Beulah Land: Exodus, Part I
The Lord is my strength and my song, he has become my salvation. Exodus 15:2a
Summary: Over the next two weeks, your child will hear the story of the Exodus. This week’s focus will be the first half of the story when Moses is called by God from a burning bush, the plagues come to Egypt and the Israelites are led across the Red Sea. One repeated phrase in this lesson is Let my people go! The story ends with Exodus 15:21 and this phrase, And the people believed in the Lord. What a great setup for next week’s desert wanderings and struggle to trust God!
Wondering: I wonder what part of the story you liked best? I wonder what it was like for Moses to hear from God? I wonder why the Pharaoh did not want to let God’s people go? I wonder what it was like to cross the Red Sea?
Family Followup: Make a paper plate shaker like THIS to celebrate like the Israelites who had just crossed the Red Sea (The memory passage for this week comes from the celebratory song the Israelites sang after the crossing! It is found in Exodus 15.). In Godly Play next year, we will discuss the Passover more in depth. However, it might be fun to go ahead and introduce “Passover Us” by Andrew Peterson to them!
Hymn of the Month: This month’s song is the DOXOLOGY. Find the song HERE to practice at home!
Godly Play I: Ten Best Ways
Walk in all the ways that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land you will possess.
Summary: Last week, your child heard the story about the Exodus. This week, we will turn our attention to the part of our story in which the Ten Commandments are given to the Israelites. The story sets up with this line, “Now that the people are free, they can go anywhere they want to go and do anything they want to do. Where will they go now? What is the best way?” You can read the story at home in Exodus 20:1-17 and Deuteronomy 5:1-21.
Wondering: I wonder why God gave the people the Ten Commandments? I wonder why we called them the 10 best ways tonight? I wonder what the most important commandment is? Which ones do you remember? I wonder which one is the hardest to keep for you? I wonder what happens if we don’t choose the best ways?
Family Followup: Use the 10 Commandments hand gesture method from the worship service to practice reciting them at home. The Ten Commandments raise some big concepts for little kids… What does it mean to break a marriage? Honor your parents? Keep the Sabbath holy? What happens when you don’t obey them? They’re big concepts for us adults, too! We are all constantly learning what it means to do these things in our live and our particular stories…and how to deal when we fail. Where is Jesus in the 10 Commandments?
Godly Play II: Elijah
Answer me, Oh Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, O Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again. Kings 18:37
Note: This is our second week studying a prophet. All of our prophet stories begin with something like this: “A prophet is a person chosen by God to take a message to His people. Sometimes people do not like hearing what the prophet has to say. They become angry at the prophet. It is not easy being a prophet.”
Summary: This week we hear the story of Elijah. Elijah challenged the kings of Israel for their idolatry and immorality. He encountered prophets of the idol, Baal, and advised the evil King Ahab and Queen Jezebel to repent. He was taken up to heaven in a whirlwind! You can find his account in I and II Kings.
Wondering: I wonder what it was like to be Elijah? I wonder why he ran to a cave after defeating the prophets of Baal? I wonder what God wanted the people to hear from Elijah? I wonder if we left out part of the story if we’d have all we needed?
Family Followup: A great resource for your parents is from Richard Pratt’s study of Prophets. Look HERE and HERE for a study guide and set of videos about the prophets. Points Pratt makes about prophets during the time of the Israelite monarchy are that God sent prophets to the kings of Israel to make sure they were obedient to the law of Moses. The prophets were witnesses against the disobedience of kings and those who followed them.
This would be an interesting follow-up with your child after the lesson. Over the week read the account of Elijah from I and II Kings together. Then ask questions like, “I wonder how Ahab and Jezebel were disobeying God?”, “I wonder what was it like for Elijah to tell the truth to people who were not obeying God?” or “I wonder why it was so important that Elijah warn Ahab about his disobedience?” Hopefully questions like that could provide areas of exploration for your children when they encounter stories about prophets.