Sunday, January 16, 2011

Jesus Feeds the 5,000 (and we feed the birds!)

This week at Familienbrunch (Family Brunch) the children heard the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000 with 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread.  For most stories about the life of Jesus, I use Young Children and Worship and Following Jesus by Dr. Sonja Stewart, because Godly Play actually does not have many stories outside of Christmas, Easter and the parable genre that tell the stories about Jesus found in the four Gospels.  Dr. Stewart co-wrote the first book with Godly Play creator, Jerome Berryman, and she developed much of her concept with Dr. Berryman.  Unfortunately, these books have not been translated in to German, so I have to do my own translations when I use these stories!  Also, on a side note, the German Godly Play Foundation is currently in the process of developing its own stories about the life of Jesus, but I have to wait until 2012 to get them.: ) 

After wondering with the children about how the fish and bread tasted to all of those hungry people and what the disciples thought about it all, we sang a song together (“Ein guter Vater” by Daniel Kallach) about God being a good father who provides for us. I paraphrased the end of Matthew chapter 6 with the children where Jesus says that we shouldn’t worry about what we will eat or drink, because our Father in heaven loves us and will take care of us, the birds, the animals and the world.  Then, I explained that God often provides through his children and that we can be God’s helpers.  And what better way to start  being God’s helper than feeding the birds here in the middle of winter?

So I offered the following project as one of the options during the creative phase (playing with the story and art are always two of their options) that we always have after the Bible story in our worship service: making bird feeders out of orange peels to hang in the trees.  I found this awesome project on the Naturkinder blog, a great source of creative ideas for bringing children in contact with nature.  Carolina’s recipe on the blog calls for beef tallow, but try finding that in the middle of Berlin!  So we substituted peanut butter instead.: )  You can just imagine what me, the kids, and the floor looked like after mixing peanut butter, bird feed, and raisins and then stuffing them into orange peels! 

Let the fun begin!

My son climbing up in a tree to hang one of the feeders.

One of the finished bird feeders hanging in the park near our home.

All the snow has melted here, so perhaps the birds aren’t quite as desperate as they were a couple of weeks ago, but I wanted to do this project to help teach the children responsibility for this beautiful world that God has given us.  I am convinced that bringing children into contact with the Father’s creation is vital to their spiritual and social development, but more on that in my next blog. : )

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