Abraham & Sarah CD Questions
This resource contains the Discussion Questions found in Sunday Software's Abraham & Sarah CD,
...and some extra questions for your consideration.
Written by Neil MacQueen,
Sunday Software
www.sundaysoftware.com/abe/abe-questions.htm

This document lists the questions posed in the CD and the sections where they can be found. This document also lists some possible follow-up questions. For a full outline of all the CD's content, go to www.sundaysoftware.com/abe/outline.htm. To create your own handout, click/hold/drag your mouse across any of the following text, then select "Edit" and "Copy" from your browser's menu. Open up a wordprocessor and select "Edit" and "Paste" and this material will appear there for you to edit.

You will also see that I have created a customizable Student Handout for use with the CD. It is at www.sundaysoftware.com/abe/Abraham-handout.pdf.  To customize that pdf with your own content, copy the text and drop it into your wordprocessor.

We have more teaching resources for this CD. See the links at www.sundaysoftware.com/abe !

Note: All the following songs can be played three ways:  1. By accessing them in their learning areas within the CD.  2. By going to the Music Video Player in the Pay It Forward section and just playing a video. 3. Or by exploring the CD's files and playing the 'movies' separately in Quicktime.


Beginning of CD:

Here is the voiceover at the beginning of the CD ...it asks a question:

Long before the time of Jesus, Before the time of David , and Ruth and Moses, God visited a man named Abram in the lands of UR and Haran

and called him to take his family on a difficult journey to a new land called Canaan. His descendants were to become a Kingdom of Priests

...a people dedicated to receiving the message of God and sharing it with the world. This is their story.  Is it yours?

For discussion:
Why did the narrators ask if this story is "yours"?  How could it be "your" story?
When we read the Bible, we can place ourselves in the story. We can imagine "how would I have answered God's call?"


Song: "I heard a Voice Today" (Video showing Abraham's caravan, the desert. The song and video end in our Scriptorium --the place where students can access the rest of the story. You can replay this song in the Scriptorium's panel when you click exit.

The Song says, "...I have a job for you....I'll plant your people there to show the world I care..."

For Discussion:
What would make God pick Abraham and Sarah for this mission? What qualities would they need? Why did God pick a couple from Iraq? (that's where Haran is) Why send them to Canaan? --God must have seen something in their character. God definitely saw potential in planting a people to serve him at the crossroads between great empires.

For older students: At the end of the song the lyrics say "nothing expedient, a call for obedience." What do you think that means? What does it say about following God?

Go to http://www.sundaysoftware.com/abe/lyrics.htm to print out the complete lyrics to all the songs, along with a commentary.


The Covenant:

Genesis 15: God tells Abraham to build place a sacrifice on the altar, then puts him in a deep sleep as the sky turns to night. Then God blesses the offering and establishes his Covenant.

SO...  in the SO "star word" presentation you are asked the following questions:

What promises have you made to God?
What is hard about keeping these promises?
Who and What can help you keep your promises to God?

ALTAR...  in the Altar "star word" presentation you are asked the following question:

Which do you think is better? ...an altar ...or a communion table ...and why?

Altars are a place to put your sacrifice. A Table is a place for feeding and fellowship. Protestant Christians do not have altars, they have "chancel" areas where the Table is present. What does this tell you about how we think about God? 

Additional Questions:

Why did God first give the Covenant to Abraham instead of ...the king of a large Kingdom.  Why start small?
What do you think about our use of young voices as the voice of God?
What does God's voice sound like anyway? 


The Visit:

Genesis 18: Sarah retells her story of the angels visiting her and Abraham outside their tent. It has FIVE areas (here called "buttons") to explore:

Button 5 Details:  Below is a screenshot of the four "flip" questions that appear when you click on Sarah's Song Lyrics. Clicking on them 'flips' the panel to reveal a statement and discussion question.

Sarah's Song Lyrics Graphic -- Questions 1-4:

Here's what's on the flip side of those four question panels:

 Flip side of #1

 Flip side of #2

 Flip side of #3

 Flip side of #4


The Sacrifice:

Abraham brings Isaac to altar with stone megaliths "witnessing" it.
Voiceover: We believe in a God who tests us. God tested Abraham, Sarah and Isaac's faith by asking for the sacrifice of Isaac. This is that story. It reveals what you can expect from God. It reveals what God can expect from you. It reveals what God will do for us all. 

The Megaliths have the following clickable labels:

 

Extra Notes on Megaliths 2 and 3

==Megalith 2: =Dig into the story

When this monolith is clicked, it appears large on the right side of the screen and the following THREE clickable text phrases appear (see drawing on this page). When the phrase is clicked, the following text appears across the screen. They include some graphics I've given you.

Phrase 1: "Child Sacrifice?"

Additional Questions:
What do our offerings say about us to God?
What does the offering of the ram and Jesus say about God?
For further reading: Hebrews 10:1-18

Phrase 2: What are these stones about?

Additional Question: What are our "sacred stones" in our day and faith?

Phrase 3: "What is faith?"

Additional Questions: What is your definition of faith?

Additional Questions:

What would God have done if Abraham, Sarah, or Isaac had said "no" to the test?
How do you think Abraham explained the test to Isaac?
What would you have done if you had been Abraham? Sarah? Isaac?
What sort of test might God design in today's world for Abraham?
How does God still test today's faithful?

Megalith 3: O Father Abraham Video

After the music video is over you will see a graphic of the altar/megaliths with kids standing inside the 5 stones. The following phrases are written on the stone around the kids.

Stone phrase 1: Would you've killed your son?
Answer 1: As difficult as this may be to accept, Abraham probably trusted God enough to do whatever God asked. Do you have that much faith?

Stone phrase 2: Did she question?
Answer 2: The Bible doesn't say what Sarah thought about the near-sacrifice, but you can bet she was upset about it. Like a parent, God doesn't expect us to understand or even agree with everything God requires, but God does expect us to trust and obey. Do you love God that much?

Stone phrase 3: Reveals the heart of God...
Stone phrase 4: It foretells the Christ...
Stone phrase 5:
View and Print Lyrics

Additional Questions:

Would you have followed through on God's orders?
If you were Sarah, what would you be thinking, doing?
How does this story reveal the character of God?
How is the story of Isaac's near-sacrifice similar and dissimilar to Christ's sacrifice?
Why would God offer his own son but not ask Abraham and Sarah to do the same? What does that say about our God?
How can a person learn to obey and trust God completely?

Insane Fanatasy:

The song title comes from the put-down suffered by a young man when he made his religious convictions known to his friends. "Religious Fanatic + Fantasy"

Following God in your life can sometimes bring people down on you. Listen to the song of one young person who chose to follow God, and the actual words which friends said about that decision. Then respond with your own words.

LISTEN  -launches the music video.
RESPOND  -launches the set of questions you see below in this outline. Students can type in responses. These get saved in the computer.
PRINT LYRICS  -prints the Lyrics along with the RESPOND guestbook texts.

Here are the questions in the activity behind the RESPOND Button:

"Temporary Form"
My faith in God is as strong as _____________.

"Throwing it all away"
Name two things a person must be willing to give up to follow God: ________ and _________.

"I know what they're saying about me"
Write down one thing people probably said about Abraham behind his back when he told them about his call to go to a new land.

What would your friends at school say if you started talking about your faith in God more openly and started making changes in the way you lived your life and treated others?

"He'll come 'round some day"
Name something that can cause someone to lose faith or stumble on their walk with God.

"But I believe"
If someone asked you to sum up what you believe about God, what would you tell them?

"Insane Fanat-asy"
Insane: 1. a degree of mental malfunctioning 2. Extreme foolishness; folly
Fanatic: extreme, unreasoning enthusiasm for a cause (abbreviation: fan)
Fantasy: creative invention of the mind, hallucination, unrealistic
Insane Fanatasy: what some people believe faith or the religious life is.

For older children/youth: There is such a thing as a "religious fanatic" we should be cautious of. Jesus called them "zealots". Typically, a zealot is someone who allows their religious beliefs to over-rule the law of love and forgiveness and humility that Jesus preached.

"How 'bout U ?"
If your faith were a car what kind of car would you say it is right now?
If your journey with God was a road, what kind of road are you on right now?
What sign is God waving at you on the road up ahead?
What two people can help you the most on your journey right now?

PRINT LYRICS


Pay it Forward:  This is an activity you can do now or print and have them take home.

1. Print a Certificate of Completion --a fun way for students to show others what they did and perhaps generate discussion with mum and dad.
2. Pay It Forward --an experiment in promoting good deeds. Print this form and send home with students. Ask them to bring it back next time you gather.
3. Music Video Player --we've provided you a quick way to preview/review the four major music videos in the CD.