Welcome to Faces of Easter IV: Remembering Christ's Desert Experience, our lesson for March 30.
As we get ready for Easter this week, we remember Jesus' temptation in the wilderness, described in Matthew 4: 1-11. It's good to remember that this event happened right after Jesus' baptism, before he could begin his work. Or maybe being tempted--and letting us see that even he was tempted--was part of his work!
As we all know (and have lived!) children have plenty of experience with temptation. Thankfully they have this sacred story to refer to, both now and as they get older. Temptation never goes away in life so it's a great lesson for all of us.
Since there are no wondering questions listed with the script, I'll have these ready in your rooms. Thanks so much for taking time to document their responses. Having a peek into their thoughts and ideas is such a gift to the parents--and to the rest of us!
1. I wonder what is your favorite part of today's story.
2. I wonder what it felt like to be so hungry and to be reminded that if he wanted to, he could turn the stones into bread.
3. Jesus responded, "To be a real human being, we need more than just bread to eat. I wonder what he meant. I wonder what he thought we needed.
4. When Jesus found himself on top of the Temple, I wonder how it felt to imagine himself falling and having the angels save him. I wonder if people had seen him do that, what they might have thought about him.
5. I wonder how it felt to be tempted to easily become the king of all the kingdoms.
6. I wonder why Jesus needed to go through all of these temptations before he started working with people.
Now, some ideas to add to your own to serve as springboards for the children's response time:
Focus on retelling the story itself:1. Children could draw the three separate scenes. They could do this individually, on a large paper, folded in thirds. Or they could do this as a class, on a large mural on butcher paper. They could make captions, explaining each scene.
2. They could show the desert scene with sand art, using glue and colored sand, as shown here.
3. They could pick one scene to draw (or all three) and paint the drawing with watercolors.
4. On one side of a drawing or collage of magazine pictures, children could illustrate the different temptations they face at school or at home or at church or sports. (Cheating, disobeying parents, being hurtful to others, eating things that aren't good for them, etc). On the other side they could show how they resist temptation by asking God for help. Or they could put on that side a verse of scripture or "What would Jesus do?" Some scripture that might be appropriate might include:
James 1:12 Blessed is anyone who endures temptation. Such a one has stood the test and will receive the crown of life that the Lord* has promised to those who love him.
Psalm 62:8 Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him.
Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart,and do not rely on your own insight.
Isaiah 12:2 Surely God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid, for the Lord God * is my strength and my might; he has become my salvation.
5. Children could make a What Would Jesus Do bracelet (or a love bracelet) with letter beads and twine, tying knots between each bead to make them stay in place.
6. Children could make ornaments for the Jesus/Easter tree in their Sunday school room. For today's lesson, this might include hot gluing stones to thread to hang, or ornaments of scripture from this lesson.
7. Children could make a banner from felt or fun foam on What Would Jesus Do?
I hope this helps! Thank you for all you do!