During this time of physical distancing, the Godly Play teachers wanted to offer families some additional tools to tell Bible stories at home, together, and to remind the children of their time together in Godly Play. Parents and guardians: please feel free to adapt these guidelines to whatever works for your child(ren) and family.
This material is intended to supplement, not replace, worshipping together as a family on Sundays. As such, the Godly Play team thought that Saturdays might be a good time for Godly Play-like story time, but feel free to do what timing works for your family. This is the first in a weekly series to come out on Saturdays.
Light a candle
Say: Long ago, God told us, “I am the Light of the World.” So, we light a candle together to remind us that God is always near to us.
Sing or listen to a song together.
This Little Gospel Light of Mine
Here’s a recording you might like to sing along with: This Little Gospel Light of Mine
Tell a story and talk about it together:
This week’s Gospel is the combination of the Palm Sunday and Passion stories:
Palm Sunday: Matthew 21:1-11
Passion: Matthew 26:14 – 27:66
Here are some options to adapt those stories to your own home:
- If your children are older, consider reading those stories together from the Bible.
- If they’re younger, perhaps you could review the stories ahead of time and then tell them in your own words about Jesus’ entry to Jerusalem and the Last Supper
- If you have a Spark Story Bible, you could read Palm Sunday (page 454) and The Last Supper (pg. 462) together
- If you prefer, there are also a couple of Youtube videos of Godly Play stories. You could watch them together as a family, or even use the videos as thought-starters to how you would like to tell the stories to your own children.
- The “Faces of Easter” stories. Circle 2 (with teachers: Judy Hinck, Larry Duncan, and Sue Browender) was in the middle of that series when worship and Godly Play were suspended. That video is available here: Note: You may want to stop the video before Jesus’ resurrection (around time 15:50) and pick that up next week for Easter.
- The story, “Jesus the King” is told in this video, and is much shorter than the “Faces of Easter” series: and may be better for younger viewers. (Though please note: the last two minutes seem to be instructions for how this parish was going to tell the story in person)
After the stories, the children often hear invitations to discussion that start with, “I wonder…” After telling the stories, try asking them:
- I wonder what there is in this room that can help us tell more of this part of the story. Look around and see if you see something you can bring to help show more of this story.
- If the children aren’t able to think of something to bring, consider inviting them into discussion with these questions, or make up your own:
- I wonder if anybody around this table has discovered who they are and what their work is going to be?
- I wonder if anyone here has come close to holy bread and holy wine?
- I wonder if anyone in this family has come close to people — especially people no one else wanted to come close to? I wonder if anyone here has told parables? I wonder if anyone around this table has ever been sick?
- I wonder if anyone here remembers their very best Easter? I wonder what the earliest Easter is that you can remember?
Close by saying the Lord’s prayer together (if the children are younger, perhaps the adults can say it and help the children to learn as they go on).
If you’d like, now might be a good time to craft or color some palms for the Palm Sunday liturgy out of paper or other materials you have at home (there is a multitude of craft ideas and coloring pages online). Or, you could go on a walk outside and find some branches that you could wave for your Palm Sunday procession. Notice other signs of spring and new life as you go.
If you’d like to continue preparing for Easter throughout the week, consider dying eggs, baking or decorating cookies, or making Easter decorations for your home.