I’ve been attending Calvary Temple Church in Sterling, VA since I was a baby! Now I’m a Sunday School teacher in the same classes I used to attend! I hope you guys enjoy some of the lessons and adventures we have in the Sunday School classes at CT! If you like this blog, you can check out some of our other blogs, including Calvary Temple Kids Chapel, Calvary Temple Youth Group, and Calvary Temple Outreach!
I hope you all had a great Christmas and New Year! It was nice to take a little hiatus and spend lots of time with my friends and family. Our church does an annual Christmas play with all the kids, and my class were all little elves and bakers!
Pretty cute, huh?
We actually take a break from puppets and regular lessons during the Christmas season to give the kids time to practice all their songs and dances, and any class time we do have, we go over the Christmas story with them.
One story we read every year that is a big hit with the class is called What God Wants for Christmas. It’s an interactive Christmas nativity story that teaches children what present God wants to get from us. (Spoiler Alert: It’s our hearts.) We’ll read this through several times over the month, and by the end, the kids can recite along a lot of the lines with us.
Starting the new year means we are done with the Parables of Jesus and are moving on to our next unit, the Kings of Israel. During the next through months, each week we will cover one of the Kings from the Old Testament. (Even some of the more obscure ones like Rehaboam or Jotham.)
This week, we learned about King Saul.
(This is actually one of my favorite puppet skits we do–there’s a pretty funny surprise near the end.)
King Saul started out pretty well–remember the whole “hiding in the stuff” bit near the start of his reign?
Well, he didn’t end so well. The main focus of King Saul’s life that we brought out to teach the kids was the story where he had been commanded to totally destroy the Amalekites. However, King Saul decided to let both the King and some animals live. When the prophet Samuel arrived and saw what had been done, Saul was quick to defend himself, saying the only reason he kept the animals alive was so that he could give a sacrifice to God.
Samuel’s response was that “obedience is better than sacrifice”.
One of the ways I tried to explain this to the kids was to call up Pastor Jon’s kids, Max and Allie. The example I used was that Pastor Jon and his wife decide to go out to dinner and leave Max and Allie at home. Before they leave, Pastor Jon tells the kids to clean up the living room and make it look really nice.
Allie takes a lot of time and does all her chores–sweeping and dusting and picking up her toys. Max, on the other hand, takes a long look at his Mom’s white couch. It looks very plain, and he did just get a bunch of new paints for Christmas. He decides to take all his time to paint his Mom’s couch to be Spider-Man themed. He figures she’ll really enjoy the pop of color in the living room.
So, Max paints and paints. After his paints run out, he switches to Sharpies. And then adds some glitter and silly string for good measure.
When his parents finally get home, Max’s mom sees the couch. Her jaw drops. When she turns to Max to ask what happened, he explains. “I know you said to clean the living room, but I thought I’d make your couch look really good! Look, I even used all my paints and took the entire three hours you were gone to do it!”
At this point of the story, all the kids in the room are giggling and ooohing. Everybody agrees that Max has done something wrong.
Even though he worked really hard and gave up all his new paints, it wasn’t the same as obedience to what his parents said.
Many times in our own lives, God tells us to do something. We might think we know a better way to do what God told us, but true obedience means doing exactly what we’re told. Using excuses like “We meant well!” or “We thought we did what you wanted!” won’t cut it before the Lord. He wants our whole hearts and our quick obedience.