BIG IDEA: THERE IS PURPOSE IN THE WAITING
1) Stuck in the Mud. Choose one player to be in. All the other players scatter around. The player who is in must run around and tag as many people as they can. When tipped, a player must freeze and wait by standing with their legs and arms apart. The only way to be freed is for a non-tagged player to crawl through the tagged players legs. Players are safe while crawling under legs and cannot be tagged when in that position. The game ends when all players have been tagged and are ‘stuck in the mud’.
2) Kickstone 1-2-3. A seeker is chosen whilst the other children run and hide. After counting to 100 the seeker goes and finds those hiding. When they are caught the seeker MUST go back to their den and shout ‘Kickstone 1-2-3 (name of the person) I see you!” That child must then come and wait in the jail until someone is able to free them. If a hider can get to the jail without being caught then they can shout ‘Kickstone 1-2-3 Everybody free!” If they can do this before being caught out by the seeker then they have won.
3) Minute’s Up! Children are asked to stand up. Then ask the children to sit down when they think a minute has gone by. The child or children that are the closest to the minute is the winner.
BIG VERSE: Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD. Psalm 27:14. View powerpoint here.
SET the Scene:
Exodus 2:16-25 and/or watch the clip from ‘The Prince of Egypt’ where Moses kills the Egyptian and runs away.
SPOT the Simple Meaning:
1) GOD BROUGHT MOSES INTO A SAFE PLACE.
You will need either a picture of Nemo and his new friends from the fish tank or use the clip where Nemo is released into the tank and meets the new fish. View title powerpoint here.
Just like Moses, Nemo did something bad. He had disobeyed his father and ended up in a strange but safe place. A place where he would learn new things. In the fish tank Nemo met Gill, a fish that was similar to himself – a fish with a bad fin who could teach him how to swim better and how to stay determined even though life was a bit tougher than it was for other fish.
Moses still had a lot to learn too. He had grown up in the Palace with the Pharaoh; he knew what it was like to have a good life. However, if he was going to understand the Hebrew people – people that had been beaten and pushed down their whole lives – God knew that Moses would need to understand what life was like outside the Palace. Moses also needed a chance to get to know God for himself; he had been raised in a home full of many gods. God took him out of the situation to prepare him. He wasn’t ready to be their leader. He needed time to gain back their respect. Time to grow up.
God brought Moses into the safe place of Midian. It wasn’t a fish tank like Nemo’s (now that’s just silly!), but it was somewhere that Moses would meet new friends that would help him to grow. In Midian he met the Priest and married the Priest’s daughter. He even had a beautiful baby there too! Midian would be a place of safety and rest. A place of waiting. Away from the Pharaoh, Moses would have a chance to think about who he was and who God was.
2) SOMETIMES WE HAVE TO WAIT TO PREPARE US FOR SOMETHING NEW.
Have you ever waited for a bus? I wonder if you’ve ever starting dancing like that woman? She could have just sat or stood around bored, getting upset or annoyed that she had to wait, but she decided to make the most of it and have fun.
Now perhaps Moses didn’t feel like he was waiting while he was in Midian. Perhaps he never intended to go and help his people. We don’t know what he was thinking. Either way, he settled down and had a family, he became a shepherd and seemed to be enjoying his life. Yet he may have had the images of his people’s slavery in his head. Maybe he replayed the scenes over and over again and wondered how his people were doing and if they were still alive. He had killed an Egyptian defending one of his people after all; he did care about them. Yet it would be 40 years until he would be sent to help them. Throughout that time God heard the cries of the Hebrew people. They were waiting for God to act. Even if Moses didn’t feel like he was waiting himself. They needed someone to deliver them out of their slavery. They were sick of waiting and started to get angry at God.
Have you ever seen your parent/guardian get fed up of waiting for the green light? (show children the traffic light picture/visual that you have made) Exactly. Sometimes it can feel like it is on yellow forever! Everyone hates waiting. Yet sometimes waiting helps us to develop patience and helps us to realize that the only person that can truly help us is God. Waiting sometimes forces us to cry out to God for help. It helps us realize we can’t do things on our own. For Moses this waiting season would help him develop sheepherding skills, he was a shepherd in Midian. Just as God pictures himself as a shepherd; someone that looks after the sheep (people – thats us!) Moses would be able to understand what it was like to protect sheep from getting hurt or running away. While Moses lived as a shepherd God was preparing him for something new.
3) GOD HAS PERFECT TIMING.
Have timer for baking to show the children. Pre- make some cakes. Have some that were baked too little, some that were baked too much (burnt) and others that were just right. Get the children to taste each of them if possible. View title powerpoint here.
Even Jesus had to wait at times. Do you remember how his friend Lazarus died and he waited 3 days before he went to see him? That’s because he knew the perfect time to go and see his friend. ‘When he was dead?’ you might ask; yes! In those days the Jews believed it took 3 days for your spirit to leave your body. That means you had 3 days before you were really dead! 3 days later Jesus returned to find Lazarus totally and completely dead – even by the Jews standards! It was the perfect time for Jesus to perform a miracle and bring Lazarus back to life – showing everyone that he was able to raise people from the dead!
Sometimes we don’t want to wait. I didn’t want to wait when I was making these cakes. I just had to eat them straight away. Can somebody tell me what is wrong with the cake that I made? I only left it in the oven for 5 minutes because I didn’t want to wait the whole time… (child says it isn’t baked through). Would you want to eat this cake? (no) Why not? (it doesn’t taste good, not baked). It’s the same with us… sometimes if we rush instead of waiting for God then we just make a mess and it isn’t nice or good for anyone!
How about these cakes? I waited the whole time for these. What do you think of these? (Hopefully they taste amazing depending on your baking skills!) That’s because I waited until they were ready. I waited for the perfect time to take them out of the oven. It can be difficult to wait, but it definitely pays off… and God knows the perfect time. he is God after all! The cakes couldn’t tell me when they were done… yet God is like the baker (the Creator of each one of us) He knows when we are ready for something; He knows when the timer is done, even if we don’t!
SEARCH the Scriptures:
Have children place the bible characters in order approximately of how long they waited for things to happen. Have teams and see who comes up with the closest time frame.
Daniel – had to wait overnight in the lions den (not a long time to wait, but perhaps an unnerving place to have to wait)
Ruth – waited for Boaz to speak to her closest relative. (Ruth 3:18 – estimated a night to a few days)
Jesus – Waited 3 days until he went to see Lazarus – Lazarus was dead.
Esther – waited for a few days fasting and praying before she went to see King Xerxes
Noah – had to wait 40 days and nights inside the ark until the land appeared
Jacob – waited 7 years to marry Rachel and then had to wait longer once he had married Leah (now that’s true love!)
Joseph – waited 13 years through trials and being prison until he became a leader in Egypt
David – had to wait a around 15 years until he became king / as a shepherd boy
Abraham – waited 25 years for a child to be born to him and Sarah
Jesus – waited 30 years until his ‘ministry’ began.
Moses – waited 40 years in Midian
The Israelites – waiting for the Messiah 100s of years
The Church – waiting for Jesus’ return
Job – waited for God to end his humiliation and suffering (unknown amount of time)
Paul – had to wait around in prison cells when he was arrested until he could go out and preach again (unknown length of time)
Why do you think God makes us wait for things?
What can happen while we wait for things?
SENSE How You Feel:
Have the children create an impromptu silent skit/s (without words) on what it is like waiting for: a) a bus b) Christmas – opening your presents c) the school bell (end of school or recess) d) in a queue for their favorite shop/cafe/restaurant. Ask children to act out how this would make them feel. (Split the group up to work on individual skits if you are working with a larger group)
Children should decorate/make a CD clock with foam sticker numbers. You will need plenty of CDs, foam stickers and old alarm clock mechanics (tear apart old clap alarm clocks available at most discount stores). Decorate with optional sequins and glue.
Have children ponder what it means to wait well as they create.
Have children attach a tag to the clock that says “Dear Lord, when you ask me to wait help me to WAIT WELL. Amen”
Discuss what waiting well means.