Sunday, August 16, 2009

Sunday School Fun

Linda and I took the opportunity to teach Sunday School for a large group during the second service today, teaming with our friends Ed and Danielle. This was our second week on the job....this week perhaps only 50 in the class!

It was actually quite a bit of fun; even more than the previous week. Last week, we had to work hard to maintain control because the kids naturally came in and sat with their buds.

Ed asks the kids questions for Bible
tic tac toe with Danielle in the background.

We nipped that in the bud [:)] this week by having the kids count off by sevens and then having them move to the the table with their number.

That did not fill them with joy, but once they were away from their friends, it was easier to reach them.

We sang with them, went over last week's story (Jesus' miracle feeding of the 5,000 at the Sea of Galilee) and told them a new story (how God used Gideon for the miraculous defeat of the Midianites with only 300 Israelis). Then we gave them a snack and played a game. The hour and some went quickly.

We had them participate in the story....asking questions and bringing it to their level. They had lots of ideas.....and two main stock answers to every question: "Jesus" or "God".

"What was Gideon doing in the winepress?"


"How many soldiers did Gideon have when Midian was defeated?"


They had some good answers, too, but I'm chuckling in retrospect with their stock answers.

Getting them engaged in the story worked well. They were able to answer questions easily at the end....they "got it!" We even ran into one young fellow and his family at the restaurant later in the day and I asked him "what was our story about today" and he said "GIDEON!"

Ed did a great job with Bible tic tac toe. He split the kids into boys and girls and selected a captain in each group. He would ask them questions and then the kids would huddle for an answer. The end result was a draw, but a tie-breaking question led the girls to seconds on muffins. The kids loved it.

Another friend later said she heard one youngster say to her mom, "we had FUN in Sunday School today!" It's music to a teacher's ears....especially when it's combined with the fact that they "got it."

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Jesus' Revolutionary Treatment of Women

Jesus changed forever the way women are treated. He actually talked with women as equals and valued friends....something that no respectable religious leader would have done in those days.

At that time, women existed in roles of little authority, were largely confined to their husband's or father's home, and considered inferior to men. That situation exists even today for many women around the world, e.g. in some countries where sharia law is forced on the people.

John Piper recently spoke on John 4:27 (“They marveled that he was talking with a woman”) His words near the end of the talk captured my attention:
What that movie (The Stoning of Soraya M) is intended to do, and did, is give us a glimpse of the dismal plight of millions of women today, hidden away in cultures around the world where Jesus is not known, or trusted or followed. It is a horrific, dismal, plight.

Wherever His Gospel has gone, wherever His Word has gone, and taken root, and begun to hold sway, men treat women with respect. They take humble, courageous initiative to protect women. They create stable, loving families as leaders who love and are like Jesus, in which covenant faithfulness of husband and wife displays to the world the mystery of Christ and His Church.

I read CS Lewis two weeks ago who said, 'the ideal marriage is one that is most like a crucifixion' meaning the husband dies for her. That is unspeakably revolutionary in every culture, including ours.
Here is the entire video clip: