Moses and the Burning Bush
Scripture: Exodus 3:1-4:17 with emphasis on Exodus 3:11-12, 4:1-5 and 4:10-17
Memory Verse "I will be with you always, even until the end of the world" (Matthew 28:20b).
Concepts: We don’t have to be perfect to do God’s work.
God can call us anywhere, anytime, for any reason.
Objectives: This workshop will focus on helping children understand that anyone can be called by God to do a job for God. The person who is called may feel completely inadequate for the task, but the Bible story makes it clear that God provides help for the person to complete the task. God clearly and specifically called Moses. Moses tried to deny the call and even begged God to let someone else do the job. But God was firm—God would help Moses and Moses could do the job even though he felt inadequate for it.
Welcome and Introductions:
1. Greet the children and introduce yourself. Remember you are interacting with a different group of students each week that may not know you.
2. Tell the children that today they will use the puppets to learn more about being called by God to help do God’s work in the world.
1. This is a very long reading—too long for most children to benefit from hearing the entire story read from the Bible. For the first two weeks of the lesson, a children’s Bible storybook might be helpful for retelling the story. Some possible titles are "The Children's Bible in 365 Stories" or "The Family Story Bible". Another option is to retell the story in your own words.
2. After reading/telling the story—or on the third-fifth weeks of the rotation when the children are already familiar with the story, begin a discussion of it with the following questions.
· Was Moses expecting to be called by God? —No, he was very surprised. He was just tending his sheep when he discovered the burning bush.
· How did Moses respond to God’s call? ---He was very reluctant to take on this job. He did not feel adequate to speak to Pharaoh and to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. Help the children remember or find in their Bibles that Moses tried four different times to tell God that he couldn’t do the job. These are found in Exodus 3:11, 4:1, 4:10 and 4:13.
· Did God accept Moses’ reasons for not becoming the leader? —No. Each time Moses told God why he couldn’t do the job, God answered that God would help Moses.
3. Continue the discussion with questions similar to the following:
· Does God still call people to do jobs? Answers will vary, but suggest that indeed God needs people to help others. God is not present physically, so God calls people to do God’s work in the world.
· What kind of jobs does God call people to do?—Again answers will vary—but certainly jobs of healing, peacemaking, preaching, encouragement, teaching, sharing kindness, and such should be included.
· Who does God call to do these jobs? When does God call people to help? Does God call children to help? For these questions, allow the children to say whatever seems appropriate and do not provide much feedback or your own opinion. Tell them that the puppets today will help give some answers to these questions, too.
1. Divide the group into two groups of eight. Adjust the groupings for the numbers of children. One part (Mr. Howard/Dad) is very small (one line) and could easily be read by the workshop leader, shepherd or two parts read by one child. Alternately, there is a one-line introduction. The same person who reads the introduction could also read Mr. Howard.
2. Give puppets to four children in each group and give scripts to the other four.
3. Allow the children a few minutes to decide who is manipulating which puppet and to read over the script.
4. Have the first group come to the stage to perform their script.
5. Repeat with the second group.
6. After both groups have done the script, ask the class to put the puppets away and sit down for a time of discussion
1. It seems the similarities between the play and the Bible story are obvious and should not require much discussion. But if you feel children have not grasped the similarities, spend a few minutes highlighting them.
2. Repeat the earlier questions:
· Does God call children to help?---Certainly! Children can be very helpful to God.
· When might God call you to help?---Anytime, anyplace.
· Will you always feel you are capable of helping?--- No, not necessarily.
· Will God help you do the job you have been called to do? Certainly—just like God provided help for Bradley, Christopher, and for Moses. God gives us help, too.
1. For the younger children (first and second graders) ask them to write the following title on their page. “I can help God.” Then ask them to draw a picture of themselves doing something helpful for someone else.
2. For older children ask them to write a list of at least four things they can do to help God. If children are having trouble with this—you could narrow the focus by asking what jobs they could do to be helpful for others at school, at church, or at home.
Prayer: Close with a simple prayer about being open to God’s call to help others even when we feel we can’t do much. Thank God for giving us the ability to do the jobs God asks us to do.
Tidy and Dismissal: Ask children to help clean up as they wait for their parents to arrive. Put pillows behind stage area. Put away boom box, workshop bin, etc.
Teacher preparation in advance:
1. Read the scripture passages and attend the Faith Quest Leaders Bible Study, Sunday.
2. Make 10 copies of each script.
3. Highlight the scripts so there are two for each part. The extra two copies can be posted behind the stage or used by the workshop leader or shepherd.
4. Prepare a closing prayer.
5. Check out the room before your first Sunday workshop so that you know where everything is located.
6. Bring a CD or taped music for background music while you are gathering, along with meditative music for reflection time.
I CAN’T DO IT!
STAGE NOTE: Have the Mrs. Norris puppet and the Bradley and Christopher puppets on opposite ends of the stage at the beginning. It should seem as if Bradley and Christopher couldn’t see Mrs. Norris.
INTRODUCTION: Mrs. Norris lives alone and is 80 years old. Every morning she takes a walk through her neighborhood. (Workshop leader or shepherd can read this)
MRS NORRIS: (WALKING ALONG LOOKING ALL AROUND) “This is a lovely day for a walk. It’s so good I can get out. I’m really lucky.” (MRS NORRIS SUDDENLY FALLS TO THE GROUND) “Oh, no!!! What have I done? My leg hurts!! I must have tripped. (STARTS TO CRY) I can’t stand on my leg! How can I get home? What will I do? HELP!! HELP!!”
BRADLEY: “Do you hear something, Christopher?”
CHRISTOPHER: “Yea, sort of. It sounds like someone crying.”
BRADLEY: “Let’s get out of here. We can’t help.”
CHRISTOPHER: “Yea, we’re only kids. What if it’s something bad?” (TURNS MOVES IN THE OPPOSITE DIRECTION FROM MRS. NORRIS)
MRS NORRIS: “HELP! Someone PLEASE help me!”
BRADLEY: “Oh man, I hear it again. We got to get out of here.”
CHRISTOPHER: “Oh, I don’t know, Brad. Whoever it is sounds like they really need help.” (PUPPETS STOP MOVING AWAY)
BRADLEY: “I’m afraid to help. What if it’s a stranger?”
CHRISTOPHER: “Well, maybe we can knock on somebody’s door and get some help.”
BRADLEY: “I wish I had my Walkman on so I couldn’t hear anything. I don’t like this at all.”
MRS. NORRIS: “HELP! PLEASE!”
CHRISTOPHER: “Come on. We got to see what is going on.” (MOVING QUICKLY TOWARD MRS. NORRIS)
MRS. NORRIS: “Oh, boys, I’m so glad you’re here. I fell and I can’t get up. Help me!”
BRADLEY: “We can’t do anything. You’re a grown-up and we’re kids. This is no job for us. I got to get home. I’m sure my mom is missing me.”
CHRISTOPHER: “Ok, listen, Brad, we can’t leave her here. You go home if you want, but how ‘bout telling your mom to get over here right away? I’ll stay here ‘til you get back.”
BRADLEY: (TURNS TO GO--MUMBLES TO HIMSELF) “Doesn’t that lady have a cell phone? Can’t someone else help her? I don’t want to do this.”
CHRISTOPHER: (TO MRS NORRIS) “My name is Christopher. I’ll sit here while Bradley talks to his parents. I don’t think I should try to help you up. Say, are you cold? Want my jacket? Want to lean back against the tree? That might feel better.”
MRS. NORRIS: “Thank you, Christopher. I really want to get up and walk home. I feel so silly sitting here, but my leg really hurts.”
(THEY SIT QUIETLY FOR A FEW MINUTES UNTIL BRADLEY AND HIS DAD COME ALONG)
CHRISTOPHER: “Hey, Brad, I knew you’d help in the end. Thanks for bringing your dad.”
MR. HOWARD: “Let’s see if we can get you up. The boys and I know the fireman’s carry from Boy Scouts, so if you can’t walk, we can still carry you. You’ll be doing much better when you don’t have to sit under that tree anymore.”
MRS. NORRIS: “Thank you SO much. My prayers were answered!”