Jesus Dies and Rises: Luke 22-24

**We took a bit of a summer vacation ourselves, but for the next two weeks at Family God Time, we will be reviewing the Bible stories that we learned at Vacation Bible School this summer. Our curriculum was Group’s Maker Fun Factory.
You can find week one of this series here: God Creates Us https://familygodtime.wordpress.com/2017/06/21/god-creates-us-genesis-1-psalm-139/
You can find week 2 here: Rahab and the Spies
https://familygodtime.wordpress.com/2017/06/28/rahab-and-the-spies-joshua-2/
You can find week 3 here: Gideon’s Army
https://familygodtime.wordpress.com/2017/07/05/gideons-army-judges-7/

Gathering Prayer: (Do this prayer repeat-after-me style)
Dear Jesus, we thank you for time to feed our faith as a family, and time to learn about Gideon’s army. Help our time together to be a holy time. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Bible Story: Luke 22:14-20, 22:39-53, 23:32-35, 23:44-56, 24:1-8
Read the story of Jesus dying and rising in a children’s Bible, your own Bible, or you can find the story here:
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+22%3A14-20%2C+22%3A39-53%2C+23%3A32-35%2C+23%3A44-56%2C+24%3A1-8&version=ERV

We reviewed the video that our parish made during VBS for our Bible story time. You can find it here:

 

Make the Story Come Alive
This is a really long story. In fact, in all of the gospels, the story of Jesus dying and rising takes up half of the total story. It is that important! However, it also might be hard for little ones to pay attention to from start to finish. We thought it would sink in better if we added movement and place to the story, and we invite you to tell it in the same way.

Materials needed:
A plate, cup and washcloth at station #1
A cross at station #3
A blanket for station #4

Station #1: Jesus eats with his friends
Ask, “Where do we go in our house to eat?” Let your children lead you there. Say, “On the day that he was arrested, Jesus ate a special meal with his friends. He took a loaf of bread and said. ‘This is my body, which I give for you. Do this to remember me.’” Pretend to give bread to each other from the plate. Then say, “At the end of the meal, he took a cup of wine and said, ‘This is my blood, which I pour out for you. Do this to remember me.’” Pretend to take sips from the cup. Then say, “At this meal, he also washed the feet of his disciples, and told them to love each other as much as he loved them first.” Pretend to wash each other’s feet with the washcloth. Then say, “After the meal, he and his friends went to a garden to pray. Where is our garden?” Follow the children to a garden, yard, or pot of flowers at your house.

Station #2: Jesus prays
Say, “Jesus was worried about what was going to happen to him. He prayed to God while his friends fell asleep. Let’s pray like he taught us to pray.” Pray the Lord’s Prayer together. If your family does not know the Lord’s Prayer, you could pray another prayer that you do know, or learn a repeat-after-me version with actions, below:

Our Father (ASL for “father,” open palm with thumb touching forehead)
Who art in heaven (two hands point up)
Hallowed be they name (trace a cross on your forehead)
Thy kingdom come (motion towards self with both arms)
Thy will be done on earth (point at ground)
As in heaven (point to heaven).
Give us this day our daily bread (one hand to mouth, as if eating)
And forgive us our trespasses (ASL for forgive, trace a circle on left palm and wipe it away)
As we forgive those who trespass against us (ASL forgive again)
And lead us not into temptation (cross out arms and shake head)
But deliver us from evil (pretend “devil” horns)
For thine is the kingdom (ASL “king,” a “k” from left shoulder to right hip)
And the power (muscleman arms)
And the glory (raise arms to sky)
Forever and ever (wind arms down)
Amen (praying hands)

When you are done praying in the garden, tell your family, “When Jesus was finished praying, soldiers came to arrest him and take him away. Can we make our feet sound like a whole bunch of stomping soldiers?” Practice doing this together. Then ask, “Where do we throw away garbage?” At our house, this is a dumpster, but you might have it in a trash bin in the garage, the kitchen, etc. Let your children lead you there, march like soldiers all the way.

Station #3: Jesus Dies
When you have arrived at the “garbage dump,” direct the attention of your family to the cross. Say, “Jesus was nailed to a cross at a garbage dump. Some people made fun of him. Some people asked him to forgive him. Jesus forgave everyone, and then he died. Can we sing, ‘Were you there’ together?” Sing a verse or two of “Were you There” together. If you are stumped, check out this video:

When you are finished singing, ask your family, “Is there anywhere in our house that reminds you of a cave?” It could be a small closet, or a root cellar, or even a cardboard box large enough to fit one of your children. We used one of our girl’s play tent. Let your children lead you there.

Station #4: Jesus is Buried
When you arrive at your cave, ask for a volunteer to be Jesus. Wrap them up in the blanket, lay them inside the “cave” and shut the door. Each of my kids wanted a turn, so we let each of them try it out. Say, “After Jesus died, his friends came to bury him. They wrapped him up in a cloth and laid him in a cave and shut the door. He stayed there for three days.”

Station #5: Jesus is Alive
Tell your Jesus to unwrap themselves and be ready to jump out of the cave. As a family, count to three together and open the cave. When Jesus jumps out, shout “Alleluia! He is risen!!!” You could also sing an Alleluia like you do in church. If you are stumped, try this version:

Thank you for experiencing this amazing story along with us!

Song: Jesus Loves Me
When we learned this story at VBS, we paired it with an old classic. Did you know that it has more than one verse? You can sing it here:

Activity: Cross Paintings
For our activity, I found this idea on Pinterest:

http://www.applesandabcs.com/2012/03/easter-cross.html

Here is a pic: IMG_20170803_084150836.jpg

Thanks for your commitment to faithfully feed your family’s faith! I hope that this time was holy time for you. Join us next week for out final VBS-themed Family God Time!

Closing Prayer: (Do this prayer repeat-after-me style)
Dear Jesus, we thank you that you died for us and rose again so that we can live. Help us to always remember how much you love us. In your name we pray, Amen.

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Gideon’s Army: Judges 7

**For the next three weeks at Family God Time, we will be reviewing the Bible stories that we learned at Vacation Bible School this summer. Our curriculum was Group’s Maker Fun Factory.
You can find week one of this series here: God Creates Us https://familygodtime.wordpress.com/2017/06/21/god-creates-us-genesis-1-psalm-139/
You can find week 2 here: Rahab and the Spies
https://familygodtime.wordpress.com/2017/06/28/rahab-and-the-spies-joshua-2/

Gathering Prayer: (Do this prayer repeat-after-me style)
Dear Jesus, we thank you for time to feed our faith as a family, and time to learn about Gideon’s army. Help our time together to be a holy time. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Bible Story:  Judges 7
Read the story of Gideon’s army in a children’s Bible, your own Bible, or you can find the story here:  https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Judges+7&version=ERV

We reviewed the video that our parish made during VBS for our Bible story time. You can find it here:

Now, read Joshua 1:9: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Joshua+1%3A9&version=NIV

Discuss as a family:
Who was Gideon?
What was Gideon’s army?
How did they defeat the Midianites?

Song: Be Strong and Courageous
Our focus verse for the day at VBS was Joshua 1:9. Here is a video to remind us of this verse:

Activity: Gideon’s Torches and Noisemakers
My favorite part of this story is when a small group of 300 people defeats an entire army by using their brains instead of their strength. We thought it would be fun to pretend to be that army for God Time.

To make the torches, gather a small, inexpensive LED flashlight, a roll of red tulle, duct tape (we used the orage tape from last week), and a scissor. For noisemakers, we purchased glowing whistles from the seasonal section of WalMart. I could have just used glow wands for this craft, but I wanted something that they could play with again and again. The glow whistles still work long after the glow stick part has faded.

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Wrap the tulle around the end of the flashlight to look like the flame coming off of a torch. Secure the tulle to the flashlight with the duct tape. Open the whistles and crack them to make them glow.

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Our girls then had a wonderful time running up and down a darkened hallway yelling “For the Lord and for Gideon!” I surely would have run away in fear!

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Thanks for your commitment to faithfully feed your family’s faith! I hope that this time was holy time for you. Join us next week for another VBS-themed Family God Time!

Closing Prayer: (Do this prayer repeat-after-me style)
Dear Jesus, we thank you that you give us strength and courage. Help us to always stand up for what is right. In your name we pray, Amen.

 

Rahab and the Spies: Joshua 2

**For the next four weeks at Family God Time, we will be reviewing the Bible stories that we learned at Vacation Bible School this summer. Our curriculum was Group’s Maker Fun Factory. You can find week one of this series here: God Creates Us 

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Gathering Prayer: (Do this prayer repeat-after-me style)
Dear Jesus, we thank you for time to feed our faith as a family, and time to learn about Rahab. Help our time together to be a holy time. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Bible Story:
Read the story of the creation of people in a children’s Bible, your own Bible, or you can find the story here:
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Joshua+2&version=ERV

We reviewed the video that our parish made during VBS for our Bible story time. You can find it here:

Now, read Romans 8:31: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+8%3A31&version=NIV

Discuss as a family:
1. Who was Rahab?
2. Who came to her house?
3. What did she do for them?
4. How did she ask them to help her?
5. What did they tell her to do?

Song: God is For Me
Our focus verse for the day at VBS was Romans 8:31. Here is a video from Lifetree Kids to remind us of this verse:

Game: Sardines with Spies
A large part of the story with Rahab was how she hid the spies that Joshua had sent so that they would be safe. We played a version of hide and seek called “Sardines,” though we adapted it to be “Spies.” One “spy” went to hide while all of the other spies counted to ten. Then, we searched for the first spy. When we found that person, we hid with them instead of calling attention to them, since the spies hid on Rahab’s rooftop. The last person to hide with the group was the next spy to hide. We played until all of our family members got a turn.

Activity: Rahab’s Wristband

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Another important part of the story was Rahab’s rescue plan. The spies from Joshua told her to hang a red rope from her window so that, when the Israelites conquered the city, the army would know where to find Rahab and rescue her and her family. I thought it would be a neat reminder of the story to wear a red wristband or bracelet that we could carry with us. However, when we went to buy supplies, they were out of red duct tape. We agreed that blaze orange would have been very easy for the army to see, so that’s what we went with.

We got the idea of how to do them here: http://happyhooligans.ca/duct-tape-cuff-bracelets/

My girls are hard on jewelry, so we added an extra layer of duct tape inside to make it more sturdy. Thanks to me, they also have tiny wrists. I added a tie to keep it on their wrists. To make the tie, cut off an 18 inch strip of duct tape. Fold it lengthwise so that the sticky side is on the inside and cut it into four marrow strips. Use an awl or something sharp to poke holes in the ends of the bracelet. Thread the tie through the holes and tie a bow. Trim the ends.

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My girls liked these so much that they asked us to make tiny ones for their stuffed animals:

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We made them thinner (half of the width) and cut a little more than an inch off of the length of the bracelet. The tie only needed to be 9 inches long. They especially love the stuffed animal bracelets, because they report that they are able to find their beloved animals at night when they fall out of bed.

Thanks for your commitment to faithfully feed your family’s faith! I hope that this time was holy time for you. Join us next week for another VBS-themed Family God Time!

Closing Prayer: (Do this prayer repeat-after-me style)
Dear Jesus, we thank you that you are always with us. In your name we pray, Amen.

God Creates Us:  Genesis 1 & Psalm 139

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**For the next five weeks at Family God Time, we will be reviewing the Bible stories that we learned at Vacation Bible School this summer.  Our curriculum in 2017 was Group’s Maker Fun Factory.

Gathering Prayer: (Do this prayer repeat-after-me style)
Dear Jesus, we thank you for time to feed our faith as a family, and time to learn about our wonderful complexity.  Help our time together to be a holy time.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

**We did the first part of the activity right after our gathering prayer so that the glue had time to dry.

Activity part 1:  Five Senses Photo Booth
Recently, our family went to a party where there was a photo booth.  The girls had so much fun, that I thought it might be a good idea to recreate it at home and tie it into the creation story, since God made us so wonderfully complex.  Here’s how we did it:

Supplies needed:
Five Senses file printed on cardstock:  Five Senses
scissors
coloring utensils
glue
popsicle sticks
a small, dark room (we used my walk-in closet)
a stool
other fun photo booth props
a camera with a flash

Instructions:

  1. Cut out each of the five senses.
  2. Color the parts. As you do, you can interview your children about their favorite part of each sense.  For instance, “What is your favorite thing that God made that you can smell/see/hear/taste/touch?”
  3. Glue the completed parts to the popsicles sticks. Allow to dry while you do the Bible story and song.

Bible Story:  Genesis 1:26-31, Psalm 139
Read the story of the creation of people in a children’s Bible, your own Bible, or you can find the story here:  https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+1%3A26-31&version=ERV

We reviewed the video that our parish made during VBS for our Bible story time.  You can find it here:

Now, read Psalm 139:  https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Psalm+139&version=NLT

Discuss as a family:

  1. What does God know about us?
  2. Where does God see us?
  3. How did God make us?

Song:  Hippo Song
During our Bible learning station at VBS, we put our fingerprints on a heart to remember that God’s fingerprints are on our hearts.  It reminded me of a great creation song, and my girls could not wait to sing it over and over again:

Activity part 2:  Five Senses Photo Booth
Once the glue was dry, I cleaned out the floor of my closet and put a tall stool in the open space.  I gave my children some extra options for photo booth fun, like noisemakers, felt hearts, sunglasses, and glow bracelets.  After they each made their selections, I sat them on the stool in the “photo booth,” closed the closet door, and took their pictures.  We had a lot of fun, and, just like a real photo booth, the photos were a bit crazy, cramped, and a bit out of focus.  Here were some of my favorites:

Thanks for your commitment to faithfully feed your family’s faith!  I hope that this time was holy time for you.  Join us next week for another VBS-themed Family God Time!

Closing Prayer: (Do this prayer repeat-after-me style)
Dear Jesus, we thank you for making us so wonderfully complex.  Help us to remember that everything we are comes from you.  In your name we pray, Amen.

Lord, Teach Us to Pray: Luke 11:1-4

Gathering Prayer: (Do this prayer repeat-after-me style)
Dear Jesus, we thank you for time to feed our faith as a family, and time to learn how to pray like you.  Help our time together to be holy time.  In your name we pray, Amen.

Bible Story:  Luke 11:1-4
Read the story “The Lord’s Prayer” from a children’s Bible, your family Bible, or you can read the version that I told to my family below:

One day, Jesus was off praying by himself.  When he returned to his friends, they asked him to teach them how to pray, and he said,
“Our Father
who art in heaven
hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come
thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
Lead us not into temptation
but deliver us from evil
for thine is the kingdom
and the power
and the glory
forever and ever.  Amen.

Discuss as a family:
In the ELCA Lutheran tradition, this prayer is the bedrock of everything that we do.  When we gather for worship, we pray this prayer.  When we gather for Bible Study, we pray this prayer.  When we gather for committee meetings, we pray this prayer.  It follows us everywhere!  Because we know it so well, it might actually be hard to teach it to our children.  We know it by heart, and maybe haven’t even thougth about the words for a long time.  I offer some definitions for you, below, as an aid to helping your kids really understand what they are praying.  We will be reinforcing this prayer in our song and our craft this week, so don’t worry about getting all of the details perfectly down during your discussion time.

art:  is, dwells, lives
hallowed:  holy, sacred, clean
thy, thine:  your (referring to God)
trespasses: sins, things we did wrong, ways that we hurt God or others by “trespassing” into their territory
glory:  high regard, someone we look up to

**optional:  based on your discussion, come up with your own version of the Lord’s Prayer that has words that everyone in your family understands!

Song:  The Lord’s Prayer Song with Motions
Here is a version that I learned at camp and added motions to in order to help my family learn to pray the Lord’s Prayer.  Enjoy!

Activity:  Lord’s Prayer Mobile
One of my most re-pinned Pinterest pins is the Greatest Commandment Mobile.  I thought I could adapt the idea to the Lord’s Prayer.  First, I found an awesome poster on Pinterest:

printable-lords-prayer-for-kids-room

http://www.housemixblog.com/2015/11/24/the-lords-prayer-poster-for-kids/

I took that idea, changed the words to the prayer we pray in our churches, and then made it so it could be cut out in two ways.  I recommend printing these files on cardstock, as they last longer.

If you want to cut out just squares, use this version:

Lord’s Prayer Square Mobile

If you want to cut around each illustration, use this version:

Lord’s Prayer Shape Mobile

If you just want to color a poster for your room, use this version:

Lord’s Prayer Coloring Poster

Once the pieces are cut out and colored, use a hole punch to punch a hole in the top and bottom of each piece, and string them together with string, yarn, or lanyard.  Here is a pic of our finished products:

Lord's Prayer Mobile

Thanks for your commitment to faithfully feed your family’s faith!  I hope that this time was holy time for you.

Closing Prayer: Pray the Lord’s Prayer together as a family.  It can be sung, repeat-after-me, in unison, or your own new version.  As I always say in worship, Lord, remember us in your kingdom, and teach us to pray…

Jesus Loves Me?: Luke 18:15-17

Gathering Prayer: (Do this prayer repeat-after-me style)
Dear Jesus, we thank you for time to feed our faith as a family, and time to learn about how much Jesus loves us.  Help our time together to be holy time.  In your name we pray, Amen.

Bible Story:  Luke 18:15-17
Read the story “Jesus Blesses the Children” or “Jesus Welcomes the Children” from a children’s Bible, your family Bible, or you can find an easy to read version here:

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+18%3A15-17&version=ERV

Discuss as a family:
Why do you think Jesus’ friends didn’t want children to see Jesus?  Why do you think Jesus welcomed them?  How do you think Jesus feels about us?  What kind of people does Jesus love?  What age of people does Jesus love?  Does Jesus love you?  How do you know?

Song:  Jesus Loves Me
This Family God Time actually came about on the fly.  My middle daughter came up to me with her prayer book and asked if we could do “Jesus loves me” after supper.  I thought she meant she wanted us to sing the song together, so I said yes.  As I was loading the dishwasher, she came up to me again, and I stopped to sing the classic song “Jesus Loves Me.”  She listened, and then said, “Okay, now we go in the living room for God Time for Jesus Loves Me.”  I was surprised, but didn’t want to pass up an opportunity, so we went for it.  They wanted to sing a song called “Jesus Loves Me” from Group’s Cave Quest Bible School.  You can hear a clip of the song here:

https://www.group.com/category/ministry-resources/childrens-ministry/vbs/cave-quest.do

Choose “music” at the top of the page.  It is the last song in this category.

This is my youngest daughter’s favorite song from Bible School.  She will often ask it as a question:  “Mama, Jesus love me?”  “Yes,” I say, “Jesus loves you.”  Then, she launches into the song.

Of course, you could also sing the classic version!

Activity:  Jesus Loves Me Hearts
For our activity, I cut out hearts and wrote “Jesus loves me!” around the edge.  Then, I let my girls use two heart paper punches and fancy paper to cut out multiple small hearts.  They glued their small hearts to the large heart, and our project was complete.  They have been using them as fans and cards to give one another.  I suppose you could even hang them on a bulletin board or the fridge, if you want!  This morning, my oldest daughter told me she wants a heart to decorate for each of our family members, so we all remember how much Jesus loves us.  Guess I know what I am doing over my lunch break J.

Here are our finished products:WP_20160718_18_35_31_Pro

Thanks for your commitment to faithfully feed your family’s faith!  I hope that this time was holy time for you.

Closing Prayer: (Can be a repeat after me prayer if you have non-readers in your family)
Dear Jesus, we thank you for loving each of us, big and small, young and old.  Help us to to remember that you love us always, no matter what.  In your name we pray, Amen.

A Baby and a Bush: Exodus 1-4

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Gathering Prayer: (Do this prayer repeat-after-me style)
Dear Jesus, we thank you for time to feed our faith as a family, and time to learn about your servant Moses.  Help our time together to be holy time.  In your name we pray, Amen.

Bible Story:  Exodus 1:6-2:15, 3:1-15, 4:1-17
My family is continuing to discover the Bible App for Kids.  It is fabulous and free!  This summer, when I don’t have other ideas, we are definitely going to start here for Family God Time.  It is available on itunes, Google Play, and Amazon.  You can download a copy here:  https://www.bible.com/kids

Bible App for Kids

This week, we did the story, “A Baby and a Bush,” which tells the story of the childhood and call of Moses.  This app includes the story, interactive pieces, and questions to ponder.  Go through it together as a family.  In my family, we have to take turns interacting with the story, or they crash the app.  Each child gets a turn, switching every time we “turn the page.”

If you do not have access to this app, you can read the story together here:
https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus+1%3A6-2%3A15%2C+3%3A1-15%2C+4%3A1-17&version=ERV

Discuss as a family:
After reading this story, what questions do you have?  What details stand out for you?  What is your favorite part of this story?  What stories from your own life does this story remind you of?  What is God doing here?

Song:  Pharoah, Pharoah
For me, it’s not summer until this old favorite makes the rounds.  Enjoy!

Activity:  Pass the Basket
It has finally gotten hot here, so my kids have been spending a lot of time in the pool.  One of their favorite “pool toys” is a Little Tykes picnic basket.  One day, they were floating it on the surface of the pool and passing it back and forth, and it reminded me of the story we had just learned from Exodus.  I introduced it as a game, and now it has stuck.  My girls take turns, one being the princess who rescues baby Moses, one being Miriam, Moses’ smart sister, and one making crying baby noises on behalf of the pretend “baby” in the real basket.  They pass it back and forth across the pool, saying, “Here you go, Princess” and “Here you go, Miriam,” trying to get it to go farther and farther without sinking the basket.  It is another game that I have introduced once and they have replicated multiple times, and helps them to remember the story even when we are not formally doing God Time.  I hope your kids enjoy it, too!  (If it is not hot where you live at this time of year, this could easily be a bath time game with a smaller bowl for a basket.)

Thanks for your commitment to faithfully feed your family’s faith!  I hope that this time was holy time for you.

Closing Prayer: (Can be a repeat after me prayer if you have non-readers in your family)
Dear God, we thank you that for holy time together as a family.  Thank you for creating us and all that exists.  Help us to remember that you think it is all very good!  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.