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Vacation Bible School

Pentateuch

Life Night Outline

Goal of this Night

The goal of this Life Night is to give teens an overview of the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Bible, and to demonstrate how they prefigure and help us understand Christ.

About this night

This Life Night utilizes imagery teenagers will be familiar with from children’s Bible stories in order to challenge them to a deeper understanding of Sacred Scripture, especially the Pentateuch. The first five books of the Bible can be difficult to understand, and unless a teenager knows how to read them correctly, they can even seem childish. This night begins by putting teenagers into a “Vacation Bible School” environment, with lots of depictions of Bible stories for children. The Gather features a popular VBS sing-a-long song that will give the teens an opportunity to be goofy as the night begins. This transitions into a brief teaching that gives an overview of the Pentateuch and explains how we are to interpret it within our Catholic Tradition. Teens will attend three rotating sessions during the Break. They will be given an opportunity to learn about specific passages within the Pentateuch and how they prefigure Christ. Teens will have an opportunity to discuss these passages at each rotating session. The night closes with a prayer that utilizes the “Shema” found in Deuteronomy 6:4-6; this is the commandment to love God above all else. During a brief reflection, teens will prayerfully examine how they have failed to love God with their whole mind, soul, and body – and will resolve to give themselves to God in the coming week.

Parental Notice

This week at Life Night the teens discussed the first five books of the Bible; this collection of books is often referred to as the Pentateuch. They contain accounts of creation, the early history of Israel and the Hebrew people, and the covenants that God makes with mankind. They are foundational books for our understanding of Christ and of Scripture. Many teenagers have a limited understanding of these books, and for many of them the last they may have encountered these books of the Bible was in Vacation Bible School. For this night, we played off that theme. The teaching challenged the teens to grow in their understanding of Scripture, and to “graduate” from VBS to a more mature understanding of the Bible. The teens then had rotating sessions and spent time learning about the first five books of the Bible and reflecting on specific passages within them. We closed the night with a reflection on a passage from Deuteronomy 6:4-6. This passage is called the “Shema,” and reflects the importance of believing in God.

This week, type out this passage and hang it on your refrigerator or in another prominent place in your household as a reflection for the members of your family. Take time to discuss its importance with your teenage son or daughter as well.

Environment

You will need to have four separate areas set up for this Life Night. The first area will be your main meeting space. Set up this area like the meeting room for a Vacation Bible School. If you are unsure of how to do this, enlist the help of some of your parish’s grade school catechists. The next three areas will be set up for the rotating sessions that take place during the Break of the Life Night. The area for the “Genesis” session should be set up like a garden. The area set up for the “Exodus” session should be set up like a parted Red Sea. On either side of the room create waves with cut out butcher paper. The area for the “Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy” session should have the Ten Commandments written on a large piece of butcher paper and hung on the front wall of the room.

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