PREK & ELEMENTARY
WEEK OF SUNDAY, JULY 26
ESTHER SAVED HER PEOPLE
Bible Passage: Esther
Story Point: God made Esther a queen to protect His people.
Key Passage: The God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, establish, strengthen, and support you after you have suffered a little while. - 1 Peter 5:10
What is God Like: God is a Provider.
CHRIST CONNECTION: God’s plan was to send the Messiah into the world through Abraham’s family. Haman’s evil plan could not stop God. God had a plan for Esther to rescue His people. By saving the Jews, God made the way for His Son, Jesus, to come into the world.
LET'S HAVE A CONVERSATION
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:
Have you ever been nervous to talk to someone or ask permission? What gave you courage?
In the book of Esther, there’s an idea that God made Esther to live in a special time for a special purpose. What are some things that are special about the time God made us to live? What are some ways we could represent God during this time?
3. MORE QUESTIONS FOR CONVERSATION
Whom did the king chose to be his queen? (Esther)
What bad news did Esther’s cousin Mordecai hear? (Haman had an evil plan to destroy the Jews.)
Why was Esther afraid to go to the king? (The king had a rule that no one could go to the king unless he asked the person to come.)
What new law did the king make? (He made a law to keep the Jews safe from their enemies.)
Who provides for His people? (God)
What secret did Esther keep from the king? (She was a Jew, Esth. 2:10)
Why was Mordecai upset? (He learned that Haman planned to kill all the Jews, Esth. 4:1-3)
What could have happened to Esther as a result of her going before the king uninvited? (She could have been put to death, Esth. 4:11)
Why do you think Esther was willing to die to save her people? Help the kids see that Esther understood that she had been made queen for this reason. She understood that God was working through her life and spent days fasting and praying about the issue. God gave her courage to stand up for her people.
Esther spoke up for her people. Who speaks up for us today? Explain that when we trust in Jesus, He speaks to God the Father on our behalf. When we are joined to Jesus, He gives us His perfect righteousness and obedience. (Heb. 7:25)
How can you speak up for a friend in need? Remind them that God has commanded us to treat everyone with love and to protect those in need. Brainstorm things they could say to help others.
ACTIVITIES FOR THIS WEEK
BAKE HAMANTASHEN COOKIES
WHAT YOU DO: Google a recipe for these traditional cookies served for when the Jewish community celebrates Purim. The are nicknamed Haman’s ear cookies. Here’s one recipe.
WHAT YOU SAY: These cookies are traditionally served at a holiday called Purim that is celebrated in the Jewish community. During the celebration, people read the book of Esther. Sometimes they dress up and have people take parts. Often, they have a feast with family and friends to remember that God rescued His people. One important thing about Purim is that it is a time to be really generous and give to people in need. Enjoy your cookies and consider sharing some with a friend or neighbor.
host a dinner party
WHAT YOU NEED: Have kids help with dinner prep and cooking one night. If preferred, have them do a pretend dinner party.
WHAT YOU DO: Have kids set the table before a meal. If time and circumstances allow, involve them in the meal planning and/or cooking process.
WHAT YOU SAY: If you could invite anyone you want to your dinner party, whom would you invite? What would you talk about? Do you think you would invite your greatest enemy? This week we learned how Queen Esther hosted a dinner party for the king, and she invited her enemy.
KEY PASSAGE ACTIVITY
WHAT YOU DO: Develop hand motions together to help learn the key passage. Stand in a circle and practice the motions. Choose a person to do the motion for the first word; then the person to her right will do the motion for the second word, and so on until everyone says the whole verse. Repeat as time allows.
WHAT YOU SAY: Have you ever gone through something really difficult and you weren’t sure if you would ever get through it? Our key passage reminds us that God will restore us and strengthen us. God knows that we are weak, but our weaknesses point us back to our need for Jesus. When life is hard we know that we can’t do anything apart from God.
"God will... himself restore... you after you have a suffered a little while." 1 Peter 5:0 (CSB)
"And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast." 1 Peter 5:0 (CSB)
PRESCHOOL AND TODDLERS...
dress up like a queen/king
WHAT YOU DO: Provide royal dress-up clothes, such as plush blankets (robes), crowns, plastic jewelry, and so forth. Invite toddlers to play out the Bible story as you retell it.
WHAT YOU SAY: God made Esther queen of Persia. God was preparing her to save His people. NOTHING CAN STOP GOD’S GOOD PLAN. Jesus died on the cross and rose again to do God’s plan.
play king Ahasuerus
WHAT YOU DO: Cut a star shape out of yellow or gold paper. Tape the star to the end of a ruler or marker to create a scepter. Invite a child to be king and stand in front of the group o family. Have the other people at the opposite end of the room. When the king’s back is to the group, all the people will walk forward. When the king turns around with his scepter held down, all the people must freeze. Anyone the king sees moving must go back to where they started. The first person to reach the king, is the next king. Play several rounds.
WHAT YOU SAY: King Ahasuerus could punish people who came to see him unless he asked them to come. Queen Esther must have been afraid to go to the king, but God was with her. The king held out his scepter and asked what he could do for her. God used Esther to rescue God’s people from their enemies. God was in control!
PRETEND WITH PLAY FOOD
WHAT YOU DO: Provide paper or plastic plates. Encourage toddlers to make a meal with play food or draw pictures on the paper plates. Talk about their favorite things to eat. Retell the Bible story.
WHAT YOU SAY: God used Esther to rescue His people. At a special meal, she asked the king for help. NOTHING CAN STOP GOD’S GOOD PLAN.
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.