Amos is one of the lesser-known prophets. We really only know one story about him, it’s found in Amos 7:10-17. I love that Amos wasn’t a professional prophet–he was just a shepherd who did what God called him to do–even in the face of opposition. You and I might not be professionals at whatever calling or task we are given in the kingdom, but God will help us if we have the courage to, like Amos, rise to the calls we receive from the Lord.
One consistent theme found in Amos (and throughout scripture) is the importance of serving the financially poor. Consider a few sample verses:
“Listen to this, you who rob the poor and trample down the needy! You can’t wait for the Sabbath day to be over and the religious festivals to end so you can get back to cheating the helpless. You measure out grain with dishonest measures and cheat the buyer with dishonest scales. And you mix the grain you sell with chaff swept from the floor. Then you enslave poor people for one piece of silver or a pair of sandals” (Amos 8:4-6, NLT, see also Amos 2:6, 4:1, 5:11-12).
In connection with our family discussions of the Book of Amos this week, we are planning some direct experiences with serving those in financial need. But if we’re teaching in a classroom setting, facilitating such experiences might not be so easy.
Perhaps the next best thing we can do is help our students feel what it might be like to be among the financially poor through a simulation game and to give them a virtual choice of whether they will share their wealth with others. The Skittles Game is a simulation activity that I’ve had a lot fun using over the past few years.
The game revolves around collecting Skittles. You gain or lose Skittles based on cards you select. The game is rigged so that eventually there will be a few people who have lots of Skittles, while others have none. There is a surprise at the end that helps students see that what they thought was the goal of the game, wasn’t actually the real goal.
This folder contains the instructions, game cards, and PowerPoint needed to play the game (the Skittles sadly are not included). The PowerPoint includes post-game discussion questions as well as relevant scriptures to explore. I hope you enjoy it; feel free to modify it to suit the needs of your students/family members.
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