When I teach the Parables in my Sunday School class we pair them with a Gospel lesson of a similar theme. In my head the Parables of Heaven pair quite well with John the Baptist because John came to prepare everyone for Jesus’ coming and the Parables of Heaven prepare everyone for what Heaven is like.
What I learn from the Parables of Heaven
Last year our church used parables for our VBS, I did a lot of grumbling because I was adapting these same stories to preschoolers, and they weren’t in a single children’s Bible and it was a sentence long. But, I still learned a lot as I thought through how to best make a craft a two year old can complete while in a park. These particular parables troubled me the most because they are all hard to break down for little kids.
In the end I realized the key is how much a small thing changes us. So a teaspoon of yeast causes the dough to double in size. A miniscule seed grows into a great tree. All of these changes start small, but create big results.
The same is true of the other two comparisons in the set of stories. The pearl is passed over by many, but the man who recognizes its’ worth changes his whole life to get it. The treasure is missed by everyone else, but the man who finds it sells all to buy the land.
Now the fisherman story, that’s the odd man out in this set. I don’t quite know what to say about it. I’ve got separate posts planned for each of the other parables, but this one is about God Himself and how not everyone is going to heaven. It’s a bit harder to wrap your head around.
Parables of Heaven crafts
Since each of these parables are very distinct, I have several different crafts. First the kids and I made oysters with pearls in them. It’s a fun and quick craft for older kids to make a visual aid, I thought Batman would use his pearl craft in our video, but he had a more amusing pearl to share.
This is the craft I used for the preschoolers at VBS. We made a treasure chest and glued jewels on it. The preschoolers loved it, and I loved the relative simplicity of this project.
I struggled for a long time to find a good craft for the parable of the mustard seed, but eventually we made small pots and the kids decorated them to demonstrate how we should grow in Christ. Yes, I am not above cheesy crafts if it drives the point home.
I used this craft earlier with Jesus calling his disciples, but it’s quite appropriate for the parable of the fishermen, so I’ll recycle it here.