This story fits within last week’s story of the Exile and the Return. It might be helpful to remind the children of the setting of this story. You might want to recap the story of Solomon building the temple and bridge that lesson to the Exile lesson and today’s lesson by saying something like this:
After many years of faithfully following God, Solomon began to try to please others by worshiping other gods. He wasn’t the only one who sinned against God this way. Many of the people of God began to do the same thing. They hid from God and pretended that God wasn’t there. They sometimes even worshiped other gods, like Solomon did.
After King Solomon had died, his kingdom was divided into parts. These parts were ruled by kings. Sometimes the kings and the people did bad things, and God sent them prophets to tell them what God wanted them to know.
The story script of Elijah picks up at this point.
The wondering questions that we’ll use at the end include:
1. I wonder what part of this story you liked best?
2. I wonder what part of this story is the most important?
3. I wonder what part of this story was about you- or what part was especially meant for you to hear?
4. I wonder if we ever worship other gods without meaning to– if we ever act like things or people are more important than God.
5. I wonder what this story teaches us about what God is like?
Feel free to add other questions that the children or you want to pose. I’d love to share them and the children’s responses with the parents. Thank you for taking time to write down what they say.
Idea Sparkers for Our Give A Gift to God Time
b. Draw Elijah’s altar and Baal’s altar
c. Make a raven. Find directions here for a raven out of paper plates (scroll to the Giving Raven) and out of paper bags. Scroll down further to see a raven cookie. (You could even use an oreo and a candy corn beak.–Just remember with any cooking we have to be nut free.) You could also make a raven with the children’s handprints, as shown here.
Or make a raven with origami, as shown here.
d. Make altar cookies by melting butterscotch chips and mixing in chow mein noodles, dropping them by tablespoons on wax paper. Add “fire” with red icing or sprinkles or chopped up fruit roll ups.
e. Make bread like the widow made for Elijah. You could use crescent rolls and let children shape them as they like, then bake them in the parlor kitchen.
2. Break the story into scenes and let each child or a pair of children illustrate each scene- or make something that represents each scene. (Play dough or quick dry clay could be used as well.)
a. Elijah speaks to Ahab about the temple of Baal
b. Elijah lives beside a brook and is fed by the ravens
c. Elijah and the widow who makes bread for him
d. Elijah and the two altars–and the rain
e. Elijah hiding at Mt. Horab
f. Elijah and the chariot of fire
At closing, have each share what they have created and what it means.
3. Explore how God speaks to us- not in wind or an earthquake, but in a still small voice. Children could make a collage or drawing of what they think that means. How does God speak to us?
4. Explore what it takes to be a prophet. Make a job description. Or work as a class to draw a big picture of Elijah, labeling what about him made him such a great prophet of God. (A brave heart for God’s love, a mouth that could be fed by ravens, strong legs for all the walking- and escaping the angry people!, strong arms for making an altar and digging a trench around it, ears to hear God’s small voice, a body and mind willing and able to serve God- and to join God in heaven, via a chariot of fire!
Personally, I hope someone chooses to paint Elijah in a chariot of fire. I’d just love to see how the children would illustrate that!