Sonja and Andy lead Rotation today. The children continued their learning about the “Workers in the Vineyard,” which comes from Matthew 20:1-16. So far, the children have done “drama”- acting out the story and ”bookmaking” where they created stories that depicted images of people in a situation that was unjust. ” We have been talking about situations of injustice and how they might be corrected in order to demonstrate justice and/or stewardship.
We have used a translation from the paraphrase “The Message” which says:
1-2 “God’s kingdom is like an estate manager who went out early in
the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. They agreed on a wage of
a dollar a day, and went to work. 3-5″Later, about nine o’clock, the
manager saw some other men hanging around the town square unemployed.
He told them to go to work in his vineyard and he would pay them a
fair wage. They went.
5-6″He did the same thing at noon, and again at three o’clock. At
five o’clock he went back and found still others standing around. He
said, ‘Why are you standing around all day doing nothing?’
7″They said, ‘Because no one hired us.’
“He told them to go to work in his vineyard.
8″When the day’s work was over, the owner of the vineyard instructed
his foreman, ‘Call the workers in and pay them their wages. Start with
the last hired and go on to the first.’
9-12″Those hired at five o’clock came up and were each given a
dollar. When those who were hired first saw that, they assumed they
would get far more. But they got the same, each of them one dollar.
Taking the dollar, they groused angrily to the manager, ‘These last
workers put in only one easy hour, and you just made them equal to us,
who slaved all day under a scorching sun.’
13-15″He replied to the one speaking for the rest, ‘Friend, I haven’t
been unfair. We agreed on the wage of a dollar, didn’t we? So take it
and go. I decided to give to the one who came last the same as you.
Can’t I do what I want with my own money? Are you going to get stingy
because I am generous?’
16″Here it is again, the Great Reversal: many of the first ending up
last, and the last first.”
After reviewing the story of the Workers in the Vineyard, the children played two games that required teamwork. The first was called Come to Order. In this game, an adult called out what the rule for the line up is, for instance by height, and the children lined up from shortest to tallest. When the line was formed, everyone introduced themselves and shook hands with their neighbors in the line. The first two times, all of the children could speak. Criteria for forming the line:
Alphabetically by first name
Birth month beginning with January
To make it more difficult and to practice teamwork in a different way, the children had to be silent the final two times that they lined up with this critieria:
Length of hair
Height, shortest first
Age, youngest to oldest
A colored yarn hunt was the second game. The children went upstairs in the Youth Room and hunted for 10 pieces of different colored yarns hidden around the play area. The game was tricky because there were sometimes several strands of one color but only one strand of another color. The children had to work together as a team to see who had what string and what colors they needed to finish collecting all 10 pieces.
Following the games, the children debriefed with follow-up questions and reflection:
Discuss how the individuals worked together or didn’t.
What did they want to do?
Did they want to do the task themselves or help each other?
How is this like the workers in the vineyard? How is it different?
Have the group compare and contrast this experience to the biblical story.
How do these games show us how to behave every day? (We need to be helpful to each other, not just take care of ourselves).
How do these games show that God wants us to act in a just manner and God wants everyone to have what they need to live? (In the parable God
gave everyone the same pay-probably a living wage. We need to make sure everyone has a living wage, just like we needed to make sure
everyone got to the other side. AND we need to work with and for each other not just for ourselves).
How is this behavior good stewardship? (We are taking care of each other).
How is this behavior praise to God? (We are living the way God wants; this is praise)!
Written by Cecilia Runge, Minister for Children and Youth and Linden Hills UCC