Archive - April, 2014

Free Lesson: Helping Children Understand the Cross

Children Desiring God Blog // Helping Children Understand the Cross: Free Lesson

The gospel narratives give us a vivid picture of the events of Jesus’ final days and hours. As teachers and parents it is important that we help our children “walk” through these. All the events of Jesus’ life and ministry led to this moment in history: The perfect Son of God giving up His life on the cross. But it is also crucial that we give our children a vivid picture of what was “unseen” or more hidden in the narratives of the crucifixion. Unseen by any human eye, when Jesus died on the cross something truly amazing happened …

[Jesus Christ]…  whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. (Romans 3:25 ESV)

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
(2 Corinthians 5:21 ESV)

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. (1 Peter 2:24 ESV)

Here is a free lesson for our newly revised curriculum Jesus, What a Savior that is designed to help children better see and understand the significance of Jesus’ death on the cross. Although it was written for 5-6 year old children, the illustrations and explanations can be easily adapted for older children.

 

Creative Holy Week Activity: The Resurrection Tree

Children Desiring God Blog //  Holy Week Activity: The Resurrection Tree

Holy Week will soon be upon us and it’s not too late to start a new tradition. Here is a wonderful idea from Noël Piper that is simple, creative and meaningful. You can easily include the whole family in this activity.

The Resurrection Tree is a bare branch, broken from a bush in the back yard, just as the Jesus Tree was. On its twigs we hang symbols that remind us of the Crucifixion and Resurrection and things that point us toward the names and facets of Jesus that are related especially to his sacrifice for our redemption…. Perhaps those discoveries will occur as we consider the state of our relationship with Jesus and our understanding of the salvation he offers us. Reading the gospel accounts of his last days (Matthew 21—28;
Mark 11—16; Luke 19—24; John 11—21) will be essential for this consideration. Like the symbols on Advent’s Jesus Tree, most of these objects won’t be ornaments but small toys and household items that we “re-create.”

She also provides a list of possible symbols to include on the tree:

      • Donkey
      • Palm branches or ferns as miniature
      • Palms
      • Grapes and wheat or loaf and cup
      • Towel and bowl of water
      • Coins or money bag
      • Torches or lanterns
      • Chalice
      • Rooster
      • Pitcher and bowl (Pilate washing hands of responsibility)
      • Crown of thorns
      • Hammer and nails
      • Cross
      • Spear
      • Colors (perhaps using cloth swatches or beads)
        • Purple (passion and mourning, as well as the robe placed on Jesus in mockery
        • Red (suffering, Christ’s blood)
        • White (Christ’s purity and innocence)
        • Black (the heaviness of sin and grief)
        • Gold (paradise, promised to the thief next to Jesus and to everyone who trusts him)

 

(Treasuring God in Our Traditions, copyright © 2003, page 95.)

Start with the Facts and Move toward Response

In this short video, Sally Michael walks us through the importance of the five levels of learning. This is a great resource for every parent and teacher.

A Vision for Encouraging Faith in the Next Generation from Children Desiring God on Vimeo.

When the Spring Storms Blow

Children Desiring God Blog // When the Spring Storms Blow

Spring is for warmer days, longer light, budding trees, and…storms! As a young child, I remember being terrified of storms. The winds, lightning, thunder, and hail made me a nervous wreck. The sound of a severe storm warning siren would send me running to the basement where I would huddle in a corner. Thankfully, a storm no longer strikes the same kind of terror in me because…

For I know that the LORD is great, and that our Lord is above all gods. Whatever the LORD pleases, he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps. He it is who makes the clouds rise at the end of the earth, who makes lightnings for the rain and brings forth the wind from his storehouses. (Psalm 135:5-7)

As a child, I wish I had had these truths spoken into my life. A foundation of God’s providence over nature serves as a sure stronghold for enduring the storms that come our way. To that end, here is a short story from Noel Piper that you could share and talk about with your children and students:

Hiding from God’s Storm (more…)

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