SojournKids

This Week at SojournKids: Jesus Was Born

Josh RobertsComment

Background: This week’s lesson deals with the specifics of Jesus’ birth. We’ll learn about God’s control in fulfilling His promises, and bringing people to Jesus to worship him as King. In the Old Testament, God prophesied that Bethlehem would be the birthplace of God’s promised Savior. Micah 5:2 says, “But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah…from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old…” So in Matthew chapter 2 and Luke chapter 2 we see the writers signaling the fulfillment of OT prophecy. Jesus was promised to be the Savior, and this shows that Jesus is fully man.

Opening/Ice Breaker: Have you ever made a promise that you kept for many years? Well this week we learned that one promise God kept was that he would send a Savior for the world. Throughout the Old Testament, God’s people needed a savior from their spiritual enemy: sin, and that Savior was Jesus.

Tell the Story: Last week we learned that the angel Gabriel told Mary that she would be the mother of God’s promised Savior. In those days, Caesar Augustus, wanted to count every person in his empire, but everyone had to travel to his own hometown to do so. Mary traveled with Joseph, her fiancé, to Bethlehem because Joseph’s family was from there. Seeing as Joseph, Jesus’ earthly father, was from Bethlehem, he had to travel with Mary there, and Mary was already pregnant with Jesus. When they arrived to Bethlehem, there was no room for them at the inn! So, Jesus was born in a stable, where animals were kept, and he was laid in a manger, or feeding trough. Then an angel appeared to some shepherds. Read Luke 2:8-20. The shepherds worshiped Jesus as the promised Savior of the world. That’s not the end of this passage though. After Jesus was born, some wise men from the east came to Jerusalem asking to see where the king of the Jews was. They were looking for Jesus. But the evil King Herod wanted to kill Jesus. So he told the wise men to find the boy, and tell him where he was. The wise men left for Jerusalem and found Jesus, and worshiped him as king. But the wise men were warned in a dream about King Herod’s evil plan, and they went back to their home a different way.

Questions/Apply it:

  • Who is our Savior?
  • What did the shepherds and the wise men do when they found Jesus? (They worshiped).
  • What does worshiping someone show? (It shows that person is worthy of praise and respect for who they are or what they have done. Jesus is worshiped because he is God.)
  • What promise did Jesus fulfill? (To free God’s people from sin.)
  • Some times promises take a long time to be fulfilled, but we can trust God’s promises because nothing can separate us from his love (Romans 8:38-39).

Talk to your kids about what worship is (respect, adoration, praise, thanks), why worship Jesus (because he is God and is our Savior), and why we worship together as the church (because with other Christians, we build each other up to worship God more).

REVIEW one of these doctrine memory questions, or the month’s memory verse by having your kids repeat it after you.

Gospel Project Big Picture Question: What makes Jesus different? Jesus is fully God and fully man.

Memory Verse: Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. 1 Timothy 1:15

Additional resources can be found in the Gospel Project for Kids app under Unit 19 - Session 3

5 Minute Devotional: Mary Praised God

Josh RobertsComment

(3 minutes) READ Luke 1:26-56

Dear Parents,

God’s people had not heard a clear message from God for hundreds of years. Then one day, Gabriel—an angel of the Lord—told a man that his wife, Elizabeth, was going to have a baby. The baby's name would be John. Then the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and told her that she would have a baby, and her baby would be God's Son.

Mary and Elizabeth were relatives. Elizabeth was old and barren; she and her husband, Zechariah, had no children. Mary was a young girl—likely in her early teens. She was a virgin, engaged to be married to Joseph. The announcements of these pregnancies were miraculous for both women. Both babies had been foretold by the prophet Isaiah—John in Isaiah 40:3 and Jesus in Isaiah 7:14.

The angel Gabriel told Mary that Elizabeth was pregnant too, and Mary hurried to see her. The journey would not have been easy. Mary traveled nearly one hundred miles to see Elizabeth, and her arrival brought great joy to both Elizabeth and Elizabeth's unborn baby. In the presence of the unborn Messiah, John leaped in Elizabeth's womb. Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she said, "Mary, you are blessed!"

The story of Mary's visit with Elizabeth gives us a remarkable picture of women living by faith. Being a young, unwed pregnant woman could have caused Mary to worry. Instead, her response is marked by her trust in God. Mary's song reflects her knowledge of God's Word and her understanding of who God is.

Mary was willing to follow God’s plan, even though being Jesus’ mother would not be easy. Mary wanted to bring praise to God. Likewise, Jesus brought praise to His Father by willingly dying on the cross to save people from sin.

(1 minute) REVIEW one of these doctrine memory questions, or the month’s memory verse by having your kids repeat it after you.

Gospel Project Big Picture Question: What makes Jesus different? Jesus is fully God and fully man.

Memory Verse: Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. 1 Timothy 1:15

(1 minute) PRAY and ask God to help you follow His plan for your life.

Additional resources can be found in the Gospel Project for Kids app under Unit 19 - Session 2.

March Music for Sojourn Kids

Josh RobertsComment

Parents,

At Sojourn we want to partner with you as you disciple your children at home during the week.  Below are the memory verse, catechism and songs your children will learn in assembly this month.  We'd love for you to use these in your family devotionals to reinforce what the children are learning on Sunday.  Enjoy worshiping our great Savior with your family!

What makes Jesus different? Jesus is fully God and fully man.

1 Timothy 1:15  Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.

Songs we're singing:

5 Minute Devotional: From Abraham to Jesus

Josh RobertsComment

(3 minutes) READ Matthew 1:1-17

Dear Parents,

The prophecies concerning Jesus’ birth are numerous, and many of them refer to Jesus’ lineage. Old Testament prophecies tell of the promised Messiah being born from the seed of a woman (Gen. 3:15); from the seed of Abraham (Gen. 22:18), Isaac (Gen. 21:12), and Jacob (Num. 24:17); from the tribe of Judah (Micah 5:2); from the line of Jesse (Isa. 11:1); and from the house of David (Jer. 23:5). The prophecies said He would be born of a virgin (Isa. 7:14) and would be the Son of God (1 Chr. 17:13-14; Ps. 2:7). Jesus fulfilled all of these prophecies.

In Bible times, Jews took great care to accurately record family genealogies. The family a person belonged to was directly linked to property rights. Matthew 1:1-17 and Luke 3:23-38 both chronicle the genealogy of Jesus. The account in Matthew presents Jesus as the king of the Jews—the legal heir to the throne of David. The account in Luke was written to Greek Christians and focuses on Jesus’ descent from Adam.

Jesus came to earth as a baby in Bethlehem. Jesus had earthly parents, Mary and Joseph, but His true Father is God. Through Jesus, God kept His promises to Abraham and David. Jesus saves people from their sin and adopts them into God’s family.

When Jesus was born, He took on humanity—meaning He was fully God and fully man. As fully God, in Him “the entire fullness of God’s nature dwells bodily” (Col. 2:9). As fully man, Jesus has a human body, human mind, and human emotions. (See Luke 2:7,52; Matt. 26:38.) He is our sinless representative (2 Cor. 5:21), sympathetic high priest (Heb. 4:15), and substitute sacrifice (1 John 4:10).

Use this Bible story to review Jesus’ ancestors and their stories in the Old Testament. Help your kids recognize that God had been working out His plan to send Jesus over hundreds of years—through Adam, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Jesse, David, Solomon, and Josiah. God sent Jesus to earth to save people from their sins.

(1 minute) REVIEW one of these doctrine memory questions, or the month’s memory verse by having your kids repeat it after you.

Gospel Project Big Picture Question: What makes Jesus different? Jesus is fully God and fully man.

Memory Verse: Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst. 1 Timothy 1:15

(1 minute) PRAY and thank God for sending Jesus to save us!

Additional resources can be found in the Gospel Project for Kids app under Unit 19 - Session 1.

Student Baptism Sunday at Sojourn J-town

Ashley StevensonComment

For we were all baptized by one Spirit so as to form one body--whether Jews or Gentiles, slave or free--and we were all given the one Spirit to drink. (1 Corinthians 12:13)

We recently had the joy of celebrating the baptisms of a few of our Sojourn kids and students at Sojourn J-Town. We also began an new rhythm as a local church family with a student baptism Sunday. We saw planning this experience as an opportunity to be more intentional in the discipleship of the next generation, and in the celebration with our entire church family.  

Last Fall, students and their parents attended our Family Baptism class at Sojourn J-Town. After the class, they were connected with family ministry advocates, some of our key ministry deacons for Sojourn Students and SojournKids. The advocates walked closely with the students and their parents as they processed next steps in their faith journeys. The goal was intentionality without the pressure of rushing this process. We then set a date for Student Baptism Sunday based on the readiness of several students.

What do we celebrate on Student Baptism Sunday?

We celebrate the saving work God has done in each student. Every Spring and Fall during our Child Dedication services, parents and church members pray boldly together for the children before us--that they would one day stand before before our church congregation and declare that Jesus is Lord. On this celebration day, we get to rejoice that God has been faithful!

God’s saving work reaches across generations in a radical fashion. The personal testimony of each of these students does not give witness to a faith that mimics that of their parents. Their story doesn’t represent the successful completion of a family ministry checklist-process. Rather, their stories reflect God's unique and radical work in each individual. It is his work to awaken their hearts to the beauty of the gospel and their need for Jesus.

How do we celebrate?

We celebrate as a family. Baptism Sundays tend to draw in a large number of visiting family members and friends. Though we enjoy welcoming them, we are reminded that this celebration of new life isn't a biological family affair—it is a spiritual family affair. These young people are being baptized in to our body of believers as our brothers and sisters.

In the testimonies of our Sojourn kids and students who were recently baptized, we got to see both of these formative realities on beautiful display in each of their stories:

  • the faithful and on-going commitment of their parents to passionately pursue and point their children to Jesus with God's help.
     
  • the faithful and on-going commitment of SojournKids and Sojourn Student volunteers, some called out by name, who poured in to these students week after week and pointed them to Jesus.

We love to have a party! At our recent student baptism service at Sojourn J-Town, we followed the morning with a milestone celebration lunch gathering on site. Among the many in attendance were a number of church members who have journeyed with these young people and their families through SojournKids, Sojourn Students, and Community Group.

Why do we celebrate?

As these students continue to mature, and face the realities, doubts and confusion of life, we pray they will recall the boldness they evidenced and the confident, personal responses they gave when we asked about their faith story and God’s work in them.

We want to journey alongside parents. Discipling children can be overwhelming. We don't leave parents to do this on their own. God has put us together in the church because we need one another.

We want our church family to participate in their stories. Our commitment to these new believers doesn't end with their parents and Sojourn Family Ministry. This commitment reaches to our entire church family who has been given the opportunity and responsibility to pray for them, and to encourage and sustain them as part of our fellowship of believers. This reminder helps to mark the beginning—not the end--of their discipleship journey.