On your marks
Here is a fun and energetic way for a group to get thinking about the Bible as God’s special book. It would be an ideal way to lead in to a piece of drama or mime linked to one particular Bible story or character. After a short introduction, it aims to be a sort of Bible ‘work out’ routine to kick off a session with children – and possibly adults too!
No special equipment needed
- Start the session with each person in the group being asked to find a space of their own around the room.
- Now ask the group to follow carefully actions mimed by the leader. The leader should mime:
the opening of a big book… turning its pages… finding the right chapter (move your pointed finger along and down imaginary columns)… marking a particular verse… reading the line (exaggerate the head and eye movement for this)… a pause to think (finger on chin)… a pause to pray (hands together)… more reading… another pause to think… another short prayer… the closing of the book… finishing with a big sigh.
Ask the group what they thought you as leader were doing. Move on to ask what their favourite book is. Tell them that for Christians the Bible is a special, favourite book to be read thoughtfully and prayerfully as it is one way they hear God speaking. The group are now going to explore this book in actions.
- The group should be standing, ready for the following fast-moving, physical exploration of the Bible! They should copy the leader’s work-out actions.
- Run on the spot with 33 quick double steps (1-2,1-2,1-2 etc) = the Bible has 66 Books
- Sweep one arm from your side right up to above your head describing a half circle. Sweep the other arm from the other side up above your head describing another half circle = the Bible has two halves – The Old and New Testaments.
- Use one arm and then the other to imitate the clock hand ticking its way around the clock face that is your body. Count up in hundreds. Up to 1,000 on one half the clock face and to another 1,000 for the other half = the Bible records about 2000 years of history.
- Stand like a comic policemen, hands behind back and then do five knees bends. There are five books of the Law (use words too i.e. Hello, Hello, Hello, Hello, Hello which can become the second time you do it, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses). These books are in the Old Testament (describe a half circle with your hand as outlined above).
- Stand to attention and then, on the spot, jump to face your left and then to face behind you and then to the right and then back to where you started = there are four stories about Jesus. As you jump around on the spot, recite: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Repeat this a few times. These are in the New Testament (describe a half circle with one arm as outlined above).
- Teach three actions: pointing forward with the words ‘Watch out’; one hand to one ear with the words ‘listen up‘; a hand shading your eyes, as if looking into the distance with the words ‘look forward‘. There are 17 Prophets who write books in the Bible telling God’s people to watch out… listen up… look forward. Repeat this with words and actions 16 times! These are in the Old Testament (describe a half circle with one arm as outlined above).
- Get ready for 21 star jumps like a great capital ‘X’. There are 21 letters written with love about God’s love. Do 21 star jumps! These are in the New Testament (describe a half circle with one arm as outlined above).
- Next we get down on one knee, as if before a king or honoured leader. There are 10 books of history about kings, judges and special leaders. Bow down on one knee 10 times. These are in the Old Testament (describe a half circle with one arm as outlined above).
- Now freeze in a dramatic pose. Pause the action for a moment. There is one history book called Acts in the New Testament part of the Bible (after a while, unfreeze and do a half circle with one arm as outlined above).
- There are also Love Stories, Praise Songs, Wise Sayings and Sad Poems in the Bible. For each of these words have a simple action such as touching the heart, lifting hands high, stroking your chin, rubbing tearful eyes. Repeat this a few times. There are seven books like this in the Old Testament (describe a half circle with one arm as outlined above).
- Finally all lie down as if asleep and then stand up in slow motion and look as if you have seen something incredible! There is one final book… at the end… a special vision… a dream picture… full of mysteries called Revelation. This book is about the end of this world and the beginning of heaven. This is in the New Testament (describe a half circle with one arm as outlined above).
- And that’s the Bible – God’s special book. Altogether take a deep breath and then say ‘wow!’
- What a book. If you have any energy left at the end you could even try doing all this again! Have fun!
You may prefer to un-jumble and re-order the Old and New Testament sections of this ‘work-out’, if you also want to emphasise the order of the books and not just the content of the Bible.