MAIN STORY: Abram’s call by God and Abram’s worship
God calls Abram from Ur to journey to a new land. Abram travels and builds altars to offer God gifts of thanksgiving - worship.
SCRIPTURE: Genesis 11-13 (or Gen 12?)
Theme: Jesus Our Redeemer
Point: God loves us and calls us by name.
Memory Verse: “I have called you by name.” Isaiah 43:1b
Personalized cookies, icing, and milk (Isaiah 43:1)
(VBS volunteers wrote each child's initials with icing on store-bought sugar cookies)
- big blocks
- coloring sheets
- map of Abram’s travels: http://www.generationword.com/..._imgs/12_gn.12.1.jpg
- several old road maps
- cars from train table
- colorful beads
- letter beads to spell each child's name (we presorted them into a baggie for each name
- cord to make bracelets
- white cardstock with memory verse (for each child)
Arrival Time Centers:
Turn around and hop.
I know God’s love will never stop. [Cross arms over chest on ‘love,’ then shake your head and hold out hand for ‘stop']
Reach up, bend,
I know God’s love will never end. [Cross arms over chest on ‘love,’ then shake your head for ‘never']
Art and Play table: [adapted from Hands-on-Bible-Curriculum]
Put several old road maps on a table. Mark beginning and ending points with Xs and invite the children to follow the roads and draw paths between the points. Point out rivers and other things on the maps.
Talk with the children about how we travel (cars, buses, airplanes, bikes, etc.), and how we make travel plans.
Have the children drive the cars from the play table on the roads they marked.
While the children are playing, talk about how the person in today’s Bible story lived a long time ago and did not have a car or truck. Ask how they think he traveled – and carried all his belongings.
Book: put out big book: Abraham
Build an Altar [from Hands-on-Bible-Curriculum]
Build an altar with the blocks.
Talk about how in today’s story, a man stopped and used rocks to build altars as places to talk to and thank God.
[suggested conversation: Today we will be talking about Abram. In Abram’s time, people built altars out of stones to show God that they loved him. The altars helped them remember the special ways God had helped them. Any time people wanted to thank God for something, they just stopped and built an altar right then and there! Then they knelt by the altar and told God thank you.
We don’t have any stones in our classroom, but we can build an altar out of blocks. When I tell you it’s your turn to put a block on our altar, name something you want to thank God for. You can thank God for a person, a favorite toy, or something God has done for you. I’ll go first.]
Show the children how a compass works and how the needle always points north.
Talk about how in today’s story, Abram and Sarai did not have a map or a compass to show them where to go, they just followed God.
Do an on-line search.
Trust the Leader [from Hands-on-Bible-Curriculum]
Have the children line up behind you. Ask the children to gently hold on to the person in front of them. Explain that they will be following you around the room in a follow-the-leader train.
Go around the room once. If time permits, let a few children be the leader.
Then tell the children that you will be leading them around the room in a trust-the-leader train. Ask them to keep holding on to the person in front of them, but this time they should close their eyes. Explain that you will keep your eyes open so you can lead them around the room. (Make sure you allow plenty of room to maneuver around furniture. Remind the children to keep their eyes closed.)
Have the children open their eyes and find a place to sit inside the tent for storytime.
After the game, gather in the tent.
What was it like to walk around with your eyes closed?
When you had your eyes closed, you didn’t know where I was leading you. Today we are going to hear the story of God telling a man named Abram to follow Him. But Abram did not know where he was going. Abram had to trust God, just as you had to trust me to lead you in our trust-the-leader train. God knew Abram’s name and loved him and called him to follow. God loves us and we can trust Him to know us and to take care of us, too.
Show the children your Bible and explain that today’s story comes from the very first book in Bible, from the book of Genesis.
Share the story of Abram’s call by God and Abram’s worship. (Below)
Talk about how God called Abram by name.
I wonder how Abram and Sarai felt when they were told to move to a new home?
I wonder how it felt to leave their home and not know where they were going?
I wonder how God took care of Abram and Sarai while they were traveling?
How did Abram and Sarai thank Him?
Talk about how God keeps His promises. Talk about how we can keep our promises this week.
Teach the memory verse:
“I have called you by name.” Isaiah 43:1b
I: Pointing to yourself is a natural gesture for indicating the concept of me, but when referring to God, point up.
CALLED: One hand taps a single time on the other hand to get the attention of someone.
YOU: The index finger points straight ahead. This is a natural gesture for indicating a person.
BY: One A handshape (fist with thumb on outside) passes the other A handshape.
NAME: The U handshapes (holding up 2 fingers) form an X. An X is sometimes placed on a form or letter to show where signature is to be placed.
Have each child string his name beads onto a cord, along with other colorful beads.
As the children work, talk with them about their names.
Ask them if they know their full names.
Find out why they were given the names, and what the name means.
Ask, I wonder if God knows your name?
Who did He call by name in today’s story?
Do you think He calls you by name?
Tell them that God knows the name of every person on earth! He knows every one of our names, and we never have to remind Him. God doesn’t even need to see name tags or bracelets like these.
Review the memory verse.
“Sarah Married Abraham” to the tune of “Mary Had a Little Lamb”
Sarah married Abraham,
Sarah married Abraham,
they moved across the land
FROM “Abraham and Sarah Rotation Lesson Set from St. Elmo’s Choir”
“Jesus Loves Me”
Camel Cargo [from Hands-on-Bible-Curriculum]
Divide the children into pairs, and assign one child in each pair to be Sarai or Abram, and the other to be the camel. (Tell them that they will all get a chance to be a camel.)
Explain that when Abram and Sarai traveled, they had camels carry their household goods.
Show the Abrams and Sarais how to carefully pile a few blocks or nonbreakable toys on their "camel" (their partners) and then lead the camels around the room.
Then let the children switch roles.
Cookies with names.
God knows each of us by name. Reinforce the point as they are eating.
Review the memory verse.
Additional Learning Centers and Activities:
Trace the children’s bare feet onto white cardstock with memory verse printed on it.
Allow the children to decorate the paper with crayons.
ASL Browser - with videos of the signs used for the memory verse: see first post resources
Group Publishing. Hands-on-Bible Curriculum: Preschool Ages 3 & 4 Fall 2001.
Abram’s call by God and Abram’s worship
This is the story of God’s Promise to Abram.
A long time ago, a man named Abram lived in the land of Haran.
One day God spoke to Abram. Do you think he was surprised? I think he immediately dropped to his knees when God spoke. And then he looked to the sky to hear what God had to say.Have you ever had God talk to you? Well, let me tell you, it’s something else. Abram felt so special that God would single him out and give him directions.
God said, “Abram, I have called you by name. Leave your country and your relatives and your father’s house, and go to a land that I will show you.” God told Abram that he would make him a great nation, and bless him and make his name great.
Then God told Abram to get up off his knees and jump for joy, because through him all the families of the earth would be blessed
When Abram told his wife Sarai, I wonder if she thought he had lost his mind? They had a nice home. And where did God say they had to go? He didn’t say where!
But of course, God put it in Sarai's heart to listen to Abram. To know that the Lord of Hosts had great plans for them. That He had called them by name.
So Abram did what the Lord told him to do. He packed up all the suitcases. Loaded them on his camels. And they started walking. Walking and walking. They would setup their tents. After a while they would go somewhere else. Walking. Walking and walking. It was like a camping trip with lots of people.
And when Abram came to the land that God had promised him, he gathered rocks to build an altar. Rocks here. Rocks over there. A really HUGE rock from back there. Then he lit a fire on the altar. And then he prayed, saying, “Thank you God!”
Then Abram and Sarai and Lot and all their sheep, cows, camels, and goats walked to another place and built a new altar. Picking up rocks. Saying thank you.
Abram and Sarai and their family and their servants and their animals walked and walked and walked and walked! One day they came to a huge tree. There aren’t many trees in the desert, so Abram and his family enjoyed the cool shade. While they rested there, God spoke to Abram again. God promised to give the land around the tree to Abram and his family. Abram built an altar to mark the special place where God talked to him.
Then Abram traveled on until he came to a big hill. He pitched his tent on the hill and looked alll around at the land God had given him. Abram built another altar to thank God for guiding him. Abram was glad to be in the new land.
Do you think that when Abram and Sarai would talk to each other, they would wonder, “Why doesn’t God tell us where we are going?”
Do you think then they remembered that when God had said, “Go,” God had also made them a promise?: “Your children’s children’s children’s children will be a great nation. People will remember you for years and years. They will remember you and what you have done. People all over the world will learn to live in God’s way because of you.”
Abram and Sarai tried very hard to believe God’s promise. I bet it was hard, though, because they didn’t have any children.
Sometimes it is hard to believe and trust God. But they did!
a rotation lesson plan originally posted by Neil MacQueen and moved by Wormy to rotation.org’s Abraham drama and newsroom lessons and ideas
Milton, Ralph. The Family Story Bible. Westminster John Knox Press: Louisville, Kentucky, 1996.