Beulah Land: The Good Shepherd
- Memory Verse: “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” John 10:11
- Summary: Today’s parable is not really a parable in a strict sense. It’s an “I Am” discourse that is often lumped in with parables since it uses imagery to convey a truth about Jesus. In this story, Jesus is revealing something about himself, his followers, and enemies of God. You can find the passage in John 10. During the story, the storyteller is instructed to slowly take down the felt figures of the crowd following Jesus, and replace them with sheep. This provides a clear context for the children to see a connection between Jesus and his followers with the Good Shepherd with his sheep. In that way, it is quite similar to the communion story we learned last week in Godly Play!
- I Wonder… : how the Good Shepherd knows the names of the sheep? how do they know his voice? why doesn’t the ordinary shepherd care about the sheep? what the names of the sheep are?
- Additional Follow-up: You could read Psalm 23 or John 10. Maybe you can talk about shepherds and sheep. You could sing “I am Jesus Little Lamb” or, if you’re the crafty type, make a sheep pen with cotton ball sheep. I thought this was a cute thing to make and put in a child’s room as a reminder of our Shepherd’s presence!
Godly Play I: Free Work Time
- Memory Verse: Teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. Psalm 86:11
- Summary: Today is a lesson completely devoted to encountering God through the story sets and art supplies. The storyteller will open the story circle by helping the children reflect upon and wonder over the stories they’ve heard in Godly Play. Children will then be given the opportunity to choose either a story set or art materials to work with. Since children integrate their experience and knowledge with hands-on play, this will be a time for them to connect with God and His Word. Sometimes children need to come back to the same story on multiple occasions to “get it”…not unlike us adults! This time gives them a set-apart time to do so. See more HERE about work in Godly Play.
- I Wonder…: which story you think of more than others? which one you like most? which one you like least? which story has something to do with Jesus? which story has something to do with you?
- Additional Followup: Go ahead and ask what story your child picked to work with! Maybe you could read that story from the bible or even create your own version of it to play with at home.
Godly Play II: Parable and I AM Synthesis Game
- Memory Verse: Your Word is a Lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105
- Summary: One goal of this lesson is to teach children how to locate parables and “I AM” statements in the Gospel texts. You’ll notice that narrative parables are found in what’s known as the synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke). The Book of John contains “I AM” statements made by Jesus.
- I Wonder: why Jesus gave us parables? why Jesus gave us I AM statements? how you find them? if they are in all of the books of the bible?
- Followup: Practice looking up verses at home! While this story/lesson takes the ability to read, memorizing the books of the bible in order does not! If your child isn’t able to read well yet, consider memorizing the order or talking about the types of books found in the bible (prophetic, poetry, Gospel, etc).