Sept 2013 Abraham and Isaac Game/Drama

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1 Sept 2013 Abraham and Isaac Game/Drama Take Attendance Memory Verse: Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Proverbs 3:5 Review Abraham s family history: 1) Abraham responds to God s call to leave his home to travel with his wife Sarah to the land that God would show him, and where he would become the father of a great nation. 2) His long wait for a child who was not born until Abraham was 100 years old and Sarah was 90 years old. All things are possible with God. 3) The long- awaited child is named Isaac meaning laughter because his birth seemed such a laughable impossibility at the time. Ask: How do you imagine Abraham felt about his Isaac? Do you think Isaac was more important to Abraham than God was? Find the Story in Genesis 22:1-14. Have the older kids (3 rd 6 th grade) use their bibles and have them read the story. Preschool 2 nd grade: Read from pages provided 1) Play a version of the game Blind Man s Bluff called Here I am! Choose one player to be IT and one player to be Abraham. Place the blindfold on IT and gently turn IT around while all the children scatter. When IT calls out Abraham! everyone must freeze. Abraham responds, Here I am! IT tries to locate Abraham. Whenever IT bumps into a child, IT says Abraham? Abraham responds, Here I am! but the children who are NOT Abraham remain silent. When IT finally locates Abraham, another set of players is selected. During the game, the other children also participate by NOT being Abraham and standing between IT and Abraham. Play several times, but choose two new players for IT and Abraham every time.

2 Discuss what it feels like to hear God call your name. Discuss the courage needed to answer Here I am! (Tell older students the same Hebrew word translated Here I am is used to call attention to the ram in the thicket. Some translations say behold in this place to point out the ram, but the NRSV just says Abraham looked up and saw a ram. Perhaps it is God s way of saying Here I am to Abraham in the story.) 2) Play So they walked on together. Invite students to find a partner who is about the same height (or the teacher can assign partners you know best who will be willing to touch whom). Have each player stand next to his or her partner and put one arm around the partner's waist. The partners' inside legs (the right leg of the partner on the left and the left leg of the partner on the right) should be touching. Tie the partners' inside legs together with fabric strips, pantyhose, scarves, or stockings, or so each pair of children has three legs rather than four. Use two ropes (outdoors) or masking tape (indoors) to mark a starting line and a finish line. Have the players line up at the starting line. At your signal, have the players walk fast to the finish line. It sounds easy, but it takes practice to make two legs work as one! The winners are the pair of children who cross the finish line first (or perhaps the ones who fall down the least!). Discuss what was necessary to be successful in this game. Emphasize the trust and cooperation involved. Imagine again Abraham s walk with God and Isaac s walk with Abraham. Preschool after reading the story 1. Blind man s bluff game (above) with the teacher being it. 2. Using blown up balloons, give one to each child and let them play with it. Ask them to name it. After a few minutes tell them to hold on to their balloon. Ask Would it make them feel sad if we had to pop their balloon? Do they have anything that is special to them (a blanket, special stuffed toy, mom, dad)? What if you had to give me that special thing? Would it make you feel sad? Abraham didn t want to give up his son Isaac either, but he trusted that God would keep his promise of giving him a son. Let s play with our special balloons some more.

3 Sept 2013 Abraham and Isaac Lesson 3 rd 6 th grades Take Attendance Memory Verse: Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Proverbs 3:5 3 rd 6 th grades: You will be reading Genesis 22:1-18 piece by piece. Story overview: The Lord had promised Abraham that Isaac would be the son through which a great nation would come. Abraham s faith was tested when the Lord asked him to sacrifice Isaac on an alter. Through faith, Abraham was willing to obey God but an angel stopped the sacrifice. Suggested theme: We should be willing to give up (sacrifice) anything if it will help us to serve God better. Way to introduce the Story: Ask for a volunteer to be blindfolded. Tell them to open their mouth because you are going to give them something to eat. Do you trust me? What if I am giving you a yucky worm or a rotten apple to eat? Continue with this train of thought for a little while them put something very tasty in their mouth (candy, chocolate). Discuss what it felt like to trust someone when you did not know what they were going to do. Abraham trusted God even when he did not understand what God was going to do. SAY: The story begins with God asking Abraham to take his son, his only son, whom he loved and offer him as a burnt offering on a mountain. (Read v. 1-3) This is the first time the Bible mentions love between humans. This is a good place to start. ASK: Who and what do we love? How do you think it would feel to be asked to give up something you love?

4 SAY: Remember that Abraham had been promised this son, and that a multitude of nations would call him ancestor. Now it seems like God is taking back that promise. God isn t taking back the promise because of anything wrong Abraham did the story just says that God tested Abraham. ASK: Can you think of somehing you have that you don t think you could live without? (A teddy bear, a gift from Grandma, etc.) What do you think it would be like if you had to destroy that thing, or get rid of it, because of something wrong you did? (Probably they d feel pretty bad about it ) And what if, you were told you had to get rid of it EVEN IF you hadn t done anything wrong, or no one gave you a reason why you had to get rid of it? (You d probably still feel bad, but you might also feel mad, angry, confused, etc.) Why do you think God tests Abraham in this way? Have you ever been tested by God? What was that like? SAY: So Abraham has a heavy and sad heart (use whatever other adjectives the kids use in describing how THEY would feel if they were asked to give up something they loved) when he decides to obey God and take his son up the mountain. Let s see what happens next. Read v SAY: Isaac realizes that they are missing a key part of the sacrifice the lamb! Abraham doesn t really answer his son, he just says, God will provide the lamb for the burnt offering. ASK: Have you ever asked a question of an adult and not gotten a clear answer? What does that feel like?

5 Read v SAY: YIKES!!! Here the story gets really, really scary! Abraham has tied his son to the altar. I interpret this binding as a way of Abraham binding Isaac to God. Our parents bind us to God by having us baptized, by bringing us to Sunday School, by encouraging us to go through Confirmation, and by challenging us to stick with church even when it isn t always fun or easy. ASK: Do your parents ever make you do things you don t want to do? If you looked back on some of the things you ve been asked to do, do you now think it was sometimes a good idea for your mom and dad to make you brush your teeth, or go to school, or come to church, even if you didn t want to do those things? Then, just when things look scariest for Isaac, there is a voice from heaven that says, Abraham, Abraham!! What do you think is going to happen next? SAY: Let s find out! Read v SAY: WHEW!!! Isaac is going to live after all! The angel tells Abraham not to touch Isaac or do anything to him, and suddenly, there is a ram caught in a thicket that they use to sacrifice to God. (Animal sacrifice was a common way that people in the ancient world offered prayers to God. ASK: Aren t you glad we don t do that anymore?) How do you feel about the story right now? How do you feel about Abraham? Isaac? God? Let s keep reading: v SAY: In this reading, God confirms the earlier promises, that Abraham will have descendants (children and grandchildren and great- grandchildren

6 and so on) more numerous than the stars of heaven. Remember that we are Abraham s stars even to this day. Christians, Jews and Muslims all trace their ancestry to Abraham so people of all those religions are counted as his children. ASK: Does God ever ask us to do anything wrong? Do people sometimes ask us to do something that we know is wrong? What do we do when that happens? What if an adult, especially an adult you ve been told to trust, asks you to do something you think is wrong (not just something you don t want to do, something you think is WRONG)? Is it possible that God expected Abraham to resist to stand up to God and to say, Hey, this is wrong. You promised me something, you gave me that something, and now you are trying to take it away. Is it okay for us as kids to say that to grown- ups? (Here there is a right answer, and the correct answer is YES!!!!) How would the story have been different if Abraham had said no? Here are some other questions for reflection. Don t jump too quickly to them but ask what questions the kids have about the story first. This story challenges us to think about lots of questions: ASK: What is sacrifice all about? Why would God test Abraham so harshly? Would Abraham have gone through with it? What would you have done? Remind them that God does not ask parents to sacrifice their children God gives parents children so that the parents can love and protect them, and help them grow up. Also, God gives children parents to show them about love and care, and how to be faithful grown- ups. Parents and children aren t perfect, but what God wants most of all is for us to LOVE each other and to take care of each other. Use worksheets provided if need to fill time.

7 Sept 2013 Abraham and Isaac Lesson Preschool 2 nd grade Take Attendance Memory Verse: Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Proverbs 3:5 Recite the memory verse together. Say it in a high voice, low voice, baby voice, old person voice. Repeating it this way will make it more fun. After the class has done this a few times, ask for volunteers to say, sing, or whisper the verse in class. Say: Today we are going to hear a story about Abraham and his son Isaac. Abraham had a long wait for a child who was not born until he was 100 years old and Sarah was 90 years old. That is pretty old, isn t it! All things are possible with God. The long- awaited child is named Isaac meaning laughter because his birth seemed such a laughable impossibility at the time. Ask: So how do you think Abraham felt about his Isaac? Do you think he was very special to Abraham? Do you think Isaac was more important to Abraham than God was? Let s read a story about Abraham and Isaac. Read the pages provided. Say: So the Lord had promised Abraham that his son, Isaac would be the son through which a great nation would come. Abraham s faith was tested when the Lord asked him to sacrifice Isaac on an alter. Abraham trusted that God would keep his promise somehow and was patient in waiting to see what the Lord was doing. Through faith, Abraham was willing to obey God but an angel, sent by God, stopped the sacrifice.

8 We should be willing to trust God and be patient with what he has in store for us. Let s read the story again and use the flannel board to show the story. Retell the story letting the kids put the pieces on, see if they can listen for their part/piece and get it on the board. You can do this again and switch the pieces. Have them tell the story while they put the pieces on. Do you trust me? Have the kids partner up. Blindfold one of the partners. Tell them to open their mouth because their partner is going to give them something to eat. The partner has to be silent and not give them any clues to what it is. Ask : Do you trust me? What if I am giving you a yucky worm or a rotten apple to eat? Continue with this train of thought for a little while them put something very tasty in their mouth (candy, chocolate). Discuss what it felt like to trust someone when you did not know what they were going to do. Abraham trusted God even when he did not understand what God was going to do. Use the worksheets provided.

9 Sept 2013 Abraham and Isaac Art/Cooking Take Attendance Memory Verse: Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Proverbs 3:5 1 st 2 nd Grade: Read pages provided 3 rd 6 th grade: Read Genesis 22:1-18 Everyone: Edible Sacrifice (wash hands) Take the classic s more ingredients and recreate the sacrifice Abraham made. Build and alter from a graham crackers. Lay one piece of chocolate on top to represent Isaac. Explain that because God provided a ram, Isaac s life was spared. Take him (chocolate)off the alter and set him aside. Remind children that Abraham learned patience, and have them practice patience by waiting to eat the chocolate until after the lesson is finished. Place a marshmallow on the graham cracker alter to represent the ram and have the students consume the sacrifice just as God consumed Abraham s sacrifice. Allow the children to eat the chocolate after thanking God for sending Jesus to be our sacrifice. Grades 3 rd - 6 th : Love collages (this can be just a discussion of lists if group is too large) Invite the students to first make a list of some of their favorite things things they would find it hard to live without. Then invite them to find or make pictures of those things. They should come up with at least 10 items that are really important to them ( family or pets or friends can count as 1 thing). BEFORE GLUING those things on, ask students to share what they have in their list of ten. Let everyone have a chance to share. Then, ask students to take away three things from those ten and set them in a separate pile these are things they have to give up in order to keep the other 7. Ask for volunteers to share what they gave up. After students have shared this, they have to remove 2 more, leaving 5 behind. Again, ask for volunteers to share what it feels like to remove those things.

10 Then, ask them to remove 2 more things, leaving three. Then 1 more thing, leaving 2. Then 1 more, leaving one item remaining. At each point, ask students to share what the 1 thing is that remains on their list, and to share why that one thing remains. (Parents, don t be offended if family is not the final thing remaining and please don t joke about that with your children. They will not find it funny, even if you are lighthearted about it.) Also - an FYI for YOU, but not necessarily to share with the students: It is not uncommon in this activity for students to have trouble coming up with 10 things but observe that even for the students who have the hardest time getting to 10 items also have a hard time removing items. Ask students to share what this experience felt like. Even though they aren t being asked to REALLY give up those things, it sure feels like it. And it might be pretty painful. Explain that in our walk of faith, sometimes we are called to give up things that are really important to us. Abraham felt as though he were being asked to give up not only his son, but also his future, his name, etc. What do you think that must have felt like for Abraham? Do you think he felt similar to how you feel now? Fortunately for Abraham, God did not demand that Abraham sacrifice Isaac (or his name, or his descendants) just as no one is asking you to really give up these things, too! Invite the kids to glue all their 10 items on a collage and have them put their names on it! Close with a prayer giving thanks to God for all that we have, and for the gift of faith, that helps us persevere even when we are asked to give up important things. If need to fill more time, make Isaac s wood bundles:

11 Sept 2013 Abraham and Isaac Art/Cooking preschool 2 nd grade Take Attendance Memory Verse: Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Proverbs 3:5 Read pages provided Edible Sacrifice (wash hands) Take the classic s more ingredients and recreate the sacrifice Abraham made. Build and alter from 3 graham crackers. Lay one piece of chocolate on top to represent Isaac. Explain that because God provided a ram, Isaac s life was spared. Take him off the alter and set him aside. Remind children that Abraham learned patience, and have them practice patience b waiting to eat the chocolate until after the lesson is finished. Place a marshmallow on the graham cracker alter to represent the ram and have the students consume the sacrifice just as God consumed Abraham s sacrifice. Allow the children to eat the chocolate after thanking God for sending Jesus to be our sacrifice. The Ram God provided Abraham with a ram so he could keep his son Isaac. We are going to make a ram to remind us that God will give us the things we need when we need them. Hand out the bodies of the ram (heads already connected). Using glue sticks have the kids glue cotton balls on the ram; turn over and do the same on the other side. Have them use attach the clothes pin legs to the ram.

12 Coloring sheets Sept 2013 Abraham and Isaac Theater Take Attendance Memory Verse: Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Proverbs 3:5 1 st 2 nd Grade: Read pages provided 3 rd 6 th grade: Read Genesis 22:1-18 Show Movie

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