Focus Passage: Zephaniah 3: 14-20
Memory Verse: “The King of Israel, the Lord, is here with you
Items for Preparation
- If you have access to a Hebrew Bible or a minister who knows Hebrew, make a poster with the Hebrew printing of the words for The Day of the Lord, Yom Yahweh.
Read the adult lesson in Baptists Today and additional material online at Nurturing Faith. We’ll explain how good The Day of the Lord is, in terms children will understand, by re—writing the passage in words they’ll know.
Say: We are going to re-write this passage from the prophet Zephaniah so that we can understand what the prophet was saying. He was talking about The Day of the Lord. In Hebrew, that’s called the Yom Yahweh. Say that with me, Yom Yah-weh.
[If you have the printed Hebrew words, show them here, and let kids know that Hebrew is read from right to left, not from left to right like English.]
Say: Zephaniah wanted the people to know a good day was coming, and just listen to all the good things that were going to happen on that day. Listen and count the good things.
Sing out loud, shout, O Israel!
Get happy with all your heart, Jerusalem!
The Lord has taken away the ways people blame you,
he has told your enemies to get out of here.
The king of Israel, the Lord, is right near us;
we won’t ever be afraid of anything.
On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:
You don’t have anything to be afraid of, so stay strong.
The Lord, your God, is right here near us;
like a soldier who wins a battle,
God will be happy about you,
God will make your heart feel loved and warm inside;
God will do a happy dance beside you,
like the dance you do at a party.
I will take away everything bad,
so that you will not be blamed for anything.
I will deal with all the people who bully you.
And I will save the sick and weak ones,
and will let the shy, unpopular kids sit by me at lunch,
And I will change their shame into praise.
At that time I will bring you home,
at the time when I come to get you;
for I will make everybody like you
among all the people of the earth,
when I bring back everything you have lost,
says the Lord.
Say: Wow! That’s a really good day! Do you get the idea from Zephaniah that God loved the people very much? That’s the idea we want to get, too. God loves us very much, and God wants these good things for all people.
Prayer: Say these words after I say them.
O Holy Lord,
Be right beside us today,
And let good things come to us.
Let good things come to every person
In every part of the world,
On the Day of the Lord,
In Jesus’ name, Amen.