Sometimes we skip church service on Sunday. I've been learning the last year or so what it means to keep the Sabbath holy.
The Spirit has led me to look at Sunday in a new way through new friends and a few special books, including 7, The Jesus Life, Sunday is for God, and a truly amazing Bible for children: The Jesus Storybook Bible.
I'm also being taught lately that my kid's Biblical/spiritual education is my responsibility. When we're not worshipping in church on Sunday, we try to have our own Sunday school at home, and the Jesus Storybook Bible has been such a wonderful tool to use. Each interpretation of the famous (and obscure) stories from the Bible "whispers [Jesus'] name," as the cover says, in gentle, modern, kid-friendly language that reinforces God's big plan for humanity. And the illustration by Jago is sublime. My favorite page in the entire book is one of a red-haired Jesus rising from the water of his baptism. Author, Sally Lloyd-Jones writes:
. . . "a beautiful light broke through the clouds and shone down on to Jesus, bathing him in gold. Beads of water glittered and sparkled like tiny diamonds in his hair. . . a voice came down from heaven. . . 'This is my own Son. And I love him. I am very pleased with him,' God said. 'Listen to him.' Heaven broke through. The Great Rescue had begun . . . "
That's my Jesus right there--red wavy hair like mine, eyes determined, face beaming with joy and love for us, peace settled upon Him and radiating from Him. My eyes welled up when I set them on those pages.
My daughter's very favorite thing to do is write stories and journal in her notebooks. A few weeks ago we read the storybook's lesson on Isaiah's prophesy of the coming of Jesus. Since it is written and illustrated as a love letter from God to His people, I asked Nora write her own response to each "stanza" in a love letter back to God in one of her journals.
When I told Nora we were going to have Sunday School today, she made her bed and spread it with her Bible and mine along with some of my Samaratin's Purse prayer guides. We read about Jonah and another kind of Ninevah where God's messengers of today teach people that there is a power and a plan much greater than voodoo. We prayed for the people of Haiti and for courage to say "yes" to God . . . and then we got creative.
- print the templates or trace them onto construction paper.
- color and cut out the pieces
- tape the "pocket" to the back side of the lower mouth piece of the fish on three sides, leaving the top open for Jonah to slide into.
- attach the lower mouth of the fish to its body using a brad (see my picture above for where to place).
- get creative and make a spout of water to tape to the blowhole. We used fun foam.
- stick Jonah inside the pocket of the mouth.
- open and close the mouth to send Jonah sailing onto the beach :)
When we were finished, we wrote "I will say yes to God" on the body of the whale. Maybe your promise or truth from this stoy will be different.