We're continuing our explorer theme this week; I’m praying these tools can help us as we teach our children more about Jesus.
This story is about a Roman centurion, a military officer in charge of around 100 soldiers. These were authority figures for a brutal foreign empire. The idea that a centurion could know God, or be loved by him, or have strong faith, or be part of God’s people, would be surprising. As Christians, we can be quick to rule who is ‘in’ or ‘out’; this story is a great chance to talk about grace, and the way faith in Jesus and new life in him is offered to everyone.
This is also a great chance to be open with your child about your own experiences with faith in Jesus. It can be a huge encouragement to share about times where Jesus has answered your prayers in amazing ways. But faith can also be difficult, and your child may have hard questions, or be experiencing doubts. That’s fine too, and it’s good to acknowledge these hard parts of faith; that’s exactly what Scripture does.
If you want you can start this week going on another 'mission' around your house to collect the things you need for today's Treehouse.
Try and find:
An iPad, phone or tablet to allow you to watch the worship video
Pens / Pencils
Cardboard boxes / card
Sunflower seeds (or any seeds). You might find some in bird feed if you have any.
Once your bag is packed, do a lap of your house and/or garden and end up ready to learn together.
Perhaps talk through with your child who a centurion was and what they did. People would have thought a centurion couldn’t be part of God’s people and couldn’t know God.
Read Matthew 8:5-13. The Message has a helpful and accessible version of this story. For younger children, the Beginner’s Bible has a great retelling of this story called ‘A Captain’s Faith’.
Choose from the resources page; here’s a suggestion of a song from theTreehouse Youtube playlist:
I will trust in you
Create / Play
Use card and tape / glue to create a centurion’s helmet. There’s some templates for you to print and use that make an easy and nifty-looking helmet; or you may be more like me, and your approach to craft may be
more ‘attack it with card and PVA and see what happens’. No judgement here.
Plant sunflower seeds together. Talk about how we plant and water the seed, even though we can’t see anything is happening at first; but then what happens? Faith in Jesus can be like this; we trust him even when we can’t see the results yet, but then he does amazing things.
Questions to ask while you create/chat
Why not share what you've been up to on the Treehouse Parents Facebook Group?
Why did the centurion say he didn’t need Jesus to come to his house to heal his servant?
Why was Jesus surprised at the centurion’s faith?
What times have you seen Jesus answer prayers or do amazing things?
Are there any people you think could never come to know Jesus or have faith in him? Why don’t we pray for them now?