Many times, Jacob had treated his brother Esau cruelly. He was a thorn in his brother’s side. When the time came for them to reunite, Jacob was afraid. But Esau embraced his brother, choosing to forgive the wrongs of the past.
Forgiving others can help us to heal our relationships.
Kids will discuss a time they forgave someone and how it felt.
Genesis 32:6-21, 33:1-4, Jacob Meets Esau
“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:32 (NIV)
A box of (super hero) band-aids
How good does it feel to rip off a band-aid? The short answer is – it doesn’t! Band-aids are designed to stick and stay, even when they get wet. That means when it’s time to rip them off, we’re likely to feel a little pain. If you think it’s bad to rip one off bare skin, try ripping one off your arm or leg when there’s hair involved. You’re not just ripping off the band-aid. You’re ripping out hair.
The best part of ripping off a band-aid is right after. There’s a relief, isn’t there? Sure your skin may be sore for a minute, but the anticipation of the moment and the moment itself are over. It feels good to have it over and done. The pain is over, and the healing has begun!
It isn’t easy to forgive someone who has hurt you, but once we have forgiven someone, there is relief. We’ve let go of a past wrong. We’ve released someone else from feeling guilty about what they did. Our conscience is clear. I’m sure Esau felt that relief when he forgave Jacob, and I know all of you feel it when you forgive someone who has wronged you. No, you can’t erase the past, but once the forgiveness is given, the healing can begin.
You can’t find relief holding a grudge, but you can if you forgive. Ask God to help you rip off that band-aid so that you can begin to heal.
Have the kids draw and color a comic strip telling the story of Esau forgiving Jacob. They can make a comic book cover, or do a multi-panel story, whatever they choose to do.