Monday, October 28, 2013

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 3.

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?

This story works wonderfully as a continuation of the story from a few weeks ago, 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 in your room with the rest of the lesson materials. 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 extra incense in the fifth grade room for your kids to experience if you'd like to. 
"Visit" the temple
I'll have a poster of the real thing (or what archeologists think it looked like) in the Activity Room for you to visit.
While you're there, could your class reenact the temple dedication?

Make a temple
Could we make a temple out of a shoe box? (We've got tons of shoeboxes in the art resource room!) Or maybe draw a temple? Make one out of lego? (There's plenty of lego in the activity room.) First grade teachers, you have big blue Rubbermaid containers of blocks in your room. This would be a great time to use them.

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 the table drawer in the Activity Room.
Thank you for all you do!
Love, Becky

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