April 18, 2021: God Dwells with His People

Today’s lesson is based on Exodus 25-40

Let’s Start!   

Let’s Watch!

We’ve been following the story of Moses and the Israelites for a few weeks now. Last week, we talked about how God made a covenant with his people – He would be their God, and he would bless them as His people; and they agreed to live the way He wanted them to. For a long time, it was just Moses who talked to God and spent time with Him – Let’s watch a video to see how, and then we’ll talk about what changed!

Woah, pretty cool for Moses, right? But, God had made a covenant with all of His people. He wanted to be in relationship with them (not just with Moses). So he told the people to build a tabernacle. What is a tabernacle? Glad you asked!!

Parents, if you want to explore the idea of a covenant relationship and the tablernacle God asked His people to build in more depth, check out this video from The Bible Project.

Let’s Talk!  

For today’s lesson, grab a large blanket or sheet and some tall chairs to make a tent while you are talking about the tabernacle!

  • Open your Bible to Exodus 25 and read verses 8-9
  • What is a tabernacle? A tent
  • With the tabernacle, God would dwell with his people! Now, do you think God actually lives in a tent or a house? He’s God, so he’s everywhere! He can’t just be in only one spot.
  • That’s right! But, when he chose to dwell among his people, his presence came to the tabernacle. He came close to his people there so that they could spend time with Him.
  • Have you ever built something out of legos? When you open up a new box of legos, what else is in the box besides the bricks? (the instructions!)
  • You can build some pretty cool things out of legos on your own, but you won’t be able to build exactly what the set is supposed to be unless you follow the instructions, right?
  • The Tabernacle was the same way! God gave his people specific instructions for how to build his tabernacle. They brought fabric to make beautiful curtains to hang inside, they brought incense and spices to burn to create a nice smell, and olive oil to put inside lamps and burn, kind of like a candle.
  • The people could come inside the courtyard of the tabernacle (or the outside area) to spend time with God. Who do you like to spend time with?
  • Then, God told his people to make something else. Let’s read Exodus 25:10-11 to find out what it was!
  • So the Ark of the Covenant was like a huge, shiny gold covered box. God’s presence would dwell above the box in the tabernacle.
  • But the ark sat in a room called the Holy of Holies and a thick curtain separated it from everything else. What does holy mean? Holy means set apart, which means that God, because he is Holy, can’t dwell with sin.
  • In the Old Testament, when the tabernacle was built, Jesus hadn’t come to defeat sin yet, so the big curtain separated God’s presence from most of the people. He was too holy for them to come too close to Him. But God had a plan. One day, Jesus would come so that we didn’t have to be separated from God’s presence. And when he died and rose again, that big thick curtain got torn in two. Now, God sends the Holy Spirit to dwell inside everyone who chooses to trust in Jesus.
  • God dwells with US!

Let’s Do! 

God chose to dwell with his people in the tabernacle – and gave them some pretty specific instructions for what it was supposed to be like! Think about your perfect place to live (or dwell), what would it be like? Would it be a house, a tree house, a huge building, a large tent?

  • Grab a piece of paper and draw your ideal dwelling place!

Let’s Memorize!

Let’s Pray! 

  • God wanted to be with his people, so he asked them to build the tabernacle. But that wasn’t all. He wanted to be even closer to us than in a tent, and he knew that our sin would get in the way. So Jesus came to die for our sins. So that we don’t have to be separated from God. When we trust in Jesus, the Holy Spirit comes to live inside of us! We are never alone because he is ALWAYS with us!
  • Is there anything you want to talk to Him about today? Tell him what’s on your mind, and then thank Him for always being with you!

Let’s Bless!

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

May you know that God dwells with you no matter where you go. May you sense Him with you today, and every day!

February 28, 2021: God Gives New Life

Today’s lesson is based on Exodus 12-14

Let’s Start!   

Draw lines for each letter of this week’s theme (God gives new life) on a piece of paper or dry erase board as illustrated below:

_ _ _ | _ _ _ _ _ | _ _ _ | _ _ _ _

Have children guess a letter at a time until it’s filled in!

Let’s Do!

Alternate Activity: RACE AGAINST THE CLOCK! Set up a series of challenges that students have to complete in one minute. Leader will explain the challenge, set a timer and say go! Some ideas are:

  • Build the tallest tower they can out of cups or legos
  • Complete a puzzle
  • Sort objects by color
  • Carry something (crumpled pieces of paper, stuffed animals) from a basket on one side of the room to a basket on the other side of the room

Let’s Watch!

Last week we talked about what happened when Moses when to the Pharaoh and told him to let God’s people go. Even after God sent plagues to show that He really was God (and more powerful than the Egyptian gods!), the Pharaoh still didn’t want to let the Israelites go. Let’s find out what happened next.

Let’s Talk!

  • For today’s activity, you didn’t have much time to find an object for the scavenger hunt or complete the challenges. In today’s Bible story, who else was told that there wouldn’t be much time? The Israelites.
  • What did God tell them to do to be ready to go right away? Pack their things, make bread without yeast in it, and eat dinner in the clothes they would travel in.
  • God knew Pharaoh would set them free and wanted them to be ready to get up and go. During the very last plague, what did God tell his people to put on their doorframes? Blood from a lamb or goat. 
  • It might seem like a strange way to protect his people, but God was giving them a picture of what was going to happen years later. You see, not only did the people in Egypt need to be saved, ALL of God’s people, you and me included, need to be saved from something too. Do you know what that is? Sin.
  • That’s right. God showed his people that not only was he going to protect them and get them out of slavery in Egypt and give them a new life, He was going to make a way for ALL of us to have a new life – Through Jesus!
  • The meal that the Israelites ate that night became known as Passover. Did you know that we still celebrate Passover today when we take communion?
  • The night before Jesus died, he broke bread with his disciples to celebrate Passover with them. He told them to keep celebrating together – to remember his sacrifice for us and to celebrate the new life we have in Him!
  • When we celebrate communion, the bread represents Jesus’ body which was broken for us. And the juice represents his blood, just like the blood of the passover lamb, that was shed so that our sins could be forgiven and we could have new life with Him.
  • Even though we don’t bring a suitcase with us when we take communion, we’re still saying to God: “I trust you – and I’m ready to see what you’re going to do in MY life!” because we know that God Gives New Life.

From the EGC Kids Team: Want to go deeper? Parents, we have a communion guide available here that you can use when you’re talking about communion with your kids or taking communion at home as a family!

Let’s Memorize!

Let’s Pray!

  • In Exodus 13:3, Moses tells the people to celebrate the Passover to remember how God saved them with his MIGHTY hand.
  • What do you think mighty means? Can you use an action to show might? (show off your muscles, lift something heavy)
  • Ok. Before we pray, let’s practice some motions we’ll use when we pray. [practice taking a step, walking in place, and taking a giant leap. As you pray, they’ll do these motions when you say “step, walk, or jump.”]
  • Dear Jesus, Help us to trust you. Help us to always step toward you. Help us to walk in the new life you give us, and be ready to jump into whatever you call us to do! Amen.

Let’s Bless!

Parents, end your prayer time with the following blessing:

June 14, 2020: God is Strength

Let’s Start!

Have you ever jumped over a big puddle or stream? Act out what you did!

This week, we’re going to be talking about a big river that was way too big to cross without God’s help. First, let’s invite the Holy Spirit to come and be with us as we learn.

God, thank you for helping us grow. We pray that you would fill us. We give you ourselves and ask that you would give us soft hearts to receive what You speak to us today.

Let’s Watch!

Today we have two videos to watch! The first one tells about Joshua as the leader of God’s people, the Israelites (Joshua 1). The second one tells the story of crossing the Jordan River (Joshua 3-4)

Let’s Talk!

  • Remember how God rescued His People from Egypt? After that, God made a covenant with them and gave them laws (the 10 Commandments) as guides to help them to know how to be His People.
  • Well, God’s People stopped trusting Him and disobeyed. So, God disciplined them and told Moses that he wouldn’t be able to go into the land. They had to wander in the desert for 40 years! But, God took care of them while they were there.
    • Have you ever missed out on something fun because of discipline? It sure is disappointing.
  • After Moses, Joshua became the leader of Israel. God promised to be with him, just like he was with Moses. He told him to be strong and courageous.
    • What does it mean to be strong?
    • What does it mean to be courageous?
  • God didn’t just want Joshua to be physically strong, He wanted him to be spiritually strong. God told Joshua to read through the law (the 10 Commandments). He knew that it would strengthen Joshua’s faith. God reminded Joshua that He would be his source of strength and courage. God’s people agreed to let God be their leader and strength.
    • What are some ways that you can help your faith to grow stronger? Reading and studying the Bible, praying, participating in church, talking about Jesus with friends and family, and worshipping are some ideas!
  • Then, it was time to cross the river into the Promised Land. What happened? God dried it up so they could cross. Does that remind you of any other part of God’s Story that we talked about recently? When God’s People crossed the Red Sea with Moses.
  • What did the leaders do after they crossed, before the water went back? They collected big stones to make a memorial of how God helped them.
  • It can take courage to follow God’s way for our lives and to obey God. It especially takes courage when we are tired or don’t know what will happen next. Joshua didn’t know how things were going to go either.
  • BUT GOD IS WHO WE GET STRENGTH AND COURAGE FROM!! God is Strength! He gives it to us when we need it.

Let’s Do!

Collect a few rocks or pebbles from around your house or street. Glue them together with craft glue (or have a parent help you with a glue gun) onto a piece of wood or paper in a shape that will remind you that God is strong. Some good ideas are: a big muscle, the word “strong”, or a pile of stones like God’s People made!

Let’s Pray!

Take a few minutes and sit quietly. Think of some situations in your life where you need God’s strength or courage. Then ask God to fill you with His strength and courage. Sit for a moment longer and let Him fill you up.

Let’s Memorize!

Our verse this week is a great one for acting out! We bet you can come up with some actions that will help you to learn the verse. Practice it a few times this week until you really get it!

Let’s Bless!

Parents and guardians, take a minute to share with your kids a time when God gave you strength or courage. Then read Psalm 27:1 & 4 together and bless them with this blessing:

May you know that God alone is the source of your courage and strength. May your faith grow and may you be filled fresh with His Holy Spirit.

Sunday, May 31: God Claims His People

Let’s Start!

God was starting a whole new country with His people, Israel.

Imagine that you were starting your own country! What would your flag look like? What rules would the country have? Take some time to design a flag and write 5 rules for your imaginary country (you can do this individually or with your siblings).

  • If you’re very interested in countries, maps and flags, here is a great resource to learn about how kids can pray for the world!
  • And, here is a link for grown-ups and older kids to see flags and learn about how to pray for the world.

Once you’ve made your flags (or looked at other flags and countries!) set them aside for a moment and let’s pray and ask God to help us to focus, learn what He wants to teach us, and grow to know Him better.

Jesus, thank you so much for making us part of your family. We ask You to give us listening ears and hearts that are soft towards your voice today. Help us to grow as your children, to love you, and know your truth.

Let’s Watch!

Today we have two videos to watch: Moses in the Wilderness and The 10 Commandments.

Let’s Talk!

  • Every group needs rules and ideas that define them and make them a group.  Were you ever part of a sports team or club? What were the rules you had to follow? Do you have rules in your family?
  • Why do we have rules? To live safely, to show right from wrong, to help us to be fair
  • Did you notice that God’s people complained a lot? What did God do when they complained? He took care of them. He gave them food to eat and water to drink. That’s kind of like what parents do for babies, right? They cry and parents hold them and feed them.
  • God wanted His people to be part of his family, his special treasure.
  • Being part of God’s family was different than being part of anything else. The rules weren’t the same as other groups around them. What are some rules that you have in your family that are different than other families you know? Screen time rules, bedtimes. . .
  • Like a good parent, God provided for Israel what they needed, and He gave them rules to help them learn right from wrong.
  • What were the rules God gave called? The 10 Commandments
  • Do you know them? (If you can say them all, send us a video!) The 10 Commandments are all about loving God, putting Him first, and loving and respecting other people.
  • Just like God’s people did then, we live in a broken world and sometimes do things that aren’t good for us. As we grow to know God, He teaches us how to live in the best way and gently corrects us when we get off track.
  • When is a time when you followed God and it affected a choice you made? Maybe you chose to shut off a show that you know wasn’t best for you, you let your sister get ice cream first, or you worked hard in the backyard when your parent asked you to – without complaining. . . Those are wonderful ways to show that you’re growing as part of God’s family!

Let’s Do!

Option 1: “Manna” (for toddlers and preschoolers)

What you need:

  • a bedsheet or blanket
  • “manna” (dry cereal, oyster crackers, raisins or another solid, dry snack)
  • small bowls

What you do:

  • Spread a bedsheet onto the floor or grass.
  • Have children lay on the ground to the side of the sheet and pretend to sleep (remind them that God put the manna on the ground while the people were sleeping).
  • Place a little bit of “manna” (dry cereal, oyster crackers, raisins, etc.) on the sheet.
  • “Wake” the children and have them search for and collect the manna in the bowls.
  • If you only place a little at a time, you can play this for quite a while 😉

Option 2: Hand Decoration Response (for older children)

What you need:

  • 2 sheets of paper
  • colored pencils, markers or crayons
  • decorations (paper, stickers, magazine cut outs. . .)

What you say: God says that we are His treasured possession. What is your most treasured possession? Do you take special care of it? How?

What you do:

  • Trace and cut out two handprints
  • On one of the hands, write your name.
  • Spend a few minutes talking and listening to God. Thank Him for making YOU His treasured possession.
  • Then, decorate the hand.
  • For the 2nd hand, think of someone that could use some encouragement that they are God’s treasured possession. Write their name on the hand and decorate it for them!
  • Pray for them and ask a parent whether you should give it to that person.

Let’s Pray!

Father God, thank you make us part of your family and call us your special treasure because of Jesus. Help us to always remember that we belong to You and that you take care of us. Thank you for giving us rules to keep us safe and so that we can know how to love you and people better. Thank you that you call us back to you when we mess up. You are so good to us. Thank you.

Let’s Memorize!

But God chose you to be His people. You are royal priests. You are a holy nation. You are God’s special treasure. You are all these things so that you can give Him praise.

1 Peter 2: 9a

To help you learn the verse this week, do a call and response!

Have one child (or parent) call out the first part and the other children (or child/parent) answer with the second part. After you’ve mastered that, switch parts so you can learn them all!

But God chose you | to be His people.

You are | royal priests

You are | a holy nation

You are | God’s special treasure

You are | all these things

So that | you can give him praise!

. . .

Let’s Bless!

Children and parents take turns blessing each other by placing a hand on the other’s shoulder and saying:

(Name), you are God’s special possession, and He loves you very much.