God is our Father, not an employer!
- Exodus 16.2-15 (or an edited/children's
version) is read aloud.
- Tear-and-share bread is shared as the
story is discussed.
- Children act out Scene 1 of the Parable of
the Workers in the Vineyard.
- An adult leads a discussion of what the
workers are expecting at this point.
- Scene 2 is acted.
- The children and congregation are asked if
they can see any link between the stories.
- An adult leads discussion of the
- One or more readers for Exodus 16.
- Children to help act out the parable.
- An adult to lead the teaching.
- Tear-and-share bread, covered by a
- Four copies of the script.
- Optional: dressing-up clothes and props,
as appropriate, for the parable
- Select readers either before or at the
beginning of the service, according to your normal practice.
- Before you act out Scene 1 of the drama,
explain that if you're chosen during the drama, then you just need to say
- Start by telling the children that you
have something good under the cloth, although they may not have seen it
before. Remove the cloth. Does anyone know what it is? It's called Monkey
Bread, or Tear-and-Share Bread. To eat it, you pull off a bit at a time.
Would anyone like to try it? Share the bread around. If you asked 'What
is it?' when you first saw the bread, then you were just like the
Israelites in our story today. That's just what they said when they saw
the manna that God provied for them. In fact, 'manna' just means 'what is
it?' (Thanks to www.sermonsforkids.com for this teaching
- For Scene 1 of the drama, you will need
readers for the parts of Narrator, landowner and Foreman. But the workers
can be any of the children or adults in the congregation: they just need
to say 'yes'. Stop after Scene 1 and ask the children/adults who were
picked earlier what they're expecting to be paid: one denarius, or more?
Ask them how they'd feel if they also received just one denarius, and
then explain that this is just what did happen in the story.
- After Scene 2, ask the children and
congregation whether they can see any links between our two stories
today. Talk about God as our Father, who provides everything that we
need. This is what happens in families, and Jesus teaches us that it's
what happens in God's kingdom too. God doesn't deal with us on principles
of what we might decide is fair. If we were to insist on strict
'fairness' then none of us would ever reach heaven! Thankfully, God does
not reward us as we deserve. Instead, he meets all of our needs, even in
the face of our grumblings.
- Leave space at the end for any further
questions or comments. You might want to talk about how Christian service
is done for the love of it, and Christians will not envy but pity those
who have spent a lifetime without God and had a 'deathbed conversion',
because they have missed out on a lifetime's service and relationship