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Children Walk Through Scale Model of the Tabernacle


After learning about the Old Testament tabernacle design for four months, Sunday school students at Immanuel Christian Reformed Church in Hamilton, Ontario, had the opportunity to walk through a replica of the tabernacle that was set up in their church in early December.

Inside the holy place, showing the models of the altar of incense and the candlestick.

The curriculum took students on a journey of learning how each part of the tabernacle and the pieces of furniture, designed by God, reinforce God’s desire to dwell with his people and point to Jesus’ coming. Throughout the study students constructed their own small-scale models of the tabernacle.

Walking through the life-size scale model was a meaningful hands-on experience for children and their parents. Emma-Grace Zantingh, age 6, enjoyed participating in the suggested activities at each station, particularly the act of placing prayer requests on the altar.

“God answered that prayer,” she said. “I’m so glad I shared it with him.”

Adults from the congregation and the surrounding neighborhood were also invited to walk through. Audio headsets were provided for a self-guided tour that many described as a spiritually enriching experience.

One person appreciated learning more about “the holiness of God and the meaning of each article in relation to Jesus.”

The authors of the curriculum, Betty Panza and Diane Geerlinks, first wrote the lessons when they were teaching Sunday school together at Meadowvale Community CRC in Mississauga, Ontario, in 2000. Their initial intent was not to publish curriculum.

“We felt led by God to take the children deeper into his Word to find hidden treasures. We knew that the tabernacle pointed to Christ, but we knew so little about it. We were awed by how the Holy Spirit began to reveal so many things to us as we researched this topic. This old story was being made new!” said Geerlinks.

Geerlinks and Panza have written two other children’s ministry curriculum units about Old Testament topics since producing “The Tabernacle” in 2006. Some of their material will be included in Faith Alive’s new WE curriculum series.

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