- Why did crowds of people follow Jesus? They saw or heard that He performed miracles!
- Right before this story happened in the Bible, Jesus learned that John the Baptist had died. Jesus was sad and decided to go away by himself to get some space. But the people still found Him.
- Have you ever wanted some space from someone else but they wouldn’t leave you alone? How did you respond?
- Sometimes, it can be hard to be patient with someone who is doing something you don’t like, or to not get angry when someone makes you change your plans. But the Bible says that Jesus, when he saw all those people, had compassion on them, and healed those that were sick.
- What is compassion? Compassion is the feeling we have when we see someone who is lonely, sad, or hurting, and feel bad and want to help them. It’s more than just feeling sadness though: it’s feeling what they’re feeling so strongly that we HAVE to do something to help them!
- Can you think of a time when you saw someone who was hurt or sad and felt compassion? What did you do?
- If you follow Jesus, the Bible says that He has given you His Holy Spirit to help you. Sometimes, we don’t feel very compassionate on our own – we need God to change our hearts. If we ask Him, He will help us love other people like He does!
- Take some time right now to ask God to help you to be compassionate like He is! If you thought of a time when you didn’t respond very kindly when someone messed up your plans, tell Him about it. Ask him to forgive you, and to help you to love others like He does!
- Gather some papers and make a pile (scrap paper works great for this!)
- Place a bucket or basket a few feet away.
- Have everyone in your family stand in a single file line and take turns grabbing a piece of paper, crumpling it into a ball (or “loaf of bread”), and tossing it into the basket.
- If you miss the basket, run and collect your “bread” and go to the back of the line.
- If you make it, go to the back of the line, and at your next turn: grab another piece of paper, crumple it and shoot it at the basket.
- Before you start – set a timer for 1 minute.
- When the timer goes off, see how many bread loaves you have in your basket. If you want, you can play this multiple times and try to beat last round’s score!
The LORD is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.Psalm 145:8
To help you memorize your verse this week, have each person take one of the crumpled pieces of paper from earlier in the lesson and stand in a circle. Each time you say a word of the verse, hand your paper to the person next to you. (Two people could toss the paper back and forth).
First, read Psalm 145:8 together. Then find a comfy spot (you could even play some quiet music if you’d like) and take some time for each person in your family to pray quietly on their own. As they pray, encourage them to ask God:
“Who do you want ME to show compassion to this week?”
From the EGC Kids Team: Listening for God to speak to us is an important part of praying, but it’s something we can have a hard time with even as adults. It’s hard to be quiet and listen! But God wants to speak to us, and He wants to speak to your kids! It’s important for us as parents to create space for them to hear God’s voice for themselves, and for us to model what it is to listen to Him! It’s ok if your child(ren) fidget or are unsure of what to do at first. Explain that when God speaks, we don’t always hear a voice (though we can sometimes!). The Holy Spirit might give them a thought or idea, or they might see a picture in their mind. Tip: For some kids, having a piece of paper that they could write or draw on as they listen can help.
After you take some time to listen for God to speak, talk about it together!
- What did you hear, see, or think of?
- If God spoke to you about a person or a situation – make a plan for how to show them compassion this week!
- If you didn’t hear anything right now, that’s ok! Keep asking God this week to show you who He wants you to show compassion to, and keep listening! 🙂
Parents/Guardians, bless your child with this blessing: