Merry Christmas, Riverside Kids!

We hope your day is full of celebration and love!  You are each a gift to our church community, and we are blessed to grow alongside you.

The wise may bring their learning, the rich may bring their wealth,
And some may bring their greatness, and some bring strength and health;
We, too, would bring our treasures to offer to the King;
We have no wealth or learning; what shall we children bring?

We’ll bring Him hearts that love Him; we’ll bring Him thankful praise,
And young souls meekly striving to walk in holy ways;
And these shall be the treasures we offer to the King,
And these are gifts that even the poorest child may bring.

– Book of Praise for Child­ren, 1881.

Merry Christmas from the teachers and staff of Riverside Church!

Advent Day 27

God So Loved the World

Read: John 3:16-17  (below)

 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” – John 3:16-17

Discuss: After Jesus died on the cross he rose from the dead and conquered death!  What time of year do we celebrate Jesus’ victory over death?  Through the season of Advent leading up to Christmas we remember our need for a rescuer.  And we celebrate the birth of our Savior!  All of the promises made throughout the bible have been fulfilled by Jesus.  The bible says that if we believe we need to be saved (that we are sinners) and believe that Jesus died to save us, we will have eternal life.  Do you believe that you need to be rescued?  Do you believe that Jesus is your rescuer?

(Parents: If you would like more resources about how to discuss salvation with your children, or if you have questions about the life and death of Jesus, please contact us.  We are happy to help in any way.)

Advent Day 26

From Birth to the Cross

Read: Philippians 2:6-8  (below)

…who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.  And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. – Philppians 2:6-8

Discuss: Jesus came to the world a tiny baby, grew into a humble servant and died on a cross.  Why did he die on a cross?  When he died he took all of the sin and sickness and darkness with him, so we wouldn’t have to carry them anymore.  So we could have a relationship with God again.  Do you know what happened after Jesus died on the cross?

Advent Day 25

The Little Children and Jesus

Read: Luke 18:15-17

Special Verse: But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.Luke 18:16

Discuss: Why do you think the disciples tried to keep children away from Jesus? What is the kingdom of God?  Why did Jesus use children as an example of faith?  Children are experts at trusting and receiving love without worrying that they need to do or be anything special to earn it. If you were to meet Jesus, he would be so glad to see you! How would you behave? Would you be nervous? Joyful? Shy? Playful?

Advent Day 24

Jesus Light of the World

Read: John 8:12   (Below)

Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”  – John 8:12

Discuss: These last few days of advent we will discuss how Jesus will rescue us.  Think back all the way to the beginning of the month when we read about Adam and Eve, and the sin and sickness and darkness that Satan brought into the world.  What might it be like to live a life walking in darkness?   How would it be different if you have the light of life?

Advent Day 23

Baptism of Jesus

Read: Matthew 3:13-17 or “Heaven Breaks Through” (Part 2 about the Baptism of Jesus) from The Jesus Storybook Bible

Special verses: And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son,with whom I am well pleased.” – Matthew 3:16-17

Discuss: Years had gone by since Jesus was born and he had grown into a man.  The rumors of his birth had spread, but people weren’t sure who he really was.  Some even thought John might be the Christ.  So far we have heard the words of Prophets, Angels, Shepherds, and Wise Men, all proclaiming that Jesus is the one that God had promised to send.  Who tells us this time?  What do you think His voice sounded like?

Advent Day 22

John the Baptist

Read: Matthew 3:1-12 or “Heaven Breaks Through” (Part 1 about John the Baptist, not Jesus) from The Jesus Storybook Bible

Special verse: I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.– Matthew 3:11

Discuss: Do you remember how the prophet Isaiah told the story of Jesus hundreds of years before Jesus was born?  Isaiah talked about John the Baptist, too.  He was the “voice in the wilderness” and his job was to tell people to get ready!  John baptized people who were sorry for their sins, and who wanted to follow God again.  Some people thought he might be the Messiah, but John knew the real savior would make himself known soon. How can we prepare our hearts to celebrate Jesus this Christmas?