Sunday, October 25, 2015

The Land of Israel

This morning in the atrium I presented a 'the land of Israel' work. It is a relief map of Israel from Jesus' day. This lesson follows the lesson about the earth, that in all the whole wide world, God chose one small place for his son, Jesus, to be born. This place is Israel. The relief map shows the Mediterranean Sea, the Jordan River, the Dead Sea, the Sea of Galilee and three important cities: Nazareth, Bethlehem and Jerusalem. 

This work is part of the Biblical Geography lessons. The purpose is to help the child realize that Jesus was a real man who lived in a real place. It gives the children a sense of where the stories of Jesus' life take place.

To be honest, it has been through making and teaching about these lessons that I have received the gift of insight into the life of Jesus as a child and adult. 

The children now have a sense of the journey of Mary and Joseph when they travelled from Nazareth to Bethlehem when they hear the Christmas story. They understand where Jerusalem is in relation to the Jordan River and the Sea of Galilee when they hear the stories of Jesus' life....especially when hearing about his death and resurrection.

It is amazing to me how something made from paper mache, paint and a tray can deliver such a powerful message.

What you can do at home: Continue to look at maps and globes with your child. As you read the stories out of a children's Bible with your child, look to see where Israel is located as compared to Pennsylvania. Talk about the things you love about where we live and the things that are special in other lands. Compare and contrast our culture with others. Marvel with your child about the amazing differences God created for all of us!