Sunday, December 17, 2006

Lessons 10 and 11: The Law

We decided to spend a little time with the Law, because if you don't understand the Law, how can you understand Jesus's fulfillment of it?
Lesson 9 was all about the 10 Commandments. The kids seemed to get into that one, though they disregarded large portions of it as irrelevant ("I've never killed anyone!") or unfair (notably, "Honor thy mother and father," which my father-in-law refers to as "the only commandment with a threat: That your days may be long upon the earth!"). There were some of them, also, that made us a bit uncomfortable to talk about. "What's adultery?" asked Joshua.
"You have to be an adult to commit it, so don't worry," said JC.
Joshua persisted. He wanted to know what it was. So we told him, in a rather G-rated way...and one little girl said, sadly, "That's like what my dad did to my mom." Ouch.

We also discussed the Sermon on the Mount. Okay, so you've never killed anyone, but have you been really really angry and considered it? Jesus says that's just as bad. Kids are, by their nature, legalistic. They were pretty blown away by the concept that just thinking a certain way about somebody was as seriously bad as killing them. Jesus, they concluded, was stricter than their parents.

"Yes," we said, "but Jesus also knows that no one can live up to that standard. He just says that we should try, and He loves us and forgives us anyway, right?"

That was interesting.
Lesson 11 was even weirder. We talked about the law beyond the 10 commandments, things like dietary laws, times of cleanness and uncleanness. I printed up pictures of animals (rabbits, millipedes, camels) and had them use their Bibles to figure out whether they were clean or unclean. Then we brought it back around to the story about Peter seeing the sheet descend from heaven, and the voice saying, "Eat these animals." The kids didn't remember learning the story the first time--only David and Ali were in the class at that time, anyway. I hope they understood what I said about not being bound by the law...I'm afraid they went home and told their parents that the whole family was going to Hell over their hot ham and cheese for lunch...

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