“LISTEN, CHILDREN” SCRIPTURE LESSON
This song is on the CD “Positive Praise!”
(based on Deuteronomy 6:4)
LYRICS (lines numbered to match with suggested movements below)
1. Listen, children, Listen well
2. Yahweh’s the God of Israel!
3. Love the Lord with all your might
4. Keep His Word, walk in His light!
5. Love the Lord with all your might 2 3 4
6. Praise Him with a thumping beat 1 2 3 4
7. Praise Him as you stomp your feet 1 2 3 4
8. Praise Him as you twirl around 1 2 3 4
9. Praise Him with a joyful sound! 1 2 3 4
“Sh’ma Yisrael Adonai Eloheinu Adonai Eḥad”*
(* Deut 6:4 “Hear, O Israel: the LORD is our God, the LORD is One.”)
Hand cupped to ear for ‘listen’.
Point upwards for ‘Yahweh’
Cross hands over heart for ‘love’
Make an opened book with hands, and walk in place
Cross hands over heart for ‘love’
Pound hands to beat on thighs
Stomp feet to beat
LESSON: God’s Holy Name
Scriptures to read Matthew 22:34-40; Deuteronomy 6:4
In this song we sing: “Yahweh’s the God of Israel”. Israel is the land where Jesus lived, but what does “Yahweh” mean? “Yahweh” is from the Hebrew language and it is God’s holy name. “Yah” is an easier, shorter form. Just as “Sue” is short for “Susan” and “Bob” is short for Robert, so “YAH” is short for “Yahweh”. When you say “Hallelujah!”, you are really saying, “Praise YAH!” Let’s all shout “Hallelujah!” Good! Now whenever you say that, you will know what you are saying: “Praise YAH!” HalleluYAH! It’s like saying “Lord God, you’re wonderful!” And He is! HalleluYAH!
Names are important. Many parents, before they name a baby, look in books to see what certain names mean to help them find a good name for their child. The meanings of names can be important. They are very important in the Bible. But nobody picked out a name for God. God told us His name. [Write on the board ‘YHWH’] His name is “Yahweh”. [Another way to say that is “Yehovah” but we will use “Yahweh” here.]
A very long time ago, God introduced himself to the Prophet Moses. God told Moses that His name was “Yahweh”. God told Moses to tell the children of Israel His name. Yahweh wanted them to know His name! It is important to know God’s name.
God’s name has an important meaning. Would you like to know what “Yahweh” means? It means “I AM that I AM”. Wow! That’s an unusual meaning for a name! But it shows God to be the Eternal One. God had no beginning and He will have no end. He just is. Every other being had a beginning. You had a beginning. I had a beginning. The animals had a beginning. But God didn’t have a beginning. He just is! He always was and always will be! If you don’t understand that, it’s okay because no one can fully understand Almighty God! But Yahweh does want you to know His name! God wants us to know Him by name and to be our Friend.
There is another important name the Lord God wants us to know. This wonderful name is “Jesus” or “Yeshua” in Hebrew. This name means “Yahweh saved”. A long time ago, God came to earth and was born as a baby named Jesus. Jesus was so named because He would save people from their sins. A sin is something bad we do, something that Yahweh does not want us to do. When we disobey God, we sin. We all have sinned. People have a SIN PROBLEM. It is a problem because sin keeps us away, separated from God. But we need God even more than we need to breathe or drink or eat.
God lives in a perfect place we call heaven. There is no sin in heaven. But people have sin. This is a problem. Sin is like a wall that keeps us from God and His goodness. If we could only get past that wall to God’s side we would find that heaven is full of joy and peace and love and kindness and light, and all things good! There is nothing – NOTHING! – bad in heaven. But on the other side of this wall, there is much that is bad. There is darkness and ugliness and meanness and hate. Would you rather be on the bad side of the wall or on God’s side beyond the wall? You want to be on Yahweh’s side, right?
The GOOD NEWS is that God wants you on His good side, too! So God made a Way. Jesus made a way right through that wall of sin! Jesus could do this because he had NO SIN PROBLEM of His own, so He could help you and me. Jesus Himself took the punishment for our sin, thus solving our SIN PROBLEM. He did this by dying on a cross for your sin. Instead of you being punished, Jesus was punished. Would you ever take a punishment for your brother? Well, that’s what Jesus did for us! I think that shows how much Jesus loves us, don’t you?
Jesus is like a Door through to heaven. He is the Way through that wall of sin, through to God’s side.
Now for more GOOD NEWS! Jesus did not stay dead after He died. He couldn’t stay dead because He had NO SIN in Him to keep Him dead. Sin is the deadly killer. But Jesus had NO SIN in Him. Jesus had only GOOD in Him and in the end, the GOOD wins! So up from the grave, Jesus arose! We call it the Resurrection. Jesus broke through that wall of sin and death and came back alive! Then He went up to heaven. Then He sent His Spirit – here to be with us who believe that “Yahweh saved!”
More GOOD NEWS! Since Jesus solved OUR SIN PROBLEM, we can also go to heaven. Jesus can take you to heaven. In a sense, when Jesus died for you, He bought your way or your ‘ticket’ into heaven, to the good side where God lives. Jesus bought your ticket to heaven BUT He gives it to you FREELY! Do your parents buy you tickets to go to nice, fun places? Well, Jesus bought our ticket to the nicest place of all! Do you want your ticket to heaven? [Wait for response]
Good! So now, through Jesus we can go to God who loves us. Jesus can keep us safe or save us from the bad side. He will take us to God’s side. That’s how Jesus saves! Jesus saved me! You too can ask Jesus to save you and He promises that all who call on His name will be saved from the bad side. Do you want to stay on the bad side or go to God’s good side? [Wait for response.] Good! Then we will all ask Jesus to save us from the bad side, to save us from our sins.
PRAYER [Have children repeat, one line at a time, after you.]
Pray, “Jesus, I believe you are the Way to God. Please save me. Please take me to heaven. Jesus Christ, you are my Lord and the One who saves me, my Savior! Thank you for saving me today! HalleluYAH!”
If you prayed that prayer from your heart, God’s Spirit now lives in your heart! You are on God’s side and God is inside you! God will never leave you! Now you can say “Jesus saved me! Now you know why Jesus was named Jesus or “Yeshua” because “Yahweh saved” us! Does this mean nothing bad or sad will ever happen to you? No, but it does mean that you will see God’s good side and that He will bring His good out in your life even in a bad situation! And remember, the best part is that God will never leave you! He is with you even if everything around is dark! God is our best friend. And now, you know His name: “Yahweh” and “Yahweh saved” or “Jesus”.
God said to Moses, “I am who I am.” (Exodus 3:14a)
Make art with God’s name in Hebrew.