TIME MACHINE DAYS
Time Machine Days
In this series the lessons focus on life in Bible times. Each one looks at a particular Bible story. The participants will join our puppet characters and they will "travel back in time" to visit the location of the Bible story.
The Time Machine Days series is one that could have a variety of props. In the videos that we made to go with the lessons, the puppets used a time machine. We designed it out of a cardboard box and other household supplies. It was made to look like children put it together. Each of the lessons have props designed to suit their location. The story in lesson three takes place in the desert.
Lesson #3 - The Israelites Struggle in the Desert
This final lesson in the series finds our time travelers in the desert. The story is taken from Exodus and will recount the struggle of the Israelites as they wandered in the desert. In spite of all that God had provided, the people were discouraged. At one point in their journey they gave up on God and the leader that He had given and they built a new god. They thought that this golden idol would lead them out of the desert and to a better life. They sinned, they were like all people. Sin separates all of us from God but God loves us and He sent Jesus so that it didn't have to stay that way. The redemptive work of Christ on the cross reconciles us to God.
This part of the program can be used to introduce the theme. If a video of a desert scene is available it might be very helpful. This would help the children to be able to visualize where this story is taking place. It will help to bring the Bible story to life and make it seem more realistic to them.
In order to maintain control an age limit can be very effective. Although we have found it difficult to enforce, it is best to have children between age four and twelve participate in this program. Before four their attention span is too short and they tend to be disruptive. After twelve the children tend to find the program too juvenile.
Keep the prayer at the beginning fairly brief. The children do not have a long attention span. Try to choose your words carefully so that they can relate to what has been said. Simple language and short length helps to convey the fact that God is approachable and people of all ages can pray to Him.
Make sure to go over the word to any new songs. You might want to have the children read them over a number of times to avoid any confusion. This will give them a chance to hear the words clearly before the music begins. This is particularly important with the younger children who don't have a large vocabulary. This simple exercise will help to ensure that the children are understanding what they are singing.
All of the games have been adapted to suit the theme.
Game #1 - Desert Win, Lose, or Draw
Select one player from each team. The first participant is given a marker and is shown a word. The player must draw that item so that their team can guess what it is. See how many items they can guess within one minute. The second team plays. After both have completed their turn, the team that successfully guesses the highest number of items wins.
Game #2 - Grid Game
Select one player at a time. The first contestant comes to the front and is shown a chart. The chart has four columns each with a different letter on it. The participant must fill in the blanks in the grid with words that begin with the designated letter. The catch is that the words must all be within a given category. The second player must do the same but with a different category.
In this lesson the memory verse is taught by a leader and it involves interaction with the children. The words of the verse are written on separate pieces of Bristol Board. The pieces got mixed up in a terrible desert sand storm and have to be sorted out. Have different children hold each piece so that the audience can help sort them out.
"Love the Lord , your God with all of your heart, soul and strength." Deuteronomy 6:5
The children should repeat the verse until they know it without looking. Explain what it means. For the last few weeks we have been talking about sin. All of us make mistakes and we do things that make God unhappy. Jesus died on the cross so that we could be forgiven. Now , if we are truly sorry and we apologize, we can be forgiven. This is possible because God loves us so much. He wants us to love Him. In our memory verse it says that we are supposed to love God with all of our hearts, souls and strength. We are supposed to love Him with all that we have. God should be the most important thing in our lives.
This segment is not an object lesson. We have chosen to use this time slot for a puppet skit. This puppet skit was video taped to be shown on the TV during the program but that is purely optional. This allows us to incorporate time travel into the lesson. The puppets use the time machine in the video and in the next segment they arrive in the actual puppet stage during the program. The puppet stage is decorated to look like the desert.
Ann & Franklin enter slowly.
Franklin: This time machine is amazing. I can't believe it actually works.
Ann: We must have done something right when we made it because it has taken us to some really neat places.
Franklin: I liked visiting that old guy who built the boat.
Ann: I liked him too. His name was Noah and he built that big boat because God asked him to.
Franklin: That was how God saved him from the flood. Pretty amazing!
Ann: I'm glad that God sent that rainbow and promised never to do that again. It must have been scary for Noah and his family.
Franklin: Do you want to use the time machine again?
Ann: Can we go back to Bible times again?
Franklin: I don't know but we could try.
Ann: This time I will move the arrow.
Franklin: Ok, try it a little closer, not quite so long ago.
Ann: Ok I'll push the button and you get in. Ok (she waits) uhmmm.... Nothing is happening at all.
Franklin: (calls from inside) I don't hear anything yet. (He gets out)
Ann: I don't know what is wrong.
Franklin: Me neither, why don't you try the other buttons and I'll adjust the arrow.
Ann: I hear something now. Quick, Let's get in. (both disappear).
Franklin: Ok here we go
Ann: I hope we can get back
Franklin & Ann : SCREAM!
At this point the video segment ends and the puppets arrive in the puppet stage which is a desert setting.
Franklin: It is so hot, I can't stand it.
Ann: I forgot to bring a hat.
Franklin: Me, too. Where are we now?
Ann: I don't know. It looks like a desert.
Franklin: Here comes a lady with a bunch of people. Let's just see what she is talking about.
Lady enters. She is a tour guide and she is speaking to a crowd. (Pre-recorded) Hello and allow me to tell you about this place. I'm glad you came on the tour of the desert. My assistant will tell you all about what happened in this location many years ago. Thank you assistant.
Franklin and Ann continue to listen off stage as the tour assistant (leader) reads the story.
A very long time ago there was a group of people called Israelites. They were God's special people. Unfortunately these people were slaves in another land. One day God helped his people to escape and He lead them into the desert where they could be free. The people were very happy that they weren't slaves. After a number of years passed they were getting tired of hanging out in the desert. Even though God had given them everything that they needed, they continued to complain.
One day their leader, whose name was Moses, left for a very long time and they couldn't understand why he was gone. So they decided to take matters into their own hands and they made a new god. The people made a statue in the shape of a calf out of gold. They thought that it might lead them out of the desert. The next day they began to pray to it.
When Moses came back he was very upset with the people. He knew that this would make God unhappy. After all that God had done for them, they chose to pray to something they made. Later Moses explained to the people that is was wrong and he destroyed the statue.
This seems like a weird story but it isn't. Those people are a lot like us. In our lives we do the same thing. We make up things to take God's place. We find other things and make them more important than God. Some of us forget about God because we are more interested in TV or sports or maybe we care more about clothes and toys. That is sin. In our memory verse we learned that we are supposed to love God more than anything else and with all of our hearts, souls and strength. God loves us and we are important to him. We need to say we are sorry when we sin. Jesus died on the cross for us so that we could be forgiven. That was done for us, we need to make God the priority in our lives.
Dismissal: Closing prayer, Quiet seat and treats
Copyright 1997, Bread of Life Ministries