This is an awesome time of year to study the Old Testament prophets because so much of what they did was to prepare God’s people for the eventual coming of the Messiah – a good parallel to what we’re doing right now in our own mini condensed version, during Advent. In fact, we opened Advent with this reading from Jeremiah:
The days are coming, says the LORD, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and Judah. In those days, in that time,
I will raise up for David a just shoot ; he shall do what is right and just in the land. In those days Judah shall be safe and Jerusalem shall dwell secure; this is what they shall call her: “The LORD our justice.” Jeremiah 33:14-16
This cycle, we’re focusing on the prophet Jeremiah by reading The Adventures of the Fire-Breathing Kid. In spite of the adversity he experienced, there are many appealing aspects to Jeremiah’s life: he was very young when the Lord first spoke to him (perhaps not much older than your kids), he had lots of adventures, and was a strong witness for God, no matter what. Jeremiah’s story is the vehicle, but don’t miss the Big Lessons in this story (especially with your older kids):
- God wants us to do stuff. Kids … adults … all of us! He has jobs for us to do and we need to know how to listen and be ready to say “yes”.
- Sometimes that stuff will be hard! This is not a message you’re going to generally pick up in today’s culture, but we need to practice virtue in little ways now so we can be ready to do it in greater ways later.
The entire lesson is contained in the story book, but as you’re planning be sure to start with the suggestions for parents on the front cover. They’ll add a practical and hands-on touch to the lesson.
And, of course, what does all this have to do with Jesus?
First of all, it’s important to remember that the New Testament lies hidden in the Old and the Old Testament is unveiled in the New, which is a much more poetic way of saying, “It’s all about Jesus!” God’s plan of salvation didn’t just start on Christmas. He spent generations preparing a group of people and putting all the pieces into place before the birth of the Messiah.
All the Scriptures – the Law, the Prophets, and the Psalms – are fulfilled in Christ, so in a very real way the book of Jeremiah is getting us ready to hear about Jesus. Also, when we read the prophets, it’s always appropriate to remember God’s loving care for us. Just consider the complexity of His plan and the patience and billions of details that all had to fall into place just so he could suffer and die in atonement for your sins. Thank you, dear Lord, for your amazing plan of salvation!