This lesson is the second lesson in a series of five that explore the Lenten theme “Walk His Ways” using a parable Bible story. This lesson would work for Sunday School or Children’s Church. Lent is the period of the liturgical calendar leading up to Easter. It is more popular with mainline denominations, but many Christian groups embrace the traditions of the Lenten season.
Lent is a 40 day journey (not counting Sundays!) to focus on God and prepare to remember and celebrate Jesus dying on the cross and rising from the grave to save each of us. Many people decide to “give up” things for Lent to help them remember that Jesus gave his life for us, but you can also “take on” doing good things, just like Jesus did. Through the exploration of parable Bible stories, the “Walk His Ways” Lent lessons help children discover how we can attempt to live and serve as Jesus did in the kind of kingdom he envisioned. Each of the five lessons addresses “walking his ways” with a different parable and theme. This lesson explores neighbors with the story of The Parable of the Good Samaritan.
Bible Story: The Parable of the Good Samaritan
Scripture: Luke 10:25-37
Target Age Group: Age 3 – 12 (U.S. preschool – 6th Grade)
Time: 45 Minutes
Learning Context: Children’s Church
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Learning Objectives: Children will experience the Good Samaritan story, exploring the questions, “Who are our neighbors?” “How can we serve our neighbors?” and “How is this ‘walking his ways’?”.
- Shoe nametags & extra supplies
- Poster Board
- Glue Sticks
- “Our Neighbors” sign
- Walk His Ways Kids’ Guide PDF
- 4 puppets
- Puppet Curtain/Stage (optional)
- Leprechaun Kisses Poem (Word Doc)
- Green Tulle
- Green Ribbon
- Shamrock Stickers
- Shamrock Glitter/Confetti
- Hershey’s Kisses Candies
- Nametags: Children find their shoe nametag that they made during the first lesson and put it on. If there are children without a nametag, provide materials and allow them to make one.
- Discuss: What is a neighbor? Who are your neighbors? Why? I wonder if I am your neighbor? Are you my neighbor? Etc. Who does Jesus say are our neighbors? How does he want us to treat them?
- Check in about the “Walk His Ways” challenges if you are using the guides.
- Neighbor Collage: Children cut out pictures of people (neighbors) and work with their table to glue them on large pieces of poster board to make a large collage. Hang up posters under a sign labeled, “Our Neighbors”.
Game: “You are my neighbor if…” Standing in a circle, each person removes one shoe to mark their place. One person is in the middle and is “It”. This person says something like, “You are my neighbor if…you are wearing blue jeans…you are a boy…you have a pet, etc.” If what the person says is true about you, you must leave your shoe, and find another shoe spot in the circle. “It” tries to find a shoe spot, leaving someone else in the middle to start another round. Discuss: Who are your neighbors? What does it feel like to be included? Left out? How should we treat our neighbors? How can we take care of our neighbors?
Story: The parable story is taught in this lesson using the following puppet script. You may also want to read Luke 10:25-37 from the Bible. Use these follow-up discussion questions after the puppet show: What happened? Who did the right thing? The wrong thing? Who was the lost boy’s neighbor? Are the other puppets neighbors? Who are our neighbors? How does God want us to treat our neighbors? Even if we don’t like someone…are they our neighbor?
Parable Puppet Show: The Long Way Home
The Good Samaritan
Lost Boy: anxiety grows throughout the following
Uh oh…how come none of these houses look familiar? I just went to the store for a pack of gum and I guess I…oh no! I musta made a wrong turn somewhere! This isn’t my neighborhood! I’m…I’m…(completely loses it) I’m LOST!
LOST cries uncontrollably for a moment. Then starts to try to calm down.
LOST: sniffling intermittently Okay…gotta get a grip. Maybe I can get someone to help me.
PASSERBY 1 enters stage near the edge wearing headphones
PASSERBY 1: doing best (worst?) Brittany Spears imitation Oops…I did it again…
LOST: Oh, maybe they’ll help me. (To PASSERBY 1) Hey, could you help me, please?
PASSERBY 1 totally ignores LOST and passes by to the other side.
LOST: louder Excuse me? (Practically shouting) Hey!
PASSERBY 1: whirling around What is your problem?
LOST: Well, I’m on my way home from the store and I guess I took a wrong turn…
PASSERBY 1: And I care because?
LOST: I just thought maybe you could…
PASSERBY 1: Well, you thought wrong so, buzz off!
PASSERBY continues toward other side and exits during next line.
LOST: Sorry. I’m not sure I’m the one with the problem. (Pause. Anxiety growing again) Now what am I going to do? I couldn’t get help and I’m still…LOST!
LOST cries uncontrollably for a moment. Then starts to try to calm down.
LOST: sniffling intermittently All right. Maybe all is not…lost. Maybe I can find someone else who will help me.
PASSERBY 2 enters the stage in a hurry near the edge
PASSERBY 2: looking down as if at a watch I’ve only got a few minutes…
LOST moves into the path of PASSREBY 2.
LOST: Excuse me?
PASSERBY 2 practically runs over LOST.
PASSERBY 2: Hey, kid! Watch were you’re going!
LOST: I’m sorry. I’m lost and I was hoping…
PASSERBY 2: Can’t you see I’m in a hurry here? I don’t have time to be helping lost kids. Now, if you’ll excuse me?
LOST: Hmm? (LOST catches on and moves out of the way.) Oh, sorry.
PASSERBY 2 continues on toward end of stage and exits.
LOST: Now what? (Anxiety growing again.) That’s two people who wouldn’t help me? (Pause. Thinking) Oh no! What if nobody will help me? Then I’ll be lost…FOREVER!
LOST cries uncontrollably for a moment. PASSERBY 3 enters lower stage from stage edge. Sees LOST and crosses stage to LOST.
PASSERBY 3: Hey, what’s the matter?
LOST: trying to regain control What?
PASSERBY 3: I said, what’s wrong?
LOST: sniffling intermittently I went to the store to get a pack of gum and, on my way home, I guess I made a wrong turn because now I’m…LOST.
LOST cries uncontrollably.
PASSERBY 3: Whoa! Calm down! Everything will be okay. I’m sure we can get you home.
LOST: calming down; sniffling intermittently You mean, you’re gonna help me?
PASSERBY 3: Why wouldn’t I?
LOST: Well, somebody else passed by, but they didn’t seem to think it was their business to help a lost kid. Then someone else passed by, but they were in too much of a hurry.
PASSERBY 3: Well, don’t you worry cause I’m here now and we’re gonna get you home. Do you know your address?
LOST: Yeah. It’s 2121 Pine Street.
PASSERBY 3: Pine Street? Oh, I see what happened! You made a right when you came out of the store when you should have made a left. You’re taking the long way home! Pine Street is just on the other side of Jackson Boulevard.
LOST: You mean, you know how to get me home?
PASSERBY 3: Sure do. It’s right his way.
PASSERBY 3 and LOST begin to walk to edge of stage.
LOST: Thanks. Thanks a lot. You saved the day!
Art Activity: Children make a bundle of leprechaun (chocolate kisses), placing shamrock stickers on the bottom of each kiss, tying them together with a piece of green tulle and green ribbon, and include glitter shamrocks. Each child colors a tag with this poem and their name to attach to the bundle. Explain that children should give them away to a neighbor.
Prayer: Consider using a “repeat after me prayer” to close each of the Lent lessons. Pause between every few words, allowing the children to echo what you have said. Dear Jesus,/You are/so good./Help us/to walk/your ways/and serve others/as you would serve./Amen.
This lesson is by contributing writer, Nicole VanderMeulen, Children’s Ministry Coordinator at St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church in Renton, Washington.