Ruth and Boaz

Dear UCC  Parents,

This week in The Gospel Project for Kids our journey began taking us for a look at stories that hint of a coming Savior, Jesus Christ. This week's story was about Ruth and Boaz. Ruth was the daughter-in-law of Naomi, a woman from Bethlehem who had moved with her husband and sons to escape a famine in their town. After the husbands of both Naomi and Ruth died, the two women moved back to Bethlehem to Naomi’s family’s land.

Ruth went to gather grain in the fields of a man named Boaz, who turned out to be a family redeemer. The role of the redeemer was to take care of close family members when they were in trouble. Since Ruth and Naomi were both women, they would not be able to inherit the land previously owned by Naomi’s husband. As family redeemer, Boaz had the right to marry Ruth and claim the property and responsibility for himself. Boaz did just that and took care of Ruth and Naomi.

Ruth and Boaz soon had a son whom they named Obed. Obed was the grandfather of King David. Through David’s line, God sent the perfect Redeemer in the person of Jesus Christ. We need help because we sin; Jesus bought our salvation for us by taking our punishment when He died on the cross.

NEXT WEEK:
We will be learning about Hannah and the birth and childhood of the prophet Samuel.

CURRENT KEY PASSAGE FOR MEMORY:
1 Samuel 2:35

The First Judges

Dear UCC Parents,

Thank you for continuing this journey of The Gospel Project for Kids®. This week’s Bible story took place chronologically after the death of Joshua. The Israelites had God’s laws to help them live their everyday lives, but without a leader they fell into a cycle of sin. They turned away from God and worshiped idols, which led to bondage and oppression by foreign kings. Then they remembered God and cried out to Him. God raised up a judge to deliver them, and finally there was ease in the land.

Today’s Bible story, “The First Judges,” describes how God raised up Othniel, Ehud, and Shamgar to deliver His people when they cried out to Him.  As long as the judge was alive, the people followed God and experienced peace and prosperity. When the judge died, however, they would fall back into the cycle of sin.

The Israelites needed someone better than a judge; they needed a king who would save them not only from the consequences of their sin, but the sin itself. That was all part of God’s plan. God sent a true Deliverer; His Son, Jesus, died for our sin and delivered us forever from the oppression of sin and death

NEXT WEEK:
We will take a look at the story of Gideon and how God was glorified in his life.

CURRENT KEY PASSAGE FOR MEMORY:
Judges 2:18

Joshua's Final Encouragement

Dear UCC Parents,

Thank you for continuing through the chronological study of the Bible through the Gospel Project for Kids. This Sunday, your kids learned about “Joshua’s Final Encouragement.” Joshua was an old man—110 years old!—but his life was a testament of God’s faithfulness to His people.

God had promised when the Israelites began the conquest of Canaan that God would be with Joshua wherever he went. (Joshua 1:9) Joshua reminded the Israelites about the history of their nation, from the covenant first made to Abraham to the banks of the Jordan River when the Israelites crossed over on dry ground. Joshua also reminded the Israelites that God fought all of their battles. Not one of God’s promises to His people failed. Isn’t that a pretty awesome encouragement? We serve a God who keeps His promises!

Joshua reminded the Israelites that they still lived among people who worshiped false gods, false gods that could lead the people away from following the one true God. Joshua made it clear: the Israelites could not sit on the fence. They could not worship Yahweh one day and the Baals the next. Joshua drew the line in the sand and told them to choose. Joshua said, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” The Israelites made a covenant to serve Yahweh. Joshua read the book of the Law, and made an altar to seal their commitment to God.

How can we show our commitment to God?  We can serve, worship, and obey God. As you talk about Joshua’s legacy of faith with your kids, point to an even greater legacy of faith. After Christ’s resurrection, He sent His disciples out to tell the nations about Him. Jesus calls all people who trust in Him to tell others about Him.

NEXT WEEK:
We will begin to look at the book of Judges with the story of “The First Judges." This week's describes how God raised up Othniel, Ehud, and Shamgar to deliver the Isrealites from their enemies after the loss of their leader Joshua.

CURRENT KEY PASSAGE FOR MEMORIZING:
Judges 2:18

The Conquest of Jericho

Dear UCC Parents,

This week’s story in The Gospel Project for Kids was “The Conquest of Jericho.” Last week, your kids learned that the Israelites crossed the Jordan River on dry ground. They were finally in the promised land! They only had one thing left to do: conquer the land and drive out the inhabitants. The people who lived in Canaan worshiped false gods.

Joshua sent two spies into the city of Jericho. While they were there, they stayed at Rahab’s house. The king of Jericho tracked them down to Rahab’s house, ready to kill them. Rahab, however, hid the spies on her roof. Why would Rahab save the spies? Rahab heard about God. She knew God was the one true God and that He would give the Israelites the city. She asked that her family be spared. Rahab and her family had to stay inside Rahab’s house and tie a red cord from her window. Rahab and her family were spared because of Rahab’s faith in God.

God gave Joshua specific instructions for battle. The Israelites obeyed. Who fought the battle of Jericho? God fought the battle and handed Jericho over to the Israelites. Joshua told the Israelites not to keep any of the spoil for themselves—the Lord would provide for their needs. Pray with your kids. Thank God for providing for all of your needs, including the need to be rescued from sins by Jesus Christ.

NEXT WEEK:
We will be looking at how Israel's obedience had a direct effect on God's presence with them through the story of the defeat at Ai. Because of Jesus perfect obedience God is with those who trust in Christ always through his Holy Spirit!

CURRENT KEY PASSAGE FOR MEMORIZING:
Joshua 24:15

The Israelites Crossed the Jordan River

Dear UCC Parents,

Thank you for continuing this journey of The Gospel Project for Kids®. This week's Bible story took place chronologically after the death of Moses. The Israelites had reached the edge of the promised land. God called Joshua to lead the people, and He promised to be with Joshua every step of the way. God would lift up Joshua in front of all the Israelites so they would know that God would be with Joshua just as He had been with Moses.

The Israelites reached the Jordan River during flood season. With the river overflowing its banks, the Jordan River would have been as difficult to cross as the Red Sea! God gave Joshua specific instructions concerning the crossing, and Joshua obeyed. The Israelites crossed the Jordan River on dry ground. God told Joshua to tell the leaders of the tribes to gather 12 stones from the middle of the Jordan River, one for each tribe. When they reached their camp at Gilgal, Joshua made an altar to the Lord and set up the stones as a memorial.

What should God’s people remember? God’s people should remember how He saves and sustains them. The cross is our reminder of what Jesus has done for us: a miraculous and unmerited saving we could never do for ourselves.

NEXT WEEK:
We will be looking at the battle of Jericho and how God fight's for his people. Take time to look at Joshua chapters 2 and 6 with your family this week.

CURRENT KEY PASSAGE FOR MEMORY:
Joshua 24:15

Jesus Appeared to Many People

Dear UCC Parents,

This week’s Bible story picked up where last week’s Bible story left off. After Jesus’ resurrection, He graciously appeared to the disciples, proving that He was alive. Even though Jesus had told His disciples that He would die and rise again, they believed by seeing.

Talk about how the disciples must have felt when Jesus appeared in the locked room with them. Jesus told them not to be afraid! To prove that He had a real, physical body, Jesus let them touch His hands. He even ate some fish! Jesus gave the disciples the Holy Spirit and equipped them to proclaim the gospel.

The resurrection is essential to the gospel. If Christ remained dead, His death would have meant nothing more than any other human being’s. God gives us victory over death through Jesus. Emphasize to your kids that Christians have a special purpose: to tell others that Jesus is alive!

Have a blessed week!

NEXT WEEK:
We will begin a new step in our journey. In the next unit of the Gospel Project for Kids we will be looking at the story of Joshua and his leading the people of Israel into the Promised Land. We will look at themes of trust and obedience, worship, prayer and serving God.

CURRENT KEY PASSAGE FOR MEMORY:
Luke 24:46-47

Jesus' Triumphal Entry

Dear UCC Parents,

This week we paused to take a break from the chronological study of the Bible and invite boys and girls into the stories of Easter. Today’s Bible story describes Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem during Passover week, riding on a donkey like the prophet Zechariah foretold. (Zech. 9:9) The people welcoming Jesus with palm branches believed He would overthrow Roman oppression and be an earthly king. Jesus sent a different message when He arrived in Jerusalem.

Jesus entered the temple complex. He turned over the tables of the money changers and those selling doves. Jesus said the temple was supposed to be a house of prayer for all nations (Isaiah 56:6-7), declaring His kingship would be over all people, not just the Jews. Jesus healed the blind and the lame. Jesus wasn’t just an earthly king; He was God! (Isa. 35:4-6)

Help kids connect the dots between God’s promises of a Messiah and Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem. How did the people act when they saw Jesus? The people welcomed Jesus to Jerusalem as their King. Celebrate why Jesus came: to save the world from sin!

NEXT WEEK: At our Combined Easter service at Pop-Jazz we will be looking at how God’s plan for redemption is fulfilled through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. During this week your family could read through Luke 22 and 23 as we prepare to celebrate our risen King on Sunday.

CURRENT KEY PASSAGE FOR MEMORY: Luke 24:46-47

Balaam

Dear UCC Parents,

This week in The Gospel Project, your kids heard one amazing story of a talking animal. God actually gave an animal, a donkey, the ability to speak for a brief moment in order to make a point to one impromptu prophet. Balaam was hired by the king to pronounce a curse on the Israelites. Balaam headed out but his donkey kept running him into walls and crevices. After beating the donkey, Balaam heard the donkey speak. Shortly thereafter Balaam learned that he had no choice but to say what God wanted him to say and nothing else. After repeatedly blessing the Israelites instead of cursing them, Balaam lost favor with the king.

Who protected God’s people? God always protects His people. Fourteen hundred years after Balaam predicted Jesus’ birth, wise men from the east came to visit the boy Jesus.

NEXT WEEK: We begin our journey towards Easter Sunday as we look at the story of Jesus' Triumphal Entry. Set aside some time this week in your homes to read one of the following passages together: Matthew 21:1-17; Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:28-44 or John 12:12-19. For our older kids, try to look at all four accounts of the story that the authors of the gospels have written them and discuss the similarities and differences together.

CURRENT KEY PASSAGE FOR MEMORIZING: Exodus 20:1-17

Joshua and Caleb

Dear UCC Parents,

The Gospel Project for Kids took on a spy mission this week. Spies were sent into the land of promise. They had finally arrived! The problem was most of the people who went in to spy were having problems believing that they could conquer the people who lived there. Bigger problem … God had told them they could take it, so why worry? Two of those spies, Joshua and Caleb, knew that God was true and that He would lead them to victory. The problem became helping the others see that God was true to His word.

The crowd, unfortunately, followed the dissenters who said the people of the land were too large and that Israel could not take the promised land. The people sinned. How does God respond when His people sin? Sin has a price, but God is always willing to forgive when people seek forgiveness.

Joshua and Caleb were not perfect, but they lived a life of obedience to God. Joshua would one day lead the people of Israel into the promised land. His accomplishments point to Christ’s finished work on the cross—defeating Satan, setting people free from sin, and making a way into the promised land of eternity.

NEXT WEEK: We will be looking at the story of how God protected his people from Balak king of the Maobites. Read together in your family Numbers 22:1-24:25 this week or the story of Balaam and his talking donkey from your children's Bible, to get ready for next weeks lesson.

CURRENT KEY PASSAGE FOR MEMORIZING: Exodus 20:1-17

Rules for Sacrifice

Dear UCC Parents,

This week's session was a new one for most boys and girls. Recall the last time you sat and read the Book of Leviticus. What does it mean? Why did God give all these rules? God gave rules for sacrifice to show people how to worship Him and how to be forgiven of the sin they had committed. Why did God require a sacrifice of blood? Simply, God is holy and because of that His forgiveness requires a sacrifice. The Book of Romans teaches us that the penalty for sin is death. The sacrifice offered stood instead for the one who had sinned.

The ultimate example of a substitution for sin is of course, Jesus Christ. Christ died on the cross for the sins of all. Christ died so that sinners wouldn’t have to die for their sin. The rules of Leviticus were given to help people know they could not live in right relationship with God apart from sacrifice. We today are free from following the rules of sacrifice because we trust in Jesus who perfectly obeyed the law. Our faith in Christ is what cleanses us from the sin in our lives.

Scripture for Family Reading this week: Numbers 13:1-14:38

Current Key Passage for Memorizing: Exodus 20: 1-17

The Tabernacle

Dear UCC Parents,

This week talk about your church with your kids. What makes your church unique? At UCC we don't meet in a traditional church building structure, but rather a more temporary place? The tabernacle was built as a temporary structure used to worship God and to house His presence. God’s presence would lead the nation of Israel, and they would follow. Whenever His presence would stop, the tabernacle would be set up for worship.

The tabernacle in the Old Testament was the physical place where God’s Spirit dwelled as the Israelites journeyed to the land God had promised Abraham. The tabernacle gives us a clear picture of God’s desire to dwell with His people and to be worshiped by them. The word tabernacle means “to dwell.” To show in the New Testament God’s desire for dwelling with His people has not ended, He sent Jesus to tabernacle (dwell) with people on earth.

Memory Verses for Unit 6: Exodus 20:1-17

The Israelites Cross the Red Sea

Dear UCC Parents,

This week our kids learned more about the Exodus and how God led His people out of Egypt and through the waters of the Red Sea.

After being slaves in Egypt for hundreds of years, the Israelite people were finally free. It sure didn’t take them long after they left Egypt to start complaining about their circumstances! Think of a time you have faced difficult circumstances and you didn’t respond the way you should have. What could you have done differently?

Trapped between a great expanse of water and an approaching army, Moses again—by God’s help—led the Israelite people to victory. God used Moses to part the waters, allowing His people to walk through on dry ground. Imagine the scene. Pretend with your kids that you are standing on the banks of the sea when it begins to split apart. Talk about what you would be feeling. How would the air smell? How would the ground feel?

God created a way for the Israelite people to escape the harsh treatment of the Egyptian taskmasters. Just as God provided a way of salvation for His people from Egypt, He does the same for His people today. God provided physical salvation for the Israelites, but today, He offers spiritual salvation through the person of Jesus Christ.

Bible passages to read together this week: Exodus 13:17-17:7

The Passover

Dear UCC Parents,

This session of The Gospel Project for Kids dealt with the final plague God brought upon the Egyptians. This story has a clear message regarding the importance of Christ and His presence with people. Talk with your kids about the events of the Passover. Ask them to think about how they might have felt if they were living in Egypt during that time. Moses led the people to honor God, and by so doing, the people of Israel were saved from the hand of the Egyptians.

This week your kids learned that God rescued His people from the hands of the Egyptians by the shedding of blood. The sacrifice of a lamb for the blood to go over the doorpost was the only thing that kept the family inside safe from the wrath of God. God provided a much more important lamb for us, Himself—the Lamb of God. Through the shedding of Jesus’ blood, we no longer have to face the punishment of eternal separation from God because of our sin. Jesus died so we wouldn’t have to.

Bible passages to read together this week: Exodus 1:8–2:10,23-25; 3:1–4:20

Moses Confronted Pharaoh

Dear UCC Parents,

The Gospel Project for Kids journeyed back to Egypt this week. This thrilling story led Moses back to Egypt to confront Pharaoh, who was unwilling to bow to the request that Moses made on behalf of God. Do you think it is likely that Moses knew the Pharaoh who was ruling since he grew up in the household some 40 years earlier? How would that change this story? Can you help your kids see how God is using the little baby from last week’s story in a new way?

Moses confronted Pharaoh but met strong, hard-headed opposition. God, however, had prepared Moses for this encounter with Pharaoh, and Moses knew the outcome. Moses continued to move forward despite the opposition. Share with your kids a time where you faced opposition in your life but you remained faithful to God. Did it work out for His glory?

This week, help your child identify times it may be difficult to be completely obedient to God. Through Moses’ obedience, God saved the Israelites from slavery. Read Hebrews 3:3. Jesus is greater than Moses, and Jesus’ perfect submission to God’s will provided the salvation that we needed.

Verses for Family Bible Reading this week:
Exodus 5:1-6:13; 6:28-11:1

Moses was born and called

Dear UCC Parents,

Gospel Project.jpg

This week's  session of The Gospel Project for Kids was about Moses’ birth and calling. The story of Moses’ birth is one of the most spectacular stories in the Bible. Not only did God save Moses from the evil intentions of Pharaoh, He actually used the evil pharaoh to raise the child that would provide salvation for His people.

Moses’ early life was tumultuous at best. Little is known of his upbringing beyond what is recorded in the early verses of Exodus 1. We do know that Moses grew up in the Pharaoh’s household and most likely learned much about Egyptian life. Moses had to move away after killing an Egyptian, but years later he had an encounter with God that changed his life forever.

God saved Moses for a special purpose. Through Moses, God rescued His people who were enslaved by the Egyptians. God called Moses out for service. He called His Son, Jesus, for a greater service: to provide salvation for all people from their enslavement to sin.


Verses for family Bible reading this week:

Exodus 1:8-2:10,23-25; 3:1-4:20

Wise Men Visited Jesus

Dear UCC Parents,

This week your kids heard a story from the Bible about wise men who travelled from a distant land in order to find the King who had been born. Have you ever found it interesting that God revealed to the wise men—pagan priests and astrologers—that the Savior had been born? Jesus was King, but not in the way these men likely thought.

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Jesus Was Born

Dear UCC Parents,

As we work our way towards the UCC combined Christmas celebration next Sunday we have been walking through the Christmas story step by step. This week our story in The Gospel Project for Kids was all about Jesus’ birth. When God sent Jesus to earth, He was born of a virgin, fulfilling Isaiah’s prophecy.

As you celebrate, recount for your kids the joyous news the shepherds shared. Help your kids understand the importance of sharing that wonderful news with others. Talk about the humble beginnings of our Savior, Jesus. Pray with your family, thanking God for sending His Son, Jesus, to be the Savior of the world.

Angels Spoke to Mary and Joseph

Dear UCC Parents,

Thank you for continuing this journey of The Gospel Project for Kids. We’d like to take a break from the chronological study of the Bible and invite boys and girls into the stories of Christmas. Today’s story relates a time when angels came to visit Mary and Joseph. The angel Gabriel came to Mary and startled her with his news. Mary felt unworthy, but she humbly submitted to God’s will for her life.

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The Stolen Blessing

Dear UCC Parents,

The Gospel Project for Kids continued its journey through God’s story by learning about a little sibling rivalry. Any child with a sibling can attest to the struggles that sometimes plague this special relationship. Jacob and Esau were no different. Jacob’s name means “heel grabber,” an apt description of who and what he was.

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The Promise Reaffirmed

Dear UCC Parents,

In the next installment of God’s story, we learned that God’s plan that began with Abraham extended far beyond his lifetime. When Isaac grew up, he started a family of his own. Isaac’s wife, Rebekah, had twin boys, Jacob and Esau.

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