Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Lessons on Elijah

Hello, faithful readers! I'm ever so sorry I've been a blog slacker. Life has been crazy, with the house (looks like we are buying it--closing May 29!), lots of family stuff (my gran in the hospital, each of JC's sisters being a nut in her own unique way), and some really challenging situations (though, unfortunately, not challenging assignments) at work. a special prize, here's a link to the play I wrote for the teen girls' day (May 19, email me for more info if you live in VA and are interested in attending) at our church. The theme/guiding book for the day is For Such a Time as This, by Lisa Ryan, who was a Miss California or something. Thus, the play is a beauty pageant. Not my finest work, but I think it's a pretty decent attempt, for something I wrote in a few hours. Hearsing it tonight, rehearsing it on Sunday.

So, Sunday school.
Well, first some sad news--David and his family moved a few weeks ago, without saying goodbye to anybody. I just heard through the grapevine that he wouldn't be in my class any more. I don't believe they left a forwarding address or anything. He's had a few rough deals in his life--I hope he turns out ok.

So, the past two weeks, we've been talking about Elijah with the kiddies. They seem to really get into Elijah--and they remembered some stories from other parts of the Bible and made connections!!! I really felt like we had made some serious progress with them, given that, when we started, they couldn't even piece together a rough chronology (and I mean rough, as in, who came first, Jesus or Moses?). We had to ask some leading questions, but they drew the connections themselves, the first week that we talked about Elijah, between the widow's flour lasting forever and Jesus feeding the multitudes, between Elijah resurrecting the widow's son and Jesus resurrecting people. "If you had grown up with a tradition that Elijah was going to come back some day, and then there's Jesus walking around resurrecting people, who would you think he was?" we asked them.

"Elijah," they said. So we had them read Mark 8:27-29. I think they've probably seen that passage before, but I doubt they fully understood it. They were really excited to have figured out something new about that passage. We also read the bit about where Elijah and Moses appear to Jesus and some of his friends. I'm not sure they really get this whole people-coming-back-from-beyond thing. They're all growing up in Christian families, but the idea of Jesus coming back must be pretty hard for a kid to get his mind around (or for an adult, for that matter!)

The second week we talked about Elijah, we discussed how he found Elisha and taught him. Josh & Lachlan were in a giggly mood for some reason and reading all that stuff about Elijah and Elisha just escalated the giggles. They were giggly in an involved, and not very loud, sort of way, though, so I didn't mind. In fact, I rather enjoyed it. They were so excited from last week, when remembering stories from other parts of the Bible helped them understand what we were studying, that they searched for those kinds of connections everywhere. When Elijah parted the water in the Jordan, both of them shouted, "Like Moses!" Granted, that's a pretty easy one, but I love that they are starting to think about the interconnected story that is the Bible. That was one of my goals for them, and we're getting there! :)

The chariot of fire was a pretty crazy one to explain. We did our best, and Lachlan said it reminded her of some commercial--since we don't have cable or even an antenna (TV=PS2/DVD monitor), we had no idea what she was talking about, but Josh agreed.

Here's a rough one to explain to little kids: Elijah doesn't exactly die. He...ascends? I think my theology is a bit vague on this kind of situation, which made it harder. JC wasn't there (he was feeling ill). When I asked him about it later, he said that his feeling was that Elijah was so in tune with the nature of God that he could transition from a physical being into a spiritual being without needing to go through the transformative experience of death. I thought that was interesting, and I wish that he had been there to say that, because I really floundered.

"Do you guys remember which other person in the Bible walked with God and didn't die?" I asked them. Joshua went over to the family tree and looked at the names--he knew it was early, but he couldn't remember who. He was looking in the right place, though, and where we had recorded the ages of the early folks, he saw Enoch and a note about him walking with God. "So, is Enoch still alive?" asked Lachlan. "Gross!"
"Well, he's not exactly alive, physically, in the world. He's with God...he just didn't have to die."

Yeah, I'm not so good at this metaphysical stuff.

We're taking the summer off from Bible class, but Amy is going to take over, and I know she'll do a great job--and NOT let them get spoiled with stupid coloring sheets and word searches!! They're really learning now; they've finally built a critical mass of knowledge, and they are starting to develop connections on their own. I LOVE this. This is the most fun and rewarding thing I've done all year (other than marrying my high school sweetheart... <3).

AND they are going to love this--for once we're doing a CRAFT in Sunday school. On Mother's Day, I'm going to bring in some wire and beads and things and we're going to make necklaces for our moms. Any ideas about scripture or stories I could do with this?

Also, JC's mom finally sent us the topic for Bible bowl in the fall--1&2 Thessalonians, 1&2 Timothy, and Titus. That's a passel of books I haven't studied much, so we should have a good time with that...if the kids want to do it. Which I don't know that they will, but we shall see.

Ok, it's officially time for me to start my work day. Sigh. I wish my job was teaching Sunday school... :)

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