Mary and Martha (Revised)
February 5-March 5, 2006
Memory Verse: ”Be
still and know that I am God.” Psalm
wants us to listen to God.
wants us to be considerate, patient, loving, and kind.
the best you can and don’t worry about what others are doing.
Objectives: This workshop will focus on the
attitudes that Mary and Martha showed while they were serving Jesus. Although they both intended to give Jesus the
best they had to offer, Mary listened attentively while Martha worked with
resentment. Jesus said that Mary had
“chosen the better part” compared to Martha who was “distracted by many
things”. The children will discuss that
any activity can be done with a cheerful attitude of caring or with a sour
attitude of discontentment.
the children and introduce yourself.
Wear your name tag. Remember
you are interacting with a different group of students each week that may
not know you.
the children that today they will use the puppets to talk about their
attitude when they listen and when they do their work. The Bible story today gives an example
of someone who was a good listener and someone who had a bad attitude
toward her work.
all children to find Luke 10:38-42 in their Bibles. Since this is a short passage, it is an
opportunity to add a little Bible teaching—especially for the younger
children. Points that can be
mentioned are: The Bible is written in books (Luke is the book we are
reading today), Luke is in the New Testament; it is one of the four
The Bible is divided into two big parts, the Old and
New Testaments. Each part is made up of books, which are divided into chapters
and verses. Remind them that the first four books of the New Testament are the
gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John. Show them that if they open their Bible in
the middle, they’ll usually land in the book of Psalms in the OT. Point out
that the book name is at the top of each page. After finding Psalms, if they
then take the pages on the right side and divide them in half, they’ll land
somewhere in the gospels. From there they should be able to find Luke.
workshop leader and shepherd will need to help younger children find the
passage. You can also provide some
background information: Jesus had
friends just as we do. The Bible
story we’re about to read talks about two women, named Martha and Mary,
who along with their brother Lazarus became good friends of Jesus. There are other stories about this
family. In this story, Jesus is
called “Lord” sometimes. Now read
the passage to the children.
the passage with emphasis on Mary and Martha’s attitudes. With younger children, ask the children
who had the better attitude in this story.
Also mention that we have a choice about our attitude and that
every activity—even listening--can be done with a pleasant or an
unpleasant attitude. With older
children, you can ask a few more questions, such as, what does it mean
that Martha was worried about all that had to be done? Jesus and his disciples were invited
to Martha’s house—probably for a meal, maybe even to sleep there and eat
several times with them. Martha was
probably worried about preparing food and all the other things that need
to be ready when you have guests. Have
you had guests at your house lately—either friends or relatives? Was anyone in your family having to work
a lot to get ready? What sorts of things did they have to do? Maybe
change sheets, make beds, blow up mattresses, buy extra food, make large
quantities of food, clean rooms, vacuum, etc. How would you describe Martha’s
attitude? Worried, angry, not
able to sit down and relax, maybe wants everything done, maybe likes to
direct others’ activities. How
would you describe Mary’s attitude?
Very interested in what Jesus had to say about God. Would rather hear Jesus than worry about
other things. Do you think
Martha should have talked to Mary directly about helping her? Opinion question. It is always a good idea when you
are angry with someone or don’t like what they are doing to speak directly
with them before you involve anyone else.
What would have happened if Martha had decided to sit down to listen
to Jesus as well? Things
wouldn’t have gotten done, but maybe only what was needed would have been
done, and maybe everyone would have pitched in to help when these things
were needed. Who did Jesus say
had chosen the better thing? Mary,
the one that listened to Jesus talk about God.
Younger children (1ts-2nd
the younger children into pairs and pass out puppets to each child. It does not matter which puppet goes to
the children that for this part one puppet will be the “speaker” and one
the “listener” but the “speaker” is only to pretend to talk. Both puppets should be silent and just
show their actions and attitudes without words. The puppets can actually talk
the “speaker” pretend to have a pleasant conversation without regard to
what the “listener” is doing.
the listener puppet first demonstrate “good listening”. If necessary you can clue the children
on what their puppet would be doing if it were listening with a good
attitude such as sitting quietly, looking at the speaker, paying
instruct the listener puppets to demonstrate a bad attitude for
listening. Again only give help to
the children that need it with suggestions such as having their puppets
look around at other things, turn their back on the speaker, pretend to
talk themselves, twiddle their hands, etc.
a few minutes, call the children’s attention back to you and have a brief
discussion about a listener’s attitude.
Ask them which attitude Mary had during the Bible story today.
the children that they will do a similar activity showing the puppets’
attitude toward doing a job. Each
puppet will pretend to be picking up toys.
The workshop leader could bring in small items such as Legos,
clothespins, etc., for the puppets to move from one place to another as if
they were cleaning up.
the children choose which puppet will have a pleasant attitude and which
will grumble and complain about the job.
Let them spend a few minutes demonstrating working with both a good
and bad attitude. If needed suggest
the “pleasant” puppet could whistle, talk about how nice it will be when
all the toys are put away, how he likes to help, etc. The “unpleasant” puppet could complain
about how unfair it is that they do all they work, why can’t their sister
help, how big the job is, etc.
the demonstration when you feel the children have adequately shared the
puppets’ different attitudes toward doing their jobs.
a few minutes to tie the Bible story and the puppet demonstrations
together. Ask the children which
puppet was like which Bible character, which attitude of the puppets Jesus
would like best, and what attitudes Jesus wants us to have when we are
listening and doing jobs.
Older children (3rd-5th grade)
the children to divide into groups of four (get creative if the numbers
don’t work out) and pass out two puppets to each group. All the children will be
scriptwriters. Designate half of
the groups to write a very short play (maybe 4-5 lines) about good and bad
listeners. Ask the other half to
write about working with a pleasant and an unpleasant attitude. Adults
will want to be available to help with spelling and interactions of the
- As the
groups develop their scripts, they can take turns reading and acting out the
scripts. Each group can decide
whether two will read and two will act or whether some children will read
and act while others watch. (Some
children love to perform with puppets, and some would rather watch.) Have them switch roles until everyone
has had a chance to do something they wanted to do.
- If the
children are stuck creatively, suggest that they can use the Bible story
as an example. If needed, the
workshop leader can offer some of the specifics listed above for the
younger children as ideas.
the groups enough time to plan their play, write the script and to
practice it once or twice. If
time allows and children are willing, each group can perform their play in
front of the class from the floor or using the puppet stage. At the end of each play, ask which
group showed Mary’s attitude and which showed Martha’s attitude.
discussion can easily be ended here, but if time permits, take the
discussion into the idea of “fairness” and “unfairness”. Even though it seemed “unfair” for
Martha to do all the work, Jesus did not demand that Mary make it “fair”
by helping her. Rather Jesus said
that Mary’s attitude of listening and giving her time freely to Jesus was better. Ask the children how Martha could have
changed her attitude so that she didn’t feel it was “unfair”. As needed, suggest she could have looked
at her work as a service or gift to Jesus rather than a miserable chore
she had to do alone. By
understanding that she and Mary were both giving their time to Jesus—just
in different ways—she could have felt less burdened and overworked.
(If time permits):
10:35 a.m. pass out the journal pages and pencils/markers.
10:45 ask the students to put away their pencils/markers and sit quietly
God help us give our time freely to others whether we are listening to them or
whether we are doing a job for them. Help
us have a pleasant attitude in all that we do.
Thank God for the examples he has given us in the Bible. Amen.
Tidy and Dismissal:
Ask children to help clean up. Put
pillows behind stage area. Put away boom box, workshop bin, etc.
preparation in advance:
about preparing and leading this lesson.
the scripture passage and attend the Faith Quest Leaders Bible Study.
2. Prepare an opening/closing prayer.
out the room before your first Sunday workshop so that you know where
everything is located. Optional: Bring a
CD or tapes music for background music while you are gathering, meditative
music for reflection time.