PRESCHOOL & KINDERGARTEN KIDS & FAMILIES date
Even though we are born into earthly families, our identity as followers of Christ makes us part of a heavenly family. Inspire (for parents) I am fortunate to know many families who have made the courageous and compassionate decision to adopt children. One family in our neighborhood adopted three infants from three different families. What made this process so endearing was the way the family’s 10-year-old daughter immediately referred to her newly welcomed siblings as sisters. “Don’t you think that Cristina looks like me?” she would ask everyone.
I am always reminded when I think of adoption that we have been saved into God’s extravagant family. We have been plucked out of an obscure future that was once without hope and given not only a Father, but also brothers and sisters! Even though we are born into earthly families, our identity as followers of Christ makes us part of a heavenly family. In this new family, we exhibit identifiable traits where we begin to resemble one another in the image of God. As we grow in God’s family, we see that this is just one of the mysterious ways that God saves us.
My children were always so excited to see these four new sisters. In fact, whenever they saw the girls outside, they would immediately by Amy Palmerton drop everything and run outside to play with them. At their young ages, they could not fully comprehend a process that would allow an only child and three children with no parents to ther) become a full family. My children her (Queen Es Scripture: Est is Big Plans could not fully understand the oses Us for H ho C od G t: in to Main Po low your family reality that these three babies were designed to al n is re ce ild ur ch so re This fore your once abandoned and left without s God’s Word be nt in re e pa r tim fo is ve ha God’s plan resources. Nevertheless, what they se au ec B , . ith ch fa children’s attend chur could understand was that this family rturers of their nu al n tu re iri ild sp ch e to be th iritually, your lived in the same house, walked to as you grow sp we know that l. ally as wel school together, and had the same will grow spiritu parents. They had a newly created identity called family.
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Equip (for parents) In The Big God Story, we see a theme repeated: God has been saving His people throughout history. In the book of Esther, there are many exciting details that make it a triumphant story. None is as amazing as the way God wove every event together to bring about His plan—His desired outcome. After a falling-out between King Xerxes and Queen Vashti, the king commanded a search be made among all the young virgins (women of marrying age) in every region of his empire for the woman who would take Vashti’s place as queen. A young Jewish woman from Susa named Esther won the favor of the king and was crowned queen in place of Vashti. Esther continued to gain favor not only with the king, but with everyone she met. Through a series of events, Haman, one of the king’s officials, devised a plan to wipe out all the Jewish people. Mordecai, Esther’s cousin (and the man who had raised her), implored her to act on behalf of her people and beg the king for mercy. Esther’s first response was one of fear and apprehension. Mordecai responded with a reminder for Esther of who she was. “Do not think that because you are in the king’s house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father’s family will perish. And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?” (Esther 4:13–14). Esther realized what needed to be done and went before the king. God went before Esther and the king gave her everything she asked. The Jewish people were saved and God preserved The Promise within the line of Judah.
God chose us to belong to Christ [Jesus] before the world was created. Ephesians 1:4 (NIrV)
Support (for parents & kids) This week, JUST FOR FUN, during mealtime read to your children the biblical account of God saving His people in Esther 8:3–6 and 16–17. Explain to them that the Jewish people feasted and celebrated when they were saved. Encourage them to act out the celebrating and joyous shouts the Jewish people must have made as they feasted. After you’ve finished reading, think of questions that reflect on the passage, such as, “What did Esther ask the king to do?” or “How did the Jewish people feel when God saved them?” Tell your children that what they just heard is true and part of The Big God Story in the Bible. They’ll hear more at church this week about how God is a God who saves and protects His people. Come together as a family to pray and thank God for the way He chooses us to complete His plans, loving and caring for us every day.
© 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.