Jesus’ Parents Took Him to Church on Groundhog Day :-)

Well, maybe not exactly😄

February 2nd (40 days after Christmas) can be celebrated as the day that Jesus first went to church?   In Luke 2:22-35 it is recorded that 40 days after Jesus’ birth, Mary and Joseph took infant Jesus to the temple in Jerusalem for the ritual purification of Mary after childbirth and  to present their first born which was required by the Law of Moses. As they presented Jesus to Simeon, he prophesied:

According to Your word;
For my eyes have seen Your salvation
Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples,
A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles,
And the glory of Your people Israel.”
Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against 35 (yes, a sword will pierce through your own soul also), that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.” (Luke 30-35)

We are familiar with February 2nd being called Groundhog Day. But did you know it is also called Candlemas?

Celebration of Candlemas Day began by Roman Catholics with lighting candles and parading through the streets as a commemoration of the presentation of Jesus and the prophesy of Simeon.  German immigrants known as Pennsylvania Dutch brought the tradition to America in the 18th century.

But where does Groundhog Day come in?  Candlemas occurs half way between the first day of winter and the first day of spring.   Ancient thought was that hibernating creatures were able to predict the arrival of springtime on this day.  Traditionally, it was believed that if Candlemas was sunny, the remaining six weeks of winter would be stormy and cold. But if it rained or snowed on Candlemas, the rest of the winter would be mild. If an animal “sees its shadow,” it must be sunny, so more wintry weather is predicted.

So now you know and can tell your children.  Be sure and read Luke 2:22-35 and tell in your own words about Jesus going to ‘church’ for the first time.  Then just have some fun with groundhog crafts:

http://www.dltk-kids.com/animals/mgroundhog.html

http://www.enchantedlearning.com/crafts/groundhogday/popuphog/ (my personal favorite!) Sing this song Mr.-Groundhog when you finish this craft.

http://www.enchantedlearning.com/crafts/groundhogday/

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Leading Little Ones to Love Going to Church

going-to-church-29213405
(This is a lesson from Here a Little, There a Little, a compilation of Bible lessons I created to use with my preschool children. It was designed to spend a week memorizing the verses and reinforcing them through Bible stories and activities.)

Church

Bible Verses:   Psalm 122:1 I was glad when they said to me, let us go into the house of the Lord.

                              Hebrews 10:25 Don’t stop meeting together with other believers, which some
                                                          people have gotten into the habit of doing. Instead, encourage
                                                          each other . . .

Bible Stories (Look for these in your Bible story book or read them in your Bible and then tell):

Luke 2:41-52 When Jesus was a boy he and his parents went to church. When they were ready to go home, they couldn’t find him. They thought maybe he had went home with someone else. When they finally found him, he was sitting in church talking to the teacher. Jesus liked to talk about God and hear about God when he was a little boy.

1 Samuel 2:11, 18-26 Samuel was a little boy in the Bible who went to church. He stayed with the preacher and helped him in the church by cleaning and keeping the lamps lit. Samuel ministered to and worshipped God there. Samuel liked to go to church.

Matthew 21:1-17 When the people in Jerusalem found out that Jesus was coming to their town they were so excited. The children ran down the street praising Jesus. In church they watched Jesus heal the sick and teach the people. They liked to go to church.

Mark 10:1-16 Jesus was busy teaching the people. Some parents brought their children to him but his disciples told them not to. This displeased Jesus when he heard it. He said, “Let the children come to me” and he took them in his arms and blessed them. Jesus wants children to go to church and learn about Him.

Luke 4:14-22 When Jesus was a man, He went to church. When he got to church, He was asked to read the Bible. He read it to the people and told them what it meant. The people sat still and quietly in church and listed to Jesus.


Prayer:
  Thank you God for our church.  Help us to always enjoy going to church to worship God


Activities:

` Dress like Jesus.  Let older children take turns being Jesus and teaching the others.

` Pretend to be Samuel taking care of the church building.

` Wear sandals and pretend to be the people walking to church to hear Jesus teach.

` Use dolls and stuffed animals to be the children coming to Jesus. Find a picture of Jesus with the children to frame.

` Make a scroll and pretend to be Jesus reading it.

` As you prepare things (clothes, Bible, etc.) for church the night before, talk excitedly about going to church and the friends they will see and the things they will hear and do.

` Sing some of your favorite Sunday School or church songs together (you can find many on youtube)

` Each Sunday talk about what they learned at church

` Invite a friend to go to church with you


Leading your children to worship God regularly at church (and at home) is a priceless gift that will be foundational throughout their lives. 

 


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