Julie and Tara had volunteered to stay after Sunday school to help Mrs. Evans, their teacher, decorate the classroom. First they took down the cutouts of snowflakes and other wintertime decorations, setting them neatly on the table. After Mrs. Evans rummaged around a bit in a cupboard, she came over to the table with a big box in her arms and put it down.
"It will sure be nice to put these winter things away and hang up some springtime decorations," said Mrs. Evans, smiling at the girls. "I know spring doesn't really come until next month. But after all the ice and snow we've had, I'm really looking forward to seeing the trees budding and the sun shining!"
"What do you have in the box?" Tara asked.
"The Garden of Eden." Mrs. Evans opened the box and very carefully eased the miniature garden onto the table.
"Oh, how neat!" Julie exclaimed in delight as she and Tara examined Mrs. Evans' creation. She had made tiny trees and flowers, little lambs out of cotton, and a pond with miniature ducks on it. There were even dolls representing Adam and Eve! And right in the center of the garden was a red heart.
"What is that heart doing there?" Tara wondered aloud, looking at it curiously.
Mrs. Evans smiled at her. "Touch it," she said.
Tara gave a questioning look, but when her teacher nodded she reached out and touched the heart. To her amazement it fell apart!
"It broke!" Tara turned to her teacher. "Oh, Mrs. Evans, I'm sorry!"
"No, no, don't worry Tara." Mrs. Evans hugged the girl. "It's supposed to break."
"But, why?" Julie wanted to know.
"Because it represents God's heart," Mrs. Evans said as she put the pieces together again. "You see, God loved Adam and Eve with all His heart. He made Adam in His own image. Then, when they sinned and went against the things God had taught them, it broke His heart."
"That's so sad," Tara sighed.
"Yes, it was sad for them. But our lives can have a happy ending," Mrs. Evans told the girls as she set the rebuilt heart back into the garden. "It hurts Jesus when we sin. But, if we pray to Him and tell Him we're sorry for our sins, just as Tara told me she was sorry for breaking the heart, it makes Jesus happy. And our hearts are happy too!
This lesson begins a unit on God's plan for the salvation of mankind. It is important for your child to understand why Jesus came to earth to die, and how this makes it possible for you and your child to be ready for Heaven.
Our memory verse for this lesson is the starting point for the five lessons of this unit, so it might be well to spend some extra time working on it with your child. Make a set of cards with a different word of the verse written on each card. Lay them face down on a table. Play a game of "Memory" with your child. Try to assemble the verse by taking turns turning over one card at a time. If it is the next word in the sequence of the verse, it can be placed in order, and another card drawn. If it is not correct, the card is replaced and the other player gets a turn. Keep score of who places the most cards in the verse sequence.