Jan 29: Bible, Babies, and Siblings

This Sunday the kids explored the concepts of wickedness, punishment, covenants, and caregiving. The 3rd-6th and K-2nd grade classes discussed the Bible stories of Sodom and Gomorrah and Noah’s Ark. The pre-K class learned about babies, and the infants and toddlers talked about being good siblings.

In the 3rd-6th grade class, we read and discussed the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. We began our discussion by reflecting on the recent tragedies in New Orleans and Japan. Did those communities deserve the hurricane and tsunami they experienced? Did God punish them? Then we reflected on the concept of “wicked.” Is someone all bad or all good? Can people change? In the story, God and his attendants determine the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah are all wicked except for Lot’s family. How did he make that determination? What is fair punishment for bad deeds? In the course of this discussion we examined our own legal system. Is the death penalty just? How should you punish a murderer? Do criminals deserve a second chance? As you can tell from this post, we asked more questions than we answered, but we had a really interesting discussion.

In the K-2nd grade class, they learned about Noah’s Ark. They made an ark diorama with animals and a rainbow and talked about what it would be like to be stuck on a boat while it rained for 40 days and 40 nights. Then the kids worked out why the animals would be collected 2 by 2 – one male and one female. OWL classes pay off! Ronan shared that some people say unicorns missed the boat and that’s why they don’t exist now. Molly also noticed this week that the class doesn’t think God is as mean as he seemed in the Adam and Eve and Cain and Abel stories. They understand the concept of making a covenant with someone – perhaps because they made one themselves this year? It will be interesting to track their impression of God as they continue through the Bible stories. What kind of figure is God ultimately?

In the Pre-K class, the preschoolers discussed how our church celebrates babies. The older kids remembered that they had previously discussed how our church celebrates love (weddings) and “dead people” (memorial service). Then they talked about baby animals, especially birds (since they read a story about baby owls) and made bird nests out of dried grasses, soft yarn, and dryer lint. After making their nests, they pretended to be babies and caregivers. The class ended with snacks and songs. Owen still insists on singing Rudolph every week even though the season is long over 🙂

 

In the nursery, the infants and toddlers talked about siblings this week. They read I’m a Big Sister Now and New Baby. Then they played house with the dollhouse and kitchenette. Colton is ready for his little sister now!

If you would like to extend these lessons at home, here are some suggestions: For 3rd-6th graders, follow up on any of the questions we started to discuss in class. The kids really began to explore our justice system and its fairness, so it would be interesting to see what they think of it now. For K-2nd graders, make a covenant for family relations. What promises do you make to each other? For preschoolers, involve them in taking care of the family pet or help them make a bed or toy for a stuffed animal. For infants and toddlers, talk about what makes a good sibling. Then praise good sibling behavior!

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