Easter Sunday: March 27

God’s love is stronger than death, stronger than hurt, stronger than lying and cheating and stealing and fighting and hurting and hating—not even the Enemy is stronger than God’s love. God’s love is always enough and more than enough. Amen and Alleluia. That is our story.
— Beulah Land, Passion and Resurrection

Beulah Land: The Passion and Resurrection

  • Memory Verse: “As surely as I live,” says the Lord, “Every knee shall bow before me and every tongue will confess God.” Romans 14:11
  • Summary: Today’s story is the Passion and Resurrection. Because Beulah Land kids are so young, the curriculum is designed to tell both of those stories together rather than stop one week with Jesus’ Death and teach the Resurrection the following week. This week, Satan, the enemy (or EM-i-ney as some of the kids call him!), will be thrown to the ground with the beautiful words quoted above.
  • I Wonder… : what your favorite part of the story is? why those leaders were scared of Jesus? what it was like for him to be on the cross? where Jesus was when he died? what it was like for him to come back to life? where he is now?
  • Additional Follow-up: These are major wondering questions. Please don’t feel like you have to have all of the answers. It is the mystery of our faith: Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ will come again! The Church has historically given us 6 weeks of the Easter season to consider this crucial aspect of our faith…it’s that big of a deal. Take time to wonder like a little child about this wonderful mystery. Rest in it. Re-read the cross and resurrection story together with your child and pray that God will grow faith in the hearts of your children. Have you been making an Easter Tree? Add your final ornament of the empty tomb!

Godly Play I & II: Faces of Easter VII

  • Memory Verse: “As surely as I live,” says the Lord, “Every knee shall bow before me and every tongue will confess God.” Romans 14:11
  • Summary: We have arrived at Easter! Today’s lesson is about the Passion and Resurrection. As the children hear of Jesus dying and being buried, they expect the story to end in sadness. Instead it finishes with great joy… Easter joy! Listen to the words told in our story as the storyteller flips the set pieces back and forth, When you look at this side (crucifixion), you know that the other side is there (Easter). When you look at this side (Easter), you know that this side (crucifixion) is there, and you cannot pull them apart. This is the Mystery of Easter, and that makes all the difference …
  • I Wonder…: what part of this story you liked most? where Jesus was when he was dead? where he is now? what it means when we say “when two or three are gathered in his name, he is there?” why is it so important that Jesus died and was resurrected? what that has to do with you and me?
  • Additional Followup: These are major wondering questions. Please don’t feel like you have to have all of the answers. It is the mystery of our faith: Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ will come again! The Church has historically given us 6 weeks of the Easter season to consider this crucial aspect of our faith…it’s that big of a deal. Take time to wonder like a little child about this wonderful mystery. Rest in it. Re-read the cross and resurrection story together with your child and pray that God will grow faith in the hearts of your children. Have you been making an Easter Tree? Add your final ornament of the empty tomb!

Palm Sunday: March 20

Beulah Land: The Prodigal Son

  • Memory Verse: While he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.” Luke 15:20b
  • Summary: Today’s parable is the Prodigal Son. This parable is also known by different names such as: The Two Sons, The Running Father, and The Loving Father. It only appears in one Gospel—Luke. This parable is a response to the mutterings of Pharisees who did not understand why Jesus “welcomes sinners and eats with them.” (v. 2) Interestingly, though many parables highlight what one should do, this one does not. Instead, we see the abundance of the Good News…there is enough for all, regardless of if you do everything you “should do” or if you fail miserably and squander all you have.
  • I Wonder… : how it feels to waste things? how it feels to say you are sorry? how it feels to be the older brother? if anything like this story has ever happened to you? what it means to hear the story and let it change you?
  • Follow up Ideas: Go back to your list from last week (of ways people have loved you). Talk about when your child is loved. How does God’s love change us?
  • Parent Reflection: With your spouse or a good friend, talk about which parable character you personally identify with and even which tendencies you notice in your children. Pray to receive the grace of Jesus in those places. A good, short, follow-up read for adults is Henri Nowen’s Return of the Prodigal.

Godly Play I & II: Faces of Easter VI

  • Memory Verse: Whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. 1 Corinthians 11:26
  • Summary: Today our kids will hear about Jesus turning toward Jerusalem and the cross. They will learn about the institution of the Lord’s Supper.
  • I Wonder…: if you have ever come close to the bread and the wine Jesus was talking about? what it means when Jesus said this bread was his body and this wine was his blood? why we still partake of this special meal? why it is so special? where else you have heard about Jesus’ people eating bread or drinking wine?
  • Additional Followup: Lessons about Communion can be full of mystery and wondering! Explore with your child what it means to take communion. Ask an elder to help if you feel stuck! You can also use your worship folder to review our order of communion with your child. They have probably made some interesting and even profound observations! You could even play/ act out “communion” using your worship folder.
  • Bonus: Host a seder meal with your kids. Look HERE and HERE for some ideas. Talk about the Passover and wonder what the Passover might have to do with Jesus. HERE is an example of the Last Supper if you are not comfortable with a Seder.

Lent Sunday: March 13

Beulah Land: The Good Samaritan

  • Memory Verse: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind. And love your neighbor as yourself. Luke 10:27
  • Summary: Today’s parable is The Good Samaritan. As he often does, Jesus replies to a question with a story. The response to “Who is my neighbor?”, requires the questioner to experience the answer from the viewpoint of the powerless…a wounded man on the side of the road who is helped by the unlikeliest of characters.
  • I Wonder… : why the Priest did not stop to help the man? why the Levite did not stop? why the Samaritan DID stop? what it means to hear the story and let it change you? who are our neighbors? who is the Good Samaritan?
  • Follow up Ideas: Help your kids make a list of ways people have loved your family (including them). What are ways they can love their neighbors? How has God shown his faithfulness to your family? How do you respond to that?
  • Parent Reflection: What does it mean to hear the Word of God and let it change you? Why the Samaritan? What makes people want to love others? What propels people to help others?

Godly Play I & II: Faces of Easter V

  • Memory Verse: Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their Synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people. Matthew 4:23
  • Summary: Today’s story focuses on Jesus as Parable-Maker and Healer. In the words of Godly Play, “His work was to come close to people…when Jesus came close to people, they changed.”
  • I Wonder…: what Jesus thought about his work? what the blind man thought when he was able to see? what was so important about Jesus’ parables and healings? what sort of people Jesus came close to? what about today…who does Jesus come close to? what does that even mean?
  • Additional Followup: Go back through some of the accounts of Jesus’ miracle and parables in Scripture. Ask your kids to tell a parable or miracle to you! Maybe they can act it out as you read it. Write a letter to someone who is sick.

Lent Sunday: March 6

Beulah Land: Parable of the Mustard and Yeast

  • Memory Verse: Thought it is the smallest of all your seeds, it grows to become to largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches. Matthew 13:32
  • Summary: Today our Lenten journey brings us to the Parable of the Mustard Seed and Leaven. Things that are so tiny become huge as they grow tall in the ground and work their way through flat dough. This set of lessons uses the phrase repeatedly, “Jesus said, ‘Listen and believe; hear the story, and let it change you.’” The parables are not just about mustard seed and yeast. They are doing something as we listen… then and now!
  • I Wonder… : how the people knew the stories were about more than mustard seed and a bowl of dough? what else they thought the story was about? if this story reminds you of any other stories? what it means to hear the story and let it change you?
  • Follow up Ideas: Make some bread together! Watch it rise. And don’t forget about this song from Rain for Roots!

Godly Play I & II: Faces of Easter IV

  • Memory Verse: Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33
  • Summary: We are now four Sundays into Lent, the season in which we prepare for Easter. We are using a set of stories that walk through the life of Christ. Today we will focus on Jesus’ Desert Experience. You can find this account in Luke 4 and Matthew 4.
  • I Wonder…: why the tempter wanted Jesus to disobey and not trust God? what else men live on besides food? what it means to test God? what sort of King Jesus would be? Jesus’ work was? if you ever feel tempted?
  • Additional Followup: Draw a picture of the story. Maybe you can read the account from Scripture at home and as you are reading, have your child draw a scene.