Lent Sunday: March 26

Beulah Land: The Loaves and Fish

You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing. Psalm 145:16

  • Summary: Today’s story puts us back into the throes of Jesus’ ministry with the account of Jesus feeding thousands with five loaves of bread and two fish. This is a story about provision, miracle, and enough…with leftovers. It is at the heart of the Good News… enough with leftovers. You can find it in all four Gospel accounts.
  • I Wonder… : what it was like to be in the crowd who followed Jesus? why the boy offered his bread and fish to Jesus? what all those people thought when they were told there was only one basket of food? what is the best part of this story? how this story changes us?
  • Follow up Ideas: This is bit of a stretch, but maybe you could talk about how Jesus has given us enough (and more than enough!). How does he provide for you? How can we give to others in gratitude for what He has given us?

Godly Play I & II: Faces of Easter IV

Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33

  • Summary: We are now four Sundays into Lent, the season in which we prepare for Easter. We are using a set of stories that walk through the life of Christ. Today we will focus on Jesus’ Desert Experience. You can find this account in Luke 4 and Matthew 4.
  • I Wonder…: why the tempter wanted Jesus to disobey and not trust God? what else men live on besides food? what it means to test God? what sort of king Jesus would be? what Jesus’ work was? if you ever feel tempted?
  • Additional Followup: Draw a picture of the story. Maybe you can read the account from Scripture at home and as you are reading, have your child draw a scene.

Lent Sunday: March 19th

Beulah Land: The Prodigal Son

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God… Ephesians 2:8

  • Summary: Today’s parable is the Prodigal Son. This parable is also known by different names such as: The Two Sons, The Running Father, and The Loving Father. It only appears in one Gospel—Luke. This parable is a response to the mutterings of Pharisees who did not understand why Jesus “welcomes sinners and eats with them.” (v. 2) Interestingly, though many parables highlight what one should do, this one does not. Instead, we see the abundance of the Good News…there is enough for all, regardless of if you do everything you “should do” or if you fail miserably and squander all you have.
  • I Wonder… : how it feels to waste things? how it feels to say you are sorry? how it feels to be the older brother? if anything like this story has ever happened to you? what it means to hear the story and let it change you? how God’s love changes us?
  • Parent Reflection: With your spouse or a good friend, talk about which parable character you personally identify with and even which tendencies you notice in your children. Pray to receive the grace of Jesus in those places. A good, short, follow-up read for adults is Henri Nowen’s Return of the Prodigal.
  • Hymn of the Month: Each month we sing a verse and a chorus to help our children learn hymns they’ll sing when they remain in the service next year. Holy, Holy, Holy is this month’s hymn. If you want to practice it at home, check HERE for help!

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Godly Play I & II: Faces of Easter III

When John saw Jesus coming toward him, he said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world!” John 1:29

  • Summary: We are three Sundays into Lent, the season in which we prepare for Easter. We are using a set of stories that walk through the life of Christ. Today’s lesson focuses on the baptism of Jesus by his cousin, John the Baptist. This is the first account we have of adult Jesus in Scripture.
  • I Wonder…:  if anyone in our family has been baptized? if this story reminded you of any other stories? why God told everyone that he was pleased with Jesus? if John and Jesus knew each other already?
  • Additional Followup: This might be a good time to revisit the topic of baptism. Talk about your child’s baptism or your own. You can talk more about John the Baptist. Why did he wear what he wore and eat what he ate? Look up pictures of the Jordan River. You can also talk about the presence of Trinity seen in this account– God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. That is something to really wonder about!

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Lent Sunday: March 12th

Beulah Land: The Good Samaritan

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind. And love your neighbor as yourself.   Luke 10:27

  • Summary: Today’s parable is The Good Samaritan. As He often does, Jesus replies to a question with a story. The response to “Who is my neighbor?” requires the questioner to explore the answer from the viewpoint of a story about a wounded man, abandoned to die on the side of the road, who is helped by the unlikeliest of characters.
  • I Wonder… : why the Priest did not stop to help the man? why the Levite did not stop? why the Samaritan DID stop? what it means to hear the story and let it change you? who are our neighbors? who is the Good Samaritan?
  • Follow up Ideas: The Good Samaritan has shown up in a ton of artwork through the years. Below is Van Gogh’s rendition of a Delacriox painting (Click on the link beneath the picture for a tiny bit of information about it). Why has this story captured art and culture? How is it portrayed in different art pieces? Look HERE for a picture of the road from Jerusalem to Jericho. Draw your own pictures of this story. How is your family living out the second greatest commandment to love your neighbor as yourself?
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Van Gogh, 1890

Godly Play I & II: Faces of Easter II

And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.   Luke 2:52

  • Summary: During Lent, we are using a set of stories that walk through the life of Christ. They are called “Faces of Easter.” Last week, we focused on the “face” of Jesus as a newborn. This week, we will focus on the “face” of Jesus as a young boy in the temple.
  • I Wonder…:  what you liked best about this story? what part is most important? what other stories this one reminds you of? what it was like for Jesus to be left at the temple?
  • Additional Followup: If you’re enjoying a “Faces of Easter” tree at your house, make a second ornament to represent Jesus as a boy. Talk about Jesus as a child. Wonder together about what He was like as a boy. HERE is an interesting article about the temple (it’s also where the image below was found).

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Lent Sunday: March 5th

Beulah Land: The Parable of the Mustard Seed and Parable of the Leaven

Though it is the smallest of all your seeds, it grows to become to largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and perch in its branches. Matthew 13:32

  • Summary: Today our Lenten journey brings us to the Parable of the Mustard Seed and Leaven. Things that are so tiny become huge as they grow and work their way throughout flat dough. This set of lessons uses the phrase repeatedly, “Jesus said, ‘Listen and believe; hear the story, and let it change you.’” The parables are not just about mustard seed and yeast. They are doing something as we listen… then and now!
  • I Wonder: I wonder how the people knew the stories were about more than mustard seed and a bowl of dough? I wonder what else they thought the story was about? I wonder if this story reminds you of any other stories? I wonder what it means to hear the story and let it change you?
  • Additional Followup: Make some bread together! Watch it rise. Learn and sing the song Leaven Bread by Rain for Roots!

 

Godly Play I & II: Faces of Easter I

The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14

  • Summary: Lent is the season in which we prepare for Easter. We are using a set of stories that walk through the life of Christ. Today’s lesson focuses on the birth of Christ. Something interesting to know about this set of stories is that during wondering time, the children are invited to bring something from another story set that reminds them of the story being told that day. One example might be that a child brings the Advent story set over when talking about the birth of Christ. They are making connections in Scripture!
  • I Wonder…:  what you liked best about this story? what part is most important? what other stories this one reminds you of?
  • Additional Followup: Maybe you’d enjoy making a “Faces of Easter” tree at your house. Use a branch in a jar. Start this week by having your child draw a picture of Jesus as a baby. Cut those out and hang them on the tree. Lent is a time when we remember that Christ is the servant king, who came to serve. How might your family serve each other? What about others?
From Easterkind.blogspot.
(From Easterkind.blogspot.com)