January Week 3, 2023 Learning Together
Hello once more! Here is the last of our three January’s lessons about “The Captain of the Storm” story, which can be found on pages 236-243 in The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones.
Children: When we last left Jesus’ helpers, they were soaking wet and shaking with fear. They all believed that their boats were sinking, that they were going to die in the terrible storm, and they were all pleading for Jesus to save their lives.
Jesus is awoken, and, realizing the situation, says, “Peace! Be still” without any fear or worry in His words. The storm obeyed, and all was quiet again. The helpers’ fear of dying was replaced with total amazement and awe. They found it almost impossible to believe that Jesus had calmed the storm with two words, but they had witnessed it with their own eyes and ears. They knew he had worked miracles with people, but they had not realized that Jesus could do THIS!
Jesus is the Son of God, creator of the universe. There is no place and no thing over which He is not Lord. Whatever our fears, we can count on him to calm the storms in our lives. When we are worried, we can call out to Jesus in prayer and know that he hears us just as he heard the disciples’ cries for help. “Do not be afraid. Believe that I will take care of you!”
~This week’s children’s prayer: Help us to remember that you are Creator of the universe and that nothing is too big or too hard for you. Amen
Adults: The Biblical reference to this story is Matthew 8 and Mark 4.
We have the benefit of knowing how the story of Jesus calming the storm ends, but imagine the disciples’ amazement when the raging waves instantly became quiet. Even today, with our advanced technology, we don’t have any control over the weather and can’t always forecast it very accurately. In Jesus’ day, controlling the weather was known strictly as the domain of God. In the instant the storm ceased, the disciples began to realize more fully who Jesus was. He had demonstrated his power in healing people and casting out demons. Now they were amazed and afraid to find He had power over nature, as well. He had never before done anything of this magnitude.
They turned to each other and asked, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” The disciples came to learn that no matter how bad a situation seemed, the first thing they needed to do was turn to Jesus. By calming the Sea of Galilee, Jesus demonstrated to His disciples that He was no ordinary man. Jesus was, indeed, God’s Son, and He is truly like no other.
~This week’s adult prayer:
God Loves Me
Whenever I am troubled and lost in deep despair,
I bundle all my troubles up and go to God in prayer,
I tell Him I am heartsick and lost and lonely too,
That I am deeply burdened and don't know what to do.
But I know He stilled the tempest and calmed the angry sea,
And I humbly ask if in His love He'll do the same for me.
Then I just keep quiet and think only thoughts of peace,
And if I abide in stillness my restless murmurings cease.
~ Helen Steiner Rice
Sunday School will gather for discussion of this story and a related craft this coming Sunday, January 22 at 11:00 a.m. Remember to bring any of your own artwork or writing or comments or questions if you would like to share. See you soon!
Have a safe week,
January Week 2, 2023 Learning Together
Welcome back to Learning Together’s site for January’s Week 2 lesson. Our story discussion of “Captain of the Storm” found on pages 236-243 of The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Weber continues.
Children: To refresh your memory, please reread the story or re-listen to the taped story found above. Think about responding with artwork or writing a poem.
As you know, Jesus and His friends had been very busy traveling and sharing God’s Word with many other people, and Jesus was very tired when he and the rest set off in their fishing boats.
The friends were experienced sailors and tried to control the storm situation by doing what they had been taught - lowering their sails, throwing out their anchors, and bailing out the water. Close your eyes and imagine the shrieking wind and the huge waves and how afraid the friends became as the storm continued to rage on and the boats became closer and closer to sinking! They thought they were goners until Jesus, with two words calmed that angry sea.
Adults: The Biblical reference for this story is Mark 4 and Matthew 8.
What an exciting and amazing day that must have been for the disciples—first to be caught in that terrible storm and then to see Jesus take control of the weather and change it with only his words!
They were pretty shocked about what Jesus had done, as we would have been. He didn’t get up and start screaming “We’re all gonna die!” like most of us would have. He wasn’t even worried. He simply got up and said, “Quiet. Be still.” and the angry sea had been calmed. What an epiphany for them!
~This week’s prayer: Almighty God, I thank you calming my heart and giving me peace. Amen
Keep in mind that Sunday School will meet to discuss this story and work a related craft on January 22, 2023, at 11:00 right after the church service. All are welcome!
Have a good week!
Happy New Year to you and your family and welcome to the very first Sunday School lesson of 2023.
Once again, you all are invited to listen and read and create and pray around one particular story. This month, our story is “The Captain of the Storm” and is found on pages 236-243 of The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones.
Children: Please begin by listening to our story being read aloud to you in this Learning Together email. Your whole family could listen together. Because pictures bring stories to life, I hope you are able to follow along in your own book. (Just ask to have your own copy of the book!)
Bad weather storms – Are you afraid of them? If you are, I understand why! Storms can be scary, and we know they will happen in everyone’s lives. Some storms are worse and can be more frightening than others, like the one in our story. This one took place on a big lake, which is the worst place to be in a storm, called the Sea of Galilee, and Jesus and His friends were on boats in the middle of this big lake, and a huge storm came up, and they all thought they would die. Of course, Jesus, the great Rescuer, had other plans!
Adults: The Biblical reference to this story is from Mark 4 and Matthew 8. Jesus’ suggestion to go to the other side of the Sea of Galilee sounds to us like a simple procedure. However, several factors made such a journey difficult. First, few inhabitants of the west side of Galilee ever ventured to the east side. That side was inhabited mostly by non-Jews who worshipped a variety of gods, which naturally made God-fearing Jews uncomfortable. Second, the boats Jesus’ disciples used were small fishing boats. They were not intended for traversing the middle of the lake, which was 14 miles long by 8 miles wide. And finally, the geography surrounding the lake made it susceptible to sudden storms that could turn a calm lake into a violent sea.
Note that Jesus and his followers weren’t all in one boat, though that is a common perception. Many lives were at stake when a furious storm arose. However, many of the disciples were experienced fishermen and expert sailors. So one might expect that they would handle things on their own. The fact that they turned to Jesus for help likely meant that they were at the end of their means—they had tried everything they knew to combat the storm and had failed. At the point of pure desperation, they woke Jesus with screams of terror.
~This week’s prayer: I must ask God to calm my storms and trust that He will in His time. Amen.
Sunday School will meet for story discussion and a craft this month on January 22, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. after the church service. Hope to see you then!
Until next time,