Many of us remember learning the story about this “wee little man” as children. As kids we were probably fascinated by the short Zacchaeus climbing up in a sycamore tree, but there is such an amazing truth demonstrated by Jesus’ interaction with Zacchaeus. As you do these activities with your kids this week don’t miss the truth – Jesus loves us even though we are sinners. Hallelujah!
HIGHLIGHTS from Sunday…
This week your child learned that Jesus cares for us and loves us all, even though we are sinners. Zacchaeus was a wealthy tax collector. He was a man who cheated others out of their money, so many people did not like Zacchaeus. One day, Jesus was coming to his town and Zacchaeus wanted to see Him, but he was a short man. In order to see over the crowds, Zacchaeus climbed a sycamore tree. When Jesus passed by, He called out to Zacchaeus and told him to come down and that He would be coming to his house. Zacchaeus admitted to Jesus all he had done wrong and offered to repay the money. Because of this, Zacchaeus was forgiven. (Luke 19:1-10)
Jesus loves us even though we are sinners.
"Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." Matthew 19:14
Here’s a simple song to help your child (and you) memorize this week’s memory verse!
3 Activities that remind us Jesus Loves Us Even Though We Are Sinners:
1. Love Makes a Difference
In the living room set up several stuffed animals or dolls and give each of them a plate or napkin with a few cheerios. Have your child pretend to be Zacchaeus and take all the cheerios for himself. Ask your child, what kind of person was Zacchaeus before he met Jesus? (He cheated people and stole money for himself.) Have your child return each of the napkins to the stuffed animals. Ask your child, what difference did being loved by Jesus make in Zacchaeus’ life? (He stopped his sinful ways and started living God’s way.)
TALK about it ...As your child finishes his cheerios, discuss with him these questions:
- Does Jesus love us because we are good? (No! He loves us because HE is good.)
- Does Jesus love you no matter what?
- Do you love Jesus? What are some ways we can show Jesus that we love Him and are thankful that He loves us?
2. Hand Tree
On a sheet of brown construction paper, trace your child’s arm from the elbow down, including fingers. Cut out the arm and glue it to another sheet of construction paper for the tree trunk. Cut several two inch squares of green tissue paper. Wrap the paper around the end of a pencil and glue the paper to the trunk, so the center of the square is glued to the paper and the sides are sticking up. Use an empty half gallon container of milk as Zacchaeus’ house. Glue construction paper on each side and the top for the roof. Let your child decorate the outside of the house using crayons and stickers. Last draw and cut out a simple Zacchaeus and Jesus. Let your child act out the story using the tree, house, Jesus, and Zacchaeus.
Grab a left over box big enough for your child to fit into. Decorate the outside with shades of green, such as green construction paper or green crayons. Have your child crawl inside the box. While he’s inside the box, sing this song to the tune of “Are You Sleeping?”/”Frere Jacques”)
Please come down, Please come down
Jesus wants to see you, Jesus wants to see you
Please come down, Please come down
When the song is over have your child pop up and crawl out of the box, just as Zacchaeus came down from the tree.
Jesus, thank you for loving us, even though we don’t deserve it. Help us love You each day, and help us show others Your love, even when it isn’t easy.
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