Dear Mama Friends…are you enjoying this?
Day #15 – David
Scripture: Matthew 22:41-46, John 10:7-19, Acts 13:22-23
Ornament: The staff & the crown – This represents that David was both a shepherd and a king. It beautifully pointed to the fact that Jesus would be both for us as well. He is the Great Shepherd and the King of kings.
Story: The Jesse Tree, “The Shepherd King” and “Dancing”, pages 50-56 / The Jesus Storybook, “The young hero and the horrible giant” and “The Good Shepherd”, pages 122-135
The point: Besides the above-mentioned parallel, it is also important to point out that David was a man after God’s own heart. Although he fell at first, it’s important to learn about his character and follow his example of humility and repentance.
Suggested activity: Recite the 23rd Psalm together and discuss.
Day #16 – Solomon
Scripture: I Kings 3:5-28, I Corinthians 1:18-25
Ornament: The Scroll – This represents all the wisdom which Solomon wrote, especially the Proverbs.
Story: The Jesse Tree, “The Wisdom of Solomon”, pages 57-60
Song: “The Wise Man and the Foolish Man” (Watch it here)
The point: Beside Jesus, Solomon was the wisest man that ever lived. It’s important to point out to our children that wisdom didn’t come with age, but because he asked for wisdom over riches or fame. We can also point out that we can do the same as James says that we should, (James 1:5-6). In addition to Solomon’s wisdom, this is a good devotional to discuss that preaching of the cross is foolishness to this world. It could indicate why God chose lowly shepherds to be Jesus’ first visitors.
Suggested activity: Have your children color a picture about this story. There are many to choose from on the internet. Here is a free printable that I found.
Day #17 – Elijah
Scripture: Matthew 11:13-15, 17:1-13, Luke 9:28-36
Ornament: The flame – The flame represents the fire that fell from Heaven on Mt. Carmel to
Story: The Jesse Tree, “The Idol and the Still, Small Voice” & “War and Peace”, pages 61-68
Song: “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” (Watch it here)
The point: Elijah was a key prophet in the Old Testament who delivered God’s judgement on the Kingdom of Judah. He is key because it was his spirit that fell on John the Baptist, the forerunner of Christ. He is also one of the two, Moses being the other, that appeared to Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration. Jesus met with a representative of the Law (Moses) and the Prophets (Elijah) and He came to fulfill both.
Suggested activity: Under construction
Day #18 – Major Prophets
Scripture: Isaiah 7:14, 9:6-7, 11:1-10, 35:5-6, 40:3-5, 53:3-5
Ornament: The Lion of Judah – This ornament was originally made to represent Daniel, but the more I studied, the more I feel that Isaiah was just as key, if not more so in relation to Messianic prophecy. One of those prophecies, (in Genesis and Revelation, interestingly enough) refers to Jesus as the Lion of the Tribe of Judah.
Story: The Jesus Storybook, “Operation “No More Tears!”, pages 144-151
Song: See “Suggested Activity.” However, this is a nice sing-along-video with lyrics to one of my favorites”the Messiah,” called “For Unto Us a Child is Born” (Watch it here)
The point: The major prophets really flesh out what Jesus would look like when He came and what His character would be. They made clear what it was we were to look for in the Messiah. Isaiah especially says that Jesus would be born of a virgin, the wonderful counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace, of the root of Jesse, called a Nazarene, a healer and preceded by a forerunner. Jeremiah had more prophecy relating to Jesus’ death and resurrection. Daniel is important for two reasons. First, he very clearly lays out that the Messiah would come according to a specific timeline, both for his first and second comings. He also was a wise man in Babylon. Tradition says that he started a school and that the wise men that came from the east very likely knew the prophecies foretold about the Messiah and followed the star because of Daniel’s influence on Babylon. Interesting thought, at least.
Suggested activity: Watch/listen to the full “The Messiah” throughout your evening. Many of the beautiful prophecies are skillfully put to music by Handel. (This particular link has some background information about G.F. Handel.)
Day #19 – Esther
Scripture: Esther 1-10
Ornament: The scepter – Just as the scepter was extended to Esther so that she could approach the king, Jesus blood is an extended scepter by which we can approach the King. (Hebrews 4:16)
Story: Neither The Jesse Tree or The Jesus Storybook have Esther’s story, but she played an important part in Jesus’ story and it’s good to include her. Read the Scriptures.
Song: “What would I give,” (Watch it here) (I had never heard this, but it’s lovely and worth a listen.)
The point: As mentioned above, Esther is not mentioned in either book. But like Rahab, Esther played an important part in Jesus’ story and it’s good to include her. Although God is not once mentioned in the book of Esther, His fingerprints are all over it. Had Esther not been willing to submit to God’s will and approach the king, the Jewish people would have been destroyed, and with it, the tribe of Judah specifically.
Suggested activity: If you can, read the whole story of Esther. It’s written so beautifully in the Bible that it’s as readable as a children’s storybook simply as it is written. According to Jewish tradition, every time Haman’s name is mentioned, the kids should boo and hiss. It adds an element of fun to this beautiful story.
Day #20 – Ezra/Nehemiah
Scripture: Ezra 7, Nehemiah 8-10
Ornament: The Watchtower
Story: The Jesus Storybook, “Get ready!”, pages 170-175
Song: “Nehemiah’s Song” (Watch it here)
The point: Nehemiah and Ezra completed rebuilding the city of Jerusalem, which was also necessary for the Messianic prophecies to be fulfilled.
Suggested activity: See song – this is almost seven minutes long. It’s less a sing-along and more a story set to music. Kinda neat.
Day #21 – Minor Prophets
Scripture: Hosea 11:1 (Matthew 2:15), Jonah 1:17 (Matthew 12:38-41), Micah 5:2 (Matthew 2:2-6), Malachi 3:1, 4:5-6
Story: The Jesus Storybook, “Get ready!”, pages 170-175 (This is repeated because it covers both yesterday and today. You do not need to read it twice.)
The point: There were many prophecies given in the minor prophets pointing to Jesus. Hosea is the one who said that he would be called out of Egypt, Micah prophesied that he would be born in Bethlehem and Malachi that he would be preceded by a messenger/Elijah. In addition to those, Zechariah and Jonah prophesied of his life, death and resurrection.
Suggested activity: As a family, make a list of things we must do to be ready for when the Messiah returns. Read the story of the Five Wise and Five Foolish Virgins (Matthew 25:1-13).
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Blessings and much love,