Genesis 15:1-12, 17-18
Look at what God said to Abram. Imagine him a father, sharing this story with the child God gave him.
Imagine carrying a promise of God without heirs to share that promise with. Imagine looking up at the stars on a clear night. Imagine God saying those words to you after years of trying and failing to have children. Not sure this is the time for a star activity unless it involves standing outside after dark marveling at a star-filled sky. I think the science of stars for children would be distracting. They didn't have that when God spoke it. For grown-ups it might add depth.
Note what this passage says about faith.
Yes, God made a promise and God kept His promise but note God's reference to Ur. Notice how God is so much a part of Abram's story - his life story- and all the personal stories he will share with his children.
• Psalm 27
Remember David who killed Goliath? Can you imagine David being afraid? David wrote this to God.
There's lots of imagery for different aged kids in this Psalm. Light. Hiding places. Safe places. God's house. Songs to sing when we're afraid. Trust. Feelings. Enemies. Lies.
When do you feel the way David feels? What does your heart say to you? When your heart is afraid, what can you say to your heart?
• Philippians 3:17-4:1
Paul called the people he was talking to, "Brothers & sisters." Children have brothers & sisters. He called them to follow his example. He tells them to pay close attention to those who live "according the the pattern we gave you". That is one of the roles teachers & grown-ups in general play in the lives of children.
We get frustrated when we have to tell children something over and over...So does God, so did Jesus, so did Paul except that we are those children.
We learn that young children are sensitive to the emotional environment we create. This hard-nosed apostle Paul is talking about people who live like enemies of the cross of Jesus. They worship whatever their stomach tells them. They brag about what should make them ashamed. He tells us they're going to die, with tears in his eyes addressing people who are like family to him.
What images does it conjure in your mind to be a citizen of heaven? How about in older kids?
We "can hardly wait" for someone to come from there - Jesus. That feeling is something kids know.
vs 21 "He has the power to bring everything under his control. By his power he will change our earthly bodies. They will become like his glorious body." "Power" "Everything"
"My brothers and sisters, that is how you should stand firm in the Lord's strength. [How?] I love you and long for you. Dear friends, you are my joy and my crown." You have more emotion. But how should I stand firm in the Lord's strength? Is it something I can translate for children? Does this involve skills that children can learn? When do children need to be able to stand firm in the Lord's strength? How will they do that?
• Luke 13:31-35 or Luke 9:28-43
In Luke we can pick between the story of the transfiguration & Jesus healing the boy with the evil spirit or Jesus being sad about Jerusalem. Each is a story.
As I recall, the transfiguration ties into the feast of booths in the OT. I once cleaned house for a rabbi & his wife. They built a "booth" from sticks in their backyard every fall for the Feast of Booths. I was in my 20's but having been a well-churched Protestant child who built forts in the woods, I was pretty fascinated. Let's put these three stories in the next post.