Third Sunday of Advent: December 11th

Beulah Land: Jonah

I worship the Lord, the God of heaven, who made the sea and the land. Jonah 1:9

Summary: Beulah Land will continue Old Testament character study until Christmas Sunday. This week’s story is about 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.

We will incorporate our Advent Spiral each week. It depicts a figure on a donkey coming closer to Bethlehem (the center) each week as we come closer to Christmas day. It looks like this:

This is from A Holy Experience. We use one very similar.
This is from A Holy Experience. We use one very similar.

Follow Up Questions: I wonder what it feels like to not want to do what God tells you to do? I wonder what it feels like to try to run away from God? I wonder what it feels like to be swallowed by a fish?

Additional Followup: Re-read the story at home. Play with water and wonder together about being swallowed up by a big fish.

Hymn of the Month: We are transitioning into a new hymn for December! We’ll be learning Friendly Beasts, which is on our Advent Hymn Sing rotation. Get ready to belt it out there on December 22nd! Check out THIS SITE to sing along.

Godly Play I & II: Advent: Shepherds

And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2: 10-11

Summary: We are continuing to prepare for the Mystery of Christmas through Advent stories. This week’s lesson draws attention to the shepherds. The goal of taking time to concentrate on each present party is so that the kids can come as close as they can to the beauty of the Incarnation. We want them to consider every angle possible… and marvel!

Follow Up Questions: I wonder if you have ever been heard something wonderful? I wonder what the shepherds felt when they saw the angels? I wonder what made the shepherds want to tell people all they’d heard concerning Jesus? I wonder if you’ve ever had to wait a long time for something? I wonder what it means to be waiting for Jesus now…didn’t he already come?

Additional Follow Up: Review the passages from Luke that depict the shepherds. Look up pictures of shepherds in those days. Talk about their role.

Some interesting footnotes from The Spirit of the Reformation Study Bible:

Shepherds were unable to keep ceremonial law due to their line of work. They were a despised class and were considered unreliable…to the extent of not having permission to testify in court. What an odd group to witness such miracles! Another interesting thing to note is that Scripture uses the word “host” as a military term designating an army. The angelic host that appears to the Shepherds is announcing peace. Wonder what that could mean?

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