PREK & ELEMENTARY
WEEK OF SUNDAY, MAY 24
THE FIERY FURNACE
Bible Passage: Daniel 3
Story Point: God delivered Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from the king.
Key Passage: Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
Big Picture Question: Why do we pray? We pray because we trust God, and we know He hears us.
What is God Like: God is trustworthy. He is deserving of our confidence. He is reliable.
CHRIST CONNECTION: The three friends chose to worship God instead of the statue. Even when they were told they would be thrown into the fire, they trusted God and He saved them. Jesus came to save us in an even better way. Jesus died so we wouldn’t be punished for our sin. He was punished instead. When we know and love Jesus, Jesus saves us so we can be with God forever.
1. CHECK OUT THE BIBLE STORY
OPTION 2: WATCH IT
2. SHARE YOUR STORY
Consider questions that pursue the heart of your child during natural points of connection. Here are a couple for during a walk or at the dinner table this week:
- What's something you're learning or remembering with Jesus this week.
- What is an answer to prayer you have had lately?
- What are things that people are known for in your family? Share them with one another.
3. MORE QUESTIONS FOR CONVERSATION
- What did King Nebuchadnezzar tell the people to do whenever they heard music? (worship a gold statue)
- What would happen to anyone who did not worship the statue? (They would be thrown into a very hot fire.)
- Did Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego obey the king? (No, they worshiped only God.)
- What happened to Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fire? (Nothing, they were neither hurt nor smelled like smoke. God kept them safe.)
- How many men did the king see in the fire? (four)
- Why do we pray? We pray because we trust God, and we know He hears us.
- What did King Nebuchadnezzar want people to worship? (a large golden statue, Dan. 3:1)
- Which three men refused to bow to the statue? (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, Dan. 3:13)
- How did Nebuchadnezzar punish the friends? (They were thrown into the fiery furnace, Dan. 3:21)
- What did the king see when he peered into the furnace? (The three friends walking around with a fourth person who looked like a god, Dan. 3:25)
- When have you felt pressure to do something that you knew was wrong?
- Was there a consequence? How did you feel?
- What are things that get in the way of you following God?
ACTIVITIES FOR THIS WEEK
CAMPFIRE (S’MORES ARE BONUS!) AND SNACKS
WHAT YOU DO: Consider making a fire some night this week and enjoying s’mores. During your time together, talk about the Bible story and just how hot it must have been. Talk about the significance that the friends didn’t even smell like smoke after they came out (ask if that’s true of your experience!). If campfires aren’t a good option, here’s a snack idea for indoor or outdoors:
WHAT YOU NEED: foil, graham crackers, mini- chocolate chips, mini-marshmallows, bear-shaped crackers. Tear foil into 8-inch squares. Lead a child to place a graham cracker square in the center. Top it with mini-chocolate chips and marshmallows. Lay bear-shaped crackers on top. Carefully toast in 350-degree oven until marshmallows are browned. Remove and transfer the cooled snack to a child’s plate.
WHAT YOU SAY: The oven’s heat melted the chocolate and cooked the marshmallows, but look at the bear- shaped crackers—they haven’t burned. When Nebuchadnezzar looked inside the furnace, he saw four men walking around in the fire. The king knew he only put the three friends in the furnace and God saved Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from the fire. The king thought the fourth man looked like an angel. God sent the fourth person to be with them. God sent Jesus to save us so we wouldn’t be punished for our sin; Jesus was punished instead.
PRACTICE A FIRE DRILL
WHAT YOU DO: Ask the kids to describe what they would do in case of a fire, such as remembering to stop, drop, and roll; calling 911; pulling a fire alarm; and so forth. Then go over your family’s fire safety plan. Run a real fire drill with your family.
WHAT YOU SAY • In our Bible story this week, we heard of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. They were in a fiery situation but none of our fire safety tips would have worked for them. Do you remember how they were rescued from the fire?
THE IMPOSSIBLE WALL
WHAT YOU DO: Explain that walls often represent barriers or obstacles, but today we will use the idea of a wall as a reminder of how God is able to overcome any obstacle or barrier.
Distribute a small piece of poster board to each kid. Each piece of poster board represents a wall. Direct kids to write or draw prayer requests and needs they or their friends and family members currently have that seem impossible. Encourage kids to cut out pictures from magazines, print from computer or draw pictures next to their need that remind them of God’s promises. Help kids use a concordance to find out what the Bible says about specific topics.
VARIATION: Have every member of the family make a wall or make one as a group project throughout the week.
WHAT YOU SAY • Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego trusted God when they faced punishment from the king. God delivered Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from the king. God is all-powerful. When we need help, we can pray to Him. God is trustworthy! He hears our prayers. He is reliable.
KEY PASSAGE ACTIVITY
WHAT YOU DO: Practice saying the key passage together. Create motions.
PRESCHOOL: constantly, (praying hands) give thanks (ASI for thanks) in everything (spread arms wide). 1 Thessalonians 5:17-18
ELEMENTARY: Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
PRESCHOOL AND TODDLERS...
DRIVE RESCUE VEHICLES
WHAT YOU DO: Gather toy fire trucks, ambulances, and police cars. Tape roads onto the floor. Add blocks and fire-colored tissue paper. Invite preschoolers to play out responding to a fire emergency. Talk about things a firefighter does to get people out of burning buildings as children play.
WHAT YOU SAY •Fire can be very dangerous. In this week’s Bible story, the king told Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego that if they did not bow down to the gold statue he made, they would be thrown into a furnace of fire. Remember how God saved Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from the fire?
PAINT WITH FIRE COLORS
WHAT YOU NEED: construction paper, washable paint (red, orange, and yellow), plastic forks, foam plates, markers
WHAT YOU DO: Suggest a child draw the three friends and the fourth man onto construction paper. Squirt red, orange, and yellow paint onto foam plates. Provide plastic forks for children to use as brushes. Show a child how to dip the fork into the paint and brush it on the paper to create flames. Point out the friends in the fire painting as she works.
WHAT YOU SAY • Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego would not disobey God by bowing down and worshiping the gold statue. They believed that God could save them, but even if He didn’t, they would not worship the statue. When they were put in the furnace, God saved Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from the fire. The king even noticed that there was a fourth person with the men in the fire that looked like an angel. The Bible says that when we sin, we should be punished, but we don’t have to be because Jesus came to be punished instead. Jesus came to be with us. He saves us so we can be with God forever.
journalingFOR 4TH-6TH GRADE
Guide kids to think about and answer one or two journaling prompts. Be sure to join them.
- What does this story teach me about God or the gospel?
- What does the story teach me about myself?
- Are there things God is asking me to do in this story? How are they for God’s glory and my good?
- Are there any promises in this story to remember? How do they help me trust and love God?
- What characteristics of God do I see in this story?
- What does the story teach me about people around me?
- If I’m honest, what parts of this are hard to understand or believe?
talking to kids about the gospel...
Here’s one way we talk about the gospel with elementary kids
A- We are God’s most treasured creation! Created to be with Him. However, there’s a problem. It’s sin. Sin is anything we do that isn’t what God wants for us. We’ve all done it, even me. And sin gets in the way of us having a relationship with God. We need to admit we have this problem!
B- Believe that Jesus is who He says He is and did what He said He did in order to make a way for our relationship with God to be made whole again...specifically He loves you SO MUCH that...”Christ died for our sins, just as Scripture said he would. He was buried. He was raised from the dead on the third day, just as Scripture said he would be.” (1 Cor. 15: 3-4) He took the punishment we deserved.
C- Choose to put your faith in Jesus. Jesus says that our response, or the way we accept it is by faith. In other words putting our trust in Him.