SSU Summer School–2019–Week Four–“Abraham at the Terebinth Tree”

“I will return to you about this time next year, and Sarah will then have a son.” Genesis 18:1-10A USCCB.org

“Your descendants will be as numerous as the stars.”

“God kept His promise.”

Source: The Catholic Bible for Children, Page 25

 A Prayer for Children

“Act of Hope”

“O my God, I hope with sure confidence that,

through the merits of Jesus Christ,

you will grant me your grace in this world,

and eternal happiness in the next

because you have always promised this,

and you always keep your promises.

Source: A Missal for Children Page 85

A Missal for Children

 

For Parents to Teach to Their Children

A Reading for Grownups and Older Children

An Excerpt :

“Abrahams Visitors”

Source: USCCB.org, Genesis, chapter 18:1-15

“The LORD appeared to Abraham by the terebinth of Mamre,
as he sat in the entrance of his tent,
while the day was growing hot.
Looking up, Abraham saw three men standing nearby.
When he saw them, he ran from the entrance of the tent to greet them;
and bowing to the ground, he said:
‘Sir, if I may ask you this favor,
please do not go on past your servant.
Let some water be brought, that you may bathe your feet,
and then rest yourselves under the tree.
Now that you have come this close to your servant,
let me bring you a little food, that you may refresh yourselves;
and afterward you may go on your way.’
The men replied, ‘Very well, do as you have said.Abraham hastened into the tent and told Sarah,
‘Quick, three measures of fine flour! Knead it and make rolls.’
He ran to the herd, picked out a tender, choice steer,
and gave it to a servant, who quickly prepared it.
Then Abraham got some curds and milk,
as well as the steer that had been prepared,
and set these before the three men;
and he waited on them under the tree while they ate.They asked Abraham, ‘Where is your wife Sarah?’
He replied, ‘There in the tent.’
One of them said, ‘I will surely return to you about this time next year,
and Sarah will then have a son.'”

An Poem for Children

“Live It!”

“Read this poem. Think about one way you can obey God today. Make a promise to God to do your best to please hime every day.” 

“Abram and Sara had no son.

God came to Abram and promised him one.

The God promised even greater things:

many descendants and some of them kings.

God said: ‘Your name now Abraham will be

From you will come many nations, you’ll see.

Obey me and always do what is right

and I’ll be your God with all my might.”‘

Source: The Catholic Children’s Bible, Page17:1, 3-8, Genesis chapter 17 Page 44-45

The Catholic Children’s Bible

An Excerpt for Young Children

“Abraham and Isaac” 

“Abraham was a friend of God. One day, God called to him, ‘Leave your country, and go to the land I will show you.’ Abraham took his wife, Sarah, and his whole family and walked a very long time. One evening, he at last pitched a tent under some oak trees: ‘Look Sarah, this land is for us and for our children.’ But Sarah was sad because she was old and had no children.

It was noon. Abraham saw three travelers in the distance. ‘Sarah! Quick, bake some bread! We have visitors!’ The three travelers rested under an oak tree. ‘In one year’, one of them said, “you will have a baby.’ Sarah laughed, ‘That’s not possible, we’re too old!’

‘Nothing is impossible for God’, answered the traveler.'”

Source:  The Catholic Bible for Children, Pages 12-13, “Abraham and Isaac” Genesis 12:1-5; 15:3-7; 18:1-15; 21:1-7 Pages 24-25

The Catholic Bible for Children

Message to Parents–Three Angels Visit Abraham

The three “travelers” who visit Abraham and make a startling statement to Sarah are special. They are not earthly beings. They are angels. Angels are “pure spirits created by God.”  Angels are God’s messengers. God also is pure spirit. They certainly had a wonderful message for Abraham and Sarah. Imagine two elderly people, who always had prayed for a child, having a baby within the year! Sarah laughed. She was astonished. But one of the “travelers” identifies himself as “The LORD.” He tells Sarah the news, and says,’  Is anything too marvelous for the LORD to do? At the appointed time, about this time next year, I will return to you, and Sarah will have a son.’”

The final line to this reading is:

33 “The LORD departed as soon as he had finished speaking with Abraham, and Abraham returned home.” 

USCCB.Org Genesis, chapter 18:33

Here is a note from the reading on the number of “travelers” that visit Abraham:

* [18:3] Abraham addresses the leader of the group, whom he does not yet recognize as the Lord; in the next two verses he speaks to all three men. The other two are later (Gn 19:1) identified as angels. The shifting numbers and identification of the visitors are a narrative way of expressing the mysterious presence of God. USCCB.Org

In the following chapter, the first line is:

“The two angels reached Sodom in the evening, as Lot (Abraham’s nephew) was sitting at the gate of Sodom. When Lot saw them, he got up to greet them; and bowing down with his face to the ground…” 

USCCB.Org Genesis, chapter 19:1

The two visitors to Lot’s home hit evil men trying to enter Lot’s home with a blinding light:

11they struck the men at the entrance of the house, small and great, with such a blinding light* that they were utterly unable to find the doorway.”

Note from USCCB.Org on the presence of the angels:

“* [19:11Blinding light: an extraordinary flash that temporarily dazed the wicked men and revealed to Lot the true nature of his guests.”

Read More about Angels–Click Here

“The existence of angels – a truth of faith”

328 “The existence of the spiritual, non-corporeal beings that Sacred Scripture usually calls ‘angels’ is a truth of faith. The witness of Scripture is as clear as the unanimity of Tradition.”

From “Catechism of the Catholic Church”

Celebrating Through Song–A Song about Abraham and Sarah

Source: Heather Patey Presbyterian Church in Canada

Tune Source: Hymnary.org

Click to Play the Tune Written by Judith Fetter

“To Abraham and Sarah”

1. “To Abraham and Sarah
the call of God was clear:
‘Go forth and I will show you
a country rich and fair.
You need not fear the journey
for I have pledged my word:
that you shall be my people
and I will be your God.’

2. From Abraham and Sarah
arose a pilgrim race,
dependent for their journey
on God’s abundant grace.
and in their heart was written
by God this saving word:
‘that you shall be my people
and I will be your God.’

3. We of this generation
on whom God’s hand is laid,
can journey to the future
secure and unafraid!
rejoicing in God’s goodness
and trusting in this word:
‘that you shall be my people
and I will be your God.'”

Our Art Project–The Terebinth Tree

Connie at the Ruins of Jericho

In June, 2017, I visited Israel with my son, Fr. William Goldin. We visited many sites, including those in the Palestinian Authority, in the region known as the West Bank. We got lost on our way to Jericho for a short bit, and were driving up a dirt road to someone’s home. It was a parched, rugged land. We got turned around and headed to the ruins of the ancient city of Jericho. Jericho is about seventy miles from Hebron, where Mamre once was. Both Jericho and Hebron still exist and are two of the oldest cities on the planet. Both were Bronze Age cities, and Abraham is believed to be of the Bronze Age. The early Bronze Age  was from “c. 3000–2000 BC.”

Jericho was hot–107 degrees–and I was dressed modestly out of respect for the local custom and tradition. (The silly hat was bought from a stand in Jerusalem so I wouldn’t sunburn.) This area is primarily Muslim and women are covered with clothing. It would be inappropriate for a woman to be in walking shorts and a tee-shirt, even though it would be fine for a Western woman, elsewhere. It is important also for protection from the sun. Think about the robes that the ancient people wore and are still worn today in many Islamic countries.

It is so impressive to walk where Abraham, the Patriarchs of what becomes Judaism, and where Jesus walked, in this arid, rocky area, looking at the hills of Jordan and the big valley below:

 “He came to Jericho and intended to pass through the town.” Luke, chapter 19-1

“And Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house because this man too is a descendant of Abraham.'” Luke, chapter 19-9

Source: UCSSB.Org

The Terebinth tree is in the Oak family. It gave great shade to the ancient people and to Abraham. Perhaps it also provided firewood from dead branches. They are still a part of the flora of this region, and turpentine comes from this tree. For inspiration in painting the Terebinth tree, I looked at a photo from Wikipedia.org and tried to replicate the scene. I hope you and your children have fun painting a big, important tree!

 

The Great Oak Gives Shade

Materials

To begin, I used a watercolor pastel in brown to divide the sky and earth. I also drew a light outline of the big tree in the middle of the paper. I used liquid watercolors on watercolor paper and sprinkled coarse salt on the brown paint to make it look like parched soil. To get the effect of clouds in the sky, I dabbed the wet blue paint with a scrunched paper towel. After a couple of coats of a drab green color, I used a small sponge on a stick dipped in bright green, mixed with brown. You and your child can use a Q-Tip or even a finger dipped in paint to add dimension to the tree’s foliage. (The paint washes off after several hand washings.) In the set of liquid watercolor paints I have, there are only primary colors, so I experimented mixing colors until I made the brown and black that I liked. The hardest part is waiting for the painting to dry! Here are the materials:

 

 

 

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