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The Prodigal Son

Parable Discovery: Parable of the Prodigal Son

Sit in a chair, and have the children sit on the floor facing you. Open your Bible to Luke 15:11-24. Show the children your open Bible, and say: Jesus told this story to a group of people who were gathered around him. He told it to help the people understand that God loves them, and  God loves you, too! We're going to call this a "pop-up parable," and I'm going to need your help to tell the story.

Ask for volunteers to be the Son and the Fathe. The rest of the children can be the Chorus. Say: When I point to the Son or the Father or the Chorus, I want you to pop up from your seat, say the words that I tell you, then sit back down.

Are you ready to practice? Practice for a couple minutes using the lines below:

Father: I love you, son!

Son: I want to leave our home!

Chorus: Bad choice, son!

When you are sure they understand, use the following script to tell the parable.

Teacher: There was a man,..(Point to the Father.)

Father: (Pops up.) I love you, son!

Teacher: ...who had two sons. The younger son went to his father one day and said ...(Point to the Son.)

Son: (Pops up.) I want to leave our home!

Chorus: (Pops up.) Bad choice, son!

Teacher: The father ...(Point to the Father.)

Father: (Pops up.) I love you, son!

Teacher: ...was sad to let his son go. But he divided his money and gave it to each of his sons. Then he let his younger son go. (Point to the Son and then the Chorus and then the Father.)

Son: (Pops up.)I want to leave our home!

Chorus: (Pops up,) Bad choice, son!

Father: (Pops up.) I love you, son!

Teacher: And so the son...(Point to the Son.)

Son: (Pops up.) I want to leave our home!

Teacher: ...got together all he had, and left for a far-off country. While he was there, he wasted all his money in wild living. (Point to the Chorus.)

Chorus: (Pops up.) Bad choice, son!

Teacher: After he had spent everything, there was a bad time called a famine in that country. No one had anything to eat! The son began to be in need. So he went and got a job feeding pigs. He was so hungry that he wanted to eat the pigs' food!

Chorus: (Pops up.) Bad choice, son!

Teacher: But no one gave him anything. Finally, he got smart. (Point to the Chorus. Ask them to say, "Good choice, son!')

Chorus: (Pops up.) Good choice, son!

Teacher: The son thought about it for a while. "My father's servants have lots of food, and here I am starving! I'll go back to my father and say, `I've sinned against God and you. I'm too bad to be called your son.' Then I'll ask to be one of his servants." (Point to the Son. Ask him to say, "1 want to come on home!")

Son: (Pops up.) I want to come on home!

Chorus: (Pops up.) Good choice, son!

Teacher: But while the son was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with love for him. He ran to his son, threw his arms around him, and kissed him! (Point to the Father.)

Father: (Pops up.) I love you, son!

Teacher: The son said to his father, "I have sinned against God and against you. I shouldn't even be called your son!" But the father called to his servants, "Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Let's have a party and celebrate! For this son of mine was lost and now is found!" (Point to the Son and then the Chorus and then the Father.)

Son: (Pops up.) I want to come on home!

Chorus: (Pops up.) Good choice, son!

Father: (Pops up.) I love you, son!

PARABLE POINT

Say: Great job! Give yourselves a clap! Jesus used this story to teach us that 10 God loves you! The father in the story is like our heavenly Father, God. The son in the story is like you and me. Sometimes we make bad choices, but God still loves us and welcomes us to him with open arms! We can always come home to God.

Find out more about Simple Stories Jesus Told by Mary Rice Hopkins here: http://www.grouppublishing.com/prodinfo.asp?prodid=4373

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