Dear Parents,

Here we are again, ready to worship with you and your children… in your own home! What a gift the Lord has given us that we have technology that enables us to continue to learn and worship together! 

OVERVIEW:

Activity One: Watch the video. The lesson today is “God Saves, Part 2, The Story of Esther.” The Sterenberg family has prepared a video for this lesson. It’ll be fun to see some familiar faces again!

Activity Two: Discuss the story using provided questions as prompts

Activity Three:  Respond to the story by doing an art project. Pray together.

Worship:  Sing 

Activity Four:  Bless your children 

EQUIP:  

(It’s not an activity, but just a little background on the story for you, the parent, to read.)

There are many details that make the book of Esther a triumphant story. None is as amazing as the way God wove every event together to bring about His plan. As you read through this narrative, you will notice the name of God is not mentioned once. However, His presence is strong.

At this time in The Big God Story, Judah was a territory of the Persian Empire and the people its subjects. Although King Cyrus, who preceded King Xerxes, had decreed the Jewish captives be allowed to return to their homeland, many chose to stay in Babylon. God’s people had become prosperous and held positions of influence, which made the thought of returning to the destroyed and desolate Jerusalem unappealing for many. After a falling-out between King Xerxes and Queen Vashti, the king commanded a search be made among all the young virgins (women of marrying age) of his empire for the woman who would take Vashti’s place as queen. A young Jewish woman from Susa, named Esther, won his favor and was crowned queen. Esther continued to gain favor not only with the king, but also with everyone she met.

Haman, one of the king’s officials, devised a plan to annihilate all the Jewish people within the king’s territory. (At this time the Persian Empire stretched from India to modern-day Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia. Judah was in exile within the Persian territory. Because God’s promised Messiah was to come from the line of Judah, if they were at risk for being destroyed, so was The Promise.) Esther realized she needed to act so her people wouldn’t be destroyed and went bravely before the king, revealing Haman’s plan. God had gone before Esther, and the Jewish people were saved. God used Esther to help preserve His promised Savior within the line of Judah.

When have you cried out to God and seen Him save you? We see it all throughout the Bible: God’s people—Moses, Esther, David, Joshua, Jonah, and others—cried out to Him, and He saved them. Countless times the Israelites groaned in their slavery and repented of their sin, and God always came to their defense as their strong tower and Savior.

Take time this week to read Psalm 116 and meditate on its message. Write down what stands out to you in this passage. Note the words and phrases that remind you of God’s salvation. Write down situations in your life where you need God to show up and save you. He can, and He will.

Throughout the week, consider reading this chapter once a day to be reminded of these truths: God bends down to hear us; He is gracious and righteous. Because God has proved Himself as Savior, we can call on Him for as long as we live. He will continue to save.

Activity 1: STORY

(Optional Review) 

Last week we learned about how God saved Jonah AND the people of Ninevah. When Jonah ran away from God rather than take a message to the evil people of Nineveh, he was thrown off a boat during a storm. God saved Jonah by sending a big fish to swallow him. Jonah decided to obey God and give God’s message of mercy to the Ninevites, and as a result, the Ninevites turned from their sin and God saved them from destruction. This week, we’ll see how God saves his people, the Jews, through a queen. 

Watch Esther video:

Activity 2: DISCUSSION

Ask your child to imagine what it must have been like to be Esther, the queen! Talk about how God used Esther to save His people, the Jews. 

  • I wonder … What would have happened if King Xerxes had chosen another woman to be the queen?
  • I wonder … What would have happened if Esther was too afraid to go see the king?
  • What did Esther ask the king to do?
  • How did the Jewish people feel when God saved them?
  • I wonder … How do I need God to save me? 

These questions can easily extend into the rest of the week. Look for opportunities to bring conversations about how God Saves into your everyday life as a family.

Activity 3: RESPONSE ACTIVITY

In today’s part of The Big God Story, God saved His people by putting a Jewish queen in the palace. As children respond today they will have the opportunity to thank God for saving them while creating a crown.

Supplies:

  • Paper plates
  • Crayons
  • Glue stick
  • Small buttons or pom poms or similar

Directions:

  1. You want to use just a flimsy paper plate. Each child will need one.
  2. Fold the paper plate in half.
  3. There is absolutely no need to draw a dotted line on your paper plate. I did it on mine as a helpful               visual for you to see where you cut. Essentially, you cut it like a pizza. 
  4. You will need to open up the paper plate to make the final two cuts. You can cut while the paper plate is folded. Do not cut all the way through. Cut it up to the ruffle edge of the plate. 
  5. They can color the paper plate however they want to create the look of their crown.
  6. To make the crown part stand up, the kids can just fold them up into place.
  7. We added buttons to the final look, but this is completely optional.
  8. Since we didn’t add a memory verse you may want to write “God Saves” on the crown.
  9. Using the answers from the last discussion question above remind the children to remember how God saves us and them when they wear the crown. 


Today’s Worship Songs:

Who You Say I Am: by Hillsong Kids

(If you enjoyed last week’s songs, here they are again): 

Sing  Hey Jonah, Jonah  to the tune of Jesus Loves Me

Jonah, Jonah have you heard?

Said the Lord, go preach my Word.

Jonah said, “That’s not for me!”

Took a ship and fled to sea.

Chorus:

Hey Jonah, Jonah, 

Hey Jonah, Jonah,

Hey Jonah, Jonah,

You should obey the Lord.

Though he thought he’d get away

Soon the ship began to sway

Jonah said, “It’s for my sin,

Pick me up and throw me in!”

Chorus

When it seemed that he would drown,

Came a fish and gulped him down,

Jonah said, “Lord, I’ll obey,

Tell the folks about your way!”

Chorus:

Lord, I’ll obey you.

Lord, I’ll obey you.

Lord, I’ll obey you.

I will obey the Lord.

This Little Light of Mine by Listener Kids: 

Activity 4: CLOSING BLESSING 

A blessing to pray over your child(ren):

“May you remember that God has the power to save you.”

Pray with your kids, asking them if they have any prayer requests and encouraging them to pray for others.  Have a blessed week!