Scripture: Genesis 15-17
- Students will review the story of Abraham, God’s Promises and Ishmael.
- Students will learn one of Abraham’s servants was Hagar.
- Students will learn In Bible times servants were much like slaves and had to do whatever their master asked of them.
- Students will participate in an activity to show their appreciation for those whose job it is to serve them in various ways.
Guiding Question: How should we show our appreciation to those who have jobs like servers, flight attendants, nurses, maids and many others who do things for us but often go unnoticed and unappreciated?
Materials: plastic goodie bags, ribbon, small goodies like prepackaged candy, pens, notepads, lip balm, etc., note cards, markers
Procedure: Review the story of Abraham, God’s promises to him and Hagar and Ishmael. Explain to students that in Bible times servants were more like what we would call slaves. Although they were cared for and may have received some sort of wage, their employment opportunities were very limited. This meant they had to do whatever their employer required of them. It was not uncommon for a servant to be required to become the concubine of her master. (Note: Concubines were not mistresses, but rather secondary wives in this culture.) Sarai had Abraham take Hagar as his concubine so he could have a son. Tell students they will find out in another lesson, Hagar was not appreciated for giving birth to Ishmael and was treated rather badly.
Ask students who today “serves” them in any way. They will probably come up with servers in a restaurant, but remind them of other service occupations like garbage collection, mail delivery, nursing, teaching, store clerks, etc. Ask them how they have seen these people be treated poorly or well by those they are serving. Have the students think of people who serve them who they may not have appreciated properly. Ask students to make them cards and put together a small goodie bag to give to these people the next time they see them. The goodie bags don’t have to contain more than a couple of small items. The value is in the note and the very act of being appreciated for their work. Encourage students to deliver their notes and packets within the week. Have them come to class prepared to share what happened when they gave the notes and packets to people. Discuss how becoming more appreciative of others can reflect God’s love and point others to Him.
- What do customers do that irritates those who serve them the most?
Supplemental Activity: Have more advanced students interview people who are in various service type jobs. What do customers do that irritates them the most? How would they like to be treated by those they serve as they are doing their job? Have students share their findings with other and create a campaign to encourage others to treat those in service occupations with more respect and appreciation.