Jonah & the Whale
Jonah was a prophet of God; he would listen to God and tell the people what God said. One day, God said to Jonah, "Go to the city of Nineveh and tell the people who live there that they are not showing good manners and that they need to change their ways." Jonah did not want to go to Nineveh. He didn’t like the people in that city, and maybe he was afraid of them. So Jonah decided to run away and hide from God. He caught the first ship out of town and headed in the opposite direction from where God told him to go.
Jonah got on that ship and hid way down deep inside. Then the boat began to be tossed in the waves because of a great storm. Because Jonah was a prophet, the sailors asked him, "What should we do to stop this terrible storm?"
"Throw me overboard into the sea," Jonah answered, "and the sea will become calm." The sailors picked up Jonah and threw him into the sea and the storm stopped at once.
Did Jonah drown in the sea? No! God sent a great fish to save him. He prayed to the Lord and decided that it had been wrong to run from the Lord and promised to fulfill his promises to God.
This week our Sunday School lesson includes ocean science experiments, creating an origami ocean animals and ocean snacks. Just as God had a task for Jonah, he has a plan for you and me. When it comes to doing what God wants us to do, we might run, but we cannot hide!
Another very fun children's story from the Bible. Jonah's travels is also a great Godly Play story. You can never get through the story without discussing with the children how the whale "vomited" Jonah! The story is actually called "Jonah the Backward Prophet" and it is found in Godly Play volume two.