Joseph - Teaching Children about Faithfulness and Forgiveness
For the past two weeks, I've been teaching my Sunday morning Bible class students about Joseph. This Sunday I had each of the seven and eight-year-olds make their own colorful, ornamented coat. The children enjoyed making their coats and all but one wanted their picture taken wearing it.
The story of Joseph is an amazing story of faith and forgiveness. His life is an important one for us to learn from, as his example and devotion to God is evident in every situation.
Interestingly, Sunday night I was flipping through channels on the TV - something I rarely do - and I saw on TNB a movie about Joseph. It was just beginning at 9:00 p.m . and was to end at midnight. My oldest son and I began watching it. My husband had been out of town preaching and speaking to churches about Tipton Home, so he got home about 9:30, and began watching it with me. We both stayed up until midnight, watching the entire movie, and there were no commercials at all. We both wanted to stay up and see the ending. For me to sit and watch anything on TV for three hours is a big deal (except for the occassional Texas Rangers' baseball game!)
The movie of Joseph was well made and true to the scriptures. I enjoyed following along in the Bible using Biblegateway. It was interesting to see how the creators of the movie portrayed each character. I almost cried when Joseph told his brothers who he was. To think about how he forgave them after all they had done to him is amazing!
And then I think of Jesus. He forgave the ones who were killing him as he was dying on the cross. It kind of makes me think about the little petty things where I might be not be forgiving as I should. If Joseph can forgive his brothers and if Jesus can forgive his killers, I think I should be able to forgive anything that ever comes my way. Nothing in my life compares at all to anything Joseph or Jesus have gone through!
The one thing I tried to get the children to realize in the story Sunday was that the scriptures repeatedly say, "The Lord was with Joseph.". God blessed Joseph because Joseph lived his life to please God. He praised God, even in bad times. God is there for us, too, even in the bad times. We should praise God, even in the bad times.
On this Gratituesday, I am grateful for the example of Joseph and Jesus! May our hearts be forgiving and faithful, too. May we God praise - always.