Scripture: Exodus 3:1-4:17, with emphasis on Exodus 3:1-15.
Memory Verse "I will be with you always, even until the end of the world" (Matthew 28:20b).
· We don’t have to be perfect to do God’s work.
· God gives us the ability to do God’s work.
· God is with us always.
1. Children will become familiar with the story of Moses and the burning bush by acting it out.
2. By acting and discussion children will explore Moses’ emotions as he talks to God.
3. The class will understand that God asks us to do God’s work. Even though sometimes we are scared or unsure, God is with us.
Welcome and Introductions:
1. Greet the children and introduce yourself.
2. Tell children that they will act out the story of Moses and the burning bush.
1. Have the students use their bibles to locate the scripture (Exodus 3:1-4:17). Make sure that all children are able to locate Exodus. Assist the kids having trouble.
2. Once all children have located the passage, read it together as a group. They may take turns reading or you can read it to them.
3. Discuss the passage. Explain that the Israelites (people from Israel) were forced to be slaves in Egypt. You may want to show these areas on a map or globe. The Egyptians were cruel to the Israelites and at one point even killed all newborn Israelite baby boys. Exodus 2:23-25 is a good description of the Israelite’s unhappiness. Also explain that leprosy is a skin disease which was common and feared.
1. What emotions did Moses (or would you) feel if he/you.Show me your reaction if you...
…saw a burning bush
…heard God call your name
…God told you that you would be a leader
…saw your walking stick turned into a snake
… suddenly developed leprosy on your hand
…saw water turned into blood
Discuss these emotions with children and act out your emotions and reactions.
2. Ready- Select actors (Moses and God have a lot of dialogue, if desired you can have these roles shared, one child does Moses the first half, the second child does Moses the second half, etc.) Actors: Moses, Moses’ father-in-law, Gershom (Moses’ son), God, Sheep, Aaron. One prop handler would be useful to turn on the bush, etc.
For the younger children you may want to pre-record the lines and have them add the actions or a workshop leader could play God (who has the most lines) and assist the children with words when necessary.
3. Set- Scene setup: have actors put on costumes. Set up “burning bush”. Give Moses a cane to use and make sure the prop handler knows how to turn on the bush and has the snake, white glove, and blood/water props ready. God can be behind a sheet curtain or another special place. A microphone to give God’s voice a booming quality would be nice if available.
4. Action: Start action at one end of great hall and progress through the play to the stage (mountain). Have scripts copied for each actor with lines highlighted. Remind children that italicized words in parentheses are stage directions not words to be read out loud. Encourage the children not to worry too much about the words and to take time to add emotion and action into the play.
1. What does God mean when he talks about a land of milk and honey?
2. Does Moses think he is ready to do what God has asked? Does God think Moses is ready?
Moses doesn’t think he can do it. He asks, “Who am I to go to a king?” and “Suppose no one believes me?” Then Moses says that he is not a good speaker.
God thinks Moses is ready and helps him with encouragement, showing him he can do miracles and finally by letting Moses’ brother come too.
3. Has God ever asked you to do difficult things that you feel unsure of?
Examples of difficult things God asks us to do may be forgiving our enemies, doing the right things all the time etc. We can talk to God like Moses did and he will be with us.
Ask the shepherds to pass out the journals and pencils/markers. Suggestion: You may wish to give the children a sticker or some memento to paste in their journal as a reminder of the story or activity.
Prompts for journal writing: Write or draw about the following (or another of your choosing): How do we know God is with us when we are unsure or scared? What abilities do children have to do God’s work?
Prayer: Ask for prayer concerns. Lead a prayer. Suggestions include thanking God for giving us the ability to do His work, and for being with us when we are unsure like he was with Moses in the desert. Amen
Tidy and Dismissal: Ask children to help tidy up.
Teacher preparation in advance:
1. Read the scripture passages. Prepare a closing prayer.
2. Check out the room before your first Sunday workshop so that you know where everything is located.
· Map or globe
· Burning bush
· White glove, walking stick, toy snake
· Container of water/”blood”
· Sheep costumes if desired
Moses and his son Gershom are taking care of their sheep (feeding, watering, brushing, etc.)
Gershom: Dad, why do the Israelites in Egypt have to work so hard all the time and why does the king always boss them around?
Moses: Well son, the Israelites in Egypt have been slaves of the king for a long time. It is a hard life being a slave.
Gershom: I wish they could be free
Moses: Yes, I do too.
Father-in-Law (walks over to Moses) Hi Moses, will you please take our sheep out to graze, they are running out of grass around here.
Moses: Yes, I think I’ll lead them across the desert to the mountain where it’s green.
Gershom: Bye, Dad.
Father-in-Law: Bye, Moses, Thanks.
Moses: (waves goodbye, gathers sheep and walks toward “mountain”. Approaches bush.)
Prop handler: (turns bush on.)
Moses: (holds hand up to eyes, looks into distance at the bush ) Hey look over there! What is that? It looks like a bush is burning. It is! How weird! The bush is flaming but it isn’t all burned up; I wonder why?
God: (booming voice) Moses!
Moses: (startled) Here I am.
God: Stay right there. Don’t come closer. Take off your sandals. The ground where you are standing is holy.
Moses: (kicks off sandals, hides face, trembles)
God: I have seen how my people are being treated badly as slaves in Egypt. I have heard them cry. I want to bring my people out of Egypt into a land rich with milk and honey. Now you go to the king and tell him. You will lead the people out of this country.
Moses: Me? I’m not a very good leader.
God: I will be with you.
Moses: What if I go to my people and tell them the God of your fathers has sent me to you and they ask me, what is his name? What shall I say?
God: Tell them “the Lord, God of your fathers has sent me to you”. Tell the leaders of Israel that I promise to lead them to a new and better land: they will believe you. The king of Egypt won’t let you go unless I force him to, so I will have to make some miracles. Then he’ll get mad and send you away.
Moses: What if no one believes me?
God: Throw down your walking stick.
Moses: (throws down stick)
Prop handler: (swaps snake for stick)
Moses: (jumps back, screams)
God: pick it up by the tail
Moses: (picks up snake)
Prop handler: (takes snake, hands Moses the stick)
God: Do that with your stick and they should believe you. Next, put your hand in your shirt.
Moses: (puts white glove on and brings hand out of shirt, looks at hand and is amazed.)
God: See, now you have leprosy. Put your hand in your shirt again.
Moses: (puts hand in shirt and removes glove, he is amazed)
God: These miracles will help you convince the king but if they don’t work I have one more. See that water from the Nile?
Moses: Yes, here it is.
God: Pour it out and see it turn to blood.
Moses: (turns bottle over, water is red, he is amazed) God, I’m not a good speaker, it makes me nervous to talk to a lot of people.
God: I will give you the ability to speak and I’ll be with you.
Moses: (whines) Please, please, God, let someone else do it.
God: Moses, I’m getting cross with you! Okay, I’ll let your brother Aaron help you. He will speak and you tell him what to say. Look, here he comes now.
Aaron: (waves) Hey Moses, wait for me!
Moses: Hi Aaron, guess what just happened. We have an important job to do and then we’re going to the land of milk and honey.
(Moses and Aaron walk off with sheep.)