Beulah Land: Ruth
The women said to Naomi, “Blessed be the Lord, who has not left you this day without a redeemer, and may his name be renowned in Israel!” Ruth 4:14
Summary: Your child will hear the story of God’s faithfulness to two women who were alone, depressed and in need of a kinsman-redeemer. You can find this story in the Old Testament book of Ruth.
Wondering: I wonder why Ruth wanted to stay with Naomi instead of going back to her own parents? I wonder what it was like for Ruth to be a stranger in her new city? I wonder why Boaz was kind to Ruth? I wonder why this story is important to know?
Family Followup: Review the story at home. You can act out the story or ask your child to draw a picture of something from the story. It would be interesting to see what they pick up from it!
Parents: This book often is portrayed as a romantic love story between Ruth and Boaz. It often gets a bit of a damsel-in-distress rap. However, it is a story of radical, self-sacrificing commitment from several characters. I wonder what God is telling us through that?
Hymn of the Month: Today is the last day for this month’s featured hymn! It is the DOXOLOGY. Find the song HERE to practice at home!
Godly Play I: Ark and the Temple
O LORD, God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven or on earth- you who keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way. 2 Chronicles 6:14
Summary: This week’s lesson continues to address the presence of God with the Israelites. This week, the focus is on the building of the temple as a dwelling place for God. Remember, last week’s important phrase was, “God made a way for the people to come near.” You kids will build upon that idea with questions about God’s special presence in the temple as well as that his presence cannot be contained in one place. How’s that for something to wrestle with?
Wondering: I wonder what the temple was like? I wonder what you remember from the building? I wonder what King Solomon meant when he said God was too big to be contained in one place? I wonder what it means that God met with his people in a special way in the temple? I wonder where God lives now?
Family Followup: Look up pictures of the temple (then and now). You can explain to your children that it was destroyed, rebuilt, then destroyed again so now all we have are ruins of the temple. Jesus talks about himself as the temple. I wonder why he does that?
Godly Play II: Jeremiah
My people have committed two sins: they have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns; broken cisterns that cannot hold water. Jeremiah 2:13
Note: This is our fourth week studying a prophet in GP II. Prophets remind God’s people that blessings will come from following God, but that dire consequences will follow disobedience. Prophets speak of the consistent, faithful nature of God and His redemption, even after exile. Christ is our ultimate prophet as He revealed in the flesh, God’s word, and His will for our salvation. Once we, too, were far away, but we have come close because of Christ.
Summary: This week’s story is about the prophet Jeremiah. It will cover the entire book, highlighting some particular prophesies. God sent messages through him during the reigns of the last kings of Judah. He warned that Babylon would take over Judah. Jeremiah also spoke against false prophets who said that the people were safe. Jeremiah also gives instructions to those in exile about how to live.
Wondering: I wonder what it was like to be Jeremiah? I wonder why he was sad and afraid when he saw what all would happen to the Israelites? I wonder why rulers punished Jeremiah for telling God’s message?
Family Followup: Review the Prophets Flashcard Game at home! Wonder together over why God used images (in this case like a broken clay pot or linen belt) to communicate important messages to His people. Though it is not clear, Lamentations is a book whose authorship has been traditionally attributed to Jeremiah. The book expresses deep grief and pain over the fulfillment of Jeremiah’s prophecies. You can read some of that book together and discuss the sorrow that inevitably comes from sin and disobedience. Despite the consequences the Israelites faced, God continued to show his mercy to them. They lived in exile and were even promised a fuller redemption if they turned back to the Lord. I wonder what that was?