Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas: Magi come to worship Jesus

1. Lesson
  • We’ve been looking at various Biblical prophecies about Jesus’ birth: 
    • A Messiah from the line of David will come 
    • A virgin will be of child
    • The Messiah will be born in Bethlehem

  • Today we look at another essential part of the Christmas story — the Magi/ Wisemen / Kings that visited Jesus (Matt 2:1-16)
  • Usually in Christmas cards and nativity plays, we see a picture of 3 Wisemen who visited baby Jesus in a stable, together with the shepherds.
  • But in reality:
    • We don’t know how many there were; at least 2 or more (Matthew uses the plural “we”). There were 3 gifts mentioned — gold, frankincense and myrrh — hence the idea of 3 kings. 
    • The wisemen visited Jesus in a house (Matthew 2:11), not the stable. So it was not at the same time as the shepherds.
    • Jesus was probably aged between 40 days to 2 years old at the time of the visit.
  • The wisemen from the east travelled to visit Jesus because they saw a sign — a supernaturally bright star. They entered Jerusalem and asked around, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” 
  • The star led them ahead and stopped over the place where Jesus was staying. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas: Shepherds heard the Good News!

1. Lesson
  • Last week, we talked about a special visitor for Mary and Joseph and how a government ruling made them travel all the way from Nazareth to Bethlehem. This was done so God’s prophecy would be fulfilled — the Saviour will be born in Bethlehem.
  • Let’s find out what happened the night Jesus was born, according to Luke 2:8-20.

  • The lowly shepherds heard the good news first
    • The first people to find out about Jesus’ birth were not important dignitaries or VVIPs. They were lowly shepherds who had to spend the night in the fields to keep watch over their flocks and ensure their safety. 
    • We don’t know why God decided to announce the birth to the shepherds first. Perhaps He wanted them to know that the Good Shepherd of the world has come! Do you remember Psalm 23? The Lord is my Shepherd …

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Prophecy: Jesus will be born in Bethlehem

1. Lesson
  • Last week, we talked about a special visitor for Mary and Joseph. Who visited them? An angel, that’s right! What did the angel tell them? That they would be having a baby! Their baby would be special because He was from God. 
  • The Bible tells us that God made a promise to King David. God promised him that one of his great, great, great, great, great children would be king forever. That was a promise from God that He would send Jesus.
  • [extra info] In the Bible, we read that King David came from the very first man, Adam. He came by way of some other names you will remember: Noah (and his son Shem), Abraham (and his son Isaac), Isaac’s son Jacob, a man named Salmon (and his wife Rahab). Rahab’s son Boaz (and his wife Ruth). Ruth’s grandson was Jesse, King David’s father. Many kings followed David until a man name Jacob had a son whom he named Joseph. Joseph was the husband of Mary, the mother of the Messiah!
  • Prophecy #3: Jesus will be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2) 
  • God had given promises all along the way. The people believed and waited. One of those promises, though, was that the Messiah would be born in King David’s town, Bethlehem. It was a small town. 
  • Not only was Jesus King David’s forever king, but God promised — through the prophet Micah 750 years before Jesus’ birth — that Jesus would be born in King David’s town, Bethlehem.  
  • Micah 5:2
    “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,

    though you are small among the clans of Judah,
    out of you will come for me
    one who will be ruler over Israel,

    whose origins are from of old,

    from ancient times.”

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Prophecy: Jesus will be born of a virgin

1. HOOK: Matching game: Animal & their young

  • Prepare separate pix of animals and their young for kids to match them.
    • E.g. What do dogs give birth to? Puppies.
      What do cats give birth to? Kittens.
      How about snakes? They lay eggs that hatch into baby snakes.
  • Just like we get puppies from dogs, what do we get from sinners? Yup, more sinners. 
  • Last week we heard about how when Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Because Adam sinned, his children, grandchildren, great, great, great, great children and everyone in this world are born as sinners. We know the result of sin is death. 
  • But God promised that a descendant of the Eve will defeat the serpent. God wanted to change our family line so that we will not continue to be sinners but become righteous. Today we know He was talking about Eve’s great, great, great, great …. Great, grandson, Jesus.
  • One thing we cannot choose in life is who our parents are. But long before Jesus was born — a few hundred years before, in fact — God’s prophet, Isaiah, had already told the people what sort of person Jesus’ mother would be.

2.  Lesson: We are part of a great family, thanks to Jesus!
  •  Prophecy #2: Jesus will be born of a virgin 
    • Isaiah the prophet said, Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”(Isa 7:14)
    • The mother of the Saviour of the world would be a virgin. (A virgin is someone who had never had any sexual relationship with another person.) This was special because virgins don’t get pregnant. You need both a father and a mother to become pregnant. But in Jesus’ case, there will only be a mother. God Himself will be the father, not a man. 
    • Hundreds of years after Isaiah, there was a young teenage girl lady called Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Big Picture: Prophecies about Jesus

1. HOOK: Guess the picture
  • Show a picture bit by bit until it’s fully revealed. Get kids to guess what it is as soon as they can. 
  • Can use this Kids Countdown or create your own pictures.

    • Wasn’t guessing the pictures fun? Sometimes we see only a small part, and we don’t know what it is until all the many parts come together to form a big picture.
    • That’s what God did for us. He had a plan from the beginning of time, and through thousands of years, He revealed bits of the puzzle, little by little, through His prophets.
    • What was this big picture? That Jesus will come to save the world from sin. 
    • There were more than 300 clues/prophecies about Jesus recorded in the Bible. We’ll look at some of them in the next few weeks. One of the earliest prophecies about Jesus was revealed early on, way back in the Garden of Eden.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Review of Solomon's Poetry Books

1. Lesson 

  •  We’ve been looking at some of the books of the Bible that Solomon wrote:
    • Song of Solomon 
    • Proverbs
    • Ecclesiastes
  • Let’s see what you can remember from it:
    <use pix to associate each book>
    • Song of Solomon 
      • Who were the 2 main characters?
        The Shulamite girl and the shepherd/King Solomon
      • How did the Shulamite see herself?
        Dark skinned, unwanted by her own family
      • How did Solomon see the Shulamite girl?
        Fair, beautiful, flawless in every way >> God sees us the same way
      • How did the Shulamite girl see Solomon?
        Attractive and full of love >> Picture of Jesus

      • Key lesson: In Song of Solomon, we are reminded that God sees us as beautiful; We see Jesus as beautiful!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Overview of Ecclesiastes: Look to the Son!

  • We played the game “Blow, wind, blow” just now. Have you ever tried chasing after the wind? You can run all you want, jump all you want, tire yourself out completely, but you won’t be able to catch the wind. The wind blows here and there. You cannot get hold of it. 
  • Sometimes we all live our lives trying as if we’re chasing the wind. We chase after pleasure. We chase after knowledge. We chase after wealth and riches. But in the end we are empty. 
  • There’s one person who fills us up completely. We don’t have to run around to chase after Him. Because He was the one who came to look for us and to save us. Who is that person? Jesus!

2. Lesson: Overview of Ecclesiastes: Look to the Son!

  • We’ve been looking at some of the books of the Bible that Solomon wrote: 
    • Song of Solomon: God sees us as beautiful; We see Jesus as beautiful!
    • Proverbs: Jesus is our Wisdom

  • Today we take a look at Solomon’s 3rd book — Ecclesiastes
    • <help kids to pronounce … E-clee-sias-tis> 
    • Ecclesiastes means “teacher” or “preacher” 
    • Solomon (son of David, king in Jerusalem) probably wrote this book near the end of his life, when he was an old man.

  • Ecclesiastes: reflection of Solomon’s life 
    • The theme of the book can be summed up in one word: “Meaningless”
    • Solomon writes, 
      • “Meaningless! Meaningless! Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.” (1:2)
      • All things are wearisome, more than one can say. (1:8) 
      • There is nothing new under the sun. (1:9)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Overview of Proverbs: Jesus our Wisdom

1. Lesson: Overview of Proverbs: Jesus our Wisdom
  • Besides building the Temple of God, King Solomon wrote several poetry books in the Bible.
  • Last week, we learnt about one of them — Song of Solomon.
    • What did we learn? God sees us as beautiful; We see Jesus as beautiful!
  • Today, we will look at another book — Proverbs. 

  • What’s a proverb?
    • Proverbs are wise sayings about life to help people live right and make wise choices.
    • The world is full of wise sayings/proverbs that we can learn from.
    • E.g.
      • Practise makes perfect: If we practise something over and over again, we will be very good at it. 
      • Honesty is the best policy: We should always tell the truth 
      • Slow and steady wins the race: We don’t have to be the fastest all the time, but if we hang in there, we will surely succeed; like the tortoise who was racing with the rabbit and didn’t give up. 

  •  Wise Sayings of a Wise Man 
    • If you remember, King Solomon was the wisest man in the world. When God asked Solomon what he wanted, Solomon did not ask for riches or fame or long life. Instead he asked for wisdom.
    • Being a wise man, Solomon wrote many wise sayings/proverbs, about 3,000, which make up most of the book of Proverbs.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Overview of Song of Solomon: You are beautiful

1. Lesson (based on Song of Solomon)

  • HOOK: 
    • Ever heard couples who are very much in love talk about each other? What do you think they talk about? 
    • “He is the most wonderful guy I ever met!” “She is the most beautiful girl in the world!”
    • Show examples of people in love, e.g.:

o   Video: Shrek and Fionain love
o   Nick Vujicic on his wife Kanae Miyahara: “She has the most beautiful, wise, and warm eyes I’d ever seen. I couldn’t take my eyes off her. She is enchanting, confident and kindhearted”.

  • God loves us so much that he uses so many examples of close human relationships to show us His love for us and tell us what He thinks of us. 
    • Father and Son: Remember the son who left the father after getting his share of the father’s money? He ran away, spent all the money , finally came back home to his father who still loved him despite what he had done and welcomed him back as his son. 
    • A friend: Jesus calls us his friends (John 15:13-14) – Jesus is our true friend who loved us so much that he laid down his life for us. 
    • A husband and a wife: This is one of the closest relationships which we have on this earth. A husband and a wife have covenantal relationship, just like what God has with us. God wants us to know that our relationship with him is also like a husband and a wife because it is a very close relationship. God also uses the picture a bridegroom and his bride — just like Christ is the bridegroom, and we, the church, are His bride.

  • King Solomon wrote a book called the Song of Solomon or the Song of Songs. This book is unlike any other book in the bible. It’s a special love story of a man and his bride.
  • Here King Solomon appears as a young shepherd, falls in love with a Shulamite girl. He promises to marry her on his return. When he returns, much to her surprise, he appears as a king and takes her back to Jerusalem to be his bride.
  • Throughout the book, Solomon talks about the girl, how beautiful she is; and she talks about Solomon, how beautiful he is.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

A Walk-through Solomon's Temple

Lesson: A Walk-through Solomon's Temple (1 Kings 7, 2 Chron 4)

  • Set up room according to the following layout
  • Prepare kids outside the room:
    • Today, we’re going to take a special tour of the temple of God that King Solomon built.
    • Let’s walk slowly and very quietly so we can see all the different things inside.
    • Note: Depending on crowd control, you may choose to have all the kids sit down in the “outer court area” while you talk about different parts of the temple, or have them follow you

Sunday, October 21, 2012

The Temple’s Furnishings

1.         Lesson: The Temple’s Furnishings (1 Kings 7, 2 Chron 4)

  • Last week, we learnt about how Solomon built a temple to God. It was built:
    • with the best materials and by the best craftsmen
    • as God’s house where God’s people could come to pray and receive forgiveness of their sins 
  • We also learned that the temple was temporary … a picture of who us today — we are the temple of the Holy Spirit, and that God lives in us forever!

  • The layout and furnishing of the temple is similar to the tabernacle that the Israelites used to worship God in since they came out of Egypt. (Exodus 25-27). The temple was about double the size of the tabernacle, and some of the furnishing were multiplied (10x).
  • Everything about the temple — layout and furnishings — are made according to perfect specifications because it serves as “a copy and shadow of what is in heaven”. (Heb 8:5)
  • Today we will looks at some of the furnishings in the temple and see how they are a picture of Jesus and His finished work on the cross.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Solomon builds a Temple

1. STORY: Solomon's Temple (1 Kings 5-9)

  • King David wanted to build a physical temple for God. But God said his son, Solomon, would build it. So David could only make all the preparations for it and set aside all the wood, gold, silver, stone and treasures for the building.
  • After four peaceful years of reign as king, Solomon decided to start building the temple of God, as his father, David, had prepared him for. “You know that because of the wars waged against my father David from all sides, he could not build a temple for the Name of the Lord his God until the Lord put his enemies under his feet. But now the Lord my God has given me rest on every side, and there is no adversary or disaster. I intend, therefore, to build a temple for the Name of the Lord my God, as the Lord told my father David, when he said, ‘Your son whom I will put on the throne in your place will build the temple for my Name.’(1 Kings 5:3-5)
  • It took them seven years to complete the amazing temple. Solomon listened to God and built it exactly like God wanted. 
  • Let's take a look at how the temple might have looked like: Virtual tour of temple.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

God gives Solomon Wisdom

  • HOOK: I wish I may, I wish I might … 
    • Imagine one day you were walking on a beach. And you accidentally kicked something hard. You looked down, and you see an old-fashioned gold lamp! Wow!
    • What would you do with it? Maybe we should rub it and see if anything happens … 1, 2, 3 Rub! 
    • Whoosh! It’s a great big green genie! “Hello boys and girls! Thank you for setting me free from the lamp! As a reward, I’ll give you one wish! Whatever it is that you want … ask and I shall grant you your wish!”
    • Wow! A wish! Whatever you want! 
    • What would you wish for children? What’s the one thing you want the most? <get kids to give their answers> 
    • Well, in real life, there’s no such thing as a genie in a bottle. But in the Bible, there’s somebody who was asked by God about what his wish was. That somebody was King Solomon. Let’s find out more. 

  • King David’s had a son, Solomon, who would be Israel’s next king. God loved him very much. (2 Sam 12:24)
  • Before he died, David instructed Solomon what he should do as king. “And you my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the LORD searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts.  If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever.” (1 Chronicles 28:9)
  • After King David died, his son Solomon became king over Israel. “Solomon showed his love for the LORD by walking according to the statues of his father David…” (1Kings 3:3a)
  • One night, Solomon offered 1,000 offerings to God at a place called Gibeon. As he was sleeping, God came to Solomon and spoke to him in a dream. “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.” 
  • Wow! Solomon could ask for ANYTHING he wanted. What would you ask for if God said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.”
  • If you were a king, wouldn’t you wish for great wealth? Long life? Many palaces? Or territories? For all your enemies to be gone?

Sunday, September 30, 2012

God promises David a Forever Kingdom

  • HOOK: God keeps His promises 
    • Write out some Scriptures of God’s promises (see appendix) and hide them around the room. (Can fold them into origami or in envelopes or behind cards, e.g. flower shapes etc. Or can be played as “pass the parcel” with a promise and a gift at each layer.)
    • Kids have to go hunt for the “treasure”. Then get them to come together and read out each of the promises one by one.
    • Conclusion: God has given us many promises, and He keeps all of them. Today we’re going to learn about a BIG promise God made to King David. It’s a promise that you and I can enjoy too!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

David messed out — Redeemed by Grace

1. Story (based on 2 Sam 11-12)
  • HOOK: Cover up
    • Materials: Pile of dust/dirt, tissue paper/paper napkin, small dustpan/brush
    • Put a pile of dust/dirt in the middle of a table.
    • Kids, look, there’s a mess here. It’s really dirty. What should we do?
    • How about we try to cover it up? I know, let’s use this napkin. If we put it over the dirt, no one will see it. <cover the dirt with the napkin>
    • There. Does that work? <no>  
    • Oh dear. What do you think we should do? I know. I’ll clean it up and throw away the dirt. <get a kid to help sweep away the dirt>
    • See … clean and as good as new now!
    • Sometimes in life, we will mess up and make mistakes. But covering the mess will not work because the mess is still there. So the only way to get rid of the mess is to clean it up nicely.
  • Today, we’re going to learn about someone who messed up big time.  

Sunday, September 16, 2012

David Danced before God

1. Story (based on 2 Sam 6)
  • We’ve been learning about a person called David.
  • What have we learnt about him so far?
    • David was a shepherd.
    • David was anointed king.
    • Saul was jealous of him.
    • Saul wanted to kill him.
    • David ran away, and God protected him from all harm.
  • Then one day, Saul and Jonathan were both killed in battle. David was then made king of Israel.
  • David loved the Lord. He loved to sing and write songs of worship.
  • One of the first things David did as king was to bring the Ark of the Covenant back to Jerusalem.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

God was David’s protection

1. Story:
  • Who was the shepherd boy who was anointed king of Israel? David
  • Who was the king at that time? Saul 
  • God was with David in all he did. And he had great successes. The women of Israel used to welcomed him with singing and dancing. What did they say? “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his tens of thousands.” 
  • How did this make Saul feel? Very jealous of David. 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

God's Favour gave David Success


1. Story: (based on 1 Sam 16, 18)

  • The past 2 months, we've been learning Psalm 23. Can you remember it?
  • Who wrote Psalm 23? David
  • Who was David?
    • What was David's occupation? Shepherd
    • Yes, that's right. David was a shepherd boy. He was the youngest son in his family. While his brothers went to war as big, strong soldiers, David stayed in the fields to take care of the sheep. Quite unimportant in his family’s eyes.
    • But God had a special purpose for David. He had chosen David to be king of Israel! David had a heart after God. So God sent His prophet, Samuel, to anoint David as king.
    • There was one problem, however. Israel already had a king. Anyone knows his name? King Saul
    • That’s right. King Saul was the first King of Israel, and he would rule Israel for 42 years.