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Sunday, October 2, 2011

Big Cow, Little Cow, Grain Stored Up

Itty Bitty Lutherans continued the story of Joseph (part 3 of 4) and introduced our new theme for the month of October, Reading the Faith, recommended resources for you and your little ones. 

Story Notes: Today, God speaks to us through His Word, the Bible, but before the Church had the Bible, God had to speak more directly to His people. God used dreams to communicate with Joseph and his people, and as Joseph pointed out, God gave him the ability to interpret those dreams.  The interpretation of dreams also launched Joseph to power and enabled him to save God’s people.   In this way, we again see how Joseph was a “type” of Christ.  Now out of the pit, Joseph saved his people through the grain he had stored.  Jesus, resurrected from the pit and His humiliation, is our bread of life.

Read Genesis 40-41 and share this story with your Itty Bitty. Find two toy cows that are not the same size.  Ask your child, Which cow is bigger?  Which cow is smaller?  Help them to identify the larger and smaller cow.  When Joseph was in jail, the king, called Pharaoh, had a dream.  While he was sleeping, he saw seven big, fat cows coming out of the river. Pick up the big fat cow with your child and bounce it on the floor seven times while counting, one, two, three, and so on. Then the Pharaoh king saw something else while he was sleeping. Seven ugly, little cows came out of the river. Can you find the little cow?  Pick up the smaller cow and again bounce it on the floor seven times.  Then, the little cow ate the big cow!  Pretend to make the little cow eat the big cow, then hide the big cow to make him go away.  What a funny dream!  Only God could help Joseph explain what it meant.  The dream was God’s way of telling the Pharaoh king that for seven years his people would have a lot of food to eat.  Then they would have seven years when they would be hungry and have no food to eat.  Since God used Joseph to explain this dream, Joseph didn’t have to stay in the pit anymore.  God used Joseph to protect his people from going hungry.

Place an empty bowl next you. Count out 14 Cheerios and place them in a second bowl that you will hold.  Pick up two Cheerios.  Continue with the story of Joseph this way, Now,  Joseph was in charge of making sure there was enough food all the time.  So each year the people ate some food, give your child the Cheerio, and saved some food. Put the second Cheerio in the empty bowl.  Repeat, picking up two more Cheerios from the full bowl.  Again the second year, they ate some, and saved some.  Again give a Cheerio to your baby and place a Cheerio in the bowl next to you.  Continue 5 more times, until all of the Cheerios in the “full bowl” are gone.   Ask your child, Are you still hungry? Do you want more? Show your empty bowl, They are all gone!  We don’t have any more to eat!  Scoot the bowl of saved Cheerios out for your baby to notice.  What’s that?  These are all of the Cheerios we were saving! This is just how God provided for His people through Joseph. They saved some for later. With God’s help Joseph was prepared.  God takes care of us.  God loves us.  Let your child eat the rest of the Cheerios.  Thank you God for giving us food to eat!
Reading the Faith: Throughout the month of October, we’ll be looking at various children’s books that might be helpful for teaching your children more about our Christian faith.  Our church library has many books you can share with your children, but if you choose to buy just one book, every home must have a Bible, of course. The Lutheran Study Bible offers Christ-centered commentary, application, devotions and prayers throughout the text.  It is a Bible your children will grow into, and is good for reading as a family. 

The Story Bible

A “Baby Bible” is appealing to young children because of the bright artwork. Cartoon characters are always engaging, but The Story Bible has realistic pictures that help children see that these are more than just stories, but real people, places and events.  Some story Bibles are more comprehensive than others are; some really skimp on the New Testament stories.  Also, parent notes can be helpful, but sometimes these notes are just morality lessons that fail to direct our children to the saving work of Jesus.  Take your time to pick the right Bible for your children and read it (!), keeping Jesus’ saving work of forgiveness of sins, in the focus of your conversations.

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