Psalm 22 is usually quoted nearer Easter than the second week of lent, but in the readings for year B we see the other end of the Psalm – not the opening where the cross bound Jesus cries the first verse about ‘God forsaking him’ but the place the psalm ends. Like the first line of a hymn I wonder if people couldn’t help sing the whole song in their heads as they walked away from the cross, a song of torment that lifts at the end into a song of praise not just by the psalmist but by all the families of nations. These games concentrate on the idea of families uniting in praise.
Wipe that smile off your face – The first person pulls their silliest smile and directs it at each child in the circle, trying to make someone giggle or laugh. On the leaders mark they use one hand to literally “wipe” the smile off their face, and hand it to the next person, and on it goes. This can get silly really quickly.
Link: passing on God’s praise to the next generation
Praising family traits – a simple identity game where whomever is peaking names a trait and all those it applies to shout “Praise God!” Wearing a colour, rolling your tongue, liking ice-cream, any trait qualifies.
Link: all will eventually praise him
Psalm Beat – Using a small section of words from the Psalm as lyrics, have the youngsters make up a tune or a beat to sing the words. Add percussion instruments and work in pairs.
Link: Psalms were songs sung not read.
The big band – turn your group into a band, if you have no instruments use pots pans, plastic bottles, containers to shake.
Link: This Psalm/song ends in praise.