Godly Play I: The Exodus
Memory Verse: For 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!).