When the disciples tried to stop people from bringing their babies to Jesus, he told them to let the children come to him! Jesus used that moment to remind them that the kingdom of heaven belongs those who come to God like children. We want our children to remember that we’re as dependent on God as a baby is on it’s mother!
Jesus was tempted in the same ways that we are but he did not give in; he used his knowledge of God’s Word to resist. He showed his readiness to carry out his role as the Son of God on earth. We want the kids to know that Jesus is more powerful than sin!
The magi responded to the birth of Jesus by finding him, worshipping him and bringing him gifts. They understood that Jesus was not just any king; he was the fulfillment of God’s promise! When they gave him gifts, it was a way of honoring him for being the king who would make a way for all the world to come to God. When we give gifts to others it’s an opportunity to express the love of Jesus to the person we’re giving a gift to. It’s also a way of celebrating our love for Jesus!
When the Israelites were in the wilderness it was easy to remember that they needed God day by day because they were living in tents and God was sending them manna and quail. God wanted the Israelites to always remember that they are dependent on him, even when they were living in the Promised Land. God commanded that they should have an annual celebration called Sukkot to remember and celebrate his provision. By celebrating the good things that God has done for us we are reminded that we can put our trust in him.
The story of Jonah points us to Jesus who obediently brought God’s message of salvation to an undeserving people. Jesus referred to his own death, burial and resurrection as “the sign of Jonah” (Matt. 12.39; 16.4).
David knew about trusting God’s promises! At an early age David was anointed as the king to succeed Saul’s throne. It took many years to see the fulfillment of that promise for him to rule Israel. When David was king, God made him another promise, that the seed of David would sit on his throne to rule over an eternal Kingdom. What does that mean? David wouldn’t ever live to see this fulfilled, but God’s promise has come true in Jesus!
As a desperately poor and vulnerable foreigner, Ruth seemed a very unlikely ancestor of both king David and Jesus the Messiah. Boaz, however, took note of her loyal faithfulness to her mother-in-law Naomi. Boaz trusted God’s promises and showed Ruth gracious kindness; paying a price for her to be included in his own family. Boaz showed what it would be like when Jesus came: Jesus paid a price for us to be included in the family of God so that we can also be instruments of God’s kingdom here on earth!
God always sustains his people! As the nation of Israel wandered through the wilderness, God led them and he fed them. The manna and the quail that God sent reminds us that we can trust in God and his promises each day. Jesus reminds us that he is the bread of life. In the same way that God kept the Israelites alive in the wilderness, he give us new life through his Son.
When Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the ten commandments, the Bible tells us that his face shone from reflecting the glory of God! Moses was a great prophet, but God promised that he would raise up up a prophet from Israel like Moses.Through Jesus we can all come face-to-face with God, and his light and love can shine through us!
Life is full of ups and downs. Sometimes things go well and sometimes they don’t. Joseph is a great example to us that we can trust God’s promises no matter the circumstances. God had a plan for Jacob’s sons, and he used Joseph to save his brothers from the famine. God has a plan for us too but his promises to us are fulfilled in Jesus. No matter the circumstances we can know that God loves us and we can put our faith in Jesus!