Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Ark and the Temple

Hi Godly Play Teachers!
Welcome to the Ark and the Temple, the Godly Play story scheduled for this Sunday, November 13.

For a girl who could spend days moving furniture and little people around a dollhouse, I simply adore this lesson! I also love it because it explores the idea of God's abiding presence and helps us question exactly where God is. Where can we meet God? If it is in a church or temple, how do we keep that space sacred? If God truly meets us everywhere, anywhere, then what does that say about the sacredness of the space we occupy in our everyday lives? Which makes me think of a favorite song of mine, but that's another story. (Go here, if you want a treat!)

This story works wonderfully as a continuation of last week's story, The Ark and the Tent. Before, the people took the tent with them as they traveled, and learned that God goes with them wherever they go. Now, the people have settled and learn that God is not only present during times of transition but in ordinary times of daily life.

Another interesting theme to address is the idea of the usefulness of things in the worship of God. When the ark and the commandments were taken during battle and they didn't physically have them in the tent, were they really lost? When King David returned them, dancing into Jerusalem, what was he really celebrating?

Another very important theme to cover is that there is no physical place that can contain God. I'll have Solomon's temple dedication prayer typed up and in your room by Wednesday night this week. If you'd like to make it into a scroll to read during the lesson, as the script suggests, feel free. I believe we have some dowel sticks in the resource room. Balling up the paper and staining it with tea makes it look older and makes for a more dramatic presentation, if you like.

One other thing I didn't mention last week was the idea of making/offering sacrifices. Do we still offer sacrifices to God today? What kinds of sacrifices would God love? What kinds are important and why?

Some activity ideas to add to your own...

Pieces of the temple
A few of the classes began last week making special parts of the temple/tent. You could continue that this week, and you could even set up the items in a temple of your own making.  Kids could make an ark, the ten commandments, a table with 12 pieces of bread, a menorah, a laver, and an altar. (See all the ideas and photos here.)

*Cindy has incense in the fifth grade room for your kids to experience if you'd like to. 
Visit the temple
Also, remember that the fives class constructed a temple over a period of weeks last year. It might be fun to go visit it (in the last room on the left of the hall.) Could your class reinact the temple dedication? Or place your menorah, insense burner, table of bread, and ark of the covenant inside. Does it have a laver (bowl to wash hands) or an altar for the offering of sacrifices?

Make a temple
Could we make a temple out of a shoe box? (I've got several, let me know if you want them.) Or maybe draw a temple? Make one out of lego? (There's plenty of lego in the resource room.)

Make a scroll with Solomon's Prayer
Depending on the age of the children, you could have them copy the prayer (or use a preprinted version), ball it up and then smooth it out, dye it with tea, and attach dowel sticks.

Research and draw/paint a priest in Solomon's temple
I've got a good book that illustrates the kinds of garments priests of that time wore. Some children might enjoy discovering that and reproducing it in some way.

Have fun with the lesson, y'all! And please take photos if you want. I'll have a camera in my office to borrow.
Thank you for all you do!

1 comment:

  1. Another idea for gift-to-God/art time is to draw/paint/collage where you find God today.