When I was a kid it meant scraping my front teeth along the solid chocolate ears of a "Palmers" Hollow Chocolate Bunny. I pretty much threw out the rest. But--- those sweet chocolate shavings, melting in my mouth--- those announced Easter is HERE.
One of my favorite Easter memories, was the year we made "Paperplate Easter Bonnets." (paperplates - centers cut out- then LOADED with silk/plastic flowers and ribbon.... they were probably UGLY as anything--- but, I remember them as beautiful) Then, we had an Easter Bonnet parade thru the school. That was, you know "back in the day". Now- my kids would probably be suspended for such an atrocity. Easter vacation is now Spring Break.
I didn't grow up in a "Christian Home"...so maybe my Easter memories are pretty limited. WE did however- watch The 10 Commandments EVERY year.... I'm not really sure why- other than to point out that my dad looks like Charlton Heston....(which we did every year--- and still do) We can say- my faith journey started late. I guess.
There were things I just didn't GET about the whole Easter thing. I remember as a kid, thinking "Good Friday" thing was sick. "How can a Friday be GOOD when it's about some wonderful, kind, loving man getting killed on a cross?????" How can we celebrate- somethng so unfair? Something so "Bad". I remember having questions--- but no one to ask for answers. I think that makes me a little more sensitive to kids, who want to understand. But don't yet "get it".
For whatever reason, God was pretty much not talked about in our family. I was allowed to GO to church, (I went on a church bus- actually- I doubt you could get away with that at this point...) ) and I went with a neighbor-- who was probably the first authentic Christian I met.... but as far as understanding... asking and "Getting it" no- I didn't. I got CHocolate bunny ears at Easter. Thats about it.
Maybe thats part of what drives y passion for working with kids. See- I believe they have a greater capability than "memorizing" and repeating stories. Kids can process information, ask questions and "get" spiritual concepts- but it taks time, authenticity and a safe atmosphere.
Yesterday- Actually for the first time ever, (i teach often- but not on Easter) I had the extreme priviledge of teaching children not just the STORY of EASTER, but the" WHY" and the "WHAT to do with it". Too. The kids asked questions--- I talked about questions I had as a kid. It was awesome.
I love these kids. They are incredible. They think about the things they are taught. They question and wonder. They say "they don't get it" when they don't "get it". I learn so much from them.
When I teach- I tell them what I know- thru learning and study, what I've learned thru experience(application) , and also- what I don't "Get".... like--- what EXACTLY happened to that boulder the size of a Volkswagon that was blocking the tomb? Well- it got moved--- but the Bible is a bit sketchy about the exact DETAILS....What ever happened to the guard? Did he get killed for letting Jesus "escape"? (that was the punishment for a guard shirking his duty...) The Bible doesn't say.
When I'm teaching- and I have a question- that I don't see an answer for- I tell them. I also tell them- that it's important for them to READ the Bible for themselves... there are questions that they may have.. or things that they'd like to know specifically that may not FIT into a curriculum.... I tell them to read and find OUT! I try to encourage them, that there is SO MUCH MORE to learn and know about God.
More than I know. More than I have experienced, more than I can say.
I see teaching as a modeling experience. It's an opportunity to pass information, AND to model the processing of the imformation.
A few days back- I posted about Grace.
It became the into to the Easter talk. I wanted the kids to "get" WHY we celebrate and why we NEED Jesus. So I talked about my first experience with Grace.
I talked about my Mom's love for me. I talked about God's love for us all. I talked about HIM wanting US to be at "the Dance" (heaven)
Most, had already seen the pictures- (a few weeks back) they LOVE seeing pictures of any adult, when they were young.- especially if they looked like a dork. ( I did) I think they "got it"
I pray they did. I love teaching-taching lots of things- really--- but, I believe there is NOTHING more important to teach- than the Gospel message.
Dear Jesus- I pray for each child you brought to Metro- (and adult) over the Easter holiday.... I pray that they wouldn't have just heard a "STORY"... but, that they would have met you. I pray that I showed with my actions- and authenticity- as best as I could, what you have done- and a bit of who you are, and then- encouraged them- to DO something with that. Lord- as everything starts to blossom and bloom- in the Spring- I pray that the little bits of truth- that were shared--- would be like seed- and start to grow something wonderful, exciting and unique in each one that heard it this weekend. I pray that faith would grow. I pray that faith would birth an incredible journey, one that would be life long.
I love you Lord- thank you again- for the priviledge of introducing you- to these awesome kids I know! I pray that they learn to ask you their questions- no matter how big or small, that they would grow not just in knowledge- but in experience with you- I love you Lord- amen.