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: Jerusalem
- Memory Verse: By the rivers of Babylon we sat and wept when we remembered Zion. Psalm 137:1
- Summary: This week’s story is a combination of Psalms and Prophets. It is about “the beauty of Jerusalem” and “the terrible shock” of its destruction because of the Israelites’ disobedience. This is the account of the people of God becoming exiled. It is filled with wonder over who will save this group of people and made everything right again.
- I Wonder… : why the people grew lazy and careless and stopped following God’s laws? what it was like to see the temple destroyed? what the people missed most about the Promised Land after they had to leave it? if this story reminds you of any other? if this story will have a happy ending?
- Wondering for Parents: The lesson draws from 1 Kings 11-12, 2 Kings 24-25, Psalm 137, Ezekiel 37 and Isaiah 40. If you explore this lesson at home with your kids, consider this quote from Gretchen Wolff Pritchard, “… Scripture is a continuing pattern of exile and return, of loss, hope, and restoration, of new life out of renunciation and death.” Where do you see this pattern in Scripture? What about in your life?
Godly Play I: The Exodus
- Memory Verse: In the days to come, when your son asks you, ‘What does this mean?’, say to him, ‘With a mighty hand, the Lord brought us out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.” Exodus 13:14
- Summary: This week, your children go back to the desert box to learn the story of the Passover and Exodus. You can find the story in Exodus 11-15:21. The Israelites are spared from losing their firstborn sons because of the blood of the Passover Lamb. They are then advised to be ready– to not even let their bread rise– because the Lord is going to deliver them from slavery in Egypt. As they pass safely through the waters with Pharaoh at their backs, they rejoice in the Lord’s deliverance and will remember it through the Passover Meal in the days to come.
- Home Follow-up: Make matzo (unleavened bread) at home! You can also buy it at the store. Talk about why the Israelites did not let their bread rise. Why did God want them to be ready? What were they ready for? Wonder together what it felt like to be summoned quickly in the night and to cross the red sea. Dance like the Israelites danced when they arrived safely on the other side of the sea.
- Wondering For Parents: What parallels do you see between this and the story of Christ? Consider especially the parallels between the Passover Meal and Communion. What is it we are remembering? How does the Exodus and Passover prepare us for Jesus? What does this story have to do with the entirety of Scripture? What about your family? Do you see this as your history?
Godly Play II: The Flood
- Memory Verse: Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth. Genesis 9:16
- Summary: Though often portrayed in soft colors on nursery walls, the story of Noah and the Ark is quite terrifying! Because of the horror of sin, God destroys the earth and everyone in it (except for Noah, his family and 2 of every kind of animal) with massive amounts of water. Through this re-creation event, God establishes a covenant with all living creatures that ensures He will not destroy life with the flood again.
- I Wonder…: what it was like for Noah to build the boat? what it was like to be on the ark for so long? what God meant when He said He would not let floods destroy the earth again? what this story has to do with you?
- Additional Follow-up: It took Noah about 120 years to build the ark AND he was 600 when the flood occurred. Look up what scholars suggest the ark may have looked like. Build your own ark!
- Wondering for Parents: What do you think theologians mean when they say the Flood is a “re-creation” event? What parallels do you see between the creation and flood account?