Here are the stories for this week. Each segment will include a summary, some follow-up wondering questions for home, a memory verse if you’d like to work on memorizing those and occasional ideas to further the study through the week as a family.
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Beulah Land: Esther
Memory Verse: Sing to the Lord! Give praise to the Lord! He rescues the life of the needy from the hands of the wicked. Jeremiah 20:13
Summary: All of these Old Testament stories cover big themes, Esther included. During this lesson, children will learn that the Israelites were taken into exile and nearly extinct…that is until the Lord uses two of His people in an exciting rescue. This is a story one that will keep you on the edge of your seat!
I Wonder… : why Mordecai would not bow down to Haman? why the king listened to Haman’s plan to kill the Jews? how Esther came to be so brave? if this story reminds you of any other stories?
Additional Follow-up: Yep. I’m encouraging you to act out the story with your kids again. You can read the story while they kids do the motions. Who can be Haman or Mordecai? Have a Purim party. Purim is a holiday that Jewish people continue to celebrate. People often dress up as characters and role-play the story. When Haman walks out, people boo and hiss. Make and eat Hamantaschen.
Bonus: Esther takes place while the Israelites are in exile. They are far from home- the place where they worshiped God. Did they wonder if God was with them? While God is never mentioned in Esther, we see His providence and provision through the unfolding events of this book. I wonder if there are times in your life where God seems far away and silent? I wonder if events in your life have unfolded in such a way that they reveal the presence of God? I wonder if you see God’s presence in the lives of your children?
Godly Play I: Creation
Memory Verse: In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1
Summary: Today’s story is about the creation. It is how we begin to trace the presence of God in our history. At the end of each day, we are reminded that God declared His creation “good”, and His human creations “very good”. You can find the story in Genesis 1:1-2:3
I Wonder…: what you like that God made? if there is something you don’t like in God’s creation? what God is most proud of creating? what we can know about the Creator by His creation?
Additional Follow-up: Go for a nature walk and point out trees or water. Ask what day God made those. Give a prayer of thanksgiving for those things.
Godly Play II: The Holy Family
Memory Verse: For unto us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6
Summary: The Holy Family is a story that the Godly Play Curriculum advises to use at the start of every liturgical season or story type change throughout the year. The story is a simple description of the nativity scene that focuses on Jesus and His incarnation, death and resurrection. Because of the centrality of Jesus to all Scripture, it is important that children are consistently brought back to Him through the yearly spiral. It is the lens through which we Christians observe everything else.
I Wonder…: what you can tell me about the Holy Family? who is the most important family member? why it is important to remember the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus even during Ordinary Time (the green time)? what this has to do with you and me?
Additional Follow-up: Draw a picture of today’s lesson. Have your child tell you about each participant. I encourage you to not quiz the children to make sure they have the right answers, but allow them to talk about their picture and wonder about why we would care to remember something we typically only see at Christmas or Easter.