Welcome to Term 4
How have the first few weeks back at school been?
For some of you it will have been very exciting; for others, a bit scary as it has been so long since you actually went to school!
Even though life continues to change for us in Victoria, the Bible teaches us that God never changes. That is one reason why Christians regard Him as trustworthy.
Lower Primary Students
The Bible uses many pictures to help us understand what God is like. One of these is of a shepherd, a person who cares for their sheep.
God is like a Shepherd
In Australia we don't really have shepherds, but we do have sheep farmers. Sheep farmers and shepherds love their sheep and look after them - when it is cold, when it is hot and when it is in between.
In the first part of the Bible, there is a song or Psalm about God being like a shepherd. It is Psalm 23. Jesus also told a story to help us understand how God is like a shepherd. This comes from the book of Luke in the New Testament, chapter 15, starting at verse 4.
Then Jesus told them this story:
4 If any of you has a hundred sheep, and one of them gets lost, what will you do? Won’t you leave the ninety-nine in the field and go look for the lost sheep until you find it? 5 And when you find it, you will be so glad that you will put it on your shoulder If any of you has a hundred sheep, and one of them gets lost, what will you do? Won’t you leave the ninety-nine in the field and go look for the lost sheep until you find it? 5 And when you find it, you will be so glad that you will put it on your shoulder 6 and carry it home. Then you will call in your friends and neighbors and say, “Let’s celebrate! I’ve found my lost sheep.”
What do you think the disciples learned about Jesus/God that day?
What words would you use to describe the shepherd?
Time to reflect
For Christians, they don't need to be afraid because they believe that God is caring for them like a good shepherd cares for their sheep.
How do you think God wants Christians to treat other people?
You might like to watch a short video about sheep and shepherds here.
Upper Primary Students
The coronavirus has shown us that people are not really in control. It has also helped us remember how important other people are. How we treat other people is also very important. In the Bible, Jesus shows us how to care for others. Christians believe that God can help them to be caring towards others, even towards those that we may not really want to be caring towards.
Jesus showed us what this was like. He had an interaction with some people with a disease called leprosy. Everyone else avoided these people because they were scared they would get the disease. Jesus knew that these people needed people to be kind and caring to them, like anyone else. This is how the Bible explains what happened:
40 A man with leprosy came to Jesus and knelt down. He begged, “You have the power to make me well, if only you wanted to.”
41 Jesus felt sorry for the man. So he put his hand on him and said, “I want to! Now you are well.” 42 At once the man’s leprosy disappeared, and he was well.
43 After Jesus strictly warned the man, he sent him on his way. 44 He said, “Don’t tell anyone about this. Just go and show the priest that you are well. Then take a gift to the temple as Moses commanded, and everyone will know that you have been healed.”
45 The man talked about it so much and told so many people, that Jesus could no longer go openly into a town. He had to stay away from the towns, but people still came to him from everywhere. (from the book of Mark, chapter 1 verses 40-45).
What can we learn about Jesus from this account?
What can we learn about how God wants Christians to treat others from this account?
When we think about caring for others, we need to think about our words, actions and attitudes.
Who can you choose to speak and act kindly to this week? Are there any new students at school? Are there any who are struggling to adjust to being back at school that you could be kind towards?
How about focussing on kindness this week? Remember that Christians believe that God can help us do this, because it reflects what He is like.
Below is an overview of the SRI Christianity materials used in Victorian Government Primary Schools.
In these materials, the students are introduced to Christian belief in relation to the follow themes:
Who is Jesus and what is He like?
What is significant about Easter and Christmas?
A Christian understanding of forgiveness and being sorry
The wonder of the natural world and how we respond to it
Key elements of God’s character
We have privileges and responsibilities
What is God like?
The natural world including people
Easter and Christmas
Making a difference and dealing with difference
Global challenges and our response to them
Genres in the Bible