The Gift

Scripture: Genesis 1-2:4b.

Bulletin-TL 09-29-2019 Creation

Author’s note: I am departing from the RCL today to offer an intergenerational Godly Play inspired story retelling the beginning of Creation. The following lesson plan, based on the original found in Young Children and Worship, by Sonja Stewart and Jerome Berryman, is intentionally modified for intergenerational formation in the context of an all-church Sunday worship.

Let us pray: Here, O Lord, we come before you to retell a story of long ago; may your Spirit guide us into greater understanding and joy in the life we live with you.  Amen.

What is the best gift you have ever received?  Was there ever a time you received a gift that was alive?  Respond to comments. All of these gifts are wonderful presents.  Some of them have responsibilities attached to them, like a new pet – or a new baby, a new Mom or a new Dad, or a new teacher.

Did you know that there are some presents so big that it’s hard to notice them?  So big they are hard to see?  I’d like to tell you a story about one of those kinds of gifts. To tell it, we have to travel very far back in time to the beginning…or I suppose just before the beginning.

In the beginning, the bible tells us God hovered over the face of the deep. I wonder what the “deep” was?  I wonder how God hovered? Do you have any ideas?

In the beginning, God hovered over the face of the deep. Slowly unroll deep blue felt underlay.

In the beginning there was…nothing.  Except, perhaps, a great big invisible smile bubbling up from a heart full of love. Trace a smile and a heart on the underlay.

Take out the first light/dark tile. Then on the first day, God gave the gift of light.  Place tile on underlay, to your right, face up to everyone else; place your hand on the dividing line and move it over the light when you say light, dark when you say dark. So now there is not just darkness, but there is light and dark.  This kind of light isn’t like a light bulb or a lamp, or a city glow on the horizon, this gift is the light that all light comes from.

When God saw the light, God said, place hand flat over the tile, as if to bless it, “It is good.” And that was the first day. Lean back and wait a moment before moving to the next tile.

Take out second tile, placing it left of the first. On the second day, God gave us the gift of water. This gift is not just the gift of water in a glass on a hot day, or the gift of a bath or shower to get clean in, or even the gift of oceans, rivers, or streams.  This gift is the gift of all of the water that is water.  This water is the water that all the rest of the water comes from.

Trace the white arc on the tile. This is what the bible calls the firmament. For ancient peoples, it separated waters above from waters below.  For us, it symbolizes the beginning of the water cycle.  Are you familiar with the water cycle?  Respond to comments. This, too, is a part of God’s great gift of water. Briefly teach it if no-one responds: God’s gift of rain comes down from above to join the waters below.

When God saw all the water, indicate both above and below the firmament, God said, again, touch the tile with a flat hand, as if to bless it, “It is good.”  And that was the end of the second day.

Lay the third tile down to the left of the second. On the third day, God gave us the gift of the dry land.  Place your hand on the dividing line between water and land; indicate both sides as you speak: God divided the water and the dry land, and gave us the gift of green and growing things. Do you have a favorite green growing thing? Respond to comments. When God saw the dry land and the green growing things, God said, again, touch the tile with a flat hand, as if to bless it, “It is good.” And that was the end of the third day.

Take out the fourth tile and place it to the left of the third. On the fourth day God gave us the gift of the day and the night.  God gave us a way to count our days. Point to the lights as you identify them. Here is the great light that rules the day, the sun; and here are the lights that rule the night, the moon and the… (stars). When God saw the day and the night, our way to keep time, God said, again touch the tile with a flat hand, as if to bless it, “It is good.” And that was the end of the fourth day.

After God’s gift of green and growing things had been given, the earth began to have air for other gifts of life to breathe. After the gift of the day and the night, touch each creature as you speak about them, God gave us the gift of all the creatures that fly in the air.  Not just birds but all flying creatures. And God gave us all of the creatures that swim in the water.  All of them. When God saw all of the creatures that fly and all of the creatures that swim, God said, again, touch the tile with a flat hand, as if to bless it, “It is good.” And that was the end of the fifth day.

Take out the sixth tile and place it to the left of the fifth. Touch the creatures as you name them. On the sixth day, God gave us the gift of all creatures that creep upon the earth: the creatures that walk with two legs, like you and me, and all the creatures that walk with many legs.

When you speak of each gift and each day, move your hand over each tile. When God saw the creatures that walk with two legs and the creatures that walk with many legs and all the gifts of the other days, God said, touch the sixth tile like a blessing, “It is very good.” And that was the end of the sixth day.

Take out the seventh tile place it to the left of the sixth. On the seventh day God rested and gave us the gift of a day to rest. As you say “all the other days,” sweep your hand across the whole line of tiles. As God rested and as we rest, we can remember the great gifts of all the other days.

Point to the seventh tile. There is nothing here because people go to different places to remember the great gifts. You can put something here to show your favorite place to remember.  It might be in your back yard by a tree, in a church, or in your room.  It might be in the mountains or at the coast or by a lake.  I don’t know where your place is.  Only you know.

What I do know, is that this day is so special, that sometimes Christian people mark it with a cross. Draw an invisible cross on the tile. Jewish people mark their special day with a star, the star of David. Draw an invisible star of David, two interlocking triangles for a six-pointed star.

Now, pointing to each tile as you speak: I wonder which one of these days you like best?

I wonder which day is the most important?

I wonder which day you are in or which one is especially about you?

I wonder if we can leave out any one of these days and still have all the days we need?

Think of an “I Wonder” question you want to ask, and ask your parent, grandparent, or neighbor sitting next to you.  Then ask them to share their “I Wonder” question with you.  After you share, we will pray together and then we will sing together.

About Scottrick

Parent ~ Pastor ~ Poet ~ Author
This entry was posted in Christian Education, Conversation Starters, Inspiration. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s