Ordinary Time: October 29th

Godly Play I: The Exodus

Memory VerseFor the Lord is a mighty God, a mighty king over all the gods. Psalm 95:3

Summary: This week children will go to the desert box 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. You can find the story in Exodus 11-15:21.

I Wonder…: I wonder why the God’s people had to be ready? I wonder how Moses felt when he talked to Pharoah? I wonder what it was like to walk between the water on dry sand?

Additional Follow-up: Make Matzo (or buy it at the store) and a loaf of simple bread at home. Talk about the differences and about how yeast makes bread rise. Which is flat? Which bread is puffy? Talk about why God told the Israelites to leave out the leaven. I wonder why that was important? How do you wait as the dough rises? Another idea is to try and separate water with your hands in the sink. Talk about how God held back the waters for the Israelites to pass through.

Godly Play II: The Ark and the Tent

Memory Verse: Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. Psalm 90:1

Summary: This week’s lesson focuses on the presence of God with the Israelites. God would not leave His people as they wandered nor as they entered the Promise Land, even when they doubted and sinned. But how will He make his presence known? The Israelites were afraid to approach him at Mt. Sinai, but He is also too holy to be addressed in an ordinary way. Your children will discuss the way God commanded Moses and the Israelites to set up the tabernacle in order to have His presence. An important phrase repeated in this lesson is, “God made a way for the people to come near.”

I Wonder…:  I wonder why God decided to use a tent to be present with his people? I wonder what is different between us and the Israelites? I wonder how God makes a way for the people to come near? I wonder how He makes a way for us to come close to Him?

Additional Follow-up: See if your child can remember the parts of the tent. Light some incense (or a candle) and wonder what it smelled like in the tent.

Reflect upon the ways people of God have experienced his presence throughout Scripture (the Israelites in the desert, when Jesus walked the earth, arrival of the Holy Spirit, etc). Read Acts 17: 24-28. How does God make a way to for you to come near? How are you near him?

Godly Play III: Work Day

Verse: Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in your eyes, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14

Summary: Today is a lesson completely devoted to encountering God through the story sets and art supplies. The storyteller will open the story circle by helping the children reflect upon and wonder over the stories they’ve heard in Godly Play. Children will then be given the opportunity to choose either a story set or art materials to work with. Since children integrate their experience and knowledge with hands-on play, this will be a time for them to connect with God and His Word. Sometimes children need to come back to the same story on multiple occasions to receive the life it has to offer…not unlike us adults! This time gives them an intentional space to do so. See more HERE about work in Godly Play

Wondering: I wonder what story you picked to work with? I wonder what you like about it? I wonder which story you think of most often?

Family Follow-up: Ask your child to identify a story they like to work with (or maybe one they think of often). Show them where it is in the bible (and how to look it up!).

Ordinary Time: October 22nd

Godly Play I: The Great Family

Verse: I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Genesis 22:17

Summary: This week your child will finally be introduced to a piece of the desert! Several lessons are given using our desert box, as it is an important setting in Scripture. Today they will cover the story of Abraham & Sarah, God’s promise to Abraham (also known as the Abrahamic Covenant), and Isaac & Rebekah. You can find this in Genesis 12-15 & 24.

Wondering: I wonder what God meant when he said there would be as many descendants as stars in the sky?  I wonder what Sarah thought when she learned they were going to have a baby? I wonder who else is in the Great Family?

Family Follow-up: Go outside and try to count the stars. Pick up a spoonful of dirt (or sand if you have it!) and try to count the granules. That’s a lot of family members…

Godly Play II: The Story of Moses

Memory VerseI am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. Exodus 20:2

Summary: Once more, we are going from the big overview of the Exodus and zooming in to learn more particulars about the life of Moses. This lesson walks through his life starting in Exodus 1:8, and ends with his death in Deuteronomy 34:8. He is the baby saved from slaughter and rescued from the Nile by the Pharaoh’s daughter. He is the man who God chooses to lead the Israelites out of slavery. This story will enrich what the children have learned from past stories (such as The Exodus) as well as prepare them for upcoming stories (such as The Ten Best Ways).

I Wonder…: I wonder what Moses thought when he saw a bush on fire without burning up? I wonder how Moses was able to overcome his fear? I wonder what this story has to do with us?

Additional Follow-up:  Recreate a scene from Moses’ story at home. Have your children put together pieces to represent his story and tell it to you! They can act it out or use toys/ objects to tell it to you! What seems to catch their attention?

Godly Play III: Knowing Jesus in a New Way VII

Verse: Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.  The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call. Acts 2:38-39

Summary: Today we finish our new story set that walks us through the days between Jesus’ resurrection to Pentecost. It’s called Knowing Jesus in a New Way. The lesson will briefly review the last six weeks then focus on the arrival of Holy Spirit at Pentecost. You can find it in Acts 2.

Wondering: I wonder what it was like to hear the rushing wind and people speaking other languages they had not been taught? I wonder why people thought they were drunk? I wonder why Pentecost is represented by red?

Family Follow-up: How was the Holy Spirit’s arrival different from other times we’ve seen it in Scripture? (One example of that could be Jesus’ baptism.) This was a different way of knowing God/ having God’s presence. Ask your child what they think it means that Holy Spirit lives in believers? The Bible Project has yet another fantastic video about it!

Ordinary Time: October 15th

Godly Play I: The Flood

Verse: He is the maker of heaven and earth, the sea and everything in them. He remains faithful forever. Psalm 146:6

Summary: This lesson comes from Genesis 6:5-9:16. It is about God’s covenant with mankind to preserve the world so that people can continue spreading out into the earth. It is a reminder that God is the one who sustains our world (and renews it, ultimately in Christ). As one author wrote, “Every change of season and every sunrise and sunset is proof positive that the Lord never breaks his promises.” He is faithful.

Wondering: I wonder which animals are the most interesting on the ark? I wonder what it was like to be on an ark for so long? I wonder what Noah’s ark looked like? I wonder what God meant when He promised to never destroy the earth again? I wonder where all of that water went?

Family Follow-up: Listen to THIS SONG. Create a boat out of paper or a stick. Talk about ways you see God’s faithfulness through nature.

Godly Play II: The Exodus

Memory VerseI am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. Exodus 20:2

Summary: This week children will go to the desert box 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. You can find the story in Exodus 11-15:21.

I Wonder…: I wonder why the God’s people had to be ready? I wonder how Moses felt when he talked to Pharoah? I wonder what it was like to walk between the water on dry sand?

Additional Follow-up: Read Exodus 15:1-18. What was the amazing thing God did? What happened once the Israelites passed through the Red Sea?

Godly Play III: Knowing Jesus in a New Way VI

Verse: But the advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. John 14:26

Summary: Today we continue in our new story set that walks us through the days between Jesus’ resurrection to Pentecost. It’s called Knowing Jesus in a New Way. The lesson will briefly review the last five weeks then focus on Jesus’ blessing of his disciples and his ascension. It is about knowing Jesus as they awaited the Holy Spirit. You can find it in Mark 16:19-20, Luke 24:50-53 and Acts 1:9-12.

Wondering: I wonder where Jesus went? I wonder where he is now? I wonder how the disciples felt when Jesus was gone? I wonder what it was like to wait for the Holy Spirit. I wonder how they picked Matthias to replace Judas?

Family Follow-up: Look up and read the passages listed in the summary together and use the wondering questions. Talk about waiting. I wonder if you’ve ever had to wait for someone or something?

Ordinary Time: Sunday, October 8th

Godly Play I: Falling Apart

Verse: For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Romans 3:23

Summary: This is the story of how everything fell apart in the garden. Your children will hear about how Adam and Eve sinned, realized that everything was different because of sin and were banished from Eden. You can also find this account in Genesis 2:4-3:24.

Wondering: I wonder what it was like to be in the wonderful garden? I wonder what Adam and Eve thought about the serpent? I wonder what Adam and Eve felt when they hid from God? I wonder what Adam and Eve thought would bring them back to a new garden?

Family Follow-up: For Family: Read this story from the bible together. Consider together: What is sin? What are impacts of sin? Who sins? What sets us free from sin?

Sin is a big concept for us adults, let alone your concrete thinking 3 and 4-year-olds! Think of this as an ongoing conversation. They are catching more than you think! A child in this age bracket is able to understand that sin is a bad thing and that it keeps us from having what God intended. Look to give snippets of truth that they can mull over and build upon.

Godly Play II: Story of Sarah

Memory VerseFor the word of the Lord is right and true; he is faithful in all he does. Psalm 33:4

Summary: This week’s story is about Sarah. They have already learned about her in the story of God’s Great Family, but we will zoom in a little to learn more about how God’s promise to build his people plays out in her life in particular. This story contains disbelief, pain, sorrow, anger, jealousy, sin, hope, disappointment and more! Though it seems against all odds, God makes good on His promise to Sarah AND his people. You can find this account in Genesis 12:24- 25:11.

I Wonder…: how Sarah would be the mother of a child when she was so old? how God decided to wait until then? what is something in your life that is hard to believe?

Additional Follow-up: Thinking about old age is a hard concept for children. It seems very far away! Sarah was like an old grandmother when she became pregnant. That’s hard to imagine…it was even hard for her! This is a good story for talking about how believers throughout history have struggled to believe and trust God, but that He has always been faithful to them. This is a silly suggestion, but have you seen an aging app for phone? What if you used it with your child? It would be funny and it would also provide some fodder for conversation about growing old.

Godly Play III: Knowing Jesus in a New Way V

Verse: Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. Matthew 28: 19-20

Summary: Today we continue in our new story set that walks us through the days between Jesus’ resurrection to Pentecost. It’s called Knowing Jesus in a New Way. The lesson will briefly review the last four weeks then focus on Jesus’ commission to the disciples in Galilee. Jesus tells his disciples to go and make disciples across the world. He encouraged them by reminding them that he would always be with them in this endeavor. You can find it in Matthew 28:16-20 and Mark 16:15-18.

Wondering: I wonder what Jesus meant when he said that all authority in heaven and earth had been given to him? I wonder how the disciples felt when they heard Jesus tell them it was time for them to go make disciples? I wonder what they needed to tell people?

Family Follow-up: What does it mean to make disciples? Or to be one? How does Jesus’ presence make a difference in that? Read Acts 2: 42-47 to get an idea of how the early church began “making disciples”. The bible project has a great overview of what happens post the great commission.

Ordinary Time: October, 1st

Godly Play I: Creation

Verse: In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Genesis 1:1

Summary: This is the account of how all things were made. With this lesson we begin to trace the presence of God in the story of His people. It is taken from Genesis 1:1- 2:3.

Wondering: I wonder which part of the story you like best? I wonder which part of creation God is most proud of? I wonder what are some things you are thankful for in creation?

Family Follow-up: As we encounter this story, we find ourselves wondering! What can we know of the Creator by His creation? Go for a nature walk with your child and note what all He has made. Pray, giving thanks for the gifts God has given us in His created world.

Godly Play II: The Story of Abraham

Verse: He remembers his covenant forever, the promise he made, for a thousand generations. Psalm 105:8

Summary: This week your child will hear an overview of the account of Abraham. This story highlights the birth of Isaac to barren Abraham and Sarah, God testing Abraham, and the promise of God to make Abraham into a great nation. You can find this account in Genesis 12:24- 25:11.

Wondering: I wonder what it was like for Abraham to wait for a son? I wonder where else in the bible you have heard about the sacrifice of a son?

Family Follow-up: Look out and try to count the stars. Or grains in a handful of sand. That’s a lot of people in God’s family! Read Psalm 105 together.

Godly Play III: Knowing Jesus in a New Way

Verse: I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep. John 10:11

Summary: Today we continue in our new story set that walks us through the days between Jesus’ resurrection to Pentecost. It’s called Knowing Jesus in a New Way. The lesson will briefly review the last three weeks then focus on Jesus’ appearance to the disciples in Galilee as they were fishing. This is the story in which Peter is asked three times by Jesus if he loved Jesus. You can find it in John 21:1-23

Wondering: I wonder why the disciples went back to fishing? I wonder how they caught so many fish? I wonder what made Peter jumped out of the boat? I wonder how Jesus decided to ask Peter three times if he loved him?

Family Follow-up: Read this passage together. I wonder in scripture where else Peter encountered three questions? I wonder where else he has been referred to as Simon son of…? I wonder where else in scripture we see similarities such as fishing, disciples on a boat, Jesus on water, Jesus on the shore, etc.?