This post is a mash-up of previous posts on the story of Jesus in the wilderness for Lent 1. Though the stories told are from Matthew’s gospel (and we are in Luke this time around), they can still be applied!
WATCH and WONDER X 2!
This is one of my favorite kid-telling videos we made at our church. The wonderful Alex Bryant filmed and edited this one, which is why the quality is so great. My own children (who are not in the video) could not stop watching it. Got kids around? Share it with them!!!
As told by Rev. Leslianne Braunstein
Thank you, Leslianne!!!
FASTING To “fast” is to intentionally not eat food as a way to become closer to God. Here is an explanation of the practice of fasting in biblical times offered by Bible.org:
“The [Old Testament] uses fasting and abstinence from food to point to something even more necessary for life—communion with and dependence on God. Fasting behaviors were sometimes commanded, sometimes voluntary, and sometimes even ritualized, but the Hebrew Bible rather consistently portrays fasting in conjunction with themes of disruption and restoration. In the midst of disruption, fasting comes to symbolize hope. Through repentance and prayer, fasting can signify the centering of the self in humility, the renewal of the relationship to God’s sustaining force. As such, fasting takes on a dual significance of mourning and hope.”
Have you ever fasted? What was it like? What was the hardest part? Did it make you feel closer to God?
If you haven’t fasted, find someone who has and ask them about their experience! Better yet–try a fast yourself–even a brief fast might help you tell the story!
learn it BY HEART
Verbal Threads Look for the words or phrases that are repeated through the story. Click HERE for the text from Matthew and HERE for the text from Luke (thanks again to gotell.org). There is a lot of repetition in the story, which makes for great storytelling! I like to print out a copy of the story and with my colored pens circle and connect the verbal threads. What do you notice about the repetition?
Giving VOICE to the devil I am always struck by what good things the devil offers Jesus. If he’s meant to be the savior of the world, wouldn’t it be great if he was well-fed and already ruled everything??? In order to consider how the devil sounds, you might want to think about (or tell a story about) what tempts you. Is the devil angry or…persuasive…or something else? What works better when one is trying to be tempting?
Looking for CLUES What does Jesus look and sound like in this story? Consider what it would be like to fast for 40 days and nights…how might this have affected his speech or the way he stands? Was he hangry? (When I am hungry, I am almost always also short-tempered and angry.) Does he start off the same way he begins, or is he changed over the course of the story? (For example, does he start of weak and get stronger, or could it be the other way around?)
WAYS to WONDER
For all ages: STORY BOARDING This story has great visuals (some kids may need a bit of explanation from adults).
- Draw Jesus alone in the wilderness (consider…what is the wilderness?)
- Draw the temptation of the bread (consider…what do we “live by”?)
- Draw Jesus and the devil on the pinnacle of the temple (consider…how do we test our God?)
- Draw them up on a high mountain looking at all the kingdoms (consider…what things in this world are particularly tempting to you?)
- Draw Angels attending Jesus (consider…when have you felt God caring for you?)