Submitted By: Wendy Pearson, Assistant Director of Children’s Ministry
When you lead Sunday School for a group made up of pre-school through 5th grade kids, you really don’t know where a lesson might lead. Over the years, we’ve had some great “out of the mouths of babes” moments, and we’ve had some “oops” moments. We approach Sunday morning with a great deal of enthusiasm and faith, but with a tight grip on that old Scouting saw, “Be Prepared.”
Such was how we started our Sunday morning, a week ago. As families travel in the summer months, we generally see smaller groups of kids. After only a few minutes, we plainly saw that our morning was not going to follow that pattern. We pulled out more chairs, more crafts, more pencils and I began to silently pray that our lesson activity would work with the larger than expected group.
Please understand, I was already a little nervous about the planned activity. When teaching the story of Mary and Martha, it can be tough to get today’s kids to truly recognize a distraction. After all, most kids have only lived the distracted life and see no strangeness in it. So, when I prepared our activity, I could only pray it would have the desired effect. Even my husband was a little confused by the plan. Only the night before, as I sat at the dining room table pouring heavy cream into the small containers, he asked again, “But what does butter have to do with Mary and Martha?”
Craft time ended and the kids were lead out into the worship area. I gulped and readied myself; It was time. We went through the welcome and settled in to watch the Bible Story Video. We’ve been pretty happy with our new curriculum and the kids seem to enjoy the videos that accompany it. We watched and listened to a young lady tell about the two sisters and their interaction with Jesus at their home. As the video ended, it was time to start our activity.
The kids were divided into two teams and I explained: We were going to have a little game show, complete with loud buzzers! One group was given the small containers of heavy cream, and directed to begin shaking. They were encouraged to continue shaking! Don’t stop! Keep going! The other group sat near me. Each question was asked, and answered, one by one. Strangely, the team who were churning butter didn’t answer a single question!
As the kids were heading back to their seats and the containers of butter were being collected, we wondered aloud, “Why didn’t you kids with the butter answer ANY questions?!” One of our boys threw his hands in the air and made that face that said it all: he had missed out on the opportunity to EARN POINTS! He exclaimed, “Wait!!!! We couldn’t even…….”
And in that split second, it all fell into place. The look on his face changed and it was as if a light shone from above. He grinned, pointed at me and said, “I see what you did there!” Yes, indeed…. Point taken.
We went on to explain how distractions can keep us from recognizing or even benefitting from the truly important matters. I believe some of the other kids understood and may very well have taken the point.
But in all honesty, that split second was all it took. We can truly rejoice that at least one of God’s children fully “heard” His word today.
And that, my friends, makes it worth the all effort.
If you would like to read the story of Mary & Martha, you can find it in Luke 10:38-42.
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