This week we'll be continuing our series with our little explorers and learning more about the compassion and care of Jesus.
Today's story tells us how Jesus was compelled with love and compassion to help a woman when he met a crowd on the way into the town of Nain, and the biggest surprise from the story for me is that nobody even asked him, it seems nobody even knew who he was. How many times have we been in situations where we could have helped, maybe even should have helped, but nobody knew we could help so we didn't.
On his way into Nain, Jesus passed a crowd of mourners carrying out a body on a stretcher to be buried. This was the only son of a widow from the town. Given the status of women in the time, a widow was always going to struggle, and her son would have been a great help to her as the man of the house. There was, however, a large crowd with her so undoubtedly she had some friends around her, Jesus went over to her and said 'Don't cry.' Now imagine you are on your way to your family members funeral and a stranger walks over and says 'Don't cry', I'm sure I'm not the only one who wouldn't be mightily impressed. (but this was Jesus, not just some stranger)
As Jesus showed through his ministry, he had power and dominion over the physical as well as the spiritual and he chose that day to bring this son back from the dead, all because he felt compassion towards the mother in our story, and probably the son too.
In these challenging times whilst the virus numbers are on the decline there is still a collective grief that our country is feeling, and if your family haven't, felt it personally I'm sure you know someone who has. God wants all of us to know, and shows us in this story, he has lived that, has felt that and has compassion for us through it, and it's important that we can use stories like this to help our children understand who God is in the midst of such calamity.
For Treehouse today, we want you to help your kids to understand that :
1/ God feels for us
2/ He is here for us
3/ He has a plan
So get your little explorers to pack a bag, you're going to need :
A tablet (not a stone one, its for youtube)
A family photo (one to cut up)
Once you've got your bag packed, lets go on our adventure into today's story.
Start with the story.
Luke 7: 11-18 or watch this video.
Check out the Family resources page for more of the songs your children love, but why not try this one this sunday.
Here you can make a jigsaw puzzle from a family photo, why not get a family photo and cut it up into pieces, then help your child put it back together again. How did it look when it was all apart? How does it make you feel when you take a piece away? This is how God feels when we his children, are far from him too.
Now's your chance to make a sign for someone else to see that Jesus loves them too, why not use your newspaper and card to create some 'GOOD NEWS SIGNS'. Something you can give to someone or show in your window, just how much Jesus loves the people who see it when they are out and about.
What do you think the crowd thought when they saw this all unfold? How do you think the mother felt after this?
For the older kids (or if you're kids are able) why not talk about the story, it's been a difficult few months and losing someone is always going to be hard. God fills us with love and compassion when we ask him to so we can help those around us. When Jesus helped this woman turn her tears of sadness into tears of joy it changed her life completely. Pray for those you know who are sad, our broken world is still not far enough away that God isn't here. Is there anyone your kids know that they'd like to pray for?
WIth schools starting up again, work places and offices opening, and people emerging from their insular bubbles over the last few months, what can we all do together to share the love of Jesus as he's shown in this story? Can we pray for people? Can we give them something? Can we be there? If you are thinking of someone today then contact them, help your kids contact them but make sure you are spreading the love of God as he has shown us in stories like this one.
TOP TIP FOR THIS WEEK - for all the family
You set goals right? Climb that tree, only eat half the bag of skittles, fill in that report by 10am, something like that. Why not set goals for who you are going to contact, who you're going to pray for, who you are going to love. Try these three as a start ;
1/ Today God I am going to love ________________________
2/ Today God I am going to pray for _________________________
3/ Today God I am going to message __________________________
Do that everyday and see just how much of God's love you can spread, and trust me, he has a lot to spare so ask him for some more when you get tired.
Why not share what you've been up to on the Treehouse Parents Facebook Group?