Advent Sunday: Nov 29th

O Come, O Come Emmanuel! And ransom captive Israel

Beulah Land: Teeny Weeny King

  • Memory Verse:  A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots, a branch will bear fruit. Isaiah 11:1
  • Summary: This week begins the season of Advent, a special time in the church calendar for members to prepare themselves for the Christ Child. Beulah Land is learning stories that lead up to the arrival of Jesus. This Sunday they’ll read the Jesus Storybook Bible’s version of the story of Samuel anointing David. David was the smallest of his brothers, but God knew David had a heart for Him. It is from the root of Jesse, David’s father, that Jesus will come. We will begin using our Advent Spiral during the feast.

    This is from A Holy Experience. We use one very similar.
    This is from A Holy Experience. We use one very similar.
  • I Wonder… : what it means to have a heart that loves God? what God’s secret rescue plan was?
  • At home: Make an advent wreath together. Or put out candles and light one each Sunday of Advent. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Parents, where do you long for Christ’s presence to be known in your family? What needs to be disrupted in your daily routine to make space for this child? What would you really be anticipating if you took away all of the Christmas rushing? Ask God: What does it mean that you are Emmanuel, “Christ with us”?

Godly Play I & II: Advent Prophets

  • Image courtesy of buildfaith.org.
    Image courtesy of buildfaith.org.

    Memory Verse: A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots, a branch will bear fruit. Isaiah 11:1

  • Summary: This Sunday is the start of Advent, a season the church uses to help members prepare for the arrival of Jesus. The Godly Play lessons during this time reflect on the parties present at the birth as we build a road to Bethlehem. Today’s lesson focuses on the Prophets who foretold the Incarnation.  It is different from other Godly Play lessons because there are no wondering questions at the end. The reason for this is to heighten the mystery of Christmas as we build up to THE DAY we have been waiting for!
  • I Wonder…: what the prophets thought was going to happen in Bethlehem? what it was like to wait for so long for some thing to happen? if you’ve ever had to wait a long time for something? what that was like? what it means to be waiting for Jesus now…didn’t he already come?
  • Additional Follow-up: Make an advent wreath together. Or put out candles and light one each Sunday of Advent. It doesn’t have to be fancy. Parents, where do you long for Christ’s presence to be known in your family? What needs to be disrupted in your daily routine to make space for this child? What would you really be anticipating if you took away all of the Christmas rushing? Ask God: What does it mean that you are Emmanuel, “Christ with us”?

This Sunday: November 22nd

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.

Several of the suggestions are from the curricula’s parent pages. Click Here to order some for your own use at home!

Beulah Land: The Present

  • Memory Verse: God Himself will provide a lamb for the burnt offering…” Genesis 22:8
  • Summary: This is the 4th week of an 8-week break from our Beulah Land Curriculum. We are using the Jesus StoryBook Bible (JSB) in its place. Children will hear the about Abraham being tested this Sunday.  You can find it in Genesis 22:1-19.
  • I Wonder… : what part of this story you like best? which part is most important?
  • At home: This story can be hard to understand. What was God up to here? I wonder if you see any parallels between this story and other stories in Scripture?

Godly Play I & II: The Holy Family

RMC-21-3
Photo courtesy of Angie Davis
  • 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 see this story so often? what this has to do with you and me?
  • Additional Follow-up: This is the last week of Ordinary time prior to Christmas. Next week, our church liturgical season will change to Advent, a time we use to remember what it means to wait. Wonder together about the nativity. I wonder why God included that particular set of people in the birth of Christ? Spend some time reflecting on a simple way you would like to incorporate the Advent season in your home.

This Sunday: November 15

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.

Several of the suggestions are from the curricula’s parent pages. Click Here to order some for your own use at home!

Beulah Land: Jesus Story Book Bible’s Son of Laughter

  • Memory Verse: Is anything too hard for the Lord? About this time next year, Sarah will have a son. Genesis 18:14
  • Summary: This is the 3rd week of an 8-week break from our Beulah Land Curriculum. We are using the Jesus StoryBook Bible (JSB) in its place. Children will hear the story of the birth of Isaac this Sunday.  This week we will attempt to act out the story, but will also include response/ work time again!
  • I Wonder… : what part of this story you like best? which part is most important?
  • At home: If you’d like to re-read this account at home, you can find it in the JSB pp. 58-61. You could also read it from another bible. You can act out the story or draw it. Play a laughing game!

Godly Play I: The Ark and the Temple

The lid lifts off during the story so your child can see inside! They can touch the parts and walk the priest figure through the rooms.
The lid lifts off during the story so your child can see inside! They can touch the parts and walk the priest figure through the rooms.

 

  • Memory Verse: Oh Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you, in heaven above on in earth beneath, keeping covenant and showing steadfast love to your servants who walk before you with all their hearts. 1 Kings 8:23
  • Summary:  We continue this week with the idea of God’s presence. As the people of God traveled, they took the ark and tent with them. Truly, God was with them where ever they went! Now that they are established in the Promised Land, the people of God have a new experience of His presence. It is similar to the tent, but it is different. Now it will remain in one spot. God is with them when they go and when they stay. At the end of the story, the storyteller will read a passage from 1 Kings 8 that contains Solomon’s temple dedication prayer. It reminds us that while God cannot be contained in one place, He was faithful to His promise of making a way to be near His people.
  • I wonder…: what are God dwells with us? how does God come close to us? what it was like to go to the temple? to be inside it? to walk into the holy of holies room?
  • Other followup: We believe that God is everywhere. But He chose to let the Israelites experience his presence in this manner. He used symbols like a candle stand and a table with 12 loaves of bread. A temple priest walked through those after cleansing and providing sacrifices to come close to God in the inner room on behalf of the people. The temple itself was a reminder that God was with them. These are not details to pass over. They give us context for, and point to, Christ. I wonder if you could read other stories with your child to see if you see these symbols elsewhere in Scripture? Is there an object you could hold or place in your home that helps remind you of God’s presence? I wonder what your child would use to remember? Burn some incense and talk about the smoke and prayers going up to God.

Godly Play II: The Story of Sarah

Story of Sarah

  • Memory Verse: Is anything too hard for the Lord? About this time next year, Sarah will have a son. Genesis 18:14
  • Summary: This week, your children will hear the story of Sarah. By now, your child is familiar with the Story of the Great Family. We refer to that as the Abrahamic Covenant, in which God commits himself to Abraham and his offspring. In this story within the big story, we encounter how that promise is put into action. Against all odds – disbelief, pain, sorrow, anger, jealousy, sin, disappointment, etc. – God will make good on his promises. You can find this account in Genesis 12:24- 25:11.
  • I Wonder…: what it was like for Sarah to hear she would be a mother of many nations even though she could not have children? what is was like to hear that she would have a son in her old age? why God waited until then? what is something in your life that is hard to believe?
  • Additional Follow-up: This is a silly suggestion, but have you seen an aging app for phones? HERE is one. What if you used it with your child? It would be funny and it would also provide some parameters about growing old. Thinking about old age is a hard concept for children. It seems very far away! Sarah was like an old grandmother when she became pregnant. That’s hard to imagine…even for her! This is a good story for talking about how believers throughout history have struggled to believe and trust God, but that He has always been faithful to them.

This Sunday: November 8th

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.

Several of the suggestions are from the curricula’s parent pages. Click Here to order some for your own use at home!

Beulah Land: Jesus Story Book Bible’s The Terrible Lie

  • Memory Verse: For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23
  • Summary: This is the 2nd week of an 8-week break from our Beulah Land Curriculum. We are using the Jesus StoryBook Bible (JSB) in its place. Children will hear the story of Adam, Eve and the Fall this Sunday. Each week, the storyteller will read through the story once. Then the children will act out the story as the storyteller reads the account through a second time! We are practicing at church one way to engage your children with Scripture at home.
  • I Wonder… : what part of this story you like best? which part is most important?
  • At home: If you’d like to re-read this account at home, you can find it in the JSB pp. 27-37. You could also read it from another bible. You can act out the story or draw it. Sin and exile are heavy topics explored in this story. If you are curious about ways to talk about them at home, let me know!

Godly Play I: The Ark and the Tent

Isn't it interesting to see what the tabernacle looked like?!
The Tabernacle from Godly Play
  • Memory Verse: I will dwell among the Israelites and be their God. Exodus 29:45
  • Summary: This week’s lesson focuses on the presence of God with the Israelites. Your children will discuss the way God commanded Moses and the Israelites to set up the tabernacle. As you may recall, the people were afraid to approach Mount Sinai. God would not leave his people, but He is also too holy to be addressed in an ordinary way. An important phrase repeated in this lesson is, God made a way for the people to come near.
  • I wonder…: what are ways we prepare to listen to God? how we prepare to hear from God on Sundays? how we get ready to listen for God everyday when we wake up? how God comes close to us?
  • Other followup: Use this time to practice getting ready! Identify something that helps you slow down so you can pray and listen. Maybe it’s a physical item you can hold. Maybe it’s a candle that you like to smell. Maybe you like to dim the lights. Your child might have something that helps them, too! Children LOVE routines and traditions. If you want to create your own Ark and Tent, do it out of play doh or like you would build a fort. Remember this story as we creep closer to Advent… God has made a way to be with His people.

Godly Play II: The Story of Abraham

The Story of Abraham
The Story of Abraham from Godly Play
  • Memory Verse: God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering. Genesis 22:8
  • Summary: This week, your child will hear an overview of the story of Abraham. This story highlights the birth of Isaac to barren Abraham and Sarah, God testing Abraham, and the promise of God to make Abraham into a great nation. You can find this account in Genesis 12:24- 25:11.
  • I Wonder…: why it took so long for Abraham to have a son? what it was like to hear that he needed to sacrifice his son? where else in the bible you’ve heard about a sacrifice of a son?
  • Additional Follow-up: Have you ever considered having an intentional time each week to talk with your children about faith? Kids often have an easier time paying attention when they can hold something in their hands or transition into a different environment intended for a particular purpose. I wonder what it would be like to create a pretend “campfire” in a room, find some time to be intentional about sitting around it and tell stories from Scripture? HERE is one you could make, though it doesn’t even have to be anything more than a wadded up blanket!