Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Ahab & Elijah

"King Ahab for preschoolers"...

My first response when I saw this search on my site meter was..."King Ahab isn't somebody I really want my preschoolers to know" but then there are lots of Bible characters like what's in the story of Ahab for preschoolers? How much of Ahab's story is appropriate for this age? If they're in scripture, at some point in time they are people God wants us to know...

He was a king. Lots of visual images for kings and dress up and play and puppet potential.

How about we tell Elijah's story & his interaction w/Ahab. We have the little cloud, the ravens, and the hide & seek/chase part of the story. Both Ahab & Elijah are very stubborn characters. Preschoolers know about being stubborn although they may not be able to label it as such or understand it the same way we do. But these are some elements in the story that a preschool audience might relate to and enjoy.

God is speaking to Elijah. Always a potential "wow" factor to use with kids. God said....and Elijah responded...

The ravens come and feed Elijah. That image is right up there with Disney. Ok...don't laugh, I still believe the literal of these stories.

With preschoolers, I wouldn't take all the side journeys through all the stories that you'll find in Kings on the way to the ending. I think I'd treat them as separate stories once you've introduced the character Elijah (or Ahab). Stick to the rain story for now. If you're an exceptional storyteller, you have a rapt audience and the time, you might be able to tell a side story & go back and a side story & go back - leave them hanging, tell a side story, then return to continue the story. With older kids you might be able to start a story and tell it over a couple weeks but only if you can leave them hanging each week.

Three years! What's 3 years to a preschooler? A lifetime. That means that the 3 year old kids who were around when this story was happening had never seen rain. Someday I will tell you my water story.

Do you want to explore the interaction between Obadiah & Elijah? Obabiah found Elijah. But instead of going back and "telling on him," Obadiah was afraid to go back. What if Elijah & Obadiah were kids - preschoolers? What would this interaction look like? If preschoolers wouldn't do it or understand it, skip it, for now but I think you can use this scene.

The ending is dramatic. You have Elijah facing off with priests who worshiped and served other gods. What does God do? In our present culture it's easy to skip over controversial parts of scripture that seem less than "politically correct" but don't be afraid of God's stories. Look and ponder. Look carefully. If you tell the stories & you're true to God's stories you can let them do the talking and be a listener just like your audience. I don't mean didactic moralizing story-telling either... Learning to fear God, whatever your denomination, is the beginning of wisdom...handled appropriately, kids are ripe for this...

Anyway...have fun with this...I'm just scratching the surface, here. I think you will find definite possibilities here for preschoolers.

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