GP I: Ark and Temple
Passage: O LORD, God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven or on earth- you who keep your covenant of love with your servants who continue wholeheartedly in your way. 2 Chronicles 6:14
Summary: This week’s lesson continues to address the presence of God with the Israelites. Our focus is on the building of the temple as a dwelling place for God. Remember, last week’s important phrase was, “God made a way for the people to come near.” You kids will build upon that idea with questions about God’s special presence in the temple as well as that his presence cannot be contained in one place. How’s that for something to wrestle with?!
Wondering: I wonder what you remember from the temple? I wonder what King Solomon meant when he said God was too big to be contained in one place? I wonder where God lives now?
Additional Follow-Up: Look up pictures of the temple (then and now). You can explain to your children that it was destroyed, rebuilt, then destroyed again so now all we have are ruins of the temple. Jesus talks about himself as the temple. I wonder what he means?
GP II: Story of Elijah
Passage: Answer me, Oh Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, O Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again. Kings 18:37
Summary: This week we hear the story of Elijah. Elijah challenged the kings of Israel for their idolatry and immorality. He encountered prophets of the idol, Baal, and advised the evil King Ahab and Queen Jezebel to repent. He was taken up to heaven in a whirlwind! You can find his account in I and II Kings.
Something interesting to note is that all of our prophet stories begin with something like this: “A prophet is a person chosen by God to take a message to His people. Sometimes people do not like hearing what the prophet has to say. They become angry at the prophet. It is not easy being a prophet.”
Wondering: I wonder what it was like to be Elijah? I wonder why he ran to a cave after defeating the prophets of Baal? I wonder what God wanted the people to hear from Elijah? I wonder if we left out part of the story if we’d have all we needed?
Family Follow-Up: A great resource for you parents is from Richard Pratt’s study of Prophets. Look HERE and HERE for a study guide and set of videos about the prophets. Points Pratt makes about prophets during the time of the Israelite monarchy are that God sent prophets to the kings of Israel to make sure they were obedient to the law of Moses. The prophets were witnesses against the disobedience of kings and those who followed them.
This would be an interesting follow-up with your child after the lesson. Over the week read the account of Elijah from I and II Kings together. Then ask questions like, “I wonder how Ahab and Jezebel were disobeying God?”, “I wonder what was it like for Elijah to tell the truth to people who were not obeying God?” or “I wonder why it was so important that Elijah warn Ahab about his disobedience?” Hopefully questions like that could provide areas of exploration for your children when they encounter stories about prophets.
GP III: The Prophets
Passage: But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me, one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from of old, from ancient times. Micah 5:2
Summary: This lesson is an overview of some of the Old Testament prophets. Here is a part of what your children will hear…”Sometimes the people of God forget who they are. They hide from God, and pretend God isn’t there. Sometimes they even worship other gods. There are also people God spoke to. These people are called prophets. They tell people what God wants His people to know.”
Wondering: I wonder what is important about the prophets? I wonder what it was like to give messages to God’s people? I wonder why the people of God did not always stay close to God? I wonder what God wanted His people to know?
Family Follow-Up: Did you get a prophet flashcard game last year? Want one? You can use it to help with identifying which prophets said what. Your child may not have heard all of the stories yet, but it’s fine to go ahead and begin to learn about them! They’ll get those stories as they go through Godly Play over the next few years.