- Students will learn God often puts His people where He wants them in order to do certain things for Him.
- Students will learn sometimes we must be very brave to do what God wants us to do.
- Students will learn God expects us to do what He wants us to do even if it scares us.
- Students will participate in an activity to help them better understand the story of Esther and the holiday of Purim mentioned at the end of the book of Esther.
Guiding Question: What does the book of Esther tell us about how God wants us to think about the opportunities we are sometimes given on our lives?
Materials: optional: Bible times costumes, Hamantaschen cookies, objects to complete a service project (See our service project activities for possible projects.)
Procedure: Tell students that the Bible story today will be told a little differently than it normally is told in your class. Today, they will help tell the Bible story.
Depending upon the age and number of students, you can have them plan how to act out the story, choose the verses they want to read or you can assign roles and read from a prepared version of the story. There are several children’s books with a condensed version of the story. (We like A Purim Story by Linda Davis, which needs only minor changes to work.)
Before students begin telling the story by acting it out, explain that the story of Esther became a Jewish holiday. Today when the story is read on the holiday (called Purim), people often dress up as one of the people in the story. The audience has a very important part to play. Every time Mordecai or Esther’s name is said, the audience cheers. When Haman’s name is spoken, the audience boos.
Have students act out the story with the audience cheering and booing in appropriate places. After the story is finished, discuss it with students. What are some lessons they think God wants us to learn from the story.
If time allows, you may want to share other aspects of the celebration of Purim – eating Hamantaschen cookies and doing some act of service for their neighbors. (Explain that even though it may not actually be Purim, God always wants us to do kind things for our neighbors.)