March 1 - Leader Guide Abraham and Sarah's Visitors Grades 4-5

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1 March 1 - Leader Guide Abraham and Sarah's Visitors Grades 4-5 Scripture Reference: Genesis 18:1 15; 21:1 7 Lesson Focus: We cry, we laugh, we trust in God. Gather (10 minutes) Arrival Activity Spark Resources Activity Pages. We ll have copies for you. Pencils If some kids arrive earlier than others and you need a lesson-based activity, make copies of the downloadable Activity Page and set them out for kids to try. Do you know how you got your name? Lead a group discussion using the questions at the top of the Activity Page. Today we'll talk about being good hosts and showing hospitality to all guests and strangers. We will also talk about God s promises and how we trust God. Take your class to Large Group Opening Conversation Pencils We'll be discussing Abraham and Sarah's Visitors, an episode from the Old Testament that shows us the value of hospitality and believing God's wild, extraordinary promises. What does it mean to be hospitable? Allow kids to share opinions. Those are all good definitions. Often being hospitable involves serving people sometimes it's serving food. Other times the serving involves providing a place to stay or meeting others' needs. Help kids list times when others showed them hospitality and times when they were hospitable. Allow time for sharing.

2 Opening Prayer Spark Resources None Dear God, Just as we can feed hungry guests, You feed us with your wisdom and love. Guide us as we walk back in time To the place where three visitors With wonderful news Also walked a long way to give A godly man and his wife Some unexpected good news. In your name we pray. Open the Bible Abraham and Sarah's Visitors Story Spark Resources Spark Bibles Pencils Pass out Spark Bibles. Ask the kids if they know where the book of Genesis is. Then invite them to turn to Genesis 17:1 7, 15 16; 18:1 15; and 21:1 7 on pages 17, 18, and 21 in the Spark Bible. This chronicles the story of Abraham and Sarah receiving new names, meeting and greeting three strangers, and becoming the parents of Isaac, the child God promised to the old couple. Divide kids into three groups and assign group one the verses in chapter 17, group two the verses in chapter 18, and group three the verses in chapter 21. Give each group time to read through the verses and prepare a brief summary of what happened. When kids are ready, have each group read its verses and share its summary. Here is where the promise of Abraham's journey yields some miracles, and a bit of hilarity. At the ripe old age of 99, Abraham gets a new name and a fresh promise that God will build a nation from Abraham's offspring. Then three visitors come with news that Sarah will be a mom. Like her husband, she's up there in years old enough to be a great-grandma. So when she hears she'll become a mom, how does she react?(she laughs.)then the boy is born, and he gets the name Isaac, which means "laughter." How do you think it would feel to be a dad or mom for the first time at age 100? Who knows how old your parents were when you were born? Invite kids to share responses. "Trust in God" Drawings Kids make drawings to celebrate that we cry, we laugh, we trust in God.

3 Spark Resources: None : We ll provide these for you. Art paper Markers Bandanas or other items to use as blindfolds (soft fabric headbands work well), one per kid Pencils (optional) Index cards (optional) Newspaper (optional) Watercolor paints (optional) Water and shallow containers (optional) Paintbrushes (optional) Black construction paper (optional) Set-up: Place supplies in a central location. Instructions: In today's story, Abraham and Sarah were given some interesting news from God. They learned that they were going to have a child! How did Abraham and Sarah feel about that news? (confused, doubtful) Let's think about all of the emotions and feelings we have we can be happy, we can be sad. We cry, we laugh. But we always trust in God. Let's work on an art project that will help us remember to trust in God, no matter what we're feeling. 1. Invite each kid to gather a few markers and a piece of art paper, then find a comfortable spot in the room. 2. After kids arrange their art materials, ask them to help each other tie blindfolds over their eyes. 3. Once blindfolds are on, encourage the kids to draw the Bible story of Abraham and Sarah. 4. How hard is it to paint or draw with a blindfold on? Don't peek it will be fun to see what your art looks like when you are all done. 5. When kids are finished with their art, help them remove their blindfolds and enjoy their amazing art masterpieces! 6. Find a place to display this art for the entire congregation to enjoy. Great job! Those paintings are pretty amazing. It's fun to see what you can do when you trust God in your life! We cry, we laugh, we trust in God. If you have less time... Have kids close their eyes and draw with pencil on index cards.

4 If you have more time... Cover a work area with newspaper, then invite kids to try this technique using paints instead of markers. Provide black construction paper for kids to frame or mat their paintings. Where You Off To, Stranger? Spark Resources None Dry-erase board Markers Timer Have your dry-erase board clear and ready to go, with a marker handy. Where did those visitors in the Abraham and Sarah story go after their visit? They deliver huge news to the couple, and then we don't hear from them again. I'm going to set this timer for two minutes, and in that time, let's think up as many ideas as we can for what happened to those three guys after they hit the road. Any guess is welcome, even crazy ones. Especially crazy ones. Ready? Go! Write down all the ideas kids come up with in the two minutes, throwing in a few of your own if you feel a lull in the brainstorming. When the timer goes off, stop to review the list everyone concocted. Closing Conversation None Go around the group and ask kids to share whom they most identify with in the Bible story, or could see themselves as, and why. Ask them how the story has changed their attitude toward hospitality and serving people. When we open our hearts to others, God in turn opens his heart to us and gives us all that he has. God loves to give, and in this passage from Genesis, he gives some wonderful gifts to Abraham and Sarah. With new names, they get a new child, and the profound knowledge that they'll also give birth to a nation. Do you see any parallels between this and the story of Jesus' birth? Invite kids to share their responses. Closing Prayer Chart paper

5 Marker Use a marker to write on the chart paper the three lines in italics below, and place it in the front of the room for all to see. Line nine kids up in rows of three. The first trio will lead the prayer by walking to the front of the class and reciting the first three lines. Then next group of three will read the next three lines. The third group will read the next three lines. The final lines in italics will be read by the entire class. Dear God, We thank you for Abraham and Sarah, Who were given three gifts To celebrate in their sage old age: A covenant from God as parents of a nation, The visit of strangers with amazing news of a child, And the child himself, named for the laughter he brought. We thank you for laughter as a gift, too, And the inspiration you give us to serve, Just as Abraham and Sarah did. Turning strangers into friends, Turning a covenant into a foundation For future generations Thanks be to God! Amen.

6 What s in a Name? Sarah named her son Isaac, which means laughter, because she laughed when she heard she was going to have a child. Why do you have your name? Write your name in fun letters at the top of the page. Then write down the reason for your name or a story about your name, if you know it. If you don t know any background about your name, write down what you like best about it! My name is: Grades 5-6, Abraham and Sarah s Visitors Activity Page. Spark Sunday School 2010 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. May be reproduced for local use only.

7 Wild Card Extra Abraham and Sarah's Visitors Grades 5 6 God's Slogan Kids read familiar slogans and create a commercial for God as they remember that we cry, we laugh, we trust in God. Spark Resources: Spark Bibles : Paper Pens Set-up: Write the following slogans on a piece of paper to read during class. "Get a piece of the rock." (Metropolitan Insurance) "Don't leave home without it." (American Express) "The power to be your best." (Apple) "Just do it." (Nike) "It keeps going and going and going... " (Energizer Batteries) Instructions: Gather the kids. Have kids read Genesis 18:12 on page 18 of their Spark Bibles. Why did Sarah laugh? (She thought she was too old to have a baby.) Did God keep God's promise? (Yes.) Abraham and Sarah learned that nothing is impossible for God. Life might have its ups and downs, but God is always trustworthy. Like Abraham and Sarah, we cry, we laugh, we trust in God. Let's learn about trust. 1. Read the famous slogans to the kids and invite them to guess what company/brand they represent. 2. What are these companies trying to get people to do? (purchase a product or service) What or whom do the companies want people to put their trust in? (the company or its product) 3. Have a volunteer read Psalm 146:3 4 from page 679 of the Spark Bible. Sometimes in the Bible, the word "men" really means "all people." What does the Bible say about putting your trust in men? Allow kids to respond. Whom can you trust no matter what? (God) 4. Split the class into groups of 4 or 5 kids. Give each group a piece of paper and a pen. Pretend you work for God. Write a slogan to convince others to trust in God. Try to make it memorable. 5. Have groups read their slogans. Grades 5 6, Abraham and Sarah's Visitors Wild Card Extra. Spark Sunday School 2009 Augsburg

8 Real life happens to us, just like it happened to Abraham and Sarah. We cry, we laugh, we trust in God. If you have less time... Read one or two slogans and the verse. Skip the slogans for God. If you have more time... Encourage kids to make entire commercials for God. Have groups present their commercial to the class. Grades 5 6, Abraham and Sarah's Visitors Wild Card Extra. Spark Sunday School 2009 Augsburg

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