The theme for the Holiday Bible Club at Needham Market Evangelical Church during February half-term was the Sower, the Samaritan and the Son.
In the first session, the Lord’s parables were introduced as ‘earthly stories with heavenly meanings’. Although great crowds heard them told, they were only explained to the disciples, yet we are blessed today in having those explanations in the Gospels.
We told the parable of the sower and challenged all present to be ‘good soil’, not just hearing the Word but ‘doing’ it. The first memory verse was James 1:22.
In the second session, we turned to the parable of the Good Samaritan, told in response to the question, ‘Who is my neighbour?’
We drew out both the practical lesson of helping others and the spiritual — that in spite of our being God’s enemies, he has shown his love to us in sending Jesus to die for our sin. The memory verse was Romans 5:8.
Finally, it was ‘three-for-one’ as we learned how the Lord Jesus answered his religious critics with the parable of the lost sheep, lost silver coin and lost son (which could also be called ‘the forgiving Father’).
All present were encouraged to come to God in repentance and faith, finding that by no means would any be cast away. The memory verse was John 6:37.
The children played games such as ‘sweeping the coin’ and ‘sheep, sheep, pig’ (a variation on ‘duck, duck, goose’), while one of the daily quizzes involved sticking their hands in a bucket of pig-swill.
They also planted cress on plates, which they decorated with larger seeds, made a pig mask or nodding sheep model, and contributed to a collage of the Good Samaritan, now on display at the church for all to see.
Sixteen children took part over the three mornings, most of whom were new contacts. Nine had thoroughly learned the first day’s memory verse and six the second (which was trickier), while more returned their booklets, coloured in.
On the final day, parents and grandparents of at least ten of the children, as well as some church members, came in to see what we had been doing.
They listened to the children reciting their memory verses and singing some of the songs they had learned, including, ‘The wise man built his house upon the rock’, ‘You’re the sheep’ and ‘I am the way, the truth and the life’.
The church was grateful to the Lord for Matthew and Carolyn Pickhaver, from Norwich Evangelical Free Church, who helped to plan and run this club, alongside its regular team.