As the children arrive, sit everyone down. Ask the children, have they ever been rescued? Tell them a personal story or a story about someone you know that has been rescued in some way.
You will need: logos on a sheet of paper or slide show
Before the session, find logos that the children might recognise, for example CBBC, Captain America, Audi or the Olympics. Print them out (or put them on a slide show) and ask the children to guess as many logos as they can in a certain amount of time.
Read the following retelling of part of the story using a mixture of Bible verses and the script below. You could ask leaders to perform the sketch or get the children involved! When the words in blue are read out, get the children to do the action for each word:
Instructions: make a list
Sign: arms crossed in an X
Rescue: sound of a trumpet
Remembrance: point one finger to the side of your head
Narrator: God had a rescue plan to save his people. God said to Moses…
God: I will strike Pharaoh and the land of Egypt with one more blow. After that, Pharaoh will let you leave this country.
Narrator: God’s rescue plan begins …
God: At midnight, I will pass through the heart of Egypt. All the firstborn sons will die in every family in Egypt.
Narrator: While the Israelites were still in the land of Egypt, the Lord gave the following instructions to Moses and Aaron for his rescue plan.
God: Announce to the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each family must choose a lamb or a young goat for a sacrifice.
Narrator: The next set of instructions…
God: (Encourage the children to mime these actions as they’re read out.) Be fully dressed, tuck your cloak into your belt, wear your sandals and carry your walking stick in your hand. Eat the meal with urgency, for this is the Lord’s Passover.
Narrator: God has some more specific instructions…
God: Take some of the blood from the lamb and smear it on the sides and top of the doorframes of your houses. That same night roast the meat over a fire and eat it along with bitter salad and bread made without yeast. On that night when I see the sign on the door frame, I will pass over you. This plague of death will not touch you when I strike the land of Egypt. This is part of my rescue.
Narrator: This was a special day to remember…
God: This day of remembrance each year is called the Passover. Celebrate this festival of unleavened bread, for it will help you remember that I brought you out of the land of Egypt on this very day. This was my rescue. Your children will ask: “What does this ceremony mean?” And you will reply: “It is the Passover when God passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt.”
Narrator: God has rescued his people! Pharaoh sent for Moses and Aaron during the night.
Pharaoh: Get out! Leave my people and take the rest of the Israelites with you! Take your flocks and herds and be gone. Go, but bless me as you leave.
Narrator: That night the people of Israel left Egypt. There were about 600,000 men, plus all the women and children. They baked flat cakes from the dough without yeast because the people were driven out of Egypt in such a hurry that they had no time to prepare the bread or other food! This part of God’s rescue was complete! God had given the Israelites instructions to follow. They used the blood of the lamb to paint the sign above their doors, so the special rescue could take place. This is worth remembering don’t you think?
Ask the children these questions, encouraging everyone to join in if they’d like to:
- What surprises you in this story?
- Is there anything you don’t understand?
- Do you think God still rescues his people?
Allow time to address some of the trickier questions that may arise.
You will need:a seder plate with a lamb bone, hard-boiled egg, horseradish, charoset (various recipes can be found online, including some nut-free), parsley and romaine lettuce, together with matzos to represent the flat bread
Before the session, prepare a seder plate (more information can be found at: www. chabad.org/kids/article_cdo/aid/1608/ jewish/The-Seder-Plate.htm) Share the different elements with the children. Explain that even today, people remember how God set them free from slavery by sharing this meal together. Invite the children to taste different parts of the meal, talking about the things that it represents, about the flavours and textures and about why it is so important to still remember what God did for his people that day. (You will need to check for food allergies before the session).
You will need: matzos or pitta bread
Lay out some pitta bread on a plate. Ask the children to each take and eat a little piece of bread. In small groups ask the children to thank God for his rescue plan, for the Israelites and for his people today. Help the children to think of and name someone who doesn’t yet know about Jesus and his great rescue.