Thanks for joining us again as we do Children’s Worship from home!
Note: Please let us know about how your family is enjoying Children’s Worship! Take some pictures of your family participating in Children’s Worship or share a story. You can post to the Gold Avenue Church Facebook page or send by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
JESUS IS PREPARING A PLACE IN HEAVEN
Activity One: Do the introduction with your child(ren). Go over the lesson together, reading and looking at the pictures of heaven provided..(Just a note: the story at the end of the lesson is a continued story and not meant to be part of this lesson.)
Activity Two: Discuss the story using provided questions as prompts
Activity Three: Respond to the story by doing the activity.
Activity Four: Bless your children
(It’s not an activity, but just a little background on the story for you, the parent, to read.)
In John 14, Jesus comforts His disciples after they learn of His impending death and departure. He assures them of the promise He is making and likens it to the workings of the ancient Jewish wedding ceremony to explain why He is leaving and how He will return. He says, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am” (John 14:1–3).
Jesus often uses the metaphor of a bridegroom and his bride as a way to describe the relationship between Himself and the church. In ancient Jewish traditions, when a man was to be married, his father would choose the bride for his son. If she accepted the proposal, the bridegroom would then begin to prepare a place for her in his father’s house, where he would bring his bride to dwell with him. The betrothed woman would wait with the oil of her lamp burning as a symbol to her groom that she was faithfully waiting for his return. Once the father of the bridegroom saw that all his son’s preparations were completed, he would send the groom after his bride for the completion of the wedding ceremony.
Today, Christ Jesus is preparing a place for us to dwell with Him in His Father’s house. We too must wait faithfully, knowing He will return and bring us to Himself, where we will live with Him for all eternity.
Activity 1: STORY
When Jesus went back into heaven the disciples were sad, their Friend was leaving. But Jesus was going back to heaven where He lived before He was born as a baby. He was going to get a place ready in heaven for the disciples and for us. Do you ever wonder what heaven will be like? It’s hard to imagine what forever is like, and it’s hard to imagine a perfect, beautiful place like heaven. Jesus loves us so much that He left heaven and came into our world to die in our place so we can be with Him forever in heaven. Isn’t that amazing? Today we are going to find out a little bit about what the Bible says about heaven.
Lead children in a Prayer of Release to pause, be still, and ask the Holy Spirit to quiet their hearts and minds.
Read the following lesson with your children:
Activity 2: DISCUSSION
Even though Jesus’ disciples were sad to hear He must leave them, Jesus promised He would be preparing a place for them to be with Him forever. This is wonderful news! Jesus is preparing a place for us too!
I wonder … What kinds of things will not be in heaven?
I wonder … What might my favorite thing about heaven be?
I wonder … What is Jesus doing right now?
I wonder … Whom can I tell about heaven?
After discussing the Wonder Questions, take a moment to pray with your group.
Dear Jesus, thank you that you are preparing a place for us in heaven, and thank You that You are also preparing our own hearts right now. As we learn to trust God more and more, and let His Holy Spirit work in our lives, we’ll change from the inside out. We can become more like Jesus and live lives that honor God and show other people God’s love.
These questions can easily extend into the rest of the week. Look for opportunities to bring conversations about how God Responds into your everyday life as a family.
Activity 3: RESPONSE
Give each child a blank piece of paper or cardstock. Provide markers, crayons, stickers, baubles, jewels, anything that sparkles and anything you can think of to decorate a picture of heaven. Read the description below and let the children draw their version of heaven..
Read the following:
God’s Word, the Bible, is full of promises. One of God’s greatest promises is heaven. The Bible says that no one has ever imagined what God has prepared for those who love him (1 Corinthians 2:9). That means none of us can truly imagine what heaven will look like. We can imagine it and read about it in God’s Word, but until we get there, we will not understand how wonderful it will be.
In the Bible, John describes a vision he had of heaven. He says that heaven was shining with the glory of God. It had a high wall with 12 gates. There was an angel at each gate. The wall was made of jasper, a beautiful stone. The city was made of pure gold. The walls of heaven had every kind of jewel in them: jasper, sapphire, emerald, onyx, topaz, amethyst, and many more. And the gates were made of pearls. The streets of heaven were made of gold. There was no sun or moon to light heaven because the glory of God is the light. In the city was a beautiful river. The river shines like crystal and flows down the middle of the street. The tree of life is on each side of the river. It grows fruit 12 times a year and its leaves have healing power. (from Revelation 21:9–22:2) Wow! Can you even imagine a city like this? How beautiful it must be with all of those jewels sparkling in the light of God’s glory. It must be the brightest, most colorful place ever. And guess what? God has made it for us! What a wonderful promise that we can live in a city like that with all the people we love if we choose to give our lives to Jesus.
Activity 4: CLOSING BLESSING
As you finish, pray a final prayer of blessing over the children:
May you always remember that Jesus is preparing a place for you to be with Him forever.