May Week 1
Hello everyone! Welcome to May’s Learning Together! Like always, you are invited to listen and read and create and pray around one particular story. May’s story is called “A New Way to See” and is found on pages 334-341 of your copy of The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones.
Children: Listen to the story read aloud to you in our Learning Together email. As you listen, you may want to follow along in your own book and look at the pictures. Of course, all members of your family are encouraged to listen and look together!
When we meet Saul, he was a wicked man because, although he TRULY believed in God, he did NOT believe that Jesus was the Rescuer, and he did NOT believe that Jesus was raised from the dead. He was very angry with the people who DID believe those things, so he took a job which put him in charge of arresting and even killing Jesus’s helpers (also called Christian people)! He sure did need a new way to see!!
After thinking about the story, you may want to ask questions or make comments and post them to this blog. Pastor Mary will respond to all.
Adults: The story of Saul is referenced Biblical in Acts 6-9, 12-28, Colossians 2, Romans 8, and Ephesians 2. Transformation … It’s fascinating, whether we are watching tadpoles and caterpillars or seeds and plants. What an amazing miracle that God can do such wonderful things … and that He can transform our lives, as well! In Saul, we will take a look at a character in the Bible whose life was radically changed. Through Paul’s conversion and work, we see that anyone can be changed and used to serve God.
How did Paul’s work affect the Church? Well, up to this point, the only people in the Church were Jewish people. In Acts, Peter shows God’s hand in the conversion of Gentiles. Paul went on to become perhaps the most influential and important figure of the church spread and the new faith. Gentile conversions brought change and the Church experienced great growth.
~This week’s prayer: We humbly ask God to help us to trust Him when change happens in our lives.
This month of May will be our Sunday School’s last Learning Together set of lessons and fourth Sunday gatherings before summer’s break. September will see our return!
Enjoy your week,
April Week 3
Hi to all of you! Welcome to this third and final online lesson for April’s story called “God’s Wonderful Surprise”, found on pages 310-317 in The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones. The Biblical references are Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 2, and John 20.
Children: Today we are going to talk about something that, for some people, is very hard to believe, and that is that Jesus died on a cross yet became alive again after three days. Even his Helpers had trouble believing it! This transformation is called a Resurrection, which means a return to life. God gave rebirth to Jesus His son after Jesus had died, and we know that God has promised to do the same for us. It was the most WONDERFUL SURPRISE that God, in his love, could do for us, His children! Jesus lives after being dead, and so will we!
Adults: What difference does the Resurrection make in our lives today? Does an event that happened close to 2000 years ago affect us? For Christians, the answer is yes, it does make a difference. The Resurrection teaches us that despair is never an option, that sin can be overcome, that renewal is available, and that the grave is not our final destination.
The truth is we can have confidence that the Resurrection actually happened, and furthermore, we can have confidence that there are little resurrections happening all around us every day. People who were dead in their sin rise to a new life. Marriages that were dead receive fresh breath because of the power of the Gospel. Again and again, the power of the Gospel changes things. Not just for our eternity, but for our here and now. In that way, it’s Easter every day. Jesus is risen from the grave, and He is risen in us as we surrender to Him daily.
This week’s prayer: Dear Lord, I know that You are in control and have the power to change me and change my life. Let me trust in You! Alleluia!
Next week, there will be no online Sunday School lesson. Rather, we will meet on the fourth Sunday (in this case 4/24/22), as we do each month, for our in-person gathering after church in our Fellowship Hall. The discussion will of course be about April’s story of God’s wonderful surprise and some fun crafts. Remember to bring any of your art work or journaling. See you then!
May the Lord bless and keep you this week,
April Week 2
Greetings, Friends! Today’s posting is Week 2 for April’s story of “God’s Wonderful Surprise” found on pages 310-317 in The Jesus Storybook Bible. Biblical references about the Resurrection are found in Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, and John 20.
Children: Please read the story out loud to an adult or out loud by yourself. It is hard to imagine how very sad Jesus’s friends were that Jesus had been hung from a cross, died, and was laid in a closed tomb. Jesus, The Rescuer himself, was dead. It was not supposed to end like this! TWO LONG days passed filled with much grieving.
But, as you have read, early on the third day, a Sunday, everything changed! Three women discovered that the giant stone had been somehow rolled away from the tomb door, Jesus’s body was nowhere to be found, and an angel in radiant white spoke of Jesus being alive again! Then, most amazingly, Mary Magdalene actually saw and talked to Jesus. It was the most unexpected, happiest surprise ever! Jesus WAS alive again! Draw a picture of Mary Magdalene in her joy as she raced into town to tell the other friends. Please bring your art to share at our fourth Sunday gathering.
If you were one of Jesus’s helpers, would you believe Mary’s story to be true? Do you think a dead person can be made alive again?
Adults: The Resurrection accounts from Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are considered mostly the same with a few differences. Examples -
Things that are the same:
1. What day of the week it was (The first day.)
2. They came to the tomb early in the morning
3. The purpose of going to the tomb (Look/anoint the body.)
4. Clothes of angels were gleaming white
Things that are different:
1. Who was present
2. Whether they felt an earthquake when the stone was rolled away
3. Amount of young men/angels (1 vs. 2) and where they appeared
4. What precisely the angel said (Though not generally.)
5. The precise reaction of the women present
~This week’s prayer: Lord, often our prayers are like Mary’s. Though we ask for one thing, You surprise us with another, but we know that God’s answers are better than ones we could ever imagine for ourselves. Amen.
Until next week’s lesson, stay safe!
April Week 1
Hello and welcome to April’s Learning Together! As usual, you will be invited to listen and read and create and pray around one particular story. This month’s story is called “God’s Wonderful Surprise” and can be found on pages 310-317 in your copy of The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones. The Biblical references about the Resurrection are found in Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, and John 20.
Children: First, listen to the story read aloud to you in our Learning Together email. If you wish, look carefully at the pictures shown in your storybook as you listen. All members of your family are encouraged to listen together!
When you are finished, write down any questions you or your family may have about the story. Go to our RLC Blog, hit Chat, and send your questions to Pastor Mary and to all who are participating. Pastor Mary will respond to everyone.
During the week, think about what big surprises you have had in your life. Were they good or bad surprises? In the beginning of our story, three women had their worst surprise in their lives followed by their best ever surprise! So much sadness turned into gladness!
Adults: The Gospel authors recorded the events of the Resurrection differently because they were writing to different audiences, at different times, with different sources for their writing. While the details vary, there is nothing to disprove another’s account. Considered accurate and trustworthy, they were all written just a couple of decades after the events took place.
~This week’s prayer: Thank you, God, for your best ever surprise! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Have a safe week!
Hello to everyone participating in our Learning Together story this month! This is the third and final online lesson for March based on “The Servant King” found on pages 286-293 in The Jesus Storybook Bible. The Biblical references are located in Mark 14 and John 13-14.
Children: If you recall, Jesus and his helpers were having the Passover meal together in an upstairs room. He had washed everyone’s feet to show how much he loved all his friends, and now, while sharing this meal, Jesus told them about God’s plan for rescuing the whole world and how Jesus himself will die instead of anyone else.
Jesus’s helpers were very upset to hear this, and to make them feel better, Jesus gave them, and us, a way to remember Him. He said that His body was like a piece of bread that will break, and the cup of wine is like His blood that will pour out. We remember Jesus’s rescue when we eat the bread and drink the wine during our communion, an act of sharing.
One last thought … Judas, a traitor friend! What was his terrible plan?
Adults: Was Judas forgiven for his betrayal? According to Billy Graham and other scholars, Judas was not forgiven for his betrayal of Jesus, and one reason is because he could not bring himself to repent of the sin he had committed. There's a difference between feeling sorry over something we have done, and actually repenting of it. Judas knew he had done wrong, and when the full force of his terrible act hit him, the Bible says "he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty silver coins" to those who had paid him (Matthew 27:3). Although he admitted he had sinned, it was too late, and the Bible says he went out and killed himself.
Feel free to blog any questions, comments, or thoughts below.
Next week we will meet for our fourth Sunday in-person gathering after church in the Fellowship Hall to discuss the March story and do a fun craft. Hope to see you!
This week’s prayer: Lord, as we take this bread, we remember that You are the bread of life. You feed our souls and nourish our hearts. Amen
Have a good week, everyone!
March Week 2
Hi Friends! Today’s posting is week 2 for March’s story of “The Servant King” found on pages 286-293 in The Jesus Storybook Bible. The Biblical references are located in Mark 14 and John 13-14.
Children: As usual, I will begin by requesting that you read the story out loud to an adult or out loud by yourself.
By now you probably understand why feet, back in Jesus’s time, would be really stinky. You also know that a servant usually would have to do the yucky task of washing them. When Jesus washed his helpers’ feet, he was a servant showing His great love for them. He tells his helpers to “do this for each other.”
Being a servant is to be a helper. Draw or make a list of ways that you can show your love to others by being helpful to them, as Jesus was.
Adults: Sometimes it can be hard to let others serve us. When Peter found out what Jesus was going to do for them, immediately he said, “You shall never wash my feet.” (John 13:8) In that same verse, Jesus responded by saying, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.” Peter was not responding out of humility, but out of pride instead. He didn’t think that he could possibly receive what Jesus was about to do. If he had not allowed Jesus to serve him like this, he might have missed out on one of the most important things that Jesus was trying to teach him. We must not assume that we are not good enough to be served by others. If we are too prideful to accept what others want to do for us, we might completely miss what Jesus has done for us as well. We must be humble enough to allow others to minister to us.
~This week’s prayer: Heavenly Father, In prayer I ask that you help me to love others as much as you love me.
Next week we will talk about the last supper that Jesus had with his helpers. Until then,
March has arrived, and so has Learning Together’s new story for this month. You will once again be invited to listen and read and create and pray around one particular story. Find your copy of The Jesus Storybook Bible and turn to “The Servant King” on pages 286-293. The Biblical references are found in Mark 14 and John 13-14.
Children: Please begin by listening to the story read aloud in our Learning Together Tuesday email. You may wish to look carefully at all the pictures shown in the story as you listen. All members of your family are encouraged to listen together.
Our discussion begins with STINKY FEET! Yuk! Why would the friends of Jesus be arguing about stinky feet? Check out the pictures on pages 286 and 287 and think about what the streets were like for the people who lived in Jesus’ time. Oh my! No fun there!
But what would stinky feet have to do with Jesus? Why would Jesus wash his friends’ stinky feet? Why would he tell his friends to wash each other’s stinky feet? Hmm! Think about these questions and jot down your thoughts to share or draw a picture of the scene.
Adults: It is hard to imagine coming into this world, knowing that you are not just here for your personal benefit, but that you came to be a servant of others. This is exactly what Jesus came to do. Jesus came to serve, not be served.
Our society is one where it is common to look out for our own good, not so much looking out for the good of others. After Jesus washed the disciples’ feet he said to them, “I have set an example that you should do as I have done for you.” (John 13:15) Jesus expressed his love for the disciples when he humbly washed their feet (“Unless I wash you, you have no part with me.”) and we are to follow in his footsteps and do likewise. We are to show others the same kind of love that Jesus shows us, and we are to accept others serving us.
~This week’s prayer: Dear Lord, I pray that I will follow your example to gladly help others.
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Have a great week!