"Love the Lord your God with all your heart,
and love your neighbor as yourself."
Starting this upcoming weekend, and continuing past Thanksgiving, we will have a series studying the divine attribute of Love in our Preschool programming. All of us, kids and adults, are called to love others, not just because it is a good thing to do, but out of a worship response towards God's love for us. We will use the account of the Good Samaritan to help our kids understand what it means to "love your neighbor." Here is the Leader Prep material for this series:
Despite all our technology, we live in a very disconnected world. We become so consumed with our own lives that we often become blind and isolated from the world around us. It is in the midst of that reality that God calls us to "love our neighbor as yourself."
Over the next few weeks we will be sharing the story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:23-37). During this unit we will also be giving our children an opportunity to apply what they are learning to their own lives by collecting donations for our less-fortunate neighbors. As Jesus points out int his parable, it is not enough to just know the commandments; we must also live them out.
There are many reasons why we fail to love our neighbors as ourselves. One of the biggest reasons is that we just don't see them. We're so busy with our own needs that we don't even notice the needs of others. This leads to another reason for our failure -- pride. Our love of self has poisoned us to see the needs of others as interruptions instead of amazing opportunities to be a part of God's plan. And often we fail because of fear -- fear of sacrifice, fear of discomfort, fear of being taken advantage of, fear of rejection.
Whatever the reason for our failure, the answer is a better understanding of God's love for us. God acted on His love for us by providing a way of salvation through His Son, despite our unworthiness. His love is freely given, with no strings attached. And He did all of this for His own glory -- so that He would be praised, not us. Our compassion for others is merely a reflection of God's love, mercy, and grace in our own lives.
As you prepare to share this lesson with your class, first spend some time meditating on the love of God. What blessings has He poured on you? What has He saved you from? Then ask Him to show you how to share that amazing love with the people He has brought into your life.
As always, you can see our curriculum outline on our website.
image courtesy of Billy Alexander via sxc.hu