Nature Journal: Young Sunflowers
Sunflowers are favorite flowers of people and animals alike. Like all plants, sunflowers need the sun to help them make food, so they can grow tall. As sunflowers grow, they are constantly leaning the tops of their bodies so that they face the sun. As the sun moves in the sky from east to west, the sunflower starts with the top facing east and then turns it west as the sun travels. Then at night it resets back to facing east. How do they do this? They have special light-sensitive growing cells in the necks of their stems. One side responds to light and stretches the plant during the day. The other side stretches the plant at night.
Sunflowers remind me of the Bible verse, John 8:12, where Jesus says, "I am the Light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life" (NKJV). Sunflowers know that in order to grow as they should, they need to always keep track of the sun. If we are like sunflowers, Jesus is our sun. We should never lose track of Him throughout our day. Keep Him and your Bible words in your thoughts as you go about your activities. Pray to God throughout the day. Jesus will help us to grow up into all that God wants us to be. Our Bible story today is about 2 people who lost track of Jesus. Uh-oh! It took them 3 days to find Him again.
Below are some activities to help you explore the nature lesson this month.
Memory Mastery: Sanctuary
This quarter we will learn simple meanings for the sanctuary symbols in preparation for Messiah's Mansion coming in October. Please help your child learn the furniture and key players in the Old Testament sanctuary. Using your paper model of the sanctuary (from class), can you tell the story of Jesus? Earn a special Bible artifact this quarter by being able to tell all the parts of the sanctuary and a simple explanation of what they mean. Visit my Sanctuary page to review.
In Exodus 25:8, God says, "Let them make Me a sanctuary that I may dwell among them." God wants to live with us and in us, but sin keeps us from God. Because of the work of Jesus in the sanctuary taking away our sins, God can live inside of us. This month, please learn the song, Sanctuary by Randy Rothwell (copyright owner), with the following hand signs.
Lord [point up] prepare me [point to self]
To be a sanctuary [make a tepee sign with hands]
Pure and Holy [raise and open arms wide]
Tried and True [salute]
With thanksgiving [Sign language thank you - one hand to mouth then to palm of other hand]
I'll be a living sanctuary [tepee hands] for You [point both hands up to the sky]
Mission Team: Jesus loves India
For third quarter, our world church is going to support our brothers and sisters in the Southern-Asia Division. We are going to build schools, classrooms, and dormitories for the children of India. Please bring your coins all quarter long to support the world mission project.
India is the 7th largest country of the world. Below are some options this month for exploring the map of India. Zoom in to Google Maps below.
Bible Story: Young Jesus at Church
Reference: Luke 2:39-52; DA 75-83
Young Jesus grew up in a little mountain village called Nazareth. Every year, his parents - Joseph and Mary - went to Jerusalem for the Passover. When Jesus was 12 years old, he got to go to Jerusalem with them.
Passover was a special feast day of the Jews. It reminded them that God saved His people from slavery in Egypt. Jesus watched the ceremonies very carefully and thought about His Bible words. He saw that sin is like slavery. God wants us to save us from sin, too! But how? Then, He saw the priest bring a lamb for an offering. He remembered that during the Passover, the people had to put the blood of the lamb over their door posts in order to stay safe during the Passover. Young Jesus thought about the Bible words in Isaiah 53. It was the lamb that died, so the people didn't have to die. But, who is God's lamb that dies, so that people don't have to die from sin? The Holy Spirit spoke to Jesus' heart clearly - You are the Lamb of God, and You are His Son. Jesus was deep in thought and stayed in the temple to talk to the teachers there. Did they know that God's Son was God's Lamb?
Meanwhile, Joseph and Mary headed back home to Nazareth. They talked with friends and family about the festivities. Everyone had a good time. But after a day passed, they realized that young Jesus was not with them. "Have you seen Jesus?" they asked each of their relatives. No one had. Oh no! Jesus was missing. Joseph and Mary headed back to Jerusalem to look for Him. For three days, they searched for Jesus. They were scared that Jesus might be hurt.
When they came by the temple, they heard a familiar voice. It was Jesus! He was sitting with the temple teachers asking and answering Bible questions. "We looked everywhere for you, Jesus! We were so worried. Why did you do this to us?" Mary asked. "Didn't you know that I had to do my Father's work?" Jesus replied. Mary looked at her husband Joseph. Jesus had figured out that God was His true Father. Jesus had also figured out His mission in life - to be the Lamb of God and die for the sins of the world. He didn't tell Mary or Joseph about His mission. He kept it in His heart.
When Mary and Joseph found Jesus in the temple, Mary asked Jesus why He made them so worried. Jesus said, "I was doing my Father's work. Didn't you know?" Jesus knew God was His Father, and He was helping the temple teachers understand the Bible better. Can you point up to God? Courtesy of Sweet Publishing and Free Bible Images.org
Jesus went back home to Nazareth with His earthly parents. It was a quiet trip back. At home, Jesus continued his duties helping Joseph in the carpenter shop and helping Mary with housework. But, He knew that His Father in heaven was training Him for a great work. He was going to build God's kingdom on earth. He was going to help people know who God is. He was going to die for the sins of the world. But, for now, God's work was being a good helper at home.
Our prayer verse is Luke 2:25, which says, "Jesus continued to learn more and more and to grow physically. People liked him, and he pleased God" (ICB). As a child, Jesus enjoyed learning and helping others. God was pleased with Him. Do you like to learn more and more about the Bible? Do you like to be a good helper?
Dear Father God, I want to be like Jesus. Help me learn more about the Bible and serve others. In Jesus' name, Amen
Below are some options for experiencing the Bible story this month.
1. Jesus and his parents attended the Feast of Passover. The Feast of Passover reminded the Jews how God freed His people from slavery in Egypt. On the night of the Passover, God told the Israelite slaves to paint their doorposts with the blood of a lamb. God said, stay in the house till the destroying angel "passes over." The blood of the lamb kept them safe while God punished the Egyptians. That night, pharaoh, the king of Egypt, let God's people go free. Read John 1:29 together. Who is the Lamb of God? Jesus died so we could be free from the slavery of sin.
2. Joseph and Mary lost track of Jesus during the Passover festivities. You pretend to be Jesus. Hold this Bible and sit quietly somewhere. We will pretend to be Joseph and Mary. We will close our eyes and count to 20. Then, we will look for you.
3. Getting lost is scary both for children and the adults who can't find them. Jesus wasn't really lost, but Joseph and Mary lost Him. Jesus practiced a good safety tip. He did not leave the temple. He stayed with the teachers there until his parents found him. Go over your safety plan as a family for if you get separated from your parents when you are at the park (find a mom with kids) or at the store (find a worker with a badge). Do you know your mom or dad's phone number?
4. When Joseph and Mary found Jesus, he was listening and asking Bible questions of the teacher. Let's pretend you are a Bible teacher. I am going to ask you questions about this Bible story. Can you answer them?
5. Jesus grew up in the town of Nazareth, which was north of Jerusalem. Can you make a line on the floor with painter's tape or string? One end is Nazareth and the other end is Jerusalem. Can you walk from Nazareth to Jerusalem, where the feast of Passover was? Then walk back to Nazareth. How did the journey go for Joseph and Mary? They walked from Nazareth to Jerusalem, then partway back to Nazareth, they turned around and went back to Jerusalem to find Jesus. Then, they walked back to Nazareth. The Bible says that Jesus went back to Nazareth with his earthly parents, Joseph and Mary, and obeyed them. But, from the time of the feast, He knew that He was the Son of God.