The “Fall 2012 3&4 Year Old Class Desert Journey” began on Sept. 30, when we accompanied Abraham and Sarah from the city of Ur, NW to Haran, and then SW to Hebron. This means we started in the lower right in the desert box, went up to the top, and then down to the left. We have trudged through many grains of sand since. Tomorrow the “group journey” ends as we experience The Exile and Return. We will travel nearly the same arc as Abraham and Sarah, but this time in reverse, starting in Jerusalem, traveling NE to Haran, then SE to Babylon, with the same rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates on the Eastern (right) side of the desert box.
As we travelled and shared struggles and joys with the People of God, we have faced the same limits to existence that they and all humanity meet – freedom (and the threat of freedom), aloneness, the need to make meaning, and death. We will face these again in tomorrow’s story, but as who we will be tomorrow, not who we were on Sept. 30. Some of us will bring along much desert experience, and we all bring the latest edition of our own personal worldview. Godly Play is good practice for the journey we are all on – life!
We have experienced awe and wonder that comes from imagining things too large to imagine, and we have experienced the comfort and the threat of limits. We have seen containers that were made to protect and keep close the things that are special, such as in the ark that was built to hold the commandments in The Ark and the Tent story. There are not enough class sessions to present all stories we would like to present each year, so at the end of the presentation last time, the children saw (without story presentation) the materials for The Ark and the Temple. It is similar to the Ark and the Tent, but this time, with a container built for the commandments, and a much larger container (the temple) built to contain God! The story tomorrow will begin with imagining that temple in the city of Jerusalem. Reviewing the two Ark stories in Parent Pages with your child will help set the stage. Our stories now will shift to prepare us for the new liturgical year, but the desert journey will continue for children anytime they choose to work with these stories during response time, or even as they watch someone else.