PREK & ELEMENTARY
WEEK OF SUNDAY, JULY 12
THE TEMPLE WAS REBUILT
Bible Passage: Ezra 4–6; Haggai
Story Point: God’s people rebuilt the temple to glorify God.
Key Passage: “I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. - Jeremiah 29:11
What is God Like: God is faithful.
CHRIST CONNECTION: God’s people rebuilt the temple so they would have a place to worship God. Years later, God sent His Son, Jesus, to be with His people. Now God dwells not in the temple, but directly with His people. We don’t need a temple anymore. Because of Jesus, we can be with Jesus wherever we go.
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:
- How do you feel when you have to stop doing something that you think is important?
- God helped his people rebuild the temple in the Bible story this week. What are things you ask God to help you with?
3. MORE QUESTIONS FOR CONVERSATION
- What did God’s people rebuild in today’s Bible story? (the temple)
- What were the names of the two prophets God sent? (Haggai and Zechariah)
- Who helped God’s people by telling his helper to give the people whatever they needed for the temple? (King Darius)
- What did God’s people do when the temple was finished? (They celebrated the Passover.)
- To which city did God’s people return? (Jerusalem, Ezra 1:2)
- Who was the king of Persia when God’s people began rebuilding the temple? (Darius, Ezra 4:24)
- What festival did the Jews celebrate when the temple was complete? (Passover, Ezra 6:19)
- How did building the temple bring glory to God? Guide the kids to understand that the temple was meant to be a place where God’s people worshiped Him. True worship of God glorifies Him. Additionally, enemies were trying to prevent them from finishing, so by overcoming those obstacles, God’s people showed God’s power to support and guide them.
- The Bible tells us that the Holy Spirit lives inside of Christians. How does this change our behavior? Help the kids see that everyone is made in God’s image. We ought to respect one another and ourselves. We should treat each other with dignity, compassion, and love. Because we are vessels of the Holy Spirit, we are empowered to love with God’s love.
- How can you encourage someone who is suffering and ready to give up hope? Explain that we can offer encouragement from God’s Word, praying for people, and asking God if there’s a way we can encourage someone by an action. We face difficult times with hope because of Jesus’ promises.
ACTIVITIES FOR THIS WEEK
playing card temple
WHAT YOU NEED: deck of playing cards
WHAT YOU DO: Demonstrate how to build a structure out of playing cards. Form two or more groups with friends, siblings, cell group, etc. Give each group a deck of cards. Challenge them to build a structure. Assign each group a leader to cheer on the group and encourage them as they build. After several minutes, examine the structures.
WHAT YOU SAY: Great job building! How helpful or encouraging was your leader? When God’s people were rebuilding the temple in Jerusalem, God sent two prophets— Haggai and Zechariah—to encourage the people.
THEN AND NOW
WHAT YOU NEED: paper, pens, mirror (optional)
WHAT YOU DO: Give each kid a piece of paper and a pen. Guide the kids to turn the page sideways and draw a line down the middle of the page (top to bottom across the shorter length). Instruct kids to label the left side of the page Temple Then and the right side Temple Now.
Encourage kids to draw the temple on the left side of the page. Here’s one example. Then instruct kids to draw a self-portrait on the right side of the page. Consider providing mirrors for kids to look at their own faces.
WHAT YOU SAY: Your pictures represent the temple then and now. God’s people rebuilt the temple to glorify God. The temple gave them a place to worship God. Years later, God sent His Son, Jesus, to be with His people. Now God dwells not in the temple, but directly with His people. Jesus provided something better than the temple; He gives us Himself.
KEY PASSAGE ACTIVITY
WHAT YOU DO: Lead the kids to read Jeremiah 29:11 aloud. Take turns trying to say the whole verse from memory. Stand in a circle with your family. Give one person a ball of yarn. Explain that she will say the first word of the key passage then toss the ball of yarn to another person in the circle while still holding the end of the yarn. The second kid will say the second word before tossing the yarn ball to someone else while holding a bit of the yarn. Continue this way until the whole verse has been said. Then challenge everyone to untangle themselves!
WHAT YOU SAY: Great job, everyone! Let’s keep working on our key passage for one more week. Next time we’ll all try to say it for memory!
PRESCHOOL: “I know the plans I have for you … plans ... to give you a future and a hope.” - Jeremiah 29:11
ELEMENTARY: “I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. - Jeremiah 29:11
PRESCHOOL AND TODDLERS...
write a letter
WHAT YOU NEED: sidewalk chalk, stickers, and paper
WHAT YOU DO: Provide paper, sidewalk chalk, and stickers for toddlers to “write” a letter. Remind toddlers that King Darius sent a letter saying the people could rebuild the temple. Write the story point or key passage on each letter.
WHAT YOU SAY: The people were not sure if the king would let them build, but Haggai said God was with them. THE PROPHETS TOLD ABOUT JESUS. Jesus is with us wherever we go.
PLAY WITH RHYTHM INSTRUMENTS
WHAT YOU DO: Provide jingle bells, maracas, xylophones, kazoos, and other instruments for toddlers to play as you play music. Retell the Bible story.
WHAT YOU SAY: God’s people praised God when they built the temple. Haggai said God was with them. THE PROPHETS TOLD ABOUT JESUS, who is with us too!
PLAY IN A PRETEND CONSTRUCTION YARD
WHAT YOU NEED: Play construction vehicles, rocks, children’s plastic hard hats
WHAT YOU DO: Arrange constructions vehicles, play hard hats, and small stones in the years or in the corner of a room. Encourage children to wear the hard hats. Suggest they use the construction vehicles to haul the stones and to dump the stones in their make-believe construction site.
WHAT YOU SAY: God’s people rebuilt the temple, but they did not have construction vehicles to help them out like we do today. They had to work hard together with their hands to finish it. When they did finish, they celebrated and praised God. Jesus gave us something better than the temple. He gave us Himself. Jesus is with us wherever we go. We don’t have to wait to worship Him at church, we can worship Him wherever we go.
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.