61, 62 & 63 - God's Mountain & The ten commandments


15 minute Story planner

Exodus 19 and 20
The Children’s Bible in 365 Stories by Mary Batchelor, pages 76, 77 and 78

Notes Use the Old Testament flashcards to remind the children of the events leading up to today’s story. Remind the children that God sent Moses to bring his people out of slavery. Moses led the Israelites towards the Promised Land. God provided food and water for his people as they made their way through the desert. At night they camped in large groups; one day they stopped at the foot of a huge mountain. The next few weeks were a special time for the Israelites - on the mountain God gave his laws to Moses. Ten of the laws are called the Ten Commandments; they showed the Israelites how to live God’s way. After reading the story you might want to spend some time briefly talking about the Ten Commandments. Make the Ten Commandments on cardboard tablets (see Printables) and/or refer to pages 77 to 78 of The Children’s Bible in 365 stories.

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 four

2. Starter question - 1 min  
Did you know that some mountains are so high their tops are often covered by cloud? Can you imagine a mountain not only covered by thick cloud, but with smoke billowing from it too? As the Israelites stood at the bottom of Mount Sinai they saw the top of the mountain covered in smoke and clouds, they watched as it rumbled and shook with God’s power… then they heard another sound. The sound grew louder and louder and louder… 

3. Tell the story with props - 4 mins

  • Pictures of mountain tops covered in cloud - use pictures from library books or from the internet but be aware of copyright regulations. 
  • ‘…just as a mother bird looking after her chicks.’ speech bubble (see Printables)
  • A bar of soap and a small box of soap powder
  • A long piece of string to mark a boundary (lay it on the floor around your seating area). 
  • ‘God is too great and terrible for us to listen to!’ speech bubble (see Printables)
  • The Ten Commandments on cardboard tablets (see Printables)

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

4. Story activity - 6 mins
Option 1 - Enjoy colouring in this week's Dead Sea Comic Caper (see Printables)

Option 2 - Play a game about going up and down a mountain.
Ask for three volunteers to pretend to be ‘a mountain’. The three volunteers should stand in the middle of the room facing each other, with about 50 cm between them. The volunteers should hold hands then lift their hands to make three archways. The remaining children need to pretend to be mountain goats and weave through the archways. While the 'goats' are making their way round ‘the mountain’ intermittently call out the following two commands: ‘up the mountain’, ‘round the mountain’. Say the commands as many times as you like. After a while call out ‘down the mountain’; when the volunteers hear this command they should lower their arms catching whichever goats are standing between them. Any goat caught should then join hands with the volunteers to make a bigger mountain. Start shouting out the commands again, eventually shouting ‘down the mountain’. If you have time play the game again with three new volunteers as ‘the mountain’.

5. Reflective prayer - 2 mins    
Father God, we think about the Israelites watching the mountain as it shook and rumbled with your power.

Father God we thank you that you are powerful but you are loving and caring too. Thank you that you love us more than we can ever imagine.     

Father God we think about the boundary line that the Israelites were told they must not cross. Father we thank you that because Jesus lived, died and rose again there no longer needs to be a ‘boundary line’ that keeps us apart from you; instead everybody everywhere can become close friends with you. Amen

Alongside this story, make the craft...

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