The story can be condensed as follows:
One night, God brought Abram outside. He looked up into the sky. God came so close to Abram, and Abram came so close to God, that Abram knew what God was saying. "You will become the father of a great family, and Sarai will be the mother. The members of the great family will be as many as there are stars in the sky and grains of sand in the desert."
Abram laughed. He and Sarai were very old. God's promise sounded impossible, but God said to change their names. Abram was to be Abraham and Sarai was to be called Sarah.
One day, as Abraham was sitting by his tent, three strangers came out of the desert. Sarah fed them, as was the custom. They told Abraham that he and Sarah would have a son, and Abraham laughed. Sarah was standing by the tent, and she laughed too. They were too old.
Abraham and Sarah had a son. They laughed again, so they named the baby "Laughter." In their language, the word for "laughter" is "Isaac."
When Isaac was grown, Abraham sent his most trusted helper back to the land of his people to find a wife for Isaac. Abraham's helper stopped by a well. Rebekah offered him water to drink. She helped him give water to his animals. Rebekah then invited him home. He told her family about Abraham and Sarah and the Great Family. Rebekah decided she would like to be part of that Great Family, so she went to Hebron.
Isaac saw them coming and came out to meet them. Then Isaac and Rebekah were married.
Isaac and Rebekah had children, and their children had children, and those children had children. This went on for thousands and thousands of years until your grandmothers and grandfathers had children. Then your mothers and fathers had children. Now you are part of that great family which has become as many as the stars in the sky and the grains of sand in the desert.
As we close each storytelling session, we have wondering time where we can think further about the story as a group.
Some wondering questions to try at home:
- I wonder what part of this story you like best?
- I wonder what part is the most important?
- I wonder where you are in the story? What part of the story is about you?
Remember. This is not a time to quiz children on what they may or may not recall about the lesson. Rather, it is an opportunity to be quietly present as the children share their own experience.
You can view a video presentation of this story here.
Next week, both classes will be studying the Exodus story.