Sunday, March 4, 2012

Hands On Activity: Desert & River (inspired by the story of John the Baptist & Jesus' Baptism)

T heard the story of how John the Baptist lived in the desert preparing the way for Jesus, calling people to repent and baptizing them in the Jordan. We talked about how Jesus when came to the river and was baptized the Spirit of God descended in the form of the dove and the voice of God the Father spoke saying "This is My beloved Son..." (You can find the story in Matthew 3, Mark 1, Luke 3, and John 1)

Together, T and I talked about deserts and rivers. I showed him google images of deserts and rivers. After the story we made our own desert and river. It was a fun, simple project, requiring only a few items. Here's what we did.

Desert & River Play Scene

What We Used:
Large spoon or scoop
(We added spoons at the end for "people")

How we did it:

T scooped flour from the bag into our container.

Using our hands we pushed the flour to the side so we'd have a channel for our river. Then T poured the water.

He made a couple changes to his river!

Then he wanted some "people" to add. I dug out our old baby spoons. One became John, and the others were the people. T had a great time playing with his homemade bible scene, re-enacting the story of John.

 Before long the spoons were no longer people. They were spoons. Scooping, digging, turning, mixing the flour and the water. Instead of a river and land, we had a big bowl of paste! It made for a very enjoyable activity.

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
    As it is written in Isaiah the prophet,
    “Behold, I send my messenger before your face,
        who will prepare your way,
    the voice of one crying in the wilderness:
        ‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
        make his paths straight,’”
    John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel's hair and wore a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild honey. And he preached, saying, “After me comes he who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
    In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”
(Mark 1:1-11 ESV)