After crossing the Red Sea and being delivered from your enemies, what would YOU want to do? A seven year old in my Bible class answered, “I would do this!” and then proceeded to dance around our classroom clearly demonstrating pure joy.
Sometimes the illustrations I’ve selected and the scripts from which I read simply pale in comparison to the spontaneous responses of children who hear about what God has done.
Over a span of about a month we had journeyed along with Moses and the Hebrews and felt the pain of their suffering in Egyptian bondage. We had seen God at work through the ten plagues. We worked our way through the emotional experience of the night when the angel of death passed over. We trembled as we crossed through the Red sea on dry land with great walls of water on either side of us and the enemy right on our heels.
Now, after reviewing these events one more time, I asked the children in our Bible class to imagine being a Hebrew that day and looking back over the water of the Red Sea. I asked them to imagine the feeling of knowing that God was so strong and loved us so much that he had conquered our enemies and gotten us out of Egypt. My question “What would you feel like doing?” was a rhetorical question so I was simply floored when this seven year old spontaneously responded in exactly the way the Hebrews did!
Then Miriam the prophet, Aaron’s sister, took a timbrel in her hand, and all the women followed her, with timbrels and dancing. Miriam sang to them: ‘Sing to the Lord, for he is highly exalted. Both horse and driver he has hurled into the sea.’” Exodus 15:20-21, NIV
At that point I put other activities aside and we all did just what the Hebrews had done. We danced in praise to God for what he had done. Never mind that we were in an upstairs room and the adults in the Bible class below us thought I had possibly lost control of my class. (Never mind that I probably DID lose control over them for just a few moments). Never mind that the kids danced much better than the teacher.
The fact is that we participated together in some of the most “Biblical moments” I had experienced in quite some time.
The children went on the demonstrate dance moves depicting the plagues and the Passover and the crossing through the sea. Then, after what turned out to be a rather morbid rendition of the annihilation of Pharaoh and his army, I drew the children back in together and we participated in some quieter activities.
Once again, I thank God that I have the honour of sharing His Word with children and that so often the children become my teachers.
More ideas for teaching using movement and dance
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