Beulah Land: The Story of Joseph
You intended to harm me, but God meant it for good…” Genesis 50:20a
Summary: This week’s lesson is based on Genesis 37-50: the story of Joseph. When Joseph’s brothers sell him to slave traffickers after he tells them about his dreams, they are surprised to meet him again many years later. One important piece of information we receive in Joseph’s story is that God provided “enough and more than enough” for His people during a time of famine. We also learn the background story of how the Israelites ended up in Egypt.
Wondering: I wonder why Joseph told his brothers about his dream? I wonder how it feels to be far away from home and unable to get back? I wonder what the hardest thing for Joseph was? I wonder why he forgave his brothers?
Family Followup: Draw a picture of the coat with many colors. Another idea is to re-enact the story (taking care to not become too enthusiastic about throwing Joseph into the pit). For parents, if you want to review this story, juxtapose the times when Joseph was given a special robe or garment v. the times he was stripped of his clothing. I wonder why Scripture gives us these details?
Hymn of the Month: This month’s song is the DOXOLOGY. Find the song HERE to practice at home!
Godly Play I: Exodus
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 children go back to the desert to learn the story of the Passover and Exodus. 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. They will taste Matzo crackers in class! You can find the story in Exodus 11-15:21.
Wondering: I wonder why God wanted them to be ready so quickly? I wonder what it was like for Moses when he talked to Pharaoh? I wonder what it was like to walk between water and stay dry?
Family Followup: 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.
Godly Play II: Jonah
I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the land. Jonah 1:9
Note: Starting this week until the first Sunday of Advent, we will be venturing into stories of the prophets. Most prophets we will study during this time are known as the Major Prophets. However, this first week will be the story of Jonah, who, as you have learned from the current sermon series, has some distinctions as a prophet.
Summary: This week, we kick off our prophet stories by turning our attention to Jonah. When Jonah disobeys God and does everything wrong, God still uses him to extend his mercy to other nations…including Nineveh, a bitter enemy of Israel.
Wondering: I wonder what made Jonah not want to go to Nineveh? I wonder what it was when a big fish swallowed him? I wonder what he thought when God spared Nineveh because they repented? I wonder if we are ever like Jonah? I wonder if you have heard another story about a storm on the water while a man sleeps in the boat?
Family Followup: Jonah gives us a lot to think about. Talking a walk with your child or sitting in the car are two great times to ask some wondering questions and wonder together about Jonah’s story.
Here’s an interesting fact about Jonah…it is read during the Jewish holiday, Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement). It is a reminder that no one is beyond God’s hand of mercy and that His mercy awaits those who repent whole-heartedly. Jesus also compares his ministry to Jonah. What similarities and differences do you see between the two men?