Online Session 02 - Covenant
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(Genesis 27:1-14, 15-23; 28:10-17; 32:22-30)
Readers: Narrator, Jacob, Esau, Isaac, Rebekah
Narrator: Isaac, the son of Abraham and Sarah, had grown old. And as often happens when you get old his hair got thin, he didn't sleep well at night, and he started using phrases like "cool" or "radical" to try and fit in with his grandkids. (Of course, this didn't work so well . . . but that's another story.) Age had also brought extremely poor eyesight for poor old Isaac. It was so bad that he often mistook his dog for a cat and cursed him for not chasing after mice. His wife, Rebekah, decided one day to take advantage of her husband to benefit her son, Jacob. And this is how it happened . . .
Narrator: One day, Isaac called his firstborn son, Esau — he was the one of the twin sons and since he was born first, he was Isaac's legal heir. Isaac spoke with Esau to tell him what he was about to do . . .
Isaac: ["Old man" voice] I say . . . Esau . . . come here, boy!
Esau: Yo. Pops. Wazzup?
Isaac: You and all your newfangled slang. [Waves dismissingly]. Now listen . . . I want you to do something for me.
Esau: Sure. Okay. What do you want?
Isaac: I know that my end is coming soon. I'm going to die soon. And I want the day of my death to be just perfect. Go out hunting like you do so well, and kill for me one of those wild goats you're always after with your bow and arrow. But make sure it's a young, tasty one. Er . . . the goat that is . . . not the bow and arrow.
Isaac: Do this, and I'll give you my final blessing before I die.
Esau: Whatever you say, O great father-o-mine.
Narrator: Now Rebekah had been listening in while her husband gave his instructions to Esau. She loved Esau like any other son, but she also played favorites. She wanted Jacob to get the blessing, not Esau!
Rebekah: [to Jacob] My son . . . I just now heard your father say to your brother that he's about to give his blessing to him!
Jacob: Yeah . . . so?
Rebekah: [bonks Jacob on head] So?!?! So it means that YOU can get that blessing!
Jacob: How? I'm not Esau.
Rebekah: Just listen! Follow my instructions and this'll all work out for you! Go to the flock, and get me two choice young goats; I'll prepare them just the way Dad likes, and you can take the meal to your father to eat, so that he may bless YOU before he dies.
Jacob: Ummmmm . . . okay. But I don't look anything like Esau. He's all hairy and tough—I'm smooth and sleek. Maybe Dad will know our scheming plan—I'll end up getting a curse instead of a blessing!
Rebekah: Nope. I got that covered too.
Jacob: Oh yeah? How?
Rebekah: I got that covered. Now go out and get those tasty goats!
Jacob: Okee doke, Mommy!
Narrator: Jacob went out and did as his mother had instructed him. After cooking up a meal, Rebekah then took the skins of the two goats and made little sleeves out of them for Jacob to wear!
Jacob: [Wearing the goat-sleeves] Mom! This isn't going to fool anybody!
Rebekah: Shush! Will too. Your dad's as blind as a bat. He'll feel your arms and think it's Esau.
Jacob: If you say so. But I don't think–
Rebekah: That's right! Don't think — just do as I say.
Jacob: Yes, Mom.
Narrator: Jacob was an obedient son (although a bit stubborn), so he did as his mother asked. And the time came for the plan to all come together. (Esau was still out hunting—the poor fool.)
Jacob: [Entering into his father Isaac's chambers] Dad! Here I am! Sit up and eat the game I shot for you with my trusty bow and arrow!
Isaac: Oh! What?! Who's there?
Jacob: It's me, your firstborn son Esau!
Isaac: It is? You don't sound like him.
Jacob: [coughing—then sounding a bit deeper voiced] It's me all right. I'm Esau!
Isaac: Well that was really fast! How did you go out and shoot one so quickly and have time to cook it up?
Jacob: The Lord has granted me quick success. I guess I'm the one to receive the blessing.
Isaac: Well, come over here, m'boy! Give me some of that red yummy dish. And let me touch you so I know it's really you . . . you, hairy son of mine!
Narrator: Jacob gave his father Isaac the stew that he savored so much. Isaac felt the fake sleeves Rebekah had crafted for her son. Then, Isaac gave the blessing he intended on giving to Esau . . . to Isaac. And, I guess once you're blessed, well, that's that! Jacob WAS blessed. And after his father had long since died, Jacob wrestled an angel, saw a ladder going up and down from heaven in a dream, and had his name changed to Israel, which means "one who prevails with God."
Kid Story: Share a time when you felt as if you were "blessed." Tell how you knew that you were blessed. What does a blessing really mean to you, anyway?
(Genesis 37:3-8, 17b-22, 26-34; 50:15-21)
Readers: Father, Daughter (Candace), Son (Ethan)
Daughter: [Yelling to father who is in other room] Daaaaaaad!!!
Daughter: Tell Ethan to quit bluejacking my phone!
Father: [Walks into room with kids] Um . . . what? "Blue-jacking" . . . what's that?!
Daughter: It's when a technologically-skilled person—like my pain in the butt brother—uses a coded hack to hijack the text messaging system on my phone to send UNWANTED [looking to brother] messages. [Brother Ethan snickers]
Father: Um. Okay. Ethan stop . . . bluejacking. Um yeah. Just stop doing what your doing.
Son: But it's so much fun! Look! I can send my sister unwanted messages . . . like this one!
Father: [Reading son's phone] "Hey, everyone . . . look at how stupid I am." Oh yeah, Ethan, that's just brilliant. Not nice. Look, I want you guys to get along better. And, Candace, you're no saint either.
Daughter: What do you mean?!
Father: Last week when you posted that photoshopped pic of him on Instagram? Remember?
Daughter: So what . . . for all he does to me he deserves it!
Son: No I don't! That was really mean! It's not like I'd do anything . . . permanent to put down your friends.
Father: Ethan . . . quit messing with your sister's phone. Candace . . . start treating your brother like Joseph after his brothers rediscovered how much they really loved him.
Daughter: [Quizzically] Wait. What?
Father: You know the story . . . Joseph had a colorful robe that was given to him by his father. And he was his father's favorite–
Daughter: So . . . wait now! You're saying that Ethan is your favorite?!
Father: Oh no! Not at all. That's just how the story goes. What I want to show . . . um . . . is that.
Son: . . . is that Joseph's brothers sold him into slavery in Egypt!
Father: Yeah. That's right. And after he was sold into Egypt, Joseph actually got to be quite powerful. Then there was a famine later on, his brothers came groveling to him. Joseph could have thrown them in jail, but he forgave them. It's one of the cooler stories in the Old Testament.
Daughter: And that's supposed to teach me what?!
Father: That brothers and sisters don't have to be best friends. But family is family and you can love each other and treat each other nicely . . . because you never know how important they're gonna be later on in life.
Daughter: [to Ethan] Fine. Don't bluejack my iPhone, idiot.
Son: I won't. Don't photoshop pictures of me and post them online, moron.
Son: All right.
Father: [Shakes head] Well . . . at least we're making SOME progress.
Kid Story: If you have siblings, tell of a time when they really annoyed you. What aspect do you love BEST about them? (If you don't have a brother or a sister, think of a cousin or a friend.)
Other Information for This Session
**For the Joseph Story: HERE is an online free link where you can watch "Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat," a production based off the Joseph story in the Bible. If you prefer a more professional production, there are also options to watch it in iTunes and an adaptation on Netflix.
THIS MONTH'S MENTOR MEETING OPTIONS
Choose one of these activities for your next mentor meeting.
Activity #1: Planting Faith
Stuff you’ll need: Plant, Popsicle Sticks, Sticky Notes or Notecards, Writing Stuff
With a nice looking plant you have purchased, transplant it into a larger pot and make signs on notecards with popsicle sticks to stick into the dirt. The signs should show that this plant is a “covenant” plant. It can then go in a public place in the church where you lay out additional, pre-built, blank signs, and also markers or pens.
Create another sign which states that people are encouraged to write a message of thanks to God for keeping God’s promises in our baptisms. Then, the bottom of each sign, write something you would like to do to build up your faith community over the next month. As all the signs get placed in the pot will be a witness just how faithful God has been to God’s people! Feel free to decorate the signs as you wish. Snap photos and zap ‘em to #narratologyonline, if you like.
Activity #2: Stargazing
October is a wonderful time of year to see the stars! Experience a bit of what Abram might have when God invited him to look up. You’ll have to venture away from large cities and find a time with a clear sky, but in most locales the stars should be visible by 9pm. For a starter guide to what you can see, visit: oneminuteastronomer.com/stargazing-and-night-sky-guide/.
Activity #3: Choose Your Own
Discuss with your mentor or teacher what kinds of things you both enjoy doing. Decide on an activity to do for this month.
Instagram/Phone Check-in: Jacob & Esau (See above for Check-In Storytimes!)
- What scheming plans did Jacob have to receive his father’s blessing?
- Why do you think Rebekah instructed her son?
- Was the blessing (in your view) still valid? Does God actually work this way?
Instagram/Phone Check-in: Noah (See above for Check-In Storytimes!)
Sarah and Abraham’s family eventually became quite large. Their direct descendants are listed in the Bible from Genesis 18 on. The stories are wonderfully rich and instructive to how God continued to work with humanity, despite all its brokenness and frailty. Read the story of Joseph and his multicolored coat-thingy that made his brothers jealous (and of course the forgiveness that followed). One great (and fun) depiction of the Joseph story (Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat) can be viewed on iTunes® or rented through Netflix®.
- After reading and/or viewing the production, what surprised you the most about Joseph’s actions to his brothers?
- What would you have done?
- Record a short video of yourself or snap a photo and post to Instagram using #narratologyonline.
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