This month we just couldn't pass up the opportunity to tell the story of Patrick, the child-slave-turned-Irish-missionary who provides an excellent example to the kids of several principles: God is with them in difficult circumstances, He will answer prayer, He saves people through Jesus, He helps us love our enemies, and He calls us to share the gospel with others. After last month's St. Valentine's Day lesson, and this month's St. Patrick's Day lesson, rest assured we're not promoting the celebration of saints' feast days; Patrick was just too good of an illustration to pass by. Who knows? Now when their classmates and friends are wearing green and pinching each other, your kids might just tell them about the real Patrick who preached the gospel to the people who enslaved him! If you want to read more on Patrick, the History Channel http://www.history.com/topics/who-was-saint-patrick has a very brief introduction on the more critical reading of his history. Here's http://stpatricksday.com/history/stpatrick/confessio.shtml an account of his life in his own words. Here is the liturgy for this month:
Does anybody know what fun day is coming up this month? I'll give you a hint-- you get pinched if you don't wear green on this day. (Allow children to answer.) It’s St. Patrick’s Day! Do you know who Patrick was? Patrick was a real REAL (emphasize real -- "this was a real story that happened a very long time ago") little boy who has an amazing story! Patrick grew up about 1500 years ago in Britain. His parents were Christians,
and he grew up learning about Jesus. But one day people invaded his town and kidnapped Patrick! They took him away to their own country, Ireland, and made him a slave! He was a shepherd for six years, until God led him to a boat that took him back home.
But the story doesn’t end there. When Patrick grew up, he had a dream that the people who kidnapped him were begging for his help. He could have been angry at them for what they did, but instead Patrick became a missionary, and moved to Ireland to tell the people there about Jesus!
Just like God was with Patrick even when he was scared, God is always with us and watching over us no matter what’s going on. Let’s STAND UP and sing “You Are Always With Me!”
1. “You Are Always With Me,” words and music by Mark Altrogge, © 2004 Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI). Sovereign Grace Music, a division of Sovereign Grace Ministries. From Awesome God
Every day that Patrick was in Ireland working as a shepherd for the people who kidnapped him, he prayed to God. Patrick didn’t forget about God when he had a big problem. But even more importantly, God didn’t forget about Patrick! When you have a big problem, or when you feel sad, remember that God answers our prayers when we ask Him for help. He cares about our problems and He loves to help us!
We’re going to sing a new song today. It comes from Psalm 55:22.
(Take some time to go through the words and motions with the kids. There aren’t too many words to it.)
Cast your cares on the Lord, and He will sustain you
He will sustain you
He will never never never let the righteous fall
Let the righteous fall, no-o
2. “Cast Your Cares (Psalm 55:22),” words from New International Version © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Music by Seeds Family Worship. From The Power of Encouragement.
God saved Patrick. God rescued him by getting him on the boat that took him back to his family. But God also saved Patrick in a bigger way: He sent Jesus to die on the cross, so that Patrick’s sins could be forgiven! When Patrick placed his faith in Jesus, He was rescued from the punishment of sin. He was saved from eternal death in hell. Jesus died to take away our sins. Let’s sing to Jesus and thank Him for loving us like that.
3. “Jesus Came To Earth,” by Solomon Campbell, Dave Campbell, and Bob Kauflin © 2004 Sovereign Grace Worship (ASCAP) and Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI). Sovereign Grace Music, a division of Sovereign Grace Ministries. From Awesome God.
Jesus said, “Love your enemies.” When we hear the word “enemy,” we might think of some supervillain or bad guy in a cartoon or movie. But Jesus is saying we should love everyone, even when they are being unfair, or mean, or not doing what we want them to do. We naturally love our good friends, but we need God's help to love our enemies. Patrick loved the people who kidnapped him! Jesus loved His enemies by dying on the cross for them. Let’s sing together and ask God to help us love everyone like He loves us.
4. “You Show Me Kindness,” by Peter Gagnon and Bob Kauflin © 2009 Sovereign Grace Worship (ASCAP)/Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI). Sovereign Grace Music, a division of Sovereign Grace Ministries. From To Be Like Jesus.
We are going to pray. What is prayer? (Allow kids to respond.) Prayer is talking to God. Let’s be still and talk to God. Let's pray.
“God, thank You so much for taking good care of us. Thank you for sending Jesus to die for us. Help us to remember You every day, to love everyone and to tell them about Jesus. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.”
Patrick told people that Jesus died on the cross. Now let’s go and tell our family and friends about what God has done for us in Jesus! Let’s tell them that they can be forgiven because Jesus died to take away sins!
5. “Go (Matthew 28:19),” words from New International Version © 1973, 1978, 1984 Biblica. Music by Seeds Family Worship. From The Power of Encouragement.