This is the first of 6 posts. The paper isn't a long one. The font is big. [smile] I read it through. I didn't study it. So these are first impressions.
I hadn't thought about how significant it was to the people of Israel that Abraham and Sarah were childless. Not only was the baby a miracle but from a spiritual/human perspective, a spiritual leader (and his wife) lived under a profound spiritual curse. If you were part of his entourage in his day and age, how would you feel about that ?
Even if you aren't reading the story with a focus on children, it's significant that only the birth of a child could make God's promise to Abraham real. Interesting that God sent His own son as a baby. It also seems to me that given the nature of the curse and the length of time involved that there would be a certain amount of empathy generated with all this. Random thoughts all.
This part is quite interesting:
The author continues: "Children (especially sons) were to carry the role of triggering the narratives of God’s redemptive work in Jewish history, which were not to be told until a child asked about the meaning behind the ceremonies." [Csinos p,99]
The interesting part to me? "...which were not to be told until a child asked..." What if we never told a child anything until he/she asked? (except to keep them safe) It reminds me of one of Chaim Potok's novels but I don't remember which one. Not sure it can be done in a classroom but maybe.
Children were given "the responsibility . . . to initiate conversation and storytelling that announces that 'The Lord our God, the Lord is one' (Deut. 6:4)." [Csinos p, 99]
I'm stretching here beyond what he said in his paper but ponder with me, if you will, how that very simple idea would radically change Christian Education/Spiritual Formation (to say nothing of our homes, lol!).
- Children initiate the education process by asking questions.
- No teaching is done unless a child asks a question and the teaching is only in response to that question. Just a little radical? [smile]
But I'm doing the scriptures and the ways of God and His people an injustice to separate teaching and learning from community celebration and worship. Notice how they were all intertwined? And notice that the children were given the job, the responsibility of asking "why?" Not that kids need us to prompt them to ask why. God knows! That simple child-like curiosity was a significant part of community celebration/worship/teaching and learning that God commanded to take place.
The way the author included Psalm 8:2 where he did in the discussion is interesting, too.