the story of Jonah with questions, up to the point at which he is spat
out of the fish.
- Act out
the story of Jonah's proclamation of God's message to
the meaning of repentance, and God's mercy.
- An adult
leader to explain the story, and another to help guide the children
through the actions.
- An adult
or good reader to be the narrator; three other children for smaller
speaking parts; other children to be the crowd in Nineveh.
- Play scripts, hessian or other "sack cloth" type
material, a king's robe, some food and drink to be "put away" by the
the readers as they come into church.
- One focus of this part of Jonah's story is
on public repentance: the king and people of Nineveh respond immediately
to God's word, publically repenting of their sins and promising to turn
away from them. Talk to the children about how hard it is for anyone to
admit mistakes in public!
- Another focus is on God's message being
taken not only to His people, the Jews, but also to the Gentiles, even
those whose city has become a byword for bad behaviour. Just as in Jesus'
time on earth He took the good news to all people, so God called Jonah to
take His message to Nineveh. Jonah didn't like it any more than the
Scribes and the Pharisees did in Jesus' time! But in this story we see
God being merciful not only to Jonah but also to the decent Gentile
sailors and to the responsive Gentiles of Nineveh. He calls us all to
repentance, and it's our job to take His good news to everyone. Jesus
said that He didn't come to heal the well but the sick. We also should
not focus only on those in our own little churches, but also on those
beyond the faith who need Him so much.