FAITH QUEST

 

The Call of Abraham and Sarah

 

September 5 - October 3, 2004

 

PRAISING PUPPETS

 

 

Scripture:  Genesis 12:1-9 CEV

 

Memory Verse:  “As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”  Joshua 24:15b NSRV

 

Concepts:

  • Blessing is a gift from God that brings goodness and well-being in life. (Fretheim, pg. 425)
  • God promises to bless us.
  • We respond to God’s blessing by worshipping God.

 

 Objectives:   The children will learn how God blessed Abraham and how Abraham worshipped God in response.  Then they will think about how God has promised to bless us.  Finally, they will learn some ways to worship God in response to his blessing us.

 

Procedure:                                        

Welcome and Introductions:

1.     Greet the children and introduce yourself.  Wear your nametag. Make sure the children are wearing nametags. If not, ask the shepherd to supply a temporary badge. Remember you are interacting with a different group of students each week that may not know you.

2.     Explain the purpose of this workshop.  For example, “Today we’re going to see how some puppet characters are blessed by God and how they respond by worshipping God.  Maybe we will learn how to worship God from them.  First we will read a Bible story about how God blessed someone a long time ago and how that person then worshipped God because of that.”

 

Bible Story: 

Before starting the story, you can give some background.  Example discussion follows.

 

If you have your Bibles, you can turn to Genesis 12.  Where in the Bible do we find the book of Genesis?  Old Testament, beginning, first book of the Bible.  Does anyone know what Genesis means?  (For adults only, Merriam-Webster says, “the origin or coming into being of something”.) Look for and encourage answers that talk about beginning, start, creation, birth of something What do you think is being started or born in this book?  Lots of things--heaven and earth, man and woman and especially our relationship with God!   We are reading from the twelfth chapter of Genesis, so the creation story from Chapters 1 and 2 has already taken place, the Adam and Eve story from Chapter 3 and 4 has taken place, the story of Noah and the Flood Chapters 5 through 10 has taken place and the story of the Tower of Babel from Chapter 11 has taken place.  Some of you may know these stories and some may not, and that’s OK because you don’t need to know those stories to understand what we’re reading today.  Now we’re going to read Chapter 12 about Abraham and Sarah.   If you are following along with me, your Bible may call Abraham “Abram” because that was his name before God changed it to Abraham.  For this rotation we will use the names Abraham and Sarah.

 

From the CEV:

 

The Call of Abra(ha)m

12 1 The LORD had said to Abra(ha)m, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you.

2 "I will make you into a great nation
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.
3 I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you."

4 So Abra(ha)m left, as the LORD had told him; and Lot went with him. Abra(ha)m was seventy-five years old when he set out from Haran. 5 He took his wife (Sarah) Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there.
6 Abra(ha)m traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. 7 The LORD appeared to Abra(ha)m and said, "To your offspring [1] I will give this land." So he built an altar there to the LORD , who had appeared to him.
8 From there he went on toward the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the LORD and called on the name of the LORD . 9 Then Abra(ha)m set out and continued toward the Negev.

 

Discussion after the Bible Story:

 

What does God tell Abraham to do?  Leave his home and family and go to a new place.  How would you feel if someone told you to leave everything you were used to—your home, your family, your friends—and go someplace you’d never been?  Try to get a few  answers.  What if the someone telling you was God?  Try to get a few answers.  Does God give Abraham a good reason to do what he says?  Yes!  God promises Abraham lots of good things.  (If these haven’t already been mentioned), what are some of the good things that God promised Abraham?  Make him a great nation, bless him, make his name great, make Abraham into a blessing, curse people who curse him, and finally all people will be blessed through Abraham.  Some of these words may be confusing to you.  Let’s talk about a couple of these.  What does becoming a “great nation” mean to you?  All of Abraham’s children and grandchildren—all his descendents—will become a great tribe or community.  This was a very special promise to Abraham because at the time he and his wife had not been able to have children and they were probably very sad about this! What about making his name great?  He’s going to be famous—everyone will know his name.  Did God keep this promise?  Yes, most of the people at the Kirk know Abraham, we are teaching you about Abraham, all people who are Christian, Jewish and Muslim know who Abraham was—his name is truly great! 

 

Did Abraham do what God told him to?  Yes, he left as the Lord had told him to.  Where did he go?  Canaan, a place we hear about in lots of Bible stories.  Does anyone know what Canaan is called in today’s world?  Israel or Palestine.   When Abraham arrived at Canaan what happened?  God appears and says that he will give this land to Abraham’s offspring, or children and children’s children.  Who lives in Israel and Palestine today?  The Jewish people who are the offspring of Abraham live there today.  Non-Jewish people live there also.  God kept his promise.  What did Abraham do then?  He built an altar to worship God for being so good to him.  This is a good example for us.  When God keeps his promises to us, we should worship him too. 

 

Application:  

1)     The puppets can already be out on a table.  Let the children line up to choose a puppet.

2)     If the group has not worked with puppets, you can allow a few minutes of practicing. 

  1. Ask the children to divide into pairs. If there is an odd number, a group of three will be fine. 
  2. Have one of the pair do the action or emotion that you suggest and the other person watch.  Instruct the “watchers” to make any needed suggestions such as, “make bigger movements with the puppet”, “do not turn the puppet’s head so much”, etc. Examples of things you can practice with the puppets are:                                         

·        “Show how your puppet looks when it is speaking quietly.”                              

·       “Show how your puppet looks when it is speaking loudly”                     

·        “Show what your puppet does when it is listening.”                               

·        “Show your puppet praying.”                                                                  

·       “Show your puppet turning to watch someone come, then someone go.”      

3)     Each child will perform a short sharing monologue with their puppet.  Today they can write their own script or use one that has already been written.  (There are 12 pre-written ones—if that is not enough, let more than one child use the same script.)  If a child writes their own, the script should be between 50 and 75 words.  It should start with something that the child is praising God for—either God’s character (great, good, patient, loving, etc.) or blessings that God has given (family, friends, creation, health, etc.) and how the child is going to praise (prayer, words, song, dance, other ideas).  They can write it down or just remember what they plan to say.  Allow about 5-10 minutes for script preparation and practice.

4)     Have each child perform the script.  It can be done behind the stage or among the crowd, whatever the child is comfortable with.  Try to get them to speak loudly enough to be heard.  If not, please repeat the main ideas of what they are saying.  Children can perform by volunteering or by leader choice of the most well-behaved or whatever method you want to use.

5)     If you encounter children that do not read well, a shepherd or workshop leader can read for them, giving them the lines a phrase at a time. 

6)     When everyone has finished, have the children line up to put their puppets away.  (If children are playing with puppets instead of listening, have them put the puppets on the floor unless it is their turn to perform.)

 

Wrap-up:

If you still have time left, review the concepts covered and ask whether there are any questions. 

 

Reflection Time:

  1. About 10:35 a.m. or when you have finished the skits, ask the shepherds to pass out the journal sheets and pencils/markers.  Ask the children to draw a picture for the story—it can just be of one small part of the story.   The workshop leader(s) and shepherd(s) can help parents by writing a caption on the picture.   
  2. Remind the children their offering will go to the Peacemaking offering.
  3. At 10:45 a.m., ask the students to close their journals and sit quietly for prayer.

 

Closing:

Prayer:  Close with prayer.  Write your own or use this example.  Thank you God for choosing Abraham.  Thank you that through Abraham we have all been blessed by your presence in our lives.  Show us the blessings you have planned for us and help us to worship you in the way that you like because you are a great and good God.  It is in the name of Jesus Christ that we pray.

 

Tidy and Dismissal: Ask children to help clean up as they wait for their parents to arrive.  Close/lock the door and turn off the lights.

 

Who Should Read the Bible in Class:

 As the writer of this lesson and also as a Faith Quest teacher, I strongly encourage you, the workshop leader, to read the Bible passage yourself and only after practicing it before your first Sunday. 

 

Catherine Devins, who helped Rev. Joan McCarthy bring the workshop rotation to the Kirk, suggests that “the workshop leader be sure to prepare a reading with emphasis and energy and excitement as appropriate.”  Drawing from personal experience, she says, “When I teach, I do the reading and ask the kids to follow along. Often I set up the story in an animated way, then read with as much drama as I can get away with.”

 

Teacher preparation in advance:

 

1.      Prayer is always a great way to start.  Pray for God to use you to teach what He wants taught during this workshop and scripture passage.  Pray for a loving and patient attitude toward the children.  Pray for time management during the workshop. 

2.     Read the scripture passages and attend the Faith Quest Leaders Bible.

3.     Please practice reading the scripture passage out loud several times.  Make several copies of the script and cut them into individual scripts. 

4.     Have paper and pencils for the script-writing children. 

5.     Prepare a closing prayer.

6.     Journal pages will be provided at the Bible Study or the first Sunday of the rotation.

 

Materials:

Copies of the script

Paper

 

References:

Notes supplied by Lori Houck for curriculum writers' Bible study in March 2004.


 

SCRIPTS

 

 

Puppet1:  “I think God has blessed me by giving me a nice backyard where I can look at nice trees and listen to birds and watch squirrels run around.  Thank you God for making all of these nice things.”

 

Puppet2:  “God has blessed me by giving me a mother and father that I love who take good care of me.  I am going to pray to God and thank him for my parents.”

 

Puppet3:  “I think God is very powerful and good.  I like to sing ‘My God is an Awesome God, he reigns from heaven above, with wisdom, joy and love, my God is an awesome God.’  I sing that song a lot.”

 

Puppet4:   “I heard about people in other countries that don’t always have enough to eat.  That makes me thankful that there is always lots of food in my house, and my family feeds me meals and snacks to keep me from ever getting hungry.  I either sing or say a blessing before every meal to thank God for my food.”

 

Puppet5:  “When I am on a camping trip, it is so quiet—just my family, and trees and sometimes a creek.  I like to sit outside in a chair and just feel the quiet and think about God.  Maybe I’ll hear his voice telling me something to do some day, like he did to Abraham.”

 

Puppet6:  “I like my Bible.  The Kirk gave me a Bible, and I like to read it and try to get to know God better.  I keep my Bible by my bed, and I read a story every night before I go to bed.  I think it is helping me understand and be thankful for God.”

 

Puppet7:  “My mother likes to listen to Praise CD’s.  There’s a song I really like about someone trying to imagine what it will be like when they see Jesus in person for the first time.  The person doesn’t know whether they will be able to say anything to just say ‘Hallelujah’ or will feel like dancing or what Jesus will look like.  It’s a really special song, so I like to listen to it and imagine the same things myself.”

 

Puppet8:   “My grandfather reads me Psalms from the Bible.  Many of them are about how great God is.  Psalm 136 is a list of all sorts of things that God did for the Israelites and after each thing it says, ‘His love endures forever,’ because that’s the reason God does all these things.  Then my grandfather asked me to list all the things God has done for me, and we say after each one, ‘His love endures forever.’  I usually mention that God gave me my grandfather—my grandfather likes that!”

 

Puppet9:  “I pray to God during the day to thank him for good things that happen.  My mother says I need to thank him for everything because sometimes the things we aren’t so happy about actually turn out to be the best thing that could happen.  One time I had to stay home from the circus, but then my best friend who had moved away called me long distance, and I would have missed her call if I hadn’t been there.”

 

Puppet10:  “I come to church and learn about God during FaithQuest.  Then I go with my parents to the worship service.  Sometimes I don’t understand what the adults are talking about, but I still enjoy being there because it is one way that I worship God.” 

 

Puppet11:   “I made a pledge to the Kirk this year.  I am giving 10 cents every week.  My money will help the Kirk pay for worshipping God, teaching us the Bible and taking care of other people who need help.  I think that is how I worship God—by helping to pay for these things.”

 

Puppet12:  “When I am at home, I try to be obedient.  I try to do what my parents tell me to do.  Sometimes I don’t always want to do what my parents tell me, but my parents tell me that God wants me to be obedient.  I think maybe God will bless me for being obedient, just like he blessed Abraham for being obedient and going to Canaan like he told him to.”