January 03, 2021 Post

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GREETINGS & HAPPY NEW YEAR

 herefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
~2 Corinthians 5:17

 

Greetings!

I hope you and your family had a blessed and Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year.  While we may be uncertain as to what awaits us in this New Year, I pray that it will be full of good health, healing, peace and prosperity.

We will begin the New Year, and prayerfully continue throughout the year, to gather in person for Sunday School.  We will kick off the New Year with a lesson and resolution to pray daily.  If your child/ren are unable to attend in person, the morning’s lesson can be found following this greeting.

I wish you and your family a very Blessed “2021.”  I look forward to the return of a full Christian Education activity schedule in the near future.  Until then, let us do our part to keep one another safe and healthy.

Peace, Blessings and Love,

Pastor Schalm

 


 

New Year's Sunday School Lesson For Kids:


BOTTOM LINE: 

Make prayer a priority.

OBJECTIVE: 

Kids will make a New Year's Resolution to pray every day in the coming year.

KEY PASSAGE: 

Luke 11:1-13,    Jesus' Teaching On Prayer

MEMORY VERSE: 

“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” - Colossians 4:2 (NIV)

“Give a lot of time and effort to prayer. Always be watchful and thankful.” - Colossians 4:2 (NIrV)

SUMMARY: 

One small change can make a huge difference in your life. This year, follow Jesus' example and resolve to pray every day and see what amazing things God will do.

OBJECT LESSON:

Cell Phone 

When we love someone – family, friends – what are some ways that we can show them we care?

Let the kids offer suggestions.

Those are all good suggestions. We don't always need a grand gesture to show our love. Just being with someone is all you need sometimes. Spending time with him, talking to him.

Now let's suppose that someone lives on the other side of the world. How can you talk to that person?

Have kids answer. Bring out cell phone.

We live in a time when we have the technology to talk to people halfway across the globe. We can just call them up on our phones and have a chat whenever we want. We can even use Skype and see their face on the screen.

Cell phones have only been around for a few decades and video chat is even newer than that. But when it comes to talking to God, we have always had the necessary technology. It's called prayer. Prayer is just talking with God. We just open our mouths and talk to him – whatever is on our hearts and in our minds. We can tell him what we need, or share the things that have us worried. Or we can just shoot the breeze and enjoy the time with him. And we can listen for what he has to say too.

With cell phones, we can talk anywhere, anytime with our family and friends around the world. With prayer, we can talk to God anywhere and anytime. No special calling plan needed

LARGE GROUP LESSON

INTRO

What comes to mind when you think about the New Year? Maybe you think about New Year's parties. Staying up past midnight on New Year's Eve. Watching on television as the ball drops in Times Square, and all the people counting down: 10, 9, 8. . .

 Many people look at the new year as a new beginning. It's a chance to turn over a new leaf and make some positive changes in your life. That's why some people create a list of New Year's Resolutions. Adults resolve to lose weight and get in shape, to learn a new language, to break a bad habit like smoking, or to travel more.

 Grown ups don't have to be the only ones to make new year's resolutions though. Today, we're going to talk about one great thing you can put on your list to do this year. It's prayer. Prayer is communicating with God. It's our way to stay connected with him. It's one of the most important parts of the Christian life, and it's one of those things most of us – kids and adults – don't do enough.

 But we can change that. This year, let's resolve to pray more. But where do we start? How do we pray? What are we supposed to say to God? How do we do it? Jesus' disciples had those same questions, so one day they asked Jesus to teach them how to pray. Let's find out what Jesus said.

 READ Luke 11:1-13

MAIN POINT

The prayer Jesus gave us is a launching off point for our own communication with God. The prayer starts with, “Father, hallowed be your name.” Hallowed is a fancy word for holy. So we start our prayer be remembering and celebrating who God is. He is our father. He is holy.

 Next is, “your kingdom come.” That's another way of saying, “your will be done.” We might come to God with a long list of things that we want and think we need. But we must always remember that God knows what's going on much better than we do. He knows what is best for us. He knows what will do us good. He wants us to have the best life, and one that honors him. If we say “your kingdom come” we are saying “God I trust that you know what I need and that you love me and will take care of me.”

 Then Jesus said, “Give us this day our daily bread.” What does that mean? Well, this where we ask for the essentials. We need food, water, a place to sleep at night. We might take those things for granted, but there are plenty of people around the world who never know where their next meal is coming from. But it can mean more than that. What do you need this day? Maybe an extra helping of patience? Maybe some strength to get through a tough situation? Perhaps a little courage? By asking for “our daily bread” we are saying, “God give me what I need to make it through this day.”

Next, Jesus told us to seek forgiveness. We have all sinned, done something wrong in the eyes of God. Jesus died for our sins. When we ask for forgiveness in Jesus' name, God is faithful to forgive us.

Jesus reminds us in this prayer that we also must forgive other people. People do mean things to us sometimes. We must forgive them. By forgiving them, we aren't saying, “what you did was okay.” Instead we are saying, “I will not hold a grudge against you.” God loves us despite our sin, and we can be like him and love people who have wronged us.

Finally, we ask that God would lead us not into temptation. Temptation to sin lurks around every corner. We're tempted to cheat when we didn't study for the test. We're tempted to steal when we see no one is looking. We're tempted to badmouth our parents or teachers. The easiest way to overcome temptation is to avoid it altogether. When we pray, we should ask God to lead us away from temptation and lead us toward good and great things.

DRIVE IT HOME:

That's a lot to remember. But don't let it bog you down. Remember it all boils down to this: prayer is talking to God. Talk to him about whatever you want to talk about: your hopes, your fears, your questions, the things you want.

When we talk to God he will listen. And don't forget to listen yourself. Let some of your prayer time be quiet time. Listen for what God wants to say. You may not hear words, but God is talking to you. He speaks into your heart, and into your mind. Ask for the Holy Spirit to guide you into hearing his voice better.

Now back to the New Year's resolutions. In Jesus' prayer, he asked for daily bread, not weekly bread or monthly bread. That means we need to be talking with God every day. Our relationship with God only gets stronger if we spend time with him.

So this year, make a commitment to yourself and to God that you will pray every day. Choose a specific time – first thing in the morning or right before bed or before meals or all of the above. When you think about things to pray about, say them right then or write them down on a piece of paper to remember later. Start a prayer journal where you keep track of the people and things you pray about. Then you can look make weeks and months later and see how God answered all of your prayers.

Let's make daily prayer our New Year's resolution. Let's start a prayer revolution.

 CLOSE WITH A SIMPLE PRAYER

Dear God,

You are the light that shines in the darkness. Thank you for loving us and giving us Jesus.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen

MEMORY VERSE: 

“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” - Colossians 4:2 (NIV)

“Give a lot of time and effort to prayer. Always be watchful and thankful.” - Colossians 4:2 (NIrV)

CRAFT IDEA:

Prayer Journal. Place five sheets of copy paper on a piece of construction paper. Create a book by folding the stack of papers in half, then securing three staples along the crease. The construction paper acts as the cover of the book. Have kids design the front cover of their prayer books.

Encourage kids to write down (or draw, for younger kids) their prayer requests or any other thoughts that come to them during their alone times with God.

SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION (K-2ND)

ICEBREAKER:

Who is your favorite person to talk to?

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

Read Luke 11:1-13.

What prompted Jesus to teach about prayer?

What is “daily bread”?

Why are the two aspects of forgiveness in the prayer?

Why is it important to ask God for what we need?

Why do we need to talk to God?

SIMPLE PRAYER:

Dear God,

You tell us to pray for what we need. We need more of you in our lives, God. Be our friend and our guide.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen

SMALL GROUP DISCUSSION (3RD-5TH) 

ICEBREAKER:

Who is your favorite person to talk to?

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

Read Luke 11:1-13.

What prompted Jesus to teach about prayer?

What is “daily bread”?

Why are the two aspects of forgiveness in the prayer?

Why is it important to ask God for what we need?

Why do we need to talk to God?

SIMPLE PRAYER:

Dear God,

You tell us to pray for what we need. We need more of you in our lives, God. Be our friend and our guide.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen