Out of the Ark
- An adult leads a discussion about why the
people and animals were in the Ark, and what happens when we get into
- An adult tells the story of the Flood,
with participation from the children and congregation.
- The congregation sings a song such as 'You
Shall Go Out With Joy'.
- An adult leads a discussion about what
happened next: God's promise, mercy and forgiveness.
- One or more adults to lead the
- Children to participate in the story
- Toy animals to distribute around the
- An olive-like twig (e.g. bay).
- A dove and a raven - e.g. toys,
paper/cardboard models, etc.
- Before the service, decorate the church
with the toy animals and hide the 'olive' twig just outside the
- Before the service, prime the children who
are going to 'be' the raven and dove - see below for what they'll need to
- Why are the people and animals in the Ark?
The flood was a punishment from God, because the world was corrupt and
full of violence. But Noah was a righteous, blameless man who walked
faithfully with God. Therefore he was chosen, with his family, to save
pairs of every kind of living creature from the flood.
- How do we get into trouble today - what
kinds of things do we do? What kind of punishments do we receive? (You
might want to talk about this in the context of school rather than home.)
And what happens next? Talk about the importance of fresh starts.
- Telling the story: ask the congregation to
imagine that the church is an Ark . . .
- The rain came for 40 days, the whole
earth was flooded for 150 days, and the only living creatures left on
earth were the ones in the Ark. How might the people have been
feeling after all that time?
- But then for 40 days the waters
receded, until at last Noah sent out the raven . . . which didn't
return, but flew back and forth until the waters had receded. Act
this part out by sending a child out of the church with the raven:
s/he should have been instructed to leave it outside before coming
- Then Noah sent out a dove . . . it
could find nowhere to perch, so returned to the Ark (a child with the
dove goes out and comes back in). He waited 7 days before sending it
out again . . . and it returned with an olive twig (child acts this
out). After another 7 days he sent it out for a third time . . . and
it didn't return (child leaves dove outside church).
- Then at last the remaining people and
creatures could leave the Ark. The congregation could either go
outside to sing a song of praise, or just do so in the church.
- What happened next? The rainbow and God's
promise: "Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all
life." God's mercy in the face of human disobedience. A fresh start for
- And this is the promise that is made real
in Jesus: God does not punish us as we deserve for our disobedience; if
we are sorry and ask for his forgiveness then he gives us a fresh start
and helps us to try again.