Online Session 13 – Exile & Promise
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Elijah Calls Fire from Heaven (1 Kings 18:20-39)
Characters: Narrator, Ahab, Elijah, Multiple prophets of Baal
Narrator: Elijah was a prophet of God. God sent him to spread the truth about there only being ONE God – but King Ahab and his wife Jezabel thought there were multiple gods – and they particularly preferred Baal. Jezabel was so convinced Baal was the right god to worship she tried to have all the prophets of God killed. But, God is not one to shy away from a challenge, and God sent Elijah to meet with King Ahab.
Ahab: ELIJAH! You done worshipping your silly God yet?
Elijah: No sir. If you want to be doing things the right way, you'd give up this silly Baal nonsense and worship God with me.
Ahab: Nope. Baal's the best. Most powerful. Going to make my country the best and most powerful!
Elijah: That seems like a stretch...how's Baal going to do that??
Ahab: Well Baal hasn't tol me what's going to happen, I just know that Baal's powerful.
Elijah: Whatever you say, King Ahab, I just really think you'd be surprised at how powerful God is.
Ahab: We'll see about that. Let's have a competition. I'll get my Baal prophets together, and we'll have a contest. Sound good?
Elijah: [reaching out a hand to shake with Ahab] You're on!
Narrator: Ahab got 400 prophets of Baal and gathered them on Mt. Carmel. Elijah went by himself.
Ahab: [laughing] Wow, Elijah, you're already looking pathetic.
Elijah: [grinning] Just wait. [raises voice to shout instructions to the crowd] All right, people. Here's the challenge. We are going to sacrifice TWO oxen. One to Baal, one to the real God. We'll build the altar, lay all the wood of the fire out and put the ox on top of it. BUT we won't start the fire ourselves – we'll call on our own God to start the fire. I'll let you go first.
Narrator: The prophets of Baal got to work – busily building the wood to make a hot fire, laying the oxen on top, they had everything prepared. They then began to circle the fire and dance and pray and call out to Baal to light the sacrifice. They chanted and prayed all night till they could barely stand – but still, no fire. [as this speech happens, many prophets dance around their wood pile, singing and chanting]
Elijah: SHOUT LOUDER – maybe Baal can't hear you!
Narrator: The prophets of Baal continued to try everything they could think of to get their god Baal to light the sacrifice, but no dice.
Elijah: Ok, that's long enough. My turn.
Narrator: Elijah built his wood pile. He carefully laid the ox upon it. THEN, he pourd water all over it. Three times – enough to make a pool in the trench around his fire pit. People were looking at him like he was crazy.
Elijah:There's only one of me, and there were 400 of you guys. Let's see what can happen when you worship the true God!
Narrator: Elijah began to pray.
Elijah:One true God in heaven, please accept this sacrifice to you. I ask that you provide the flames to show these people that you are the true God.
Narrator: With that, a fire came down from heaven – burned the offering, the wood – and even the water was consumed by flames. Everyone realized that the God Elijah worshipped was the REAL God, and they all bowed down!
Storytelling by participants
Share about a time you were sure you were right – but someone else proved you wrong. How did it feel to realize you were incorrect? Was the other person gracious with you or did the celebrate being right? Have you proved others wrong? How did you handle being right?
Storytime!, Alternate Story #1
Jonah (Jonah 1:1-17; 3:1-10, 4:1-11)
Characters: Narrator, Jonah, God, King of Nineveh, Boat Captain
Narrator: Jonah was supposed to go to Nineveh and tell the people there that God was going to destroy them for being sinful. He was afraid to give that message to the people, so he took off on a boat. It began to storm while he was sleeping below deck.
Boat Captain: I've never seen such a nasty storm! Bail the water out, mateys! Keep the boat from capsizing!
Narrator: The captain couldn't believe Jonah was asleep and not helping.
Boat Captain: JONAH! Wake up! It's all hands on deck with this storm!
Jonah: [sleepily] The storm? Oh no...
Boat Captain: What do you know??
Jonah: Umm...I think the storm might be because God is angry at me.
Boat Captain: WHAT?!!?
Jonah: Yeah... God wanted me to go to Nineveh, but I was freaked out... so I came here.
Boat Captain: DUDE. You can't run away from God!!! Don't you know anything? God talked directly to you and you think you can HIDE???
Jonah: [sheepishly] You're right. I suppose the only opption is the throw me overboard.
Boat Captain: You gotta relax, man.
Jonah: I'm serious. Do it or you'll lose your boat and all the people.
Narrator: The boat captain did what Jonah said. But luckily, even though God was angry, God sent a fish to swallow Jonah and keep him save. Jonah was in the fish for three whole days. He was so grateful that God spared his life he decided he'd better go to Nineveh and deliver the message he was supposed to.
Jonah: King, you and your people have been legit sinful. God's ready to punish you all really hardcore.
King of Nineveh: Jonah, thank you for telling me. We will repent. We are sorry for our sins. [Out towards his "people"] PEOPLE OF NINEVEH! THE TIME HAS COME TO REPENT! CRY UNTO THE LORD FOR FORGIVENESS, RENOUNCE YOUR SINFUL WAYS! GOD WANTS TO DESTROY US, BUT MAYBE GOD WILL SHOW US MERCY.
Narrator: God was so impressed by the people of Nineveh, God decided to forgive them and not destroy them. That made Jonah super angry...
Jonah: GOD! If I had known you weren't going to destroy them I wouldn’t have been so afraid to go deliver the message!! Why you gotta be like that?? If you were going to be so frustrating I would have rather died.
God: Dramatic much, Jonah?
Jonah: It's just not fair. I don't know why you needed me!
God: I don't control what people do, Jonah, but I can respond to them when I see genuine repentance, I like to forgive them. Don't be salty; I forgave you too, remember?
Jonah: [grudgingly] Yeah I guess so.
God: It's not grateful, but I'm guessing you'll get there.
Narrator: God yelled at Jonah for getting angry over the mission he was sent upon, and if Jonah was anything like he was at the beginning of the story, I'm sure he took it really well.
Storytelling by participants
Tell of a time when someone asked you to do a job that you didn't want to do – was it too hard? Did you think it was pointless? Did you try avoiding doing the job? What happens when you try to avoid doing what you are told? Has there ever been a job you didn't want to do, but were glad you did it once you started? What changed your mind?
*Scripture citations taken from The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. 1989. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers. As found in the Logos Bible study software program.
Check-In Questions and Mentor Meeting Options
THIS MONTH'S MENTOR MEETING OPTIONS
Choose one of these activities for your next mentor meeting.
Activity #1: Aquaman (or -woman)!
Plan to visit a local aquarium or marine museum. If no facilities are close, you can even visit a local pet shop. Discover all the varieties of fish and marine life. List the ways that the ocean and water are important for our world and what we can do to protect them.
Activity #2: Messenger Tag
God gave Jonah the duty to deliver a message. Just for fun, arrange a time with your mentor to do a group text or chat with your smartphones. Add people in you trust and strike up a conversation about how people like best to communicate. Keep adding people in until you get some good conversation going! If the parties are okay with it, post it online. #narratologyonline
Activity #3: Create Your Own
Discuss with your mentor or teacher what kinds of things you will both enjoy doing. Decide on an activity for this month that you and your mentor will do.
Instagram/Phone Check-in: Jonah (See above for Check-In Storytimes!)
- Why didn’t Jonah want to do what God told him to do? How did Jonah try to get out of the job God had given him? (List the ways.) What happened to him?
- Jonah became resentful after the Ninevites repented. Why?
- We often hear that Jonah was swallowed by a whale. What really swallowed him in the story? Do you believe this really happened? Why or why not?
- The possibilities with God often cannot be predicted. Share a story of how something turned out much different than you expected it would.