Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Wild About the Bible

Saturday June 17 was the big day. For the past 2 months we have been preparing for a children’s activity day. Sharon came up with the theme” Wild about the Bible –.

We wanted, in a way that would capture the imagination of the children, to instill an excitement about the Bible & Bible things.

We also wanted to help them to have confidence in the truth of the Bible accounts that include miracles (the story of Balaam – Numbers 22-24) while acknowledging that people use these accounts of miracles along with some of the difficulties with translation (use of the word unicorns in the KJV) and the more exotic prophetic visions (the wheels within the wheels of Ezekiel) to claim that the Bible is full of myths or, as Erich von Daniken claimed in his best seller ”Chariots of the Gods”, the Bible stories are records of aliens visiting earth.

The teaching material was based on a book by J. Stephen Lang called “Talking Donkeys and Wheels of Fire: Bible Stories That Are Truly Bizarre!.

Linda & I (really Linda) had Grades 1 & 2 and introducing these somewhat “philosophical” concepts at that age requires creativity, which - if I can brag a little -Linda has in abundance. (The picture shows Linda with Jacob, Katie & Tammy)

She decided to stay away from the “ET” question and focus on the true story of Balaam as an example of God’s power & love for his people.

She also dealt with the issue of unicorns in the KJV by reading the passages (one at a time) in KJV and then in NIV. She then asked the kids if they knew any words that sounded the same but meant different things (the technical term is homonyms). They came up with things like read & red, right & write and she covered about 10 or so of these “sounds the same” words to make the point that it is something difficult to understand meaning without context and that , while it is a different issue translating the Bible from Hebrew and Greek also resulted in some translating difficulties which don’t take away from God’s truth but do require us to be cautious in using isolated words and passages to draw conclusions about “truth” vs .”myth” vs. “speculative interpretation”.

One of the more creative things Linda did was to get a copy of the Irish Rover’s song that “speculates” that the reason there are no Unicorn’s today is that they didn’t come on to the ark when Noah called the animals. She used the song to introduce the segment about the Unicorns.

It was a fun day. We had 16 children in total ( would have liked more) -- of which 7 were kids that had not been coming to our Sunday school (and 9 who had).

Linda had invited Riley to come. When Travis & Tracy dropped him off they brought the twins. We gave them a tour so they could see what Linda & I had been doing in the classrooms.

We did teaching and crafts from 9:30 to 11:45, had lunch (hot dogs and chips) and then Kyle took them out for a number of activities including the “water balloon” toss which ended with a “water balloon” fight—it was a hot day and those that got soaked seemed not to mind it at all.

I know that I will miss someone but I do want to mention the people who worked so hard on Saturday (I’ve already talked about the many people who helped with the cleanup and redecorating of the classrooms to provide a brighter and “friendly” environment).

Sharon Seeler coordinated the materials and supplies and got it already to go- despite having to deal with Mark’s heart attack in the previous 2 weeks. Doris Ann Ray (with help from Randy) set up the jungle “ambience” that greeted people as the came through the door. She also made the “Balaam and the donkey” with the place for a face so we could provide each child with a picture to remind them of the day.

Barb & Vicki were on the registration table, Vicki took pictures and helped with other: logistical” things. Steve was there helping as well.

Sandra, Shelley, Linda (& Charlie), Marilyn & Rob, and Kyle taught the various classess. Doris Anne helped Kyle with the crafts and had a crafts table available after lunch for any that preferred not to be involved in the outdoor activities.

Verna, Cora and several others helped with the lemonade and cookies for break and helped with serving lunch. Lloyd, Roger & Randy ran the BBQ’s to cook the hotdogs.

It was tiring but the reward of happy smiling faces and children’s laughter made it more than worthwhile. Jesus tell sus that we need to become like little children to enter the kingdom – and we certainly need to bring the children to Jesus feet so they can learn of him and retain that passion for staying at his feet for the rest of their lives.

God Bless
Charlie & Linda

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