Prayer: “Dear Lord, please prepare our children to face persecution with the same faith and courage that those three devout Jewish men had, when the king threw them into a fiery furnace.”
Choose any of these children's learning activities that fit their ages.
Let an older child or teacher read or tell by memory the story from Daniel chapter 3. It tells about three brave men who faced death by fire rather than worship an idol.
Ask these questions. [Answers from Daniel chapter 3 appear after each question.]
· What did the king command the people to do in front of his idol? [See verse 5]
· What did he do when he heard that three men did not worship his idol? [Verse 13]
· What did the three men tell the king that God was able to do? [Verse 17]
· Were they willing to die if God chose not to rescue them? [Verse 18]
· What happened to the soldiers who threw them into the fire? [Verse 22]
· How many men did the king see in the fire? [Verse 25]
Dramatize parts of the story about the three brave, faithful men, from Daniel 3.
Arrange with the leader of the main congregational worship for the children to present this brief drama. Use your time with the children to prepare the drama. You do not have to use all the parts. Let older children help the younger ones to prepare their parts.
· Let older children or adults play these parts:
Narrator. Summarize the story and help the children to recall what to say and do.
King Nebuchadnezzar. Hold something that represents an idol.
· Let younger children play these parts:
Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego
Officers of the king. Roll up paper to represent horns
Soldiers. Have sticks for spears and string for rope
Narrator: Tell the first part of the story from Daniel 3:1-13. Then say, “Hear what King Nebuchadnezzar says.”
Nebuchadnezzar: Put the idol where everyone can see it. Then say, “I command all of you to worship this idol that represents me. If you do not bow before it when you hear the music, I will have you thrown into a fiery furnace!”
Officers and Chief Official: Blow the horns noisily. Then bow to the idol.
Shadrach: Meshach and Abednego. Walk in front of the idol but remain standing.
Soldiers: Bow down until the horns stop blowing.
Officers: Stop blowing the horns. Go to the king.
Chief Official: “Great King, three of your officials refuse to bow to your idol.”
King: (Angrily) “Soldiers! Go and bring those traitors to me at once!”
Narrator: Tell the second part of the story from Daniel 3: 14-23. Then say, “Hear what King Nebuchadnezzar asks the three men.”
King: “Why did you not worship my idol?”
Shadrach: Point up and say, “We worship only the one true God.”
Meshach: “The Almighty can rescue us if he wishes.”
Abednego: “Even if God lets you throw us into the fire, we will not worship your idol.”
King: (Shout) “Soldiers! Make the fire seven times hotter! Throw them into the flames!”
Soldiers: Tie up the three men and push them into a corner representing the furnace. Then scream in pain, drop your spears and fall down dead from the heat.
Narrator: Tell the third part of the story from verses 24-30. Then say, “Hear what King Nebuchadnezzar says.”
King: Look into the furnace. “We threw three men into the furnace but I see four! The fourth man looks like the Son of God! Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, come out!”
Chief official: “Look! Their ropes burned off, but they do not even smell like smoke!”
King: “Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, now I see that your God is more powerful than any idol.”
Narrator: Thank all who helped.
Questions. If the children dramatize this story for the adults, let them also ask the adults the questions that are listed above.
Draw a picture of four men standing in flames. Let the children copy it. Let them show their pictures to the adults at the next worship time and explain that this illustrates how God helps us to face persecution.
Ask the children to tell other examples of times that God’s people have suffered persecution. Tell about times also when God has rescued them.
Memorize. Let smaller children learn James 1:2 and older ones learn James 1:2-4.
Poem. Let four children each recite one the verses from Psalm 138:4-7.
Let older children write poems or songs about the week’s topic.
Prayer: “Dear Lord, we do not always feel brave like the three Israelites. Help us to trust you when we face persecution. You can rescue us. But even if we suffer for you, we want to be faithful to you always, because you will always be with us.”