Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Second Creation Story

Most of the time I follow the liturgical calendar, but occasionally I stray from it to suit the needs of the children. In the current rhythm of our church plant, our Godly Play group meets once a month. Because of this, I have to be choosy about which stories I tell. Since several of the children in the group are quite familiar with the core stories, so I have observed that they are ready for more enrichment stories. 

Last Sunday, I decided to tell the Second Creation Story. This is the story of Adam and Eve from Genesis 2, in which Adam names the animals, Eve is created and both are led to doubt God's intentions, resulting in making a bad choice that has long-term consequences. 

Since we don't have Jerome Berryman's original enrichment stories translated in German, I have to rely on stories from German religion teachers and tell them in Godly Play style. (So if you place this on a Pinterest board, please be sure to label it as "Godly Play-style" and not Godly Play.)

Here are my materials for the story:

Aren't the trees beautiful? They are from Ostheimer, a German maker
of wooden toys. The snake in my story is represented by a gesture rather
than a wooden snake as in the picture below.

And these are the materials for the real Godly Play version in English:
Source: Godly Play Resources, Ashland, KS

One important principle in Godly Play is to tell the story in a very neutral manner, so that the children are able to imagine for themselves what emotions the characters might have been feeling. This is very important in a story like Genesis 2, because we really don't know how God spoke to Adam and Eve, how they spoke to him, or how they spoke to each other. And if we interpret with a tone of voice that we imagine in the situation, we may get in the way of the Holy Spirit's communion with the individual children.

Though I am very sure that each child present was familiar this story from religion class in school and children's Bibles, they each were drawn deeply into the story and were considering it all over again. We had a lot of silent Wondering afterwards, because there was so much to consider in this story. I sensed that the children felt the deep loss of the Garden and with it the direct access to God. They all agreed that neither God nor Adam and Eve were happy at the end of this story.

Many of you may be wondering (no pun intended!) why the Second Creation Story is an enrichment story in Godly Play rather than a core story. I think it is because the core stories all deal with the question of God's character and our identity in relation to him. In short, they help children to establish trust with a gracious God. Then, from this secure standpoint, the children are able to consider questions of obedience and what happens when we choose not to obey.

None of the children responded directly to the story during the Response Time (at least as far as I could tell, but who knows?), but I will be curious to see if they come back to it in the next few weeks . . . 


  1. I love the wool for the rivers and the trees are lovely - beautiful!