38 & 39 - Joseph: The prisoner and the king & The new prime minister


15 minute Story planner

Genesis 41
The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories by Mary Batchelor pages 50 - 52  

Summarise the story so far. Many years after Jacob left the land God had promised his grandfather Abraham, he made the long journey home. By the time he settled back in the Promised Land (the land of Canaan) Jacob had a very large family; his wife Leah had had many children, while his wife Rachel had had two. Altogether Jacob had 12 sons and one daughter. Joseph was Jacob's favourite son. Because of the love Jacob showed Joseph, his brothers hated him and sent him away to Egypt. In Egypt Joseph worked hard. He was given a good job in Potiphar's household. But Potiphar's wife treated him unfairly and after a while she persuaded her husband to put Joseph in prison. 

1. Setting the scene - 2 mins 
Find the Old Testament section in a Bible.
Show and talk about 'The Old Testament FlashCards' cards one to three

2. Starter question - 1 min
Have you ever forgotten to do something? Perhaps you've forgotten to take your P.E. kit to school or finish a piece of homework? Sometimes we forget to do small things, other times we forget to do things that are really important. While Joseph was in prison he helped the King's steward. ‘Remember me when you are back in the palace,’ said Joseph to the steward. ‘Don't forget to tell the King about me!’ But did the steward remember?

3. Tell the story with props - 4 mins
Beware of allergies - make sure it is safe for the children in your group to handle and taste the food used in this activities.

  • A flannel and a bar of soap
  • ‘I cannot do so’ speech bubble (see Printables) 
  • ‘7+7’ textbox (see Printables)
  • Bags of unpopped popcorn, uncooked lentils or rice

Click on the images at the beginning of this post for more resources from the web

4. Story activity - 6 mins
Option 1 - Enjoy the puzzles in this weeks Dead Sea Comic Caper (see Printables)

Option 2 - A game about collecting grain
You will need: a blanket, two or three bags of unpopped popcorn, uncooked lentils or rice (to represent grain), two big plastic bowls, two little plastic bowls, two tea towels and two teaspoons or wooden spoons. 

1. Divide the corn/lentils between the two big bowls and divide the group into two teams.
2. Place the blanket on the floor.
3. Encourage the children to line-up in their teams a couple of metres away from the blanket.
4. Ask for a volunteer from each team. The volunteers should sit cross legged on the blanket facing their team.
5. Give the volunteers a tea towel, a large bowl of lentils and a small bowl each. Each volunteer should spread the tea towel over their legs and place a large bowl in their lap. The volunteers should hold the smaller bowls on their head.
6. Give the volunteers a spoon.
7. When you shout ‘go’ the volunteers should carefully scoop the lentils from the large bowl into the small bowl on their heads.
8. Allow the volunteers to do this for around 15 seconds before you shout ‘change’. When you shout change the next children in the lines should swap places with the volunteers and immediately begin scooping more lentils from the big bowls into the little bowls.
9. When all the children have had a go or a team has run out of lentils end the game and announce which team has collected the most lentils in their small bowl. If you have time repeat the game.

5. Reflective prayer - 2 mins  
Father God we think about Joseph waiting to be released from prison. We imagine him hoping each day that the king would set him free. Father God when we are waiting, help us to be patient like Joseph. 

Father we think about Joseph's reply to the king: ‘I can't, but God can’. Help us to remember that although there are many, many, many things we cannot do - nothing is impossible for you. Father help us to trust you to bring about the things that are good and right for us.

Father we think about Joseph listening to what you said and then passing on the meaning of the King's dream. Father God please help Christians everywhere to be people that listen carefully to what you are saying and to pass on to others what you want them to hear. 

Father we think about the important job Joseph had in Egypt, collecting and storing the grain for the whole country. Father when we look back over Joseph's story we see that he learnt to plan carefully and work hard while he served in Potiphar's house. Father help us to trust that you will use all that we have learnt and all of our experiences to do the things you want us to do.  Amen

With younger children, or during a shorter session you may wish to select just one or two phrases from the reflective prayer.

Alongside this story, make the craft...

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