Ordinary Time: Sunday, November 20

Beulah Land: Elijah
O Lord, God of Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel!                        I Kings 18:36

Summary: Today’s story is about the prophet Elijah. It is an overview of his ministry that includes his encounter with the widow, the false prophets of Baal and the whisper of God’s presence. It is also about how Elijah called God’s people away from their sins and carelessness to repentance and obedience. You can find these accounts in I Kings 17-19 and II Kings 2.

Wondering: I wonder why the people stopped believing God’s promises? I wonder why Elijah went out to the desert and holy mountain? I wonder why God sent Elijah to tell His people a message?

Family Followup: Re-read the story together at home from your bible. The Beulah Land curriculum suggests inserting dramatic reading in the part where Elijah encounters God in a small, still whisper. When you read about the earthquake, have your child stomp his/her feet. When you read about the wind, have him/her blow or make swooshing sounds. When you read about the fire, have them wave something red or their arms like flames. Then when you get to the whisper, lower your voice and whisper.

Hymn of the Month: Our November hymn of the month is Be Thou My Vision. We will start with the first verse for now. Find the song HERE to practice at home!

Godly Play I: Story of Isaiah
A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a branch will            bear fruit. — Isaiah 11:1

Summary: This week’s story is about the prophet Isaiah. It will cover the entire book, highlighting some particular prophesies. God sent messages through him to warn the people of judgment through exile and assure them of future restoration after the exile. Like all prophets, we see Christ anticipated. One way we see this in Isaiah is with “respect to Isaiah’s servant motif” (Reformation Study Bible). Jesus fulfilled several of these including being a light to the Gentiles (49:1-7), by bringing justice to the nations (42:1-4) and take away the sins of the elect (52:13-53:12).

Wondering: I wonder what it was like to be Isaiah? I wonder why he was afraid when he saw God and thought he was not good enough to be near God? I wonder what it was like for Isaiah to know about the future exile? I wonder why he told people to make a garment of splendor to go back home in?

Family Followup: I specifically picked Isaiah for this class during this last week of Ordinary time. We use so many references to Christ from Isaiah during the Advent and Christmas season. You can try to sing THIS song from the Rain for Roots Waiting Songs album. You can also try to use the prophets flashcard game again!

Godly Play II: Story of Job

I know that my Redeemer lives, and at last he shall stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God.  Job 19:25-26

Summary: This week, we turn our attention from the prophets to Job. Job is a very early Old Testament writing that address some major themes like suffering and the mystery of God’s presence. As we prepare to enter Advent next week, I wonder what Job has to teach children about pain, sorrow and how it brings us to God’s presence?

Wondering: I wonder what it was like to be Job? I wonder what it was like to have everything taken from you? I wonder what it was like for Job to hear his friends tell him he did something wrong when he didn’t? I wonder what it was like for Job to meet God in the middle of so much suffering? I wonder if it is enough to know God when we are hurting?

Family Followup: This can be a difficult story for children (and adults!). It addresses the concepts of deep suffering and faith. It is hard to understand why God allowed, and allows, pain and sorrow. Talk to your child about what they experience and see others experience as sorrow. Explore where God is when we hurt. Pray for insight for you and your child. HERE is a recent sermon if you’d like to hear more.

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