Godly Play I: Parable of the Good Shepherd
Memory Verse: I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. John 10:11
Summary: This Sunday we begin stories about Jesus’ ministry. Over the next few months, your child will learn about his parables and miracles. We will begin with The Parable of the Good Shepherd, a story Jesus gives us about a shepherd who leads, protects, finds and rescues his sheep. This is a different sort of parable in that Jesus also makes the declaration; “I am the Good Shepherd.” I’ve chosen to lead with this one for several reasons, including that it pulls together Psalm 23, John 10, Matthew 18, Luke 15 (and our Communion lesson!) in a way that helps link the Old Testament with the New. It helps form the grid through which the kids begin to filter this set of Scripture stories by naming who this amazing man is.
I Wonder…: if you have ever been in a dangerous place? have felt good grass and tasted fresh water? who these sheep could really be?
Additional Follow-up: There really are so many neat things you could do to re-tell this story at home. You could make sheep and a pen (or set up stuffed animals in the roles). You could draw pictures of the story. You could read Psalm 23 and wonder together about what “valley of the shadow of death” might be for humans. How does God’s rod and staff comfort us? I wonder what it means to be safe?
Godly Play II: Parable of the Leaven
Memory Verse: The Kingdom of God is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into a large amount of flour until it worked all through the dough. Matthew 13:33
Summary: This Sunday we begin stories about Jesus’ ministry. Over the next few months, your child will learn about his parables and miracles. This parable, also known as Parable of the Yeast, is found in Matthew 13 and Luke 13. It is very short–basically the length of a verse. Leaven is what permeates the bread dough so that it will become fluffy. Remember that in Exodus, the Hebrews were instructed to not wait for bread to rise in their flight from Egypt? They had to leave right away. They continued that feast every Passover using unleavened bread. This parable is about a dough with leaven. What might Jesus be saying about His kingdom permeating the world?
I Wonder…: what Jesus meant when he said the kingdom is like leaven/yeast? where you have seen bread like this in Scripture before? how it is different from that bread?
Additional Followup: Make bread!!! Don’t forget to sing the Rain for Roots song!
Godly Play II: Jesus Feeds the 5000
Memory Verse: When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. Mark 6:34
Summary: This Sunday we begin stories about Jesus’ ministry. Over the next few months, your child will learn about his parables and miracles. Our older kids are starting New Testament stories today with a miracle. Jesus and the disciples are followed by an enormous crowd. Jesus teaches them and meets their physical needs with a meal made from five loaves and two fish. You can find this story in Mark 6:30-44 and John 6:1-15
I Wonder…: what made Jesus want to stay with the crowd? how there was food leftover? what the disciples thought? if you have heard of God providing bread for his people before?
At Home: Do you ever use a commentary? Those are helpful for studying Scripture. For example, the Reformation Study Bible points out that Jesus’ reference to seeing the crowd like “sheep without a shepherd” is what God promised to do in Ezekiel 34. Seeing connections and patterns through scripture is a good thing. Where else have you seen themes of shepherd? Provision of food? The number twelve?