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During the time when Jesus was on earth as a man, about 2,000 years ago, the group of people that ruled the land were called the Romans. They ruled from Rome in Italy. Because they had conquered people groups in many different areas, they wanted to be able to travel between these different places quickly and easily. So, they built a system of roads to get from one place to another. Their roads were usually as straight as possible, without bends or curves. They were paved with stones and had drainage ditches along the sides. Many had footpaths along the side, where people could walk out of the way of carriages and marching armies.
One of the roads they built went through Jerusalem and is today called Via Dolorosa. Via is the Latin, or Roman, word for “way.” And dolorosa means “suffering” or “pain.” So it is the “way of suffering.” It is called this because it is thought that Jesus walked down this road on his way to the cross.
Because of this amazing system of roads, the followers of Jesus were able to quickly take the good news of Jesus’ death and resurrection to many parts of the world. The Romans and their roads were all part of God’s plan to share the gospel with everyone!
Today, we are going to build our own roads for a marble to travel down.
Option 1: Pass out the marbles and foam insulation, one 12-foot piece per table. Let kids tape one end of the foam pipe insulation to a table. They can send the marbles down the “road.” (Keep track of where they go once they leave the tube!) Add cones under the track and see how that changes the marbles' course. They can change the position of the cones.
Option 2: Pass out materials to each table. With the painter's tape, they can tape the road pieces (paper towel tubes and plastic bottles) to a piece of cardboard or a wall. Tip the cardboard up, then watch as the marbles travel down the “road.” They can change the position of the tubes and experiment with how the marbles roll down. At the end of the time, take it all apart for the next group coming through.
Both Options: Pass out the God Thought of It First kingfishers cards, 1 per child.