(We’ll get back to that…)
Not too long ago, Afton ran into the kitchen and held up her brother’s little white dedication Bible and announced, “Look, Mommy! I found my ‘Jesus Loves Me’ book!!!”
I thought that was one of the most precious things I had ever heard. When my three year old thinks about what the ‘take home point’ of the Bible is, that’s what she remembers. I dig it.
The next couple of days on the calendar will be dedicated to learning about what the Bible says about the man that Jesus turned out to be. I chose some of my favorite passages that focus on characteristics that children would relate to, such as his kindness to children and to people who were difficult to love.
Talk with your child about the character traits that Jesus models for us in these passages. How do they think Jesus would treat them if they were to meet? How do they believe Jesus would want them to treat others? Why?
Read stories from your children’s picture Bible depicting the Life of Jesus. These are some suggestions, but any would work. Teach your children these songs about His character and ask them how they think that Jesus was the same as and different from what many Jewish people had been expecting in a Messiah. Encourage them to think about how they might have felt meeting Jesus. What do they think he is like?
Sermon on the Mount – Luke 6: 17-23
Man’s friends lower him through roof – Luke 5:17 – 26
Jesus and the Children – Mark 10:13-16
Zacchaeus – Luke 19:1-10
ZACCHAEUS WAS A WEE LITTLE MAN
Zacchaeus was a wee little man, (hold hand down low to ground)
and a wee little man was he.
He climbed up in a sycamore tree, (pretend to climb a tree)
for the Lord he wanted to see. (place hand above eyes as if looking for something)
And as the Savior passed him by,
He looked up in the tree, (place hand above eyes and look up)
And he said, Zacchaeus,
you come down from there; (beckon with hand motion)
For I’m going to your house today,
for I’m going to your house today
Jesus Loves The Little Children
Jesus loves the little children,
All the children of the world;
Red and yellow, black and white,
All are precious in His sight,
Jesus loves the little children of the world.
Crucifixion and Resurection
For day 21, your child may not be ready to talk about big ideas like redemption and atonement for sin through the crucifixion, and might do well starting with a discussion of His miracles instead. You can ask them what good He was doing calming storms and walking on water. Is it possible that He came to save the people by mending their broken relationship with God? How could He help the Israelites if He wasn’t going to lead a revolt against the Romans? How can we better understand God today through the miracles that Jesus performed while on earth?
Jesus calms the storm – Matthew 8:32-27
Jesus feeds the multitude – John 6:1-15
Jesus walks on water – Matthew 14: 22-33
For an older preschool crowd talk about what Jesus was really like and how he fought a battle for us against evil, but not in the ways that many of the people expected Him to. Narnia is great for this, but you will have to decide how ready your child is for dealing with atonement, and the crucifixion. I personally avoided it as long as possible, but my son showed interest around age 4 and I thought Narnia was a help.
Either way, sing and play to this song, reminding your child that Jesus loves us and that is a good reason to be very happy!
IF YOU’RE HAPPY
If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands,
if you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands,
if you’re happy and you know it,
Then your life will surely show it,
if you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands!
If you’re happy and you know it, stomp your feet…
If you’re happy and you know it, shake your head…
If you’re happy and you know it, turn around…
If you’re happy and you know it, touch your toes…
How do you approach the Crucifixion with your child? I thought the Resurrection would be a tough one to explain, but with all of the zombie talk these days, that was a pretty easy one. If your kid is into zombies (I’m hoping we skip that stage), check out this verse describing the events surrounding Jesus’ death. Have fun explaining that one. 😉