Make a Dragon Marionette
Ephesians 6:10-18 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with:
the BELT OF TRUTH buckled around your waist,
with the breastplate of righteousness in place,
and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace.
In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.
With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
St. George was born in the late third century in a land called Cappadocia to very good Christian parents. When he was just a small child, his father had already been martyred for the faith and his mother went on to raise him as a devout Christian. St. George was a soldier, so most likely, he wore exactly the kind of armor that is spoken about in the scripture passage we just read from St. Paul's epistle to the Ephesians. He knew that the belt around his waist represented the belt of TRUTH, and that many things, especially frightening things, when they are looked at truthfully as God sees all things, stop being so scary.
One day, St. George was riding his horse in the woods and came upon a lake. This lake was known to have been inhabited by a dreadful dragon, who would often emerge from the water and eat whatever unsuspecting animal, or person, who happened to stop by to admire the beauty of the water. The people of the town were terrified of the dragon. They were pagan and so they consulted their idols about what they should do. Now, demons just love to have fun with idolatry...this is why we Christians are forbidden to have anything to do with it. Pagans believe that their idol-gods can speak to them, but in reality, it is the enemy spirits who possess those images who do the talking, and they never, ever, have anything good to say. The evil demons that were speaking to them from this idol told them that they must draw lots each month to see whose child would be sacrificed to the dreadful Dragon to keep him well fed and therefore less dangerous. The lot fell to the magistrate's own daughter that day, who was all dressed up in her finest gown and placed near the water's edge to await her fate. Of course, the poor girl was terrified and when she saw St. George approach her she cried out in tears to the saint, asking him to please help her and save her from the dragon. His heart was moved with pity and he began to pray when suddenly the dragon emerged and lunged at him! St. George drew his sword and cried out, "In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit!", and he lunged back at the beast, wounding it severely in the neck so that it was rendered harmless. The little girl was quite relieved, but still very much afraid. St. George saw this and he encouraged her to remove the BELT from around her own waist (remember the belt of TRUTH?) and use it to tie up that dragon. So she did and using it like the leash of a dog, she bravely walked the injured dragon into the town square to show it to all the citizens. Once they had all seen that the dreadful beast had been mastered by the little girl, St. George drew his sword once again and finished off the animal so that he would never, ever harm anyone again.
Everyone has a dragon living deep within their hearts...his name is Temptation. He hides and waits for you to get close enough to him so that he might lunge at you and devour you like he threatened to do to those poor townsfolk. He might seem very scary, but with that armor that St. Paul spoke of, he can be easily mastered. When St. George first drew his sword, (the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God) what did he say? He prayed! "In the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit!" When do we say those words? When we make the sign of the Cross!! Demons are afraid to death of the Cross! We should remember that whenever we are scared. Then he attacked the dragon with the Sword of the Spirit and wounded him so much so that he and the little girl were no longer afraid of being eaten. But the beast was not dead. He is a tough enemy to defeat and often it takes many, many attempts. St. George was a good friend to that little girl because he prayed for her and helped defend her from her enemy, but what he did next was just as important. He gave her courage. He encouraged her to use what she had to defeat her enemy by herself! She took off her belt (remember, the belt of truth...the enemy hates truth, because God IS truth. Remember that he lied through the mouth of the idol too!) She took the belt of truth from around her waist and used it to tie up the Dragon! She had the beast so tamed by the truth that she could walk him like a pet! He now obeyed HER!! This is what living according to the truth can do! Now she wouldn't just keep this good news to herself, she was directed by St. George to walk that dragon proudly into the town square so that all the people who were once afraid of this animal could see just how effective the weapons of the Sword of the Spirit and the Belt of Truth could be! They would be encouraged as well and she could spread this good news throughout the kingdom so that no one would need to be afraid any longer! Once the news was spread, the dragon was completely defeated and the entire kingdom could rejoice!
Before we begin, it's a good idea to tie a very long piece of string (about as long as the child is tall) around the waist of each child...you'll see why soon. :)
This is my pet dragon. His name is Temptation.
Temptation likes to live deep in the bottom of my toy box. He used to scare me. My fear of him made me crazy! He made me go way out of my way to avoid him, so much so that I couldn't do the things I really wanted to do, things that were good for me and made me happy, all because I was afraid to wake him up. I was afraid he would devour me. But not anymore...
See his leash? It's the Belt of Truth! Do you have a belt of truth? (remind them of the string around their waist!)
Let's make our own pet dragon named Temptation to remind us of the story. We can harness him with our own Belt of Truth and proudly walk him home! WE will be in charge of where HE goes, and not the other way around!
One green paper dessert-sized plate
Pair of google eyes, and glue to affix them.
One tongue, cut from a piece of red chenille or red paper (3-4" long)
One set of paper strips, photocopied onto green cardstock and cut, according to this TEMPLATE.
Stapler, or clear tape for construction.
One wooden skewer
String, to make the Belt of Truth (leash) about as long as the child is tall
1. Fold the paper plate in half, green side out, over the length of the wooden skewer.
2. Tuck the tongue inside and staple it in place. Also staple each end of the skewer in place, with a bit of the wooden part sticking out of each end.
3. Glue the eyes on.
4. Cut out the strips of paper, the tail and legs of the dragon from the photocopied template. Be sure to cut only on the solid lines! The dotted lines are for folding.
5. Staple the largest strip, as a loop, in the center of the back of the folded paper plate.
6. Staple each strip, in succession from longest to shortest, in a chain from the back of the head of the dragon. This will form his body.
7. Staple on the feet and the tail.
8. Take the Belt of Truth (string) from around the child's waist and tie each end to each side of the wooden skewer. This will guide the dragon as the child "walks" him.
9. Tie a knot in the string a few inches above the puppet to give the leash some stability.
10. Walk your Dragon home!