We hope you have been engaging your entire family in our daily Bible readings. It doesn’t matter if you have a 6 month old, a 6-year-old, or a 6th grader, all children can benefit from these readings. Even if your little one is truly too young to understand, we still believe it’s fruitful to include them. Since your evening routine probably includes story time, there’s no reason not make reading the Bible part of your special time together.
If you have a preschooler or a young elementary child, don’t underestimate them. They have heard a lot of these stories in church already. In fact, our preschoolers are learning about Jesus’ miracles right now, which is what we are reading in Matthew right now as well. Reading the Bible with your kids is important, it gives you the opportunity to explain the story and ask them follow up questions. What do you think this part was about? What do you think Jesus is trying to tell people? What do you think we can change to be more like Jesus wants?
Even though older elementary children can read on their own, it’s always a good idea to engage as a family. We recommend having everyone read the passage on their own and then discussing. If you can’t do it immediately, maybe try over dinner or while you’re straightening up or making lunches for the next day. There’s no wrong time, it’s just important to do the reinforcing.
It’s not about when, where and how you do it – it is the simple act of reading the Bible that is important. And make sure to let your children see you reading the Bible. There is nothing better than leading by example.
Here are some highlights for this week’s reading:
Monday 2/4 – Father revealed
- The first part of today’s reading talks about Sodom. Your elementary kids had a lesson about that couple weeks ago.
- If you have an elementary child, ask them what they remember from their lesson.
- Show them the connections between Old and New Testament.
- The second part of today’s reading talks about children and how special they are. What better way to engage your children than to show them God loves them and talks about them? They are an integral part of his plan.
- Ask and discuss: What can you lay down at Jesus’ feet today? What is burdening you? Give it up to God and pray together as a family.
Tuesday 2/5 – Desire Mercy
- Do your children know what Sabbath is? Remind them about Creation and the seventh day. All of our Munger Kids have learned about this.
- The Pharisees are questioning Jesus about his disciples’ actions and Jesus’ own actions on the Sabbath.
- The Pharisees are trying to trick Jesus into saying he did something wrong.
- His response is so straight forward and simple. For me it boils down to these three points: “I desire mercy, not sacrifice….for the Son of Man is Lord of Sabbath…Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.”
- Talk to your kids about these points. It might be a little difficult for them to grasp, but here are some questions you can use to start:
- Do you think rules are there just for the sake of having a rule? Or do you think rules are there to protect us/keep us safe?
- Is it better to follow a rule exactly even if that would hurt someone?
- Is it better to do good or to do nothing?
- Do you think God would rather have us be nice to each other, or to follow the rules exactly? Which is better?
Wednesday 2/6 – Fulfilled prophecy
- Many times Matthew tells us about prophesies in the Old Testament that Jesus was fulfilling. A prophecy is when someone tells us about what will happen in the future. This is a prophecy from Isaiah, who lived in Israel 800 years before Jesus.
- What in this prophecy reminds you of Jesus? There are several things, but Matthew especially wants us to notice that Jesus told people not to tell anyone what he was doing – he wasn’t trying to get famous, he was trying to help.
- With Valentine’s day in the middle, February is often dubbed the “kindness month”. Can you come up with a couple things to do for others? Quietly, selflessly, just for the warm, fuzzy feeling inside, not for the fame and pats on the back.
Thursday 2/7 – Watch what you say
- Today might be the shortest reading ever, but it sure packs a punch.
- Every word in this passage is so powerful. What if you wrote this down “For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.” Look at it every evening, and take stock of your day. What could you have done differently?
Friday 2/8 – Remember Jonah?
- Our preschoolers have been discovering what FAITH means.
- We all want facts and signs. We all want to see for ourselves.
- What do you think Pharisees thought when Jesus told them that just like Jonah was in the belly of the fish, he would be in the heart of the Earth?
- At first, the passage where Jesus asks who his mother and brothers are seems pretty mean.
- But remember that Jesus is always our perfect example, so what is he trying to say?
- Let’s say the same thing a different way: our church is a big family and we should treat each other as brothers and sisters in Christ.
- Now it sounds better, doesn’t it? We should always take the time to really understand what Jesus is telling us.