Story One: The Children who wore God's Word

By Barry McWilliams
Lesson One: God gave us His word to be used
Bible Text: Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Teaching method: Participation story

Teaching aids - You will want some "Phylacteries": Scriptures to tie on forehead (headband); wrist (armbands) and "mezuzah" for the "door posts". You should tell the story wearing these.

You should also prepare some headband and wristbands for the the children to wear as part of the lesson. In a larger group, use several "volunteers", putting on their "phylactries" as you introduce the lesson.

Christian plaques or T-shirts or bedroom door "mezuzah" might be appropriate crafts to go along with the lesson as well.

Lesson Outline:

Silly customs
Persistent reminders
Forehead - eyes and mind
Hands - what we do
Doors- where we go
God's Word in our hearts - a better place
Talking, walking and going to bed

Introduction:

Why do we wear green on St. Patrick's Day to avoid being pinched?
Why do we play tricks on April Fool's Day?
Why do we carve pumpkins and wear funny or scary costumes on Halloween?
Why do we decorate Christmas Trees or have Easter Baskets?
[Let the children speculate a little.]

All these are customs which we do. Many of our holidays were originally "Holy days", now we just do them for fun or to make a day special. Most people don't remember why they do the silly things they do on holidays.

In other lands, people do other silly things. The Chinese shoot firecrackers on New Year's day. The Japanese fly kites on Boy's day.

Transition:

And God's people wore these silly headbands and wristbands. In the Bible, God gave a special custom to the Jewish people. It was a custom to do all the time, not just on special days. They were to tie verses from the Bible onto their foreheads, and on their hands. They were to nail it on the sides of their doors and on the gates of their fences.

We read this in the Bible: [Read Deuteronomy 6:1-9, 25 aloud slowly to the Children]

They must have looked silly. Why did God want them to do such a silly thing as wearing God's Word in little boxes tied to headbands and bracelets?
[Give the children opportunity to make suggestions. ]

Main Body:

God wanted to remind them to think about what He has said. The headband reminded them of God's commandments and the importance of reading, thinking and meditating on them. The Arm bands, just like when sometimes we tie a string around our finger to remember to do something important, reminded them to do what God desires us to do and has asked us to do in His Bible.

[As you are telling the children about these, you may want to give examples from verses written on your own or the children's headbands and bracelets. Use verses with application to children's needs and concerns.]

And as they went out or came in their doors and gates, they were reminded that everywhere we are, we are to honor God.

But there is a better place to put God's word than on a headband or bracelet. The best place is to write it on our hearts.

[You may want to illustrate this by acting out someone who can't remember why a string is on his finger, etc.]

He wanted them to think about the Words of the Bible when they got up in the morning and when they were eating and when they were going to sleep. In other words, all the time. He wanted them to think about the Bible when they were going places, and when they came home. He wanted them to read and teach the Bible to their children.

God has given His Word to you for you to use. God wants us to think about His words all the time. He wants us to know how important His words are. They tell us what He is like and how we are to serve and obey Him.

Thus we learn the Purpose of the Bible God has given to us (vs. 2): It helps us to fear God as long as we live [explain what "fear" means - "to respect, worship, obey, honor", just as we "fear" parents, teachers, policemen, etc.]...and to enjoy a long life. (The best way to live and be happy is to live the way God has shown to us in His Word.)

God's Book tells us that we are to love Him more than anything else. It tells us about Jesus, His Son, who died for our sins. He wants us to know it so well His words are written on our hearts.

Some Jewish boys and girls still keep this custom of wearing God's words. And we can keep it too. Not by actually wearing verses, (though we could on Tee Shirts), but by reading and thinking about the Bible every day.

Choosing the right type of Storytelling method:

  1. NARRATION: Narration is best when the stories are simple with familiar elements

  2. PARTICIPATION: To get children more actively involved with the story or to fix certain elements of it in their minds. Participation may be verbal using "chants" (the children repeating after the leader); or in the children "acting out" portions of the story; or having a "conversation" with the children as you tell it.

  3. VISUAL AIDS: Best when the story includes unfamiliar elements or the stories are more complicated. Sometimes a picture is worth a 1,000 words. Be careful that visual aids do not distract attention from the story. Keep interest through anticipation of what will be seen next.

  4. CHARACTER STORIES: (Focused on the storyteller or a puppet as a character) These are best where vicarious involvement or role-playing will help deliver the point or to express inner thoughts and the thinking process.

  5. DRAMATIC: Best for illustrating application or where multiple characters have significant roles.

© 1991 Barry McWilliams and Mission Church Fellowship, Hypertext Version © 1996 Barry McWilliams
This Curriculum may be downloaded, copied and used with permission of the author
by any Church or Christian Organization - Donations accepted.
For Permission and other information contact Barry McWilliams at eldrbarry@eldrbarry.net

This page is: http://www.eldrbarry.net/vbs/1/wordstr1.htm


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