I am looking for an opportunity to teach "Jesus is Our Loving Friend" (CS-58) because I love the message of this song. I'm personally so thankful that Jesus is always near, that He will guide me and that each one of us is dear to Him. This song is like a testimony for me. Our kids don't know the song and I would like it to be an available song for my choose and review plans throughout this year.
I'm planning to teach it using a picture study with the beautiful picture of Christ and the Children. (#216 GAK) I've always loved this picture. I love how Jesus is looking into the eyes of the child He is talking to and how His arm is around the boy. The other children are also anxious to talk with him but they wait patiently and seem to know that they will get their chance. I love how Jesus looks as if He doesn't have anything else to do but spend time with and listen to these children. So I'll post the picture and ask the children to study it for a moment to see if they can tell whether Jesus is a friend to these children and how they can tell. I'll explain that Jesus loves us as much as he loved the children who lived at that time. I'll ask them to listen to the song to discover 3 ways we can tell that he is our friend. As they respond, I'll list the keywords on the board to the left of the picture (always near, guide us, dear) under a heading "How Do We Know?" I'll help them sing the answers and then we'll sing the first verse together.
I'll briefly discuss that the nature of friendship extends in two directions and ask if one can be friends with someone who doesn't want to be friends. I'll ask how someone would know if we are their friend and extend the question to how Jesus could know if we are His friend. The second verse to the song teaches that we show this by raising our voices and reverently and sweetly singing His praise. As they discover the answers to questions, I'll list the keywords on the right side of the picture (reverently, sweetly, voices, sing, praise) under the heading "How Does He Know?" I'll help them sing the answers and then the second verse together.
When I was a young girl I always wished that I could have lived at the time Jesus lived. I wanted to be with Jesus and sit on his knee. I wished that I could have been blessed and healed by him like those other children. Heavenly Father has gradually given me a testimony that I am loved also. I'm hoping that by singing this reverent song the Spirit will testify to our children that Jesus is, even now, available to us as a loving friend.