Help your child realize: God loves me so much… He gave me friends.
Topics for discussion: compassion, friendship
A note for parents: The topic of compassion and loving our neighbors is a great topic surrounding all the turmoil that is going on in our country right now. It’s so important that we educate our children on how to show love to everybody, even the people that don’t treat us so nicely. This week all of the activities have to do with showing love to others or helping others. It can be easy to show compassion and love to people when we feel like it, there seem to be rewards for doing so, or when the other person is nice to us. The difficult part comes in showing love and compassion to people even when we don’t feel like it, we aren’t getting anything out of it, or the person isn’t nice to us or even maybe makes fun of us. I know I struggle with this everyday and the only way to do better is by working to make a change within ourselves day in and day out. We can’t do this alone though, praying to God to help us make changes in ourselves is the only way we will see a sure, lasting change. We should strive to show compassion to others in the same way that Christ shows compassion to all.
Bible Reference: Luke 10: 25-37
One day, in Jesus’ days, there was a lawyer. This lawyer tried to test Jesus by saying, “Teacher, what must I do to get to heaven?”. Jesus told the man to do what the Law said.
The lawyer replied, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind and love your neighbor as yourself.”
Jesus said, “You have answered right, do this and you will live.”
But, the lawyer was trying to make himself look good so he asked Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?”
Jesus answered the lawyer with a parable, an earthly story with a heavenly meaning. Jesus said, “A man was going from Jerusalem to Jericho and he was attacked by bad men trying to steal money from him. They ripped off his clothes, beat him up and left, leaving him half dead. At this time, a priest, like a pastor in Jesus’ times, was walking down the same road but when he saw the man that was beaten up, he walked past him on the other side. A Levite also walked by the man, but instead of helping him, he walked by him too. Finally, a Samaritan came to where the man was and felt sorry for him. He walked over to the man and put bandages on his wounds and cleaned them with oil and wine. Then he took the man and put him on his own donkey and took him to an inn to take care of him. The next day, he had to go so he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. He told the innkeeper to “Look after him and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.” (Luke 10:35).
When Jesus finished the story, he asked, “Which of these men was a neighbor to the man that was robbed?”
The lawyer answered, “The one who had mercy on him and took care of him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do the same.”
Option 1: Good Samaritan Video
I really like this video for a quick review of the story. It hits all the major points and has fun illustrations to help your child picture what was happening.
As your child is retelling you the story, help them make a chart that lists the three different people in the parable. Then when your child is describing each person, help them write down different qualities about that character. After your child finishes telling the story, have them discuss whether or not each quality is a positive quality or a negative quality. If it’s negative, ask your child what the person could have done differently to change the negative into a positive.
Work with your child to come up with at least one way they can show compassion this week. While in quarantine it has definitely been more difficult for children to see other people. This could be a great way for your child to see someone else and practice being compassionate. This could be by helping an elderly neighbor by watering flowers, making some cookies to take to a grandparent, friend, or other relative, or even by sending someone a card. This is a great way to show your child that it’s fun and rewarding to show compassion and make someone’s day.
Agree or Disagree: Tell the children that you are going to read some statements that might be ways to love your neighbor. Ask them to stand if they agree. If they disagree they should sit down with arms crossed. Relate each example back to the idea of loving your neighbor.
Prayer Journal: Praying is always something we want to encourage children to do. What better way to show compassion to someone than by praying to our Almighty God! One great activity to go along with this story is a prayer journal. You could use an actual journal, a notebook, or even just a piece of paper. Have your child write down specific things or people they want to pray for and what they want to pray about. This is also a great way to look back and see how God answers our prayers.
I found this craft and love how it incorporates a physical way for children to show compassion! The rolls could also be used to complete the weekly challenge!
Create-Your-Own Picture Books:
Children love to read picture books. This activity helps to show them the process of creating a picture book and lets them try it out themselves! Cut a regular sheet of printer paper into 8 equal squares. On each square, have your child illustrate and write a portion of the story. They can color their pictures and show off their wonderful creativity! After they have finished, stack each square on top of each other and staple together to form a book.
Children love to feel like they are helpers. When they help, they are also showing compassion to the person they’re helping. Help your child make a chart of things they think they can do around the house to help you out. This way they get to practice showing compassion and you get help around the house! On the chart leave a space big enough next to the task so that every time they complete a task, they can draw a helping hand.
Who is My Neighbor?:
This is a very powerful activity that shows children that each person God created is our neighbor and we should love and treat them as such.
Here is the link to this activity.
Who Is My Neighbor Activity
Who Is My Neighbor Material