Gen. 14; Heb. 7.1-3
Melchizedek is a mysterious priestly king of peace who came to refresh Abraham with bread and wine after he returned from battle. Melchizedek is an incredible picture of Jesus who brings ultimate refreshment to our lives. Melchizedek offered bread and wine, a symbol of Jesus’ death on the cross. No matter how tough life gets, we can always be refreshed by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!
“For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ”
– 2 Corinthians 1.20a (NLT)
Object Lesson (Guess the Shadow)
Supplies: Sheet/piece of light fabric, a lamp/light, various objects.
Have two adult assistants hold up the sheet/fabric and set up the light to shine onto it from behind. Explain to the kids that you have a whole bunch of mystery objects and they get to guess what those things are. You’ll help them guess by showing them the shadow of each of the objects. You could use objects that are available in the classroom, such as scissors, a dixie cup, or a baseball cap. If you wanted to create a stronger continuity between the object lesson and the story, you could use props that are relevant to the story (a plastic sword, a wine goblet, a loaf of bread, a plastic crown). Explain to the children that even though they weren’t able to see the objects, they could guess what they were because they could see the shadow of those objects!
Tell the kids that each week you’re looking at a story from the Old Testament* that points us to Jesus. Tell them that even though it doesn’t mention Jesus, we can see a shadow of Jesus in each of these stories! Encourage the children to look for the ‘shadow’ of Jesus in this story.
This is a great story to have the children act out together. The main characters would be:
– Abraham and his people
– Lot and his people
– The four kings
– The five kings
The stories we’ve looked at in the last few weeks have come from the book of Genesis. It’s the very first book of the Bible. Remember that Abraham was a very old man, and him and Sarai had no children. God came to Abraham and made him a special promise. Can anyone remember what that promise was? God promised that Abraham would become the father of a nation! Abraham’s descendants would be more numerous than all the stars in the sky! Remember that many people had turned away from God and didn’t believe in him. God wanted a people who would know him and love him and have faith in him.
The Bible tells us that Abraham trusted God, believed his promised and went where God wanted him to go [appoint one of the kids as Abraham and give him a walking stick to show that he’s old]. Abraham went with his wife Sarai, and with all his servants and animals [appoint one of the kids as Sarai]. Abraham’s nephew Lot also came with Abraham, with his own wife and household [appoint one of the kids as Lot, together with a few kids as his family]. When they got to the land, Lot went one way and settled next to an evil city called Sodom [have Lot and his family move to one side of the classroom].
After Lot left, God spoke to Abraham again and reminded him of his promise to give him many descendants (Gen. 13. 14-17). Remember that God wanted to establish a chosen nation that would know him and trust him and love him.
Abraham went another way and found a place in Canaan to settle with his wife and his workers and all his animals [have Abraham and his people move to the other side of the classroom]. He made his home at a place called the Oaks of Mamre. So, Lot, you and your family are living and working next to the evil city called Sodom and Abraham, you and your family are living and working at the Oaks of Mamre.
Everything seemed to be going well, but then something crazy happened!!! There were many kings living in the land and they were all fighting with each other and trying to be each other’s boss. Four of these kings decided to come together [appoint four kids as the kings who want to fight] to fight against five other kings [appoint five kids as the kings]. One of the five kings was the king of Sodom where Lot was living. So, the four kings and their soldiers fought against the five kings with their soldiers [you could give the kids balloon swords if you want]. Now, the place where they were fighting was full of tar pits. The four kings started to win the fight and when the five kings started to flee some of them fell in the tar pits and the others ran away. So, the four kings went the cities of the five kings and they took all the food and treasures of those cities and they kidnapped the people as slaves, which meant that they also captured Lot and his family!
Fortunately, somebody escaped [direct one of Lot’s family to escape], and he came to Abraham and told him what happened. Wow, that’s pretty scary! What would you do if you were Abraham? Well, Abraham had made some new friends at the Oaks of Mamre, so he called them together and they went after the four kings! When he caught up with the four kings they defeated the four kings and set all the prisoners free and got back all the treasure and the food and brought it all back to the king of Sodom. What an adventure!
So, that’s a really cool story, but the Bible tells us that while Abraham was coming back with all the spoils, he was met by a mysterious king named Melchizedek [appoint somebody as Melchizedek and give them bread and grape juice]. Can everybody say Melchizedek? Melchizedek wasn’t a fighting king, he was there to bless Abraham and he came to give him bread and wine to strengthen him after the battle. The Bible also tells us that Melchizedek was a righteous king of peace and that he was a priest of the Most High God. He had no beginning and no end and he was like the son of God!
Whoa! Hold on a second! Doesn’t that sound familiar? Who is the son of God? That’s right, Jesus is the son of God. Remember that we spoke about seeing shadows of Jesus in the Old Testament? Well, did you know that Melchizedek is a shadow of Jesus? We can read the Old Testament and learn about Jesus! What else about Melchizedek points us to Jesus? What did Melchizedek bring to refresh Abraham? He brought bread and wine for him and his men to eat.
Where else do we see bread and wine in the Bible? Well, Jesus told us to eat bread and wine to remember him. Melchizedek came to refresh and bless Abraham, but Jesus came to refresh and bless everyone! [gather the children together] He came for everyone, whether selfish, or evil, or mean. The bread and wine symbolizes Jesus’ body that was broken for us and his blood that was shed for us.
Sometimes life is a bit difficult. Just like Abraham, we can sometimes feel like we’re fighting a battle. Well, did you know that, in the same way that Melchizedek came to refresh Abraham, we can turn to Jesus to refresh us? Through Jesus, each one of us are part of God’s chosen people and when we eat the bread and wine we remember that. Every day we can live our lives knowing that God is with us and that we trust him to lead us and guide us, just like he did with Abraham. Instead of the regular snack you can break bread with the children.
Prayer: Thank God for sending his Son Jesus and making a way for us to be close to him. Thank him that we can always trust his promises. Pray for wisdom and courage for the children as they seek to follow God.
* Old Testament: The first part of the Bible that tells the story of God’s people and explains his promise.
Keep the balloon up
How to Play: Split children into two teams. One team stands in the middle of a large circle/square area and will be the players, and the other team sits around the outside and cheers them on. Blow up balloons and have a volunteer throw one balloon up into the circle. The team needs to work together to keep the balloon from hitting the floor or going outside of the circle boundary. They can use hands, feet or their head! You can explain that the balloon(s) represent sin and we need to keep sin up and away. After 30 seconds or so, if the balloon has not touched the ground, send in another balloon. Keep adding balloons. Once a balloon hits the ground the teams switch places and play starts again. You can time how long a team keeps their balloons in the air or how many balloons they can get up to, to choose the winner. Play several rounds.
You can also explain that the more balloons, the harder it is to keep them up in the air. God gives us his son Jesus and the word of God to help keep us strong to keep sin away!
Featured Image Credit: Abraham Receiving the Blessing of Melchizedek, oil on panel by Maerten van Heemskerck, 16th century.