Updated: Jan 31
This is the third installment in a series of posts giving you acting and activities ideas for the lessons in the Jesus Storybook Bible (JSBB) by Sally Lloyd-Jones:
The Present (Abraham & Isaac):
Something to act as a present - You could wrap an empty box or just gather a gift bag and piece of tissue.
Blankets that Abraham and Isaac use to cover them when they sleep
Sticks, Lincoln Logs, or Legos to use to “build the altar”
A plastic knife, and a bowl (which you will pretend has burning coals in it)
A stuffed animal to act as the ram that was caught in the thicket
Assign acting roles: Abraham, Isaac, God
Instructions: Ask your children if they know what the wrapped box is? Explain that is is a gift. Explain that one of the ways that God asked the people who followed Him to show that they loved and appreciated Him was by giving animals to Him instead of using it for food for their own family or selling it to make money. It is hard for us to understand because most of us don’t raise animals like the Israelites did; we buy our food at the grocery store and have other jobs instead of farming. God would ask them to kill the animals right before they gave it to Him. Explain that God asked a really, really hard thing of Abraham,; He asked him to give his son as a present and to put him on the altar. Have the God character ask, “Abraham, I love you and want you to show your love for me by giving me your only son, Isaac, who you love, as a present.” Direct Abraham to say, “God that is a really hard thing of you to ask me. I waited for this son for so long. I love him, but I love you more. I don’t understand this, but I will trust you and obey you.” instruct Abraham to tell Isaac, “We are going to leave early tomorrow morning to travel to a mountain to worship God. Let’s go to bed early to get some rest for our journey.” Guide Abraham and Isaac to lie down and pretend to sleep with blankets.
Direct Abraham to pretend to wake up Isaac and have Isaac stretch and yawn and say, “I’m sleepy.” Instruct Abraham to put the sticks, Lincoln Logs, or legos on the back of Isaac and say, “Isaac, please carry this; I am too old to carry this on our journey.” Have Abraham carry the plastic knife and bowl with the “burning coals”. Have Abraham and Isaac pretend to climb a steep mountain. Explain that it was a long walk and they were tired.
Instruct Abraham and Isaac to speak the dialogue on the top of page 65. Then, guide them to build the altar from the building materials you have on hand (sticks, Lincoln Logs or Legos). Instruct Isaac to climb on the altar, if it is big enough. Guide Abraham to pretend to tie Isaac to the altar. Make sure to have Isaac not struggle or try to run away as Abraham does this. Ask your children if they think that would have been hard, to obey and be tied to the altar? Ask your children if they think Isaac was scared.
Instruct Abraham to take the knife and begin crying. Instruct Abraham to say out loud, “God this is so hard!” Have him hold up the knife and be shaking his hand as he lifts his hand higher and higher into the air. Direct God to yell out, STOP!” and say the dialogue at the bottom of page 65. Have Abraham unbind Isaac, hug him and cry with joy. Instruct Isaac and Abraham to have a nice long hug. Then, have Abraham look toward the stuffed animal and exclaim, “Look - I see a ram caught in the bushes over there; that is the sacrifice that God provided for us so that Isaac can live.” Then, have Abraham grab the stuffed animal, put it on the altar and say, “God, this is a present for You.” Instruct him to use the bowl of burning coal to light the altar and the fire. Direct Abraham and Isaac to sit around the fire and look up at the night sky.
Direct Abraham to tell Isaac, “God wants us to live and not die. God wants to rescue us; He doesn’t want to punish us. Just like we had to trust God today to provide the ram for the sacrifice, we must trust Him each day.” Then, instruct Abraham to quote the dialogue in the middle of page 69 regarding the promise of Someone who would be born. Have Abraham hold the present and explain, “God is going to give His people a present to show them He loves them. This present is a special present that will come in the form of Jesus.” Explain that Jesus did come to die for anyone who believes in Him. Jesus was God’s Son, but God did sacrifice His Son for people so that they could live forever. Jesus didn’t try to struggle or run away when God told Him He had to die. Jesus is referred to as the Lamb of God because He was the sacrifice or present that God gave so that we can live forever and don’t have to die. Jesus died so that we don’t have to.
The Girl No One Wanted (Jacob, Rachel, and Leah):
Gather supplies for making prince or princess crowns as part of the activity - can be simple with construction paper and glue or more elaborate with plastic jewels
A scrap of fabric or dish towel to use as a veil.
Dress up clothes to use for a bride
Pillow to use to stuff the stomach of Leah and Rachel
Baby doll to serve as child given to Leah
Assign acting roles: Rachel, Leah, Jacob, Laban, Officiating Pastor
Instructions: Read the section at the top of page 70 regarding Rachel and Leah. When you talk about Rachel, instruct her to flip her hair and smile when the text mentions that she was beautiful. Instruct Leah to make a sad face when the text mentions that she was not beautiful. When you read about Jacob coming to visit, have Jacob pretend to knock on the door and say, “Hello! I am your cousin; I live far away from here, can I rest here at your home since I am traveling far from home?” When Leah and Rachel let him in, have Jacob try to hide behind something and then direct Jacob to tell Leah and Rachel, “I am hiding from my brother Esau.” Explain from the text of the center of page 70 why he was hiding. Explain that Jacob wasn’t perfect and even though he had cheated his very own brother, God still kept the promise He had given to Jacob’s grandfather, Abraham, through Jacob. Explain that Jacob worked on his Uncle Laban’s farm for a long time. Then, direct Laban to come to Jacob and state the question at the bottom of page 70 and direct Jacob answer Laban, “Sure, I’d like to have one of your daughters to be my wife,” and guide Jacob to point to Rachel and then give a good, wide grin. Then, guide Jacob to state the sentence at the top of page 72 about working for 7 years. Then, announce that 7 years has passed and indicate that it was practice in the ancient world for women to wear a veil on their face which kept their groom from seeing their bride during the ceremony. Instruct Leah to dress in the wedding dress and put the pretend veil over her face. Hum the wedding march and have Leah, with the veil over her face, stand next to Jacob. Pretend to be the Officiating Pastor and say, “I now pronounce you husband and wife.” Explain that they had a nice wedding party and then went back to their tent where there was no electricity and it was dark. Then, they went to sleep. Instruct Leah and Jacob to pretend to sleep under the blanket. Ask your children if it was completely dark, if they think Jacob would be able to see that he was married to Leah and not Rachel? The answer should be no.
Instruct Jacob to sit up, yawn, and stretch and look over at his bride and scream and say, “Ah! It is you, Leah! I thought I was marrying Leah.” Allow Leah to make a sad face and begin crying softly as Jacob jumps out of bed and states, “Laban! You scoundrel,” as stated in the text. Allow Jacob to run off to find Laban. When Jacob finds Laban, Laban should state the dialogue at the bottom of page 72. Explain that back in the ancient culture, many of the people who didn’t follow God had more than one wife and Jacob did that even though that was not God’s design. Announce that 7 more years passed and then Jacob was allowed to marry Rachel. Have Rachel put on the wedding dress, and stand beside Jacob this time. Have the Officiating Pastor state, Jacob and Rachel, “I now pronounce you man and wife!” Instruct Leah to state the dialogue at the top of page 74 and make a sad face. Explain to Leah the text at the top of page 74 regarding God’s love for Leah.
Explain that Leah found out she was pregnant. Instruct the Leah actress to stuff her tummy and walk up to Rachel and Jacob smiling. Then, explain that the baby was born and instruct Leah to say, “I will call him, Judah, which means ‘will praise the Lord’ because I am rejoicing that God gave me this baby boy.” Direct Leah to cradle the baby doll and smile down at him.
Next, explain that God gave Leah a special job, he saw a princess in her. Some people looked at Leah and saw an ugly woman, but God looked at her and saw a princess whom he loved. Her child, Judah’s great-great-great grandson would be King David and Jesus, the Prince of Peace, would be his great-great-great grandson. This Prince of Peace would love God’s people and would love everyone who was not beautiful in man’s eyes. He would love them with all of His heart and be willing to die for them just as much as He loved Leah.
Set out supplies for your children to make crowns, since we learned that Leah became a princess because she was the great-great-great grandmother of Jesus, the Prince of Peace.