This week’s lesson is based on Acts 16: 16-35
- Woah! What a crazy story!
- What do you think prison was like for Paul and Silas? Was it a nice place to be? No! They were chained, there were many other prisoners, cells were probably not nice to be in.
- How do you think YOU would feel if you were locked in a cell with chains around your arms or legs so that you couldn’t leave? Scared, angry, confused.
- Sounds like a pretty lousy day for Paul and Silas, right?
- Have you ever had a really, really lousy day? What happened?
- Remember, Paul used to be a very different person before he met Jesus. In fact, he used to track down Christians and throw THEM in prison, and now he’s the one stuck in a jail cell! You’d expect Paul to be pretty grumpy about that, right? But what did Paul and Silas do while they were in prison? Praised God and sang songs.
- Wait, what?! They were stuck in some stinky jail cell, chained up, and they SANG praises?!
- Why do you think they did that? Possible answers: to focus on something else, they loved Jesus, there was nothing else to do. . .
- Paul and Silas could have let their grumpiness about their lousy day take over, but they didn’t. Because they loved Jesus and wanted to serve Him, even if that meant being thrown into jail.
- In fact, PRAISE is a way of telling God how much you love him, and how THANKFUL you are for who He is and what He’s done – even on the lousy days! Paul was able to praise God even from prison because Jesus had totally changed His life, and He knew that no matter what happened God was ALWAYS with him.
- What do YOU have to be thankful for? Family, friends, food, Jesus. . .
- What do you think would happen if you chose to be thankful (focus on the good things – like who God is and what he’s done for you) even on really hard days?
A Note to parents: Choosing to be thankful even in the hard times helps gives us a totally different perspective. It changes our internal thoughts, our external behavior, and the way we respond to those around us. In fact, like the jailer in today’s story who came to know Jesus because of how Paul and Silas acted – when we choose thankfulness: focusing on who God is and what he’s done for us – it not only changes OUR perspective, but can change the perspectives of those around us, too. For many of us, this has been an incredibly challenging year. We feel it, our kids feel it, our neighbors and our friends feel it. As you talk with your family this week, think about these questions: Where can you choose to see God’s goodness? How can you cultivate an atmosphere of praise and thanksgiving in your home? How would it change your perspective?
What you need:
- Child safe paint (finger paint or tempera paint would work) (Brown plus other colors of your choice)
- A sharpie
- A piece of white paper.
What you do:
- Paint your child’s palm and thumb with brown paint (for the turkey’s body). Then paint the bottom of each finger with a different color of paint (to make the feathers).
- Place their hand on the paper and gently press down, leaving a turkey print. Set aside to dry fully. (you could paint the face and legs now or draw them with a marker later)
- Once the Turkey print is dry, have your child think of four things they are thankful for and write them on the tail feathers in black sharpie!
EGC Kids Tip: You could do this activity by tracing your child’s hand on construction paper and cutting out colored feathers instead of using paint.
- Go around the room and have each person your family share something they are thankful for.
- Then, take some time to thank God together for the things you have on your list!
Parents/Guardians, close out your lesson time by speaking this blessing over your child(ren):