Sunday, March 28: Palm Sunday

Today’s lesson is based on: Matthew 21:1–11John 12:12–19

Let’s Start!   

Today we’re going to celebrate Palm Sunday by making our own Palm Branches!

Option 1: Print the file below, color it in green, and cut along the lines to make a palm branch. To make it stronger, tape or glue your palm branch onto a paint stick, straw, or a stick from outside.

Option 2: cut your own palm branches out of green construction paper or tape thin paper strips onto a stick!

Let’s Watch!

  • Do you know what next Sunday is? Easter!
  • Next week we’ll learn more about what Easter means, but today we’re going to take some time and talk about another important day – Palm Sunday!
  • Before Jesus’ died and rose again, He and his disciples went to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover. Passover was a special feast to celebrate how God set His people free from slavery in Egypt.
  • That day, Jesus made quite the entrance to Jerusalem. In fact, years before, the prophet Zechariah had talked about it (check it out in Zechariah 9:9). Let’s watch and see what happened!

Let’s Talk!

  • If you could ride into town on any sort of animal (real or imaginary), what would it be?
  • Why do you think Jesus rode into town on a donkey? A donkey was a symbol of humility and peace.
  • What did the people do when they saw Jesus? (check out Matthew 21:9) They waved their palm branches and shouted “Hosanna!”
  • Hosanna means “save us!” The people wanted Jesus, as their king, to defeat the Romans and set up his own kingdom – but Jesus’ kingdom looked different than the people expected. What is Jesus’ kingdom like? Jesus is the King of Kings! He is the King over all because he is God. He did come to rescue his people, but, instead of bringing huge armies and winning battles, he rescued them by defeating sin and death when he died on the cross and rose again.
  • What Kind of King is Jesus? Look up the following verses and talk about how they describe Jesus as King:
    • Psalm 24:8: He’s the King of glory, He’s strong, and He wins every battle
    • Isaiah 32:1: He’s righteous (makes the right decisions and pleases God)
    • Revelation 1:5: He’s a loving king who chose to die to free us from our sin.
  • When we know Jesus as our King, we can cry out to Him: “Hosanna! Save us!” We can ask him to forgive us for our sins and help us to live our lives for Him!

Let’s Do!  

  • Download and print the donkey poster and tails below, or draw your own donkey and use string or paper as it’s tail!
  • Have one person at a time wear a blindfold and spin around, then try to place the tail on the donkey. Whoever is closest wins!

Let’s Memorize!

Let’s Pray! 

Make sure you have your palm branches available for today’s prayer time!

  • How does it make you feel to know that Jesus is the king over everyone and everything?  
  • Have you ever had to surrender to Jesus as King by doing something you knew He wanted you to do even though it was hard? (to surrender means to give up what you want and do what He wants instead) What happened?
  • Let’s spend a few minutes asking Him if there is anything you need to give to Him today:
    • Maybe you need to ask Jesus to forgive you for not doing something he wants you to do (like being kind to your siblings or obeying your mom or dad).
    • Maybe you’ve been praying about something and it hasn’t happened – and you need to give that to Jesus and say: “I trust you.”
    • Or, maybe you just need to say to Him, Jesus: Thank you for being my king! You are strong and mighty and right, and I love you and trust you!
  • We can honor Jesus as King in our lives just like the people did on Palm Sunday by giving Him control of our lives and worshipping Him! As you pray, write down whatever you think of on your palm branches and then hold them out to Jesus.
  • If you’ve never asked Jesus to be King of your life, you can do that today! The Bible says that if we believe in our hearts that He is God and that He came and died and rose again to take away our sin, and we ask Him to be King in our lives, we get to be part of His kingdom! He’s not only the most powerful King ever, he’s also the BEST king ever. He loves you SO much, and He wants you to know Him.
  • If you do pray to ask Jesus to be king in your life, we’d love to celebrate with you! Send us an email to let our team know!

Let’s Bless!

Parents, end your prayer time by speaking the following blessing over your child(ren):

March 14, 2021: God is the One True God

Today’s lesson is based on Exodus 19-20

Let’s Start!  (Map it Out)

  • Grab a piece of paper and a pencil and draw your own imaginary country! (or print out the country outlines below). Think about what you would want your imaginary country to look like: would you divide it up into cities and towns or would it be all farmland? Would there be mountains or rivers or roads? What kinds of animals would live there?
  • When you’re done, compare maps with your family members! Do you have any boundaries on your map(s)? (hint: boundaries are things that divide your map into sections: perhaps a fence to keep in animals, a river that divides the land, the border of a town or a wall around a city, etc).
  • Boundaries are helpful because they help us to know where things belong or how things should work. For instance: when you go outside to play, you usually just play in your yard – you don’t run all over your neighbor’s yard or go in their house without asking! Your yard is your boundary.
  • God set some boundaries for His people in today’s lesson. Let’s find out how:

Let’s Watch!

Let’s Talk!

  • God led his people through the wilderness in a super cool way. Can you remember how? A cloud by day and a pillar of fire at night.
  • What are some ways that God provided for the people’s needs? He provided food and water.
  • What was the name of the mountain where God met with Moses? Mt. Sinai
  • What were the rules that God gave to Moses? The 10 Commandments
  • What do you think it means when the Bible says that the Israelites feared God? To fear God is to recognize how powerful he is and choose to honor him by living our lives for him.
  • The 10 commandments gave the Israelites some instructions for how to live their lives in a way that honored God. It’s kind of like when you play a game and the game has some rules for how to play. The rules aren’t there to be mean, they’re to help you play the game well. Without some rules, with everyone playing however they want, the game would be chaos!

10 Commandments Memory Challenge

  • Can you remember what the 10 commandments are? Grab a piece of paper and a pencil and write the numbers 1-10. Jot down as many as your family can think of (in any order) and then check your answers via Exodus 20 or the list below [worded to make it easier for younger kids to understand]. How many did you remember?
  • Take a closer look at the ten commandments. What do they tell you about what God is like? The rules God gave his people showed that he cared about them and how they lived their lives. They showed that he cared about other people because and wanted them to treat others with kindness. That he cared about their families. And that HE alone was to be their God.
  • As the people chose to follow God’s commands by trusting God and loving others, the world could see and know what He was like!

Let’s Do! 

For today’s activity, you’ll need a balloon or a beach ball.

  • Today, we’re going to play a game with only TWO rules.
    1. The balloon can’t touch the floor
    2. You cannot hold the balloon, you have to keep it moving!
  • Play some fun music, and see how long your family can keep the balloon up in the air! To make it more challenging you can add additional rules like each person can only hit it one time in a row, or that you have to use something other than your hand to touch the balloon.

Let’s Memorize!

Let’s Pray! 

  • Take some time today to look through the 10 commandments above. Are there any that stick out to you? Do any seem easy, or hard to obey?
  • Sometimes, it can be hard for us to follow the rules God has given us. Sometimes we feel jealous of what someone else has and we really want it for ourselves. Sometimes we don’t honor God as the most important in our lives and instead do what we want. Sometimes we lie about something because we don’t want someone to find out what we did. But God still loves us, and always forgives us when we come to Him.
  • None of us is going to perfectly do everything we should all of the time, and God knew that. That’s why Jesus came to be our rescuer. Jesus died to take the punishment for our sin and to set us free! He wants us to walk in freedom and in new life through Him!
  • Take some time to prayerfully look through the list. Ask God to show you if there are things you’ve done that don’t line up with how he wants you to live. And then pray about those things and ask Him to forgive you!

Note to Parents: A few months ago, I (Bethany) felt convicted that I had completely abandoned the idea of a Sabbath. Oh, I knew it was in the 10 Commandments, it just didn’t seem as important somehow. Especially in this season, with my husband and I trying to work from home and homeschool and handle all the complications that the past year has brought with it, even our weekends had become filled with catching up on work or things we needed to do. It was exhausting and overwhelming. As we prayed about it, we felt God ask us to honor the Sabbath. At first I thought it was crazy. “We have too much on our plates AND you want us to fit in a day off? What? That’s crazy!” But, we decided to honor God by creating a Sabbath for our family. We aren’t always perfect at it, but setting aside a day each week to rest has been HUGE for our family. Even our kids have noticed a change and look forward to our Sabbath day. Not only that, but even with a day of much-needed rest, we’re still getting what we need to done. It’s easy to see the guidelines that God has set as just a list of rules – but they’re so much more than that because He is so much more than that. He’s worthy of our worship and our obedience because He is a good God, who really does know what’s best for our lives. We can trust Him!

Let’s Bless!

Parents, end your prayer time by speaking the following blessing over your child(ren):

March 14, 2021: God is Provider

Today’s lesson is based on Exodus 15:22-17:7

Let’s Start!   

  • Do you know the difference between a want and a need? A need is something you can’t live without. A want is something you’d really, really like, but it isn’t a necessity.
  • Watch the video below with your family and decide whether each item is a WANT or a NEED. *Hint: you might not all agree on the answers and that’s ok!

Let’s Watch!

  • Sometimes, it’s hard to tell the difference between wants and needs. When you really, really want something, it starts to feel like a need! And sometimes what you want or need changes, or is different from someone else’s needs. For instance, a shiny red bike might be something you really want – if you need the bike to get to work so that you could make money to buy food for your family, well, then that want becomes a need!
  • Sometimes we don’t think we need something, but we do! (like when we want to stay up late and don’t think we need sleep!)
  • But, even if we can’t always perfectly tell what we need, there’s someone who ALWAYS can. Do you know who? God!
  • Let’s find out what happened to the Israelites after they were freed from Egypt, and how God met their needs!

Let’s Talk!

  • Why did God bring His people out of Egypt? (Ex. 5:1) He had heard their cries when they were in slavery, and he wanted them to be free to worship Him.
  • When they got to the Red Sea and it looked like there was nowhere to go, what did God do? Parted the waters of the sea and they walked through on dry land
  • Woah. You’d think the Israelites would have trusted God then, right? After all – He had done all kinds of crazy things in Egypt through plagues to prove His power, and then they were set free, and even the sea couldn’t stop them! But did they trust Him? No.
  • What did they complain about? (Ex. 15:24, 16:3) They were hungry and they didn’t have much food.
  • Is food and water a want or a need? A need
  • Did God know what they needed? Yes!
  • How did God give the people the food and water they needed? (Ex. 15:25, 16:3, 17: 5-6). He provided manna on the ground that they could make into bread, and meat, He even made fresh water flow from a rock.
  • God even provided a day of rest! Can you remember what that was called? (Ex. 16:23). A Sabbath.
  • Even though the people were wandering through a desert, God provided for all their needs. He led them with a cloud and a pillar of fire. He gave them water and food and rest. Have you ever seen God provide for you and your family? How?

Let’s Do!  

DID YOU KNOW: One time, the Israelites came upon a spring of water but the water tasted bitter. God told Moses to place his staff (like a walking stick) into the water and it became sweet and good to drink! Today we’re going to pretend to make some water sweet by playing a fun game (don’t drink it though!!)

What you need:

  • Plastic cups (or containers, totes or buckets)
  • Masking tape
  • Wooden craft sticks (or find some small sticks outside)

WHAT you do:

  • Set up two cups filled about halfway with water (if dividing your family into two teams) or use one cup per child.
  • Note: you could also use small bins or plastic containers, you just want something that won’t dump over easily.
  • Make a tape line a few feet away from the cups where you want child(ren) to stand. 
  • When you say “go” each team or child starts throwing craft sticks towards the containers. The first team or child to have all their sticks in their container wins!

Let’s Memorize!

Let’s Pray! 

** Before you start, make sure that each person has a blank piece of paper to write on. You’ll also need a special snack (maybe a bowl of popcorn or a plate of cookies)!

  • What happened when the Israelites tried to gather too much food and save some for the next day? It went bad / it was full of bugs.
  • Why do you think God didn’t want them to gather food for other days? He wanted them to trust Him. If they only gathered enough food for one day, it meant they trusted that God was going to provide for them the next day too!  
  • It was hard for the Israelites not to worry that there wouldn’t be enough food. After all, they were in a desert! They wondered if God really saw them and really cared about them. Sometimes, we worry about things too. We might worry if we’ll have enough food, or if someone will get sick, or if we’ll mess up in school and everyone will make fun of us.
  • On your strip of paper, write or draw something that you’re worried about. If you don’t want to write it, you could just think about it as you hold your paper. “What have you been worrying about? What’s been bothering you?” (parents, allow some time for them to think and write/draw!)
  • God sees you too, and He cares about your worries! Do you know what the best part is? He wants you to give them to Him! He wants you to trust him just like the Israelites did – because He loves you.
  • But, sometimes, instead of trusting God, we take our worries and we hold onto them tightly (have child(ren) tear their papers in half and then crumple them and hold each piece tightly – one in each hand). What happens to our worries when we hold them tightly? Do they disappear? No! Eventually, it’d hurt your hand to squeeze that paper so hard, right?
  • The Bible says that God is a good God and he wants to give good gifts to his children. So now, without letting go of your paper, I want you to try and hold this good gift. (have child try to take a snack from the bowl or eat a cookie with their papers still in their hands).
  • That’s hard to do with your worries crumpled up in your hands, right? God knows that too. So he wants us to give our worries to Him. He wants us to trust Him because He is our provider and He will take care of us too!
  • As a family, open up the papers and talk about the things you’ve been worrying about. Then, bring those worries to God together in prayer. When you are done, have each child take their crumpled papers and toss them into a garbage can.

Let’s Bless!

Parents, end your prayer time with the following blessing:

March 7, 2021: Remember and Celebrate

This week we’re reviewing what we’ve talked about for the past few weeks. If you missed any of those lessons, you can find them here: God is Redeemer, God is Worthy of Worship, God is the Lord (Part I) & (Part II), God Gives New Life.

Let’s Start

  • In Egypt, the Israelites had to work together to create bricks and build things for the Egyptians. Today, we’re going to work together to build some things too, but here’s the catch: you can only use your body – no other building materials!
  • Each time a letter, number, or shape pops up on the screen, you’ll have a few seconds to “build” it. You can use your arms or legs, or team up with a family member and build it together.

Let’s Review!

Use the following review game video to test how much you remember! Parents – you can pause the video on each question slide until your child(ren) have answered; the correct answer will pop up on the screen after a few seconds!

Let’s Talk!

  • Do you know what Deliverer means? Rescuer
  • How did God deliver His people in the Old Testament? He set them free from slavery in Egypt.
  • How did God deliver His people in the New Testament? Jesus came to pay the price for our sin and set US free.
  • Every time the Bible talks about God as deliverer, it says that he “IS” our deliverer, not he “WAS” our deliverer. He’s STILL our rescuer and he still moves in a mighty way today!
  • Can you think of a time that you’ve seen God’s power in your life?? Parents, lead this with a story of what you’ve seen God do in your life! Think of times that God has protected you, rescued you, seen you through a tough time, healed you, or helped you to overcome something you were struggling with. If something comes up where they need God’s deliverance – take some time to pray with them and believe for God to move in that situation!

Let’s Celebrate!  

  • Give each child a piece of paper and allow some time for them to write or draw a picture of something they’ve seen God do. (Parents, write your story too!)
  • If you want, you can play some quiet music while everyone works on their papers!
  • When everyone is done, talk about what you wrote/drew! You could also have each person place their story on a wall with the label “God is Deliverer” to remind you of His power all week.
  • Then, celebrate! Enjoy a special snack or treat together, blow up some balloons, have a dance party, or find your family’s favorite way to remember and celebrate what God has done in your lives!

Let’s Pray!

God, Thank you for being our deliverer! Thank you that YOU have the power to set us free from sin, from bad attitudes, from sickness. . .and give us NEW life in you. Thank you for moving in our lives in a MIGHTY way!

Let’s Bless!

Today, have each child speak this blessing (from Psalm 67:1):

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine on us.