It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything in the Children’s Talk section of this blog. I’ve done a number over that past 6 months (including the pneumatology for infants talk with a stick blender), but the most recent was the Parable of the Lost Coin.
For this I wanted to capture that sense of desperation in searching for something that was missing, even if you had other similar things, and then the joy of the angels at a person entering the Kingdom of God. I didn’t really need much in the way of props – just a small bag + 10 chocolate coins + lots of chocolate coins.
I put 9 coins in the bag (a small, opaque cloth bag with a draw-string) and I asked a member of the congregation to look after the 10th coin and to drop it under their seat at a set time. At the time of the talk I spoke about the precious things in the bag, told the children there were 10 coins in it, and then we all counted out loud the coins one at a time – 1, 2, 3 … 9. 9?!?! Counted them again. Still 9. Sent children off to scurry around the church looking for the coin – great excitement when found.
(In the meantime, I’d ‘palmed’ one of my 9 coins).
Count the coins again: 1, 2, 3…9. 9!?!?!? (More looking for the new missing coin, which I ‘find’ I’m sitting on.) Count them again. 1, 2, 3…10!!!
Talk a bit about the parable – basically just recount the story (kids are good at stories – don’t need an adult to tell them the moral). Ask them what would be a good way to celebrate (like the angels) my lost coin being found. [By this stage, they are all salivating and watching the coins going back into the bag]. I ask them if chocolate coins would work, and produce a big bag of them to be given to the Kidztime (Sunday School) teachers to distribute at the end of their programme. It all went really well.
(I also kept another bag of coins and handed them out to adult parishioners at the end of the service to keep them thinking about the parable. They were also appreciated.)