, not yet two primary spiritu rents to be the pa that as you grow years old, was with us that evening. l. faith, we know iritually as wel their children’s ow ren will gr sp She didn’t understand strokes ild ch ur yo ly, al spiritu
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Equip (for parents) Equip is additional background information that will help as you introduce this passage of Scripture to your children this week. Jesus loves the little children despite the fact that vulnerability and dependency were not admirable qualities in Israel during the first century. Children were placed at one of the lowest rungs of society. In Matthew chapter 18, Jesus begins teaching about the kingdom of heaven. He praises children for their utmost humility, using them as the ideal example of the citizens of His kingdom. One day in the midst of Jesus’ earthly ministry, some people brought their children before Jesus to receive a blessing (Matthew 19). Despite their position in society, blessing children was highly valued. To the Israelites, blessings weren’t merely prayers. They were highly spiritual moments where an elder, father, or spiritual leader would lay hands on and speak prophetic words of truth over the life of an individual. Receiving a blessing was often one of the most sought-after and memorable moments of a child’s life. The laying on of hands was a significant part of the blessing, conferring authority or divine blessing. Hands are often seen in Scripture as metaphors for power or authority. Throughout the New Testament we see the apostles laying hands on people as a part of prayer and commissioning. In Matthew 19 we see this again. Before Jesus left the children and their parents, He placed His hands on their heads and blessed them. Jesus loves the heart of a child. Their dependent nature is a good and beneficial quality, showing how we are to interact with God: as a Father. We’re unable to successfully navigate life apart from Him, and He calls us to be childlike in our faith.
Love one another. You must love one another, just as I have loved you. John 13:34 (NIrV)
Support (for parents & kids) One night this week after dinner, gather your family together and read Matthew 18:1–5 and 19:13–15. Ask your children why they think Jesus would tell people that they needed to be like little children. Then ask them why they think the disciples didn’t want the children to bother Jesus. Discuss together how Jesus responded. Tell them that you’re going to lay hands on them and bless them just like Jesus did to the little children that day. Lay hands on your children and pray this blessing from Numbers 6:24–26 (NLT): May the Lord bless you and protect you. May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace. Remind your children that what they just heard was from The Big God Story, and they’ll learn more in church this week about how much Jesus loves them.
© 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.