PREK & ELEMENTARY
WEEK OF SUNDAY, AUGUST 16
Malachi the Prophet
Bible Passage: Malachi
Story Point: Malachi called God’s people to repent to prepare for the Messiah.
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: Malachi was a messenger—a prophet—who told God’s people to repent. Malachi also told about another messenger God would send. This messenger, John the Baptist, would call people to repent and get them ready for a final Messenger, Jesus Christ. Jesus is God’s Son! He came to rescue people from sin.
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:
Is there anything you feel like you are waiting for God to answer? How could we trust God while we wait?
In our Bible story this week, we heard God tell his people that those who honor Him will go out and playfully jump like calves. How do you like to play? What do you like to do when you are most happy?
3. MORE QUESTIONS FOR CONVERSATION
Whom did God send to talk to His people? (Malachi)
What did Malachi tell the people? (what they had been doing wrong and that a messenger would come to get people ready for the Messiah)
What did God say would happen to people who honored Him? (They will be happy and jump and play like calves.)
Who provides for His people? (God)
Who was the last prophet in the Old Testament? (Malachi)
What kind of sacrifices were the people offering? (They brought lame or sick animals, Mal. 1:8)
God promised that when the Messiah comes the righteous would jump like what kind of animal? (calves, Mal. 4:2)
Why was God so unhappy with the people’s sacrifices? Guide the kids to see that God’s people were going through the motions of worship, but their hearts were not in it. By offering sick and lame animals, they communicated that they did not believe God deserved their best. They were trying to save their best animals for themselves. God always deserves our best.
When is it easy to obey God? When is it difficult to obey Him?
What can we do when we realize that we are living in sin? When we confess our sin to God, we can ask Him to restore us. Jesus had paid the price for our sin once and for all, so we can have forgiveness through Him.
ACTIVITIES FOR THIS WEEK
WHAT YOU NEED: Several pairs of items (one good and one flawed, such as a good apple and a bruised apple, a new book and a worn-out book, full bag of cookies and bag of broken cookie pieces, new crayons and broken crayons): For older kids, consider having the kids make a list of good items and flawed items based on an example instead of showing objects.
WHAT YOU DO: Hold up a bruised apple. Ask children if the bruised apple would taste good. Show a fresh apple. Ask which apple would taste better. Continue comparing each pair of items. Discuss which of each pair is better. Comment that the bruised, worn, and broken items may still be good, but they are not the best.
WHAT YOU SAY: I like cookies, even broken ones, but if I open this bag of cookie pieces, I will probably get crumbs everywhere. Eating these whole cookies would be much neater. Look at the apples, I could cut off the bruised part and throw it away, but I can eat this whole apple. In our Bible story this week, we heard how God’s people were not giving Him their best. Do you remember what promise God encouraged them with?
BUILD A BLESSING WALL
WHAT YOU NEED: post-its, blocks, fine-tip markers and construction paper
WHAT YOU DO: Name good gifts or blessings that God gives to us. Depending on age of children, help come up with ideas. Write each blessing on a sticky note. Encourage each family member to put each note on a different block then stack the blocks to make a wall. On a sheet of construction paper, write “Our Blessing Wall” and hang it over the block wall. Pray, thanking God for the blessings He give us. Modify wall to work with your environment. Consider just putting post-it notes on a wall or fridge.
WHAT YOU SAY: We named many good gifts, or blessings, that God has given us. The greatest blessing God has given us is His very own Son! Malachi said a messenger would get people ready for the Messiah. Jesus is the Messiah God promised to send! God sent Jesus to earth to rescue people from sin.
KEY PASSAGE ACTIVITY
WHAT YOU NEED: paper, markers, string
WHAT YOU DO: Encourage kids to write out the key passage on their piece of paper and then roll it up like a scroll. For younger kids, help them write one word that may be significant. Perhaps write the word “Forgive” or “Bible” and have them trace it. Kids can tie the paper with string. with the string.
WHAT YOU SAY: Back in Ezra’s day, the Bible wasn’t bound all together as one big book like it is today. Instead they used lots of scrolls with God’s Word on them. However it is written, God’s Word encourages us today because it reminds us that God restores His people. Keep working to remember our key passage so you can always remember God’s faithfulness to us.\
"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...
HOW DO YOU FEEL
WHAT YOU DO: Print each child a “How Do You Feel?” chart and nine pom-poms (or other markers). Help children point to and name the different feelings. Encourage them to make a face and show how they look when they feel each emotion. Retell parts of the Bible stories from this unit and give present-day examples of different emotions. Encourage the children to place a pom- pom on the emotion in each example. Continue telling Bible or present-day stories until the children have covered all the emotions.
WHAT YOU SAY: God’s people were happy they had rebuilt the temple and fixed the walls around their city. They were sad when they wondered if God really loved them. God did love them, and He loves us too! God wanted the people to know that Jesus was coming to rescue them from sin. He wanted them to obey Him and He promised to give them more blessings than they could count! Do you think they were surprised that God wanted to give them so many blessings? The people needed to remember that God is control and provides for His people!
TAKE CARE OF ANIMALS
WHAT YOU DO: Provide stuffed animals and a toy doctor’s kit for toddlers to play out caring for sick animals. Talk about how God’s people brought animals as gifts to God, but they did not bring the best. Retell the Bible story.
WHAT YOU SAY: Malachi told people God’s words. Even though they were not giving their best to God, NOTHING CAN STOP GOD’S GOOD PLAN. God promised to send a messenger before the Messiah. Jesus is the Son of God, the Messiah.
WHAT YOU DO: Place coins in clear plastic jars and seal with duct tape. Invite toddlers to shake the coins. Talk about offerings we give to God. Retell the story.
WHAT YOU SAY: God’s people were not giving good gifts to God. Malachi told people God’s words so they would love God. 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.