Godly Play Online: The Exile and Return

This week’s Godly Play lesson is The Exile and Return from The Complete Guide to Godly Play: Volume 2 by The Rev. Dr. Jerome Berryman

Told by Godly Play® US Trainer Sharolyn Browning.

This week’s lesson takes place once again in the desert box, which is an important setting for many of the sacred stories. In a previous lesson – The Great Family – Abraham and Sarah traveled away from their home, a land where people thought that gods were in each thing—such as in the sky, in a river or in a tree. The understanding that all of God might be everywhere sustained Abraham and Sarah as they finally made their way to Canaan, where Laughter (Isaac) was born. And God was there.

In this lesson, nearly the same journey is taken by God’s People but this time in the opposite direction. Even though this journey is forced onto God’s People, the same astounding discovery is made: God was not just in one place, in the temple in Jerusalem. God was also in a foreign and strange land. God’s presence is not here or there, but everywhere, waiting. To be found. To find us.

After you’ve watched the story, you might like to ask the wondering questions again – pausing after each question to leave enough time for your child to ponder and respond, if they wish – if they don’t that’s okay! I would encourage you to accept and affirm all answers simply by repeating exactly what the child said.

The wondering questions are:

  1. I wonder which part of the story you liked best?  (Affirm by saying – “You liked XXXXXX best”). *where XXXXXXX is whatever the child said
  2. I wonder which part is the most important? (Affirm by saying – “The most important one is XXXX”.)  *where XXXXXXX is whatever the child said
  3. I wonder which part of the story is especially about you? (Affirm by saying – “The one that is especially about you is XXXX”.  *where XXXXXXX is whatever the child said ) 
  4. I wonder if there is any part of the story we could leave out and still have all the days we need?  (Affirm by saying – “The part of the story we could leave out and still have all we need is XXXX”.)  *where XXXXXXX is whatever the child said

After the wondering, while we don’t direct children in their work, some suggestions might be:

  • that they draw or paint part of the story they liked best
  • that they gather some of their toys to retell the story
  • Or…..