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Essential Teachers notes:
Today’s story is written as a fable, the grandson of Cain – Irad – comes to him and asks him to tell his story. This story is a little longer than usual, taking just over 5 minutes to tell. make sure younger children are comfortable.
Start by gathering the children in a circle and asking them if they know the stories of their family history. Perhaps give one or two children a few minutes to share something about their family history.
Turn this story into a book with this Make post
Stories are given for inspiration, do use your own words and details
Main Passage : Matthew 27, Luke 23, John 19, Mark 15.
Irad was young, his father and his grandfather would move from place to place and circling back to the city of Enoch every few weeks. It was a strange life wandering through the desert, every evening they would sit and watch the sun set and tell stories.
One day Irad came to his grandfather and sat at his feet.
“Tell me your story today, tell me why we live wandering.”
His grandfather looked at Irad and sighed a heavy sigh
“It is not a nice story, and you would not like your grandfather if I told it to you” he said
“Oh please do tell me” said Irad, “help me understand”
His grandfather sighed a bigger sigh, “OK I suppose you should know”
Irad leant against his grandfathers legs, looked at the horizon, and waited for him to start.
“I was the first one to be born, my name, Cain, means to bring forward. Later I was joined by a brother, Abel. Now Abel was good with the animals, he would look after them each day and bring us meat to eat. I was good with the soil. I could plant any seed and it would grow into the most beautiful fruit or vegetable. I didn’t realise God had blessed me to do this, I thought it was all my talent.
Abel would take the first born animals and I would pick the best of the fruits and make an offering to God. Until, one day when I didn’t take the very best. The fruits looked so lovely and tasty that I wanted them for myself. So, I picked others to offer instead. Now God was pleased with Able’s offering but he was not pleased with what I had brought.
I was angry that did God not like what I had given him. God was sad too and asked me why I did not see that it was important to do what is right. This just made me more angry, how hard had I worked to grow what I gave him, why should I give him the best and not keep it for myself?
God had blessed Abel and everyday he praised God even more. The happier he was the more angry I got. One day, when I had asked him to come for a walk, he was so very happy that my anger exploded and I attacked him. I don’t think I’ll ever forget the day I killed him.”
Irad gasped and turned to look at his grandfather. His grandfathers head was low and his face was covered in tears. Irad looked away and waited a second then said “go on”.
“I knew what I had done was wrong and so I ran away from Abel’s body. My anger had gone but was replaced by fear. I heard God calling me, asking me where my brother was. I knew that God would have to punish me, so I lied. I told God I did not know. “What have you done” God asked me “can you not hear the blood of your brother cries from the ground?”
Then God told me my punishment. “When you work the ground it will not give you crops, you will wander the earth and never rest.” “No” I shouted, “If I wander the earth alone then anyone who finds me will kill me too.” Then God did something amazing. God had mercy on me. I didn’t deserve it but he put a mark on me to protect me.
I left my mother and my father, going east towards the endless desert. I was sure I would die, but I was always protected by God’s mark. Sometimes I would try to stop, to plant seeds, but they always died and I always moved on. I would need to learn to us my hands in different ways
I started to build the city of Enoch when your father Enoch was born, it gave me somewhere to return to. I realised I would never return to my parents. I heard my mother and father were blessed with another son, Seth. I never heard the voice of God talk to me again. I wonder if one day there will be a way back to him.”
Irad and Cain sat in silence for a few moments wondering what it would be like to be able to return to God. Irad’s family did learn to use their hands in different ways, his great great grandsons learnt to make strong tents, and stringed instruments and clever tools from metals.
AND we know that one day someone did come to make a way back to God, God’s own son, Jesus.
Today’s hero is Cain because he shows us God’s Mercy