Summary of Lesson Activities:
Children will act as characters in the story.
Ephesians 4:32 and Romans 8:28
- Read over the scripts.
- Gather the materials.
- Copies of the scripts.
Opening- Welcome and Lesson Introductions:
Welcome the children and their guide(s) to the workshop, introduce yourself, and open in prayer. Please try to start on time and end on time, and focus your attention on the children.
Post the two Bible memory verses, (Ephesians 4:32 and Romans 8:28); the children should already have their own copies. Repeat these two verses with the class before beginning to teach the lesson.
Open with a prayer.
Dig-Main Content and Reflection:
Teach the lesson. If this is the first Sunday of the rotation, most children will either not be at all familiar with the story of Joseph, or will remember parts of it. Children in grades 3 – 6 should be encouraged to open their Bibles to Genesis 41 as you start the lesson. You will need to be prepared, however, to summarize key parts of this long lesson you have prepared before this class session, and to use them appropriately for the grade level of the children. Some children will be able to read along in the Bible. If it is past the first Sunday of the rotation, you should first ask the children to tell what they already know of the story, so you will know where they need more teaching or clarification. Since you will use the story in the drama, you may need to decide how much of it you really need to teach before the drama.
Due to the number of characters in this story, it is necessary to choose only a few of the key characters for the story. We can also choose to only narrate some scenes, and to have the children act the key scenes, scenes that will seem dramatic and memorable to them.
CHARACTERS & PROPS
The following characters are essential: a narrator who can read well (possibly one of the teachers), Joseph, Judah, Simeon, Benjamin, “other brothers”, and Joseph’s servant. You will probably want to provide the following props: Joseph’s silver cup, grain sacks for the brothers, a table (possibly with legs folded up, set flat on the floor), a jail, dishes, pillows or chairs, and costumes. For the change of scenes, have an actor hold up a sign that defines the scene, such as, “Joseph’s Palace”, “Joseph’s House” or “On the Road”. The scenes in Jacob’s House will be done by narration only.
Scene I: Jacob’s House
Do this by narration only (Genesis 41:57; 42:1 - 4).
“All the countries came to Egypt to buy grain from Joseph, because the famine was severe in all the world. When Jacob learned that there was grain in Egypt, he said to his sons, ‘Why do you just keep looking at each other? Go down to Egypt and buy grain for us, so that we may live and not die.’”
“Then ten of Joseph’s brothers went to buy grain from Egypt, but Jacob did not send Benjamin, because he might be harmed.”
Scene II: Joseph’s Palace (Genesis 42:6 – 25)
(The ten brothers arrive at Joseph’s Palace. They walk in and bow down before Joseph, who is seated on a throne. The expression on Joseph’s face shows that he knows these are his ten brothers, but he says nothing at first.)
JOSEPH: (speaking harshly) “Where are you from?”
BROTHERS: “From the land of Canaan…we’ve come to buy grain.”
JOSEPH: (harshly) “You are spies!”
BROTHERS: “No, we’ve come to buy food. We were twelve brothers, the sons of one man. We are honest men, not spies. We have one other brother who remains with our father in Canaan, and one brother is no more.”
JOSEPH: “You are spies! You will be tested. As surely as Pharaoh lives, you will not leave this place unless your youngest brother comes here. Send one of you back to get him, and the rest of you I will keep in prison! (speaking to his servant) “Put these men in prison for three days!”
SERVANT: (The servant escorts the ten brothers to the prison. Have someone hold up a sign that reads, “3 days later”.
JOSEPH: (Speaking to the brothers who are again in his palace) “Do this, and you will live, for I fear God. I will keep one brother here in prison while the rest of you take grain back to your starving households. If you’re honest and if you value your lives, you will bring your youngest brother to me soon!”
BROTHERS: (Speaking among themselves, unaware that Joseph can understand) “We are being punished because of our brother, Joseph. Remember how he cried for help when he was in the pit?”
JOSEPH: (He turns away from them, covering his face with his hands, as if in tears, then gives orders to his servant.) “Fill their bags with grain, and put each man’s money back into his sack. Put the one named Simeon back in prison.”
SERVANT: (He does as Joseph has ordered, first putting SIMEON in jail, and then filling the sacks.)
Scene III: On the road (Genesis 42:27, 28)
BROTHER 1: “Look, my money is here in my sack!”
BROTHER 2: “What is this God has done to us!”
Scene IV: Jacob’s House (Do by narration only) (Genesis 42:29 – 43:14)
NARRATOR: “The brothers returned to Jacob’s house in the land of Canaan while Simeon remained imprisoned in Egypt. They told Jacob about the harsh man who treated them as spies in Egypt, and told how they were required to return to him with their brother, Benjamin, so that they could obtain grain again and so that Simeon could be freed. For a long time, Jacob refused to send them back to Egypt. Finally, when everyone was very needy of more grain, their brother Judah promised his father Jacob that his life would guarantee Benjamin’s safety. Jacob agreed to let them return to Egypt with twice the money for payment and gifts of balm, spices, nuts and honey. Jacob trusted God for their safe return.
Scene V: Joseph’s House (Genesis 43:16 – 44:2)
(The brothers arrive at Joseph’s house with their gifts and empty grain bags.)
JOSEPH: (Speaking to his servant) “Get lunch ready, and I will return at noon to eat with these men at my house.”
BROTHERS: (Speaking to the servant) “Please, sir, on our trip home we each found our money returned in our sacks. We have returned it, and also brought more to buy grain again.”
SERVANT: “It’s all right; I received your money. Your God has provided the treasure in your sacks.”
(The servant takes the brothers to Joseph’s House and seats them around the table from youngest to eldest, as Joseph had instructed him. He also brings Simeon out of prison and to the table. The brothers get ready to present gifts to Joseph. When Joseph arrives, they all bow before him and present their gifts.)
JOSEPH: “How are you? How is your aged father? Is he still alive?”
BROTHERS: “Our father is alive and well.” (The brothers bow again.)
JOSEPH: “Is this your youngest brother?” (Speaking to Benjamin) “God be gracious to you, my son.”
(Joseph hurries out of the room, covering his face, weeping at the sight of Benjamin, his own younger brother.)
JOSEPH: (Returning to the room, speaking to the servant) “Serve the food now.” (Joseph sits by himself at another table because the Egyptians would not sit with foreigners, and he was not ready to reveal his identity to his brothers yet. The servant brings Benjamin five times as much food as the others.)
(Speaking to the servant again, where the brothers can’t hear him) “Fill the men’s sacks with as much food as they can carry, and put each man’s money in the top of his sack. Put my special silver cup in the top of the youngest one’s sack.”
SERVANT: (Outside where the brothers can’t see him, he fills their sacks and puts their money in the top, and puts Joseph’s silver cup in the top of Benjamin’s sack.)
Scene VI: On the road again (Genesis 44:3 – 13)
(The brothers are traveling with their donkeys and their sacks full of grain. Joseph’s servant approaches them.)
SERVANT: “Why have you repaid good with evil? You have taking my master’s special silver cup!”
BROTHERS: “No way! We even brought back the silver we found in our sacks the last time. Why would we steal his cup? If you find it on any of us, that one shall die, and the rest of us will be your master’s slaves!”
SERVANT: “O.K. Whoever has the cup will be my master’s slave; the rest of you will go free.”
(The servant inspects each man’s sack, from the eldest to the youngest. The cup is found Benjamin’s sack. The brothers turn around and start back to the city.)
Scene VII: Joseph’s House (Genesis 44:14 – 45:10)
(The brothers come to Joseph’s house looking very upset. They throw themselves at Joseph’s feet.)
JOSEPH: “What is this thing you have done?
JUDAH: “How can we prove our innocence? God has uncovered our guilt. We are all now your slaves.”
JOSEPH: “No, only the man in whose sack the cup was found shall be my slave. The rest of you may return to your father in peace.”
JUDAH: “If he isn’t with us when we return to our father, our father will go in sorrow to the grave! I guaranteed the boy’s safety to our father; let me be your slave, and let the boy and others return to our father.”
JOSEPH: (He motions for his servants to leave, and comes closer to the brothers. Then he begins to weep very loudly. The servants hear him, but do not come in. Then Joseph speaks to his brothers.) “I am Joseph! Is my father still living?”
BROTHERS: (The brothers now look terrified.)
JOSEPH: “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt. Don’t be distressed or angry with yourselves; it was to save lives that God sent me on ahead of you. It was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me a ruler of Egypt. Now hurry back to your father and tell him I am alive, and that God has made me a ruler in Egypt. Return with your father, your wives and families, and you will live in the land of Goshen and be near me where I will provide for you.”
Scene VIII: Jacob’s House (Genesis 45:16 – 46:4)
NARRATOR: Joseph’s brothers, including Benjamin, the youngest, returned to their father Jacob’s house with many gifts and plenty of food for their families. They loaded up the carts Pharaoh had provided for their move back to the land of Goshen in Egypt with their families. Before they went, Jacob called upon the LORD. He wanted to be certain that the move to Egypt was truly in God’s will. God answered Jacob, saying, “Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you a great nation there. I will go down to Egypt with you, and I will surely bring you back again. And Joseph’s own hand shall close your eyes.” In fact, Jacob lived seventeen more years in Egypt; he lived to be 147 years old. All Jacob’s sons stayed in Egypt and raised their families there. The descendents of Jacob would not return to the land of Canaan for four hundred years, when Moses would lead them out. It was all part of God’s plan.
1. Have you ever had to move from your home to a new place?
2. What good or bad things did God bring into your life because of your move? If you haven’t moved, is there some other event or events in your life that have brought about change?
3. Has anyone ever stood up in your defense when you were accused of wrong? Tell about it.
4. Jesus took the punishment for all your sins when He was crucified on the cross. Have you asked Him to forgive your sins and to take control of in your life?
End with a circle of prayer. Be sure all who wish to pray get a turn. Remind children to return next week for their next workshop, and to bring their Bibles and a friend.
A lesson written by Gail Smith from: Silverdale UMC
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