Do you like puzzles?
They’re the perfect rainy day activity. No matter how many puzzles we put together, there’s always something amazing about how all the pieces come together to make something beautiful. If you’re like most people, the pieces that you were searching for felt random and out-of-place while building the puzzle. But when the last piece is in place, it’s easy to see how important each piece was to creating the perfect image.
And much like those random pieces of a puzzle, the events in our lives might feel out-of-place, too. Especially the last couple years . . .
Maybe your city was hit by a terrible hurricane. Perhaps someone in your family lost a job or it could be your child is being bullied at school. Not to mention, we’ve all been through the stress of a global pandemic these past couple years. And many of us are left wondering if the fears and troubles in our lives will work out.
But what’s true is that in the midst of our unknowns, we can trust that God is in control of every puzzle piece. This April, we will be reminding our kids that even if they can’t see the final puzzle image, God is still working and loves them. We will instill in them this hope we have – that even when the puzzle piece doesn’t make sense, there is something beautiful coming out of it.
That’s called hope.
Puzzled: Believe there’s a bigger picture
Kids have probably already learned these last few years that life gets messy. But we want them to know that even in the messiness, God still has a plan. He is powerful enough to make something good out of something out of something bad! This is the hope we cling to.
God’s plan of hope for the world was brought to life through Jesus. That’s why our April 2022 memory verse is, “In this world you will have trouble. But be encouraged! I have won the battle over the world.” John 16:33b, NIrV
Let’s preview the Bible stories and bottom lines for each week of February:
WEEK ONE: Lazarus Raised — John 11:1-45
BOTTOM LINE: Whatever happens, remember how powerful God is.
In the first week of April 2022, kids will learn about two sisters that thought their brother was dead. They were completely devasted. But Jesus gave them hope. God raised their brother, Lazarus, to life four days later! Kids will learn that when life seems awful, God is powerful, and He is with them.
WEEK TWO: Palm Sunday — John 12:9-16
BOTTOM LINE: Whatever happens, remember God is still working
This week is a celebration – it’s Palm Sunday! This is the day that Jesus was worshiped as he rode to Jerusalem on a donkey. Everyone thought he was going to save them, but after he was celebrated, Jesus was brought to the cross. The people lost hope when they saw Jesus die. But God wasn’t done . . . He was raised to life on Easter! Sometimes, we can’t see the end of story. But we can remember that through it all, God is still working.
We can have hope because Jesus is alive! Everything led to this moment. Jesus made it possible to be with God forever. He is our hope!
WEEK THREE: Crucifixion and Resurrection — John 18:1—20:18
BOTTOM LINE: Whatever happens, remember Jesus is alive.
Hope. It’s what keeps us going when everything seems to be going wrong around us. This week, kids will learn that they can have hope because Jesus is alive! Every moment up to this point led us to the moment of Jesus’ resurrection. Jesus made it possible to be with God forever. He is our ultimate hope.
WEEK FOUR: Jesus Appears to Thomas — John 20:19-29
BOTTOM LINE: Whatever happens, remember God is bigger than your questions.
Thomas is arguably one of the most relatable people in the Bible. Like many of us, Thomas needed proof that Jesus was truly alive. God was patient enough to make the truth known to Thomas in a way that he could hear Him. He really was alive! Through this story, kids will learn that God is bigger than our questions and our doubt. He can handle all of it!
The month of April is all about hope.
Hope that Jesus is alive. That our future is brighter because of what He did on the cross. Hope that He is coming again to make all things new. Jesus is our reason to have hope! And the truth is . . . no one knows at what point your kids will struggle with pieces of their life seeming out-of-place. No one knows when they’ll have a hard time processing how their present circumstances fit into the bigger picture. As a leader or parent, it is up to us to lay the foundation of truth – having hope in how powerful God is.
For more ideas and inspiration on these two new themes, be sure to check out the 252 Kids Pinterest, Facebook, and Spotify!