I hope you’re having a restful and holy Sabbath with your family. Your promised Cover to Cover Part 2 post was due this weekend. However, I became ill with the Chickungunya virus that ravaged me for much of this week. Because of this, I wasn’t able to devote the quality time needed to write that post. Please forgive me. I will have that post ready for you by the latest Monday.
In the meanwhile, please expect and enjoy this special devotional on how the perseverance of the young disabled hero you meet in Sunday’s Week of Prayer (WOP) Readings. I hope that double whammy makes up for the missed post.
But before I go, allow me to share a favourite excerpt from the Children’s Week of Prayer Readings that will be presented in your local churches starting this Sabbath and continuing into next week:
Verse of the Week:
Who may climb the mountain of the Lord and enter where He lives? Who may Stand Before the Lord? Only those with pure hands and hearts, who do not practice dishonesty and lying. Psalm 24: 3-4
Sunday’s Topic: The Man with the Shrivelled Hand
Story Text: Luke 6:6 -11
Value – Perseverance noun \ˌpər-sə-ˈvir-ən(t)s\
- the quality that allows someone to continue trying to do something even though it is difficult
Did you know this?
Myths Society Held About Disabled People Back in Jesus Day.
1. If a person was born blind, mute, paralyzed etc. it was because their parents had sinned. Society then rejected these people. They were treated with contempt and lack of consideration.
2. It was also felt that if a person experienced some form of tragedy, for example acquiring some kind of illness like leprosy or paralysis, that it was a punishment from God for being a sinner.
This young man stretched out his hand and met with Jesus. Do you want to meet with Jesus tonight?
Commentary: Despite the jeering insults he must have grown up with, this young man, our hero of the Luke 6 story in Sunday’s Week of Prayer Reading never grew bitter. He was a boy of faith and he continued going to church, reading his Bible and loving God. When Jesus told him to Stretch out his hand, this young man was able to trust because He had already met Jesus through the Word.
His act of obedience was not only an act of faith. but of courage as well. He stood to be ridiculed all over again if this failed. ‘This could go very wrong’ that voice of doubt might have crept in and taunted. But he resisted all these temptations seeking to distract him from his faith. He kept his eyes on the eyes of the Man who had calmed the seas.
In that moment, his shrivelled limbs grew new strength, regained youthful tone and a healthy glow as life returned to this part of him that had been paralyzed for so many years.
What lessons can we as children ministry workers and parents take from the story’s idea about persevering?
Prayer Requests –
Please pray for my ministry and all the children ministries around the world every day this week. Especially remember the families of Ebola victims who have died and are dying in Africa and all affected countries. Pray for your nation’s preservation from this deadly plague. Pray for the hearts of our children that many will come to know Christ this week. Pray for the strength of all families and churches as well for the days ahead.
On any day this week, you can leave a prayer request on the Kids Who Love the Lord Facebook page. Just send me a friend request.
Find the complete Week of Prayer Readings in my recent post.
Remember to look out for Cover to Cover Part 2, the primer on the Children’s GraceLink Study Guides to help increase parent study time with kids at home.
Teachers, here are a couple final word tips to help you sort through the curriculum before I go.
HANDY ‘COVER-T’ TIPS TO SPIKE CLASS INTEREST IN STUDY
Display as a Poster. Stoke curiosity and sustain interest in the new study guide by copying the cover and posting it on the bulletin board in your classroom.
Bible Learning Centre. To extend the impact of this, think of ways you can introduce the ‘characters’ the children will meet by setting up a display or learning centre devoted to Bible story props.
Without identifying the stories right away, use and set up objects mentioned in the stories: a basket, if you’re teaching the story of the two loaves and five fish or the story of baby Moses, a baby doll can be used to represent the birth of a baby such as Samuel or Jesus, or a colourful piece of fabric to represent Joseph’s coat.
These will pique children’s curiosity about the people they will meet in the weeks ahead. This is a proven reading strategy used by teachers of literature to encourage the reading of Bible or any other type of literature, and build anticipation among the class.
Have a happy Sabbath.