Church at home

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Running Away - Kids at home Sunday 26th April

Today, we’re going to remember how God is the most wonderful LOVING Father! He NEVER gives up on us and He loves us SO much! He always wants us to be close to Him and will ALWAYS welcome us into His arms, no matter what! He is SO happy when we are with Him!

Worship

Let’s start with some worship! Feel free to sing and dance or just watch and listen, Jesus doesn’t mind HOW we worship, He just loves it when we spend time with Him and sing His praises!

One Thing Remains – Bethel Kids

Good Good Father – Chapelhill Kids

The Lord’s Prayer – Saddleback Kids

Our God is a Great Big God – Vineyard Kids

Story time

Running Away – The Jesus Storybook Bible (you can find this story on page 272 of the Jesus Storybook Bible if you’d prefer to read this with your little one)

Some important points to remember…

  • The father wasn’t angry at his son for running away and making some bad choices, he was looking out of his window every day, hoping and praying he would come back!
  • Sometimes, we might think we are better off following our own plan than God’s plan for us (just like the younger son did at the beginning of the story), but we have to remember that what God wants for us is the very best thing for us and so we should always listen to what He wants to say.
  • God is a really, really good Father! We can always run to Him instead of running away from Him! Even if we think we’ve messed up too much, or made too many mistakes, we just need to tell God we are sorry and He will welcome us in to His arms!
  • God’s children can never run too far, or be too lost, for God to find them! No matter what you do, God will always love you and He will never give up on you! 
  • Just like we had a huge party at Easter because of Jesus’ return, God will always have a big party when we come back to Him or when people come to know Him as their Father! The same way that the dad in the story had a big party when his son came home!
  • We might also sometimes feel like the older brother in the story. Imagine if we saw someone making some mistakes (maybe a younger brother or sister) whilst we were on our best behaviour and our parents threw a big party for them and not us… we might feel a bit sad about that, BUT Jesus told us this story to explain how much God loves each one of us and also to tell us that all of us need forgiveness at different times, we all make mistakes and do the wrong thing sometimes but even when we do, God still loves us and wants to be our best friend! Isn’t this amazing news?

Some things to talk to your family about…

  • What did the father do when his son returned? (Welcomed him home!)
  • How did the father respond to his bad behaviour? (He forgave him and showed him love!) 
  • Do you think that there is anything that the son could do to make his dad stop loving him? (No!)
  • Is there anything that we could do that would stop God from loving us and welcoming us home? (No!) Why? (We are all his children and he loves us no matter what!)
  • What do you think God wants us to do if we ever do realise that we have run away from Him or we have done the wrong thing? (Say sorry and come back to Him!)
  • Do you think that, even when things seem a little crazy or confusing or different, God still wants the best for you? (Yes!)
  • What should we do if we ever feel like this? (Talk to God, stay close to Him and trust Him!)

Prayer time

God loves you so much!! Isn’t it so amazing that nothing in this world is ever going to stop Him from loving us? Why don’t we just take a moment to think about this quietly? Jesus might want to tell us something as we wait and listen to Him too, He often does! Then, as we pray in a minute, remember just how much He loves you! Let His love fill your heart.

Dear God, 

Thank you so much for being an amazing and loving Father. I know that there is nothing I could ever, ever do that would make you stop loving me. I know that you will never give up on me and I am so thankful for that. I pray that you would help me to love others like you love me. Help me to always run into your arms and not away from you and please help me to be extra, super loving to those around me because I am extra, super loved by you!!

Amen.

Note to families: Feel free to pray this prayer over your child/children or ask one of them to read this prayer out if they are able. Alternatively, you might want to just focus on anything they have shared that they are worried/scared about.

Memory Verse

“Nothing can separate us from the love of God”. Romans 8v39

Isn’t this a wonderful verse? And isn’t the story we heard today amazing, too? I don’t know about you, but I am SO thankful that nothing I can do will separate me from God! No matter how many times I make a mistake or do the wrong thing, God will always love me. Even if I am sometimes unkind to my siblings or I do something that I know I shouldn’t, I know that I can always say sorry to God and He will forgive me. I know that God is always going to love me and nothing will ever change that! 

Why don’t you try and make up some actions at home with your family to help you try and remember this verse? For example, ‘Nothing’ could be making a cross with your arms. ‘Separate’ could be pulling your hands apart from each other. ‘Love’ could be making a heart with your hands or putting your hand over your heart. ‘God’ could be pointing upwards. Feel free to make your own and we would LOVE to see them if you’d like to show us! Please send them into Lauren at lauren@christchurchlondon.org along with any pictures of the craft you make below! We love seeing your beautiful creativity!

Craft time

There a few different options for crafts today so you can choose whatever you like or have a go at all of them! The main thing to remember as we make these crafts is that Jesus loves us and he will always welcome us home! This story is all about a father’s love and it gives us a beautiful picture of God’s heart of love towards each of us, so let’s create something beautiful to remind us of this today!

 

Welcome home!

You could make a little door out of lollipop sticks and glue or any other materials you have at home and write ‘welcome home!’ in big letters. This reminds us of the part in the story where the father runs out to meet his son with his arms, and the door to his home, wide open! You can decorate the door with hearts to remember that the father’s heart was full of love for the son!

Materials needed: 

  • Card / Paper / Lollipop sticks
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Coloured Pens/Pencils

Optional:

  • Gems / Stickers / Buttons

Arms wide open!

Remember, God’s arms are wide open for us!

Materials needed: 

  • Card / Paper 
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Coloured Pens/Pencils
  • Hands (to draw around!)

Optional:

  • Gems / Stickers

Prayer boards!

You could also make a prayer board at home with your family and you can add prayers to these as often as you’d like. Perhaps you could try adding a prayer into one envelope every morning or evening, why don’t you get creative with your family at home and make one that you can all share? This is a great way to remember to talk to God, to praise Him, say thank you to Him, say sorry to Him if we need to and to ask Him for help if we need it! You could also add an envelope to pray for others! Why don’t you decorate a piece of coloured card and stick 4 or 5 envelopes to it with the words ‘PRAISE’ ‘THANKS’ ‘SORRY’ ‘HELP’. Alternatively, you could use post it notes that you change each week or if you have a white/black board at home, you could do use that too.

Materials needed: 

  • Card / Paper 
  • Envelopes
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Coloured Pens/Pencils
  • Small bits of paper cut out ready to add prayers to

Optional:

  • Gems / Stickers
  • Coloured paper
  • Blu tack for sticking to a wall

Note to families:

The Bible App for kids is another good resource to use at home with your children if you’d like. You’ll find animated bible stories, as well as different activities related to each story that the children may be able to complete or themselves or that you can complete all together as a family.