Update on Sunday School, May 20, 2012
If anyone ever needed patience it was Abraham and Sarah. Twenty-five years had passed since God first promised to make of Abram a great nation. Now God was speaking again. Abram's and Sarai's names changed to Abraham and Sarah as a symbol of God's covenant with them. God's convenant was as everlasting convenant to be the God of a great people decscended from Abraham and Sarah. Abraham at the ripe old age of ninety-nine had a good laugh at this. This didn't seem a likely possibility. But God promised that in one year Sarah would bear a son.
Sarah was having doubts that God was going to come through with tht all-important child. After all, how can one have descendants without having children and time had, by all human standards, already run out for her childbearing years.
Hospitality in Bible times was more than a courtesy, it was a duty. Since Abraham and Sarah lived in the desert, visitors who were turned away might die of starvation or thirst. Besides, who knew when a stranger might end up being a friend or a welcome ally? When the three strangers came to Abraham's and Sarah's tent, Abraham greeted them and wound up entertaining God. The promise tht Sarah would bear a son was given again. This time it was Sarah that laughed. But God does not run by human time and the time had come for God to fulfill the promise to Abraham to make him the father of a great people.
Abraham's and Sarah's patience and obedience were rewarded. God's promise was finally fullfilled and a son was born to Abraham and Sarah. He was named Isaac, which means "laughter". Sarah rejoiced, "God has brought laughter for me; every-one who hears will laugh with me."
Patience is not a virtue that younger elementary children possess in great abundance. Waiting is pure toture for them. Help them understand that persons had to wait for God to act throughout the Bible. During this time of waiting persons almost always learned important lessons that affected them mightily. Think of the number of years persons had to wait for the coming Savior.
So in this Sunday's lesson plan will will discuss how from the very beginning God promised Abraham and Sarah that they would be the start of a new nation, one whose numbers would be almost uncountable. But Sarah was quite old. The two could not conceptualize how and when this would happen. But they trusted God and were patient. Eventually, the wonderful event did happen. We all know the story of the birth of Isaac. Having patience in waiting for God's promises is hard, because God's time is not always the same as out time. We want our prayers answered now. We want our blessings now. We want everything instantly. Help your children to develop a sense of patience. Do not always give in to children's demands for whatever they want to happen now. Teach them that waiting is a virtue.
The story will be called Wait for the Lord, the games and activities will include: dippety dip, The laughing game, gazillions of grains, surprise, surprise and finally we will be putting seads into pots and talking about the patience of watching a plant grow. We will also talk about how the seed has to sleep when the time is right. Warmth of the soil and water wake it up and it grows in its own special time. People grow in their time; animals grow in their time. Everything follows God's time.
Bible Verse: Be patient and wait for the LORD to act. Psalm 37:7, Good News Bible
Bible Story: Genesis 12:1-9;15:1-20;17:1-22;18:1-15;21:1-7.