photo © 1998 Russ | more info (via: Wylio)
This week’s Treasure Box focused on verse four of Psalm 23: ”Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
This was a bit more challenging to me because we have mostly younger, preschool aged children in our group and I didn’t want to make the lesson too scary for them. Sometimes even just the suggestion of something scary earlier in the day can lead to several nights of bedtime drama in our house, and I didn’t want to cause that for the other parents in our group.
First we practiced reciting the Psalm which we’re all getting the down fairly well (except for the confusion about which version we’re memorizing!). Then I asked them what they think the “valley of the shadow of death” might be like. One little boy told an imaginative story about flying and dragons and other stuff I didn’t quite make out, but it sounded exciting.
After that I had the children close their eyes and imagine a time when they were scared or to think about something that makes them scared. I asked them if they’re alone in whatever it is they’re imagining. Everyone answered yes.
Then we talked about how our Good Shepherd is always with us just like the verse says, and we don’t have to be afraid. I also suggested that to be comforted by the shepherd’s staff the sheep have to stay close to the shepherd. But, if a sheep does wander off the shepherd will always go and find it (Luke 15.1-7).
Next I read them the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from Daniel 3 out of The Children’s Illustrated Bible. We talked about how scared the boys must have been, but that God sent an angel to be with them and protect them in the furnace.
We closed with a few moments being silent and listening to God before praying together. The children are all growing in their ability to remain still and quiet which is encouraging to see.