“The Kingdom of heaven is like…”: more Parables from Matthew 13

The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed…it is the smallest of all the seeds, but when it has grown it is the greatest of shrubs and becomes a tree. Matthew 13:31,32

Hear the Word:

Read and respond to the parables one at a time, or choose a couple of parables to focus on.

Mustard Seed:  Matthew 13:31-32

Yeast:  Matthew 13:33

Treasure:  Matthew 13:44

Great Pearl:  Matthew 13:45-46

Objectives:

(1.)  Children will re-tell one of the selected parables.

(2.)  Children will take one of the parables and use it to offer a prayer.  (E.g. – “God help us to seek your kingdom like the merchant searched for the great pearl.”)

Activities:

(1.)  Mustard Seed:  I’ve got a bunch of mustard seeds.  Use them to make a craft like this (glue a mustard seed onto the page) or this, or make a fridge magnet by gluing a small magnet strip (I’ve got plenty) to the back of cardboard. You can buy magnet strips at craft shops. Decorate the card with the words “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed.” Glue a mustard seed to it, and draw a tree next to the seed.

Other ideas:  How big do they imagine the mustard seed growing? Why not lay out butcher paper on the floor and let the children draw the tree? One team of kids could draw and fill in the tree, another do the leaves, another do the birds and birds’ nests, and another do the sower.  Also, children could individually glue a seed to a paper and draw what the tree will grow to be.

(2.)  Yeast:  Take time to play with play dough.  Then, bring it leavened bread dough.  Compare the play dough to the leavened dough.  How does the yeast change the flour/dough?  (Let me know if I can help provide materials.)

(3.)  Treasure Hunt:  Reflect on Matt. 13:44 by having a treasure hunt.  (We have lots of gold coins you can hide, inside or outside.  I can place them in your classroom.)  Consider making the hunt more intense by offering a prize/surprise at the end.  Talk about how much the children longed to find the treasure.  Have they ever longed to find something in real life?  How does this longing relate to Jesus’ words about the kingdom of God?  Discuss Matthew 5:6:  “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for what is right, for they shall be satisfied.”  What does Jesus mean?

(4.)  Parable Wheel:  Take a paper plate, a piece of construction paper cut to size, and a brad.  On the construction paper, write, “The kingdom of heaven is like.  Cut a section out of the construction paper.  On the plate, write short versions of each parables.  Invite the children to illustrate.  Put it together so it looks something like this.

(5.)  “The Kingdom of heaven is like…”  Make your own “kingdom of heaven” poems.  How are they similar to or different from the parables Jesus tells?

Here is a description of an activity encouraging children to make connections between parables.  If this is a conversation your class embarks on, I’d love to hear about it!

Conclude in Prayer.

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