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“Ooh! That’s a pretty one,” Jessie exclaimed as she pointed to the bright sparkles in the sky.
Justin and Jessie had been at the park all day. The whole town came for a celebration. They ate picnic food and played in the giant bounce house. After the sun went down, everyone sat down to watch the fireworks.
“Pretty, pretty!” Justin’s little sister, Ellie, clapped her hands at the beautiful display in the night sky.
“Ha ha!” Justin laughed. “That one didn’t do so well.”
“It’s a sputtering sparkler,” said Justin’s dad.
A few of the fireworks flew up just a little or sizzled and sputtered around on the ground. But most of them went up high and exploded into thousands of twinkling lights.
The crowd oohed and aahed. Suddenly, Jessie grabbed Justin’s arm. “Look at that!” she exclaimed, pointing to a cloud high in the sky.
Justin stared at the cloud. It seemed to be glowing, then blam! A streak of lightning flashed from the cloud. “Cool!” Justin shouted.
Justin’s parents looked up, too. “Wow!” they said as another bolt of lightning speared the darkness.
“Now, those are fireworks!” said Jessie’s dad watching the cloud.
“God has better fireworks than we do,” said Justin.
“Ooh! God’s fireworks are pretty!” Ellie exclaimed.
Soon the fireworks show was over and the families drove home together in the van. “That was awesome!” said Justin and Jessie.
“I’ve never seen lightning like that before,” said Justin’s mom.
“Yeah, it was like God was laughing at our silly little sparklers,” Jessie’s mom added.
“Like he was saying, ‘You want a show, I’ll give you a real fireworks show,’” said Jessie’s dad.
They all chatted about their day at the park. When they got home, everyone headed straight to bed, tired from the long, exciting day.
The next morning, Justin walked into his classroom at church and sat down beside Jessie. Their teacher, Mrs. Jacobs, said, “We have a visitor, today. I think most of you know him already; he’s my husband, Mr. Jacobs.” The man stepped forward, and the kids all gasped. Mr. Jacobs was tall and strong. Everyone giggled when the big man tried to sit down in one of the little kid chairs.
“Listen now,” the teacher continued, “as I tell you about a prophet named Elijah. God used him to show his great power to the people of Israel.” She told the students how God sent fire down from heaven during the challenge against the false prophets of Baal.
“God is still all-powerful,” said Mrs. Jacobs. “We may not see it in the same ways as the prophets did, but let’s think about some ways God shows his power today.”
“The ocean is strong and powerful,” said Katie.
“We went camping and saw a big mountain,” said Philip.
“Yes. We can see God’s power in his creation,” said Mrs. Jacobs. “Anyone else?”
“We saw God’s power last night when there was lightning in the sky!” Justin said excitedly.
“Yeah, and it was at the same time we were trying to shoot off our fireworks,” Jessie added. “The lightning made our fireworks look small and silly.”
“That sounds interesting.” Mrs. Jacobs picked up a ball from a bin then said, “Let’s try something. Follow me.”
The class followed their teacher outside to the field behind the church building. The students lined up, and Mrs. Jacobs said, “I want each of you to kick this ball as hard as you can, to see how far it goes.”
Each student kicked the ball. When it was finally Justin’s turn, he thought, “I play soccer, so this should be easy for me.” He stepped forward and gave a mighty kick. The ball flew through the air—farther than anyone else’s kicks had gone. “Oh, yeah!” Justin did a little dance.
“Great job, Justin,” said Mrs. Jacobs. “But now, I’d like Mr. Jacobs to kick the ball. He played soccer for his college team.”
“Uh, oh,” thought Justin, “so much for my great kick.”
Mr. Jacobs walked up to the ball and gave it a quick kick. The ball soared through the air and landed in the bushes at the other end of the field.
“Wow! Yay!” The students all clapped.
Then Mrs. Jacobs spoke. “Now think about what just happened. Each of you did your very best to kick the ball. But, there was someone else who could do it better: Mr. Jacobs.”
“His kick compared to ours was kinda like God’s lightning compared to our fireworks,” said Jessie.
“Yes, Jessie,” Mrs. Jacobs agreed. “Now think about the false prophets we heard about today. They thought they could make their own god. But who showed them that he was bigger and better than their false god?”
“God did when he sent the fire down,” Justin answered.
“Right. Many people are like those false prophets who think they can do things their own way to get to heaven. But the only way is putting our faith in the all-powerful God and in his Son, Jesus.”
“Now,” said Mrs. Jacobs, “who will get the ball Mr. Jacobs kicked so far away?”
“I suppose that’s my job,” Mr. Jacobs said with a grin.
“Let’s see if your speed is as good as your kicking.” Mrs. Jacobs winked at her husband. “Class, see if you can race Mr. Jacobs to the ball. On your mark, get set, go!” And off they ran!
Justin & Jessie show kids how the Bible applies to real life! These weekly stories are part of Answers Bible Curriculum, our full-Bible, chronological Sunday school program for all ages.