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The Lord Is My Shepherd

Story Excursion (20 minutes)


This experience will take kids on a quick tour of David's life, helping them discover how his words in Psalm 23 apply to their lives.

Items to Pack: Download instructions for each of the four Travel Stops. You'll also need Bibles, paper wads from the Departure Prayer, sticky notes, a basket, markers, yellow construction paper, scissors, tape, 2 pieces of white poster board, and blue poster paint.

Ahead of time, cut apart the instructions for each of the four Travel Stops, and then create these stations in your room. At each Travel Stop, place the appropriate instructions (face down) and a Bible. Kids will need to add their paper wads from the Departure Prayer. You'll also need to draw a fierce face on one poster board to represent Goliath and paint a blue lake or stream on the other. Set up each Travel Stop as follows:

Travel Stop 1: Close to a wall, place markers and a basket to hold about half the paper wads from the Departure Prayer. On the opposite wall, place something to represent "still water"-such as a large piece of white poster board with a blue lake painted on it.

Travel Stop 2: Place markers and a pad of sticky notes.

Travel Stop 3: In a corner of the room, place markers and the rest of the paper wads. High up on the wall, tape the poster board with the fierce Goliath face drawn on it.

Travel Stop 4: Place yellow construction paper (one sheet per person), markers, scissors, and tape on a flat work surface.

Open your Bible to Psalm 23, and show kids the passage.

Say: David wrote the 23rd Psalm-and a bunch of the other psalms in the Bible, too. I'm not sure when he wrote this psalm, whether he was young or old. But it's a great example of how •God loves and watches over us, no matter what age we are.

Form four groups, and assign each group to one of the Travel Stops. Tell kids not to turn over the instructions until you say "go."

Say: At each of these stops, you'll explore a part of Psalm 23 and a part of David's life. You'll have a few minutes at each Travel Stop, and I'll let you know when it's time to move to the next stop. Are you ready? Turn over your instructions and begin!

Give kids a few minutes at each Travel Stop. When kids have rotated through all four stops, have them sit in a circle with you.

Ask: • Talk about your favorite Travel Stop.

• Tell why you chose to write what you did on your crowns.

• What's the favorite thing you learned about David?

• How does this help you understand Psalm 23 better?

• What feelings did David express in just this one psalm?

Say: David expressed many feelings in just this one psalm. (Mention the following feelings if kids don't bring them up: He acknowledged God for all God provides. He talked about how God guided him in making right decisions. He said that even when he was scared, God was with him. And he said that God not only gave him blessings here on earth, God offered him eternal life, too.)

Say: That's a lot to say in such a short space! There are all sorts of ways to talk to God. We can speak to him, write to him as David did, sing to him, and even dance for him. David did that once, but that's a whole different part of the Bible.

Home Again Prayer (10 minutes)

Use this experience to reinforce how much God loves kids.

Say: For now, let's combine a few methods as we pray to God. I'll say verses of Psalm 23, adding a motion. Then you'll repeat the words and motions.

Here we go.

Have kids stand in a circle with you. Say Psalm 23 aloud and lead kids in the following motions.

The Lord is my shepherd (point to self);

I have all that I need. (Stretch arms out wide.)

He lets me rest in green meadows (put palms together at one side of face);

He leads me beside peaceful streams. (Make wavelike motions with hands.)

He renews my strength. (Make muscles.)

He guides me along right paths (walk in place),

Bringing honor to his name. (Point up.)

Even when I walk through the darkest valley (cup hands over eyes),

I will not be afraid (hug self),

For you are close beside me. (Point left and right.)

Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. (Cross fists in front of you.)

You prepare a feast for me in the presence of my enemies. (Pretend to eat.)

You honor me by anointing my head with oil. (Touch hands to head.)

My cup overflows with blessings. (Cup hands in front of you.)

Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life (turn in a circle),

And I will live in the house of the Lord forever. (Stretch arms up high.) Amen.

Adapted from Kids' Travel Guide to the 23rd Psalm ( cm

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