Thursday, October 15, 2009

Seasons: It's Fall

In the liturgical church there is a cycle of seasons that revolve around the life of Christ. If I recall the original intention was to make sure people were presented with key stories and passages of scripture over a three year period. Some people think there are lots of passages of scripture that are just as important that get missed but that's a separate topic.

When we were homeschooling I discovered this wonderful book for preschoolers called, OPEN THE DOOR, LET'S EXPLORE by Rhoda Redleaf (Redleaf Press, St. Paul MN/Gryphon House, Beltsville, MD). There's a second book out now - OPEN THE DOOR, LET'S EXPLORE MORE. They use field trips as an approach to learning for preschool/kindergarten. They go outside and explore a theme and go inside and do new words, observations & discussion, identifying, speculating, stories, songs, finger plays, science, art, craft, cooking, that all tie in. Nice resources, book lists, song lists, finger play options. Examples: After-A-Rain Walk. Animal Life Walk. A Garden Walk. A Tree Walk. Home Walk. Truck Walk. But I really love these books. The first one is harder to find but looks like it's been republished. You can find book 2. The 2nd book has some of the same material from the first book.

So it's Fall in upstate NY. Harvest time. Do you do an outside Sunday class once every season to explore God's creation and changes of season? Do you go outside in the rain and talk about Noah? There are other references to rain in the scriptures you know. Do you go outside in the wind and talk about Elijah? Do you go outside to explore God's seasons and God's creation to see what they will tell you about the One who made them? Finding references to snow and cold might be a little more challenging but I bet they're there.

I don't think it would take much to use books like these, even if they weren't intended for Sunday School if you want to add another dimension to learning about God and His stories. After all, who made the outdoors?

And for all the references to seasons in the scriptures there are facets of God to explore through the scriptures not just for preschool and elementary aged children but for pre-teens and teens and young adults and the middle aged and the very old. What can we learn about God and ourselves through the seasons God has created to continue until this world is gone?

God isn't 1 dimensional or even 2 dimensional. Add dimensions to the opportunities you provide when you're teaching people about God and exploring the scriptures. God didn't make us 1 or 2 dimensional either. My husband designs global computer systems. I don't understand Him but God made him. And to tell you the truth, there are things He knows and understands about God because of who he is that I don't know and understand. I know them better because of him but I will never be who he is or able to do the things he does.

If you explore knowing God and your eyes are on Jesus, I think you will discover new ways to worship Him, Lord and Savior, Father, Creator God. The awe when you see a cathedral that (despite ulterior motives) displays a rather awesome love of God when you consider the labor and resources and design that went into it . . . the skill of a creative God designing the mind of a genius. . . atoms. . . gravity . . . sunset. . . the awe in a child discovering a worm wiggling on a wet sidewalk in the rain, touching it - acknowledge God's amazing creative power. Talk about what a worm does and how it helps us. What do we do (or not do) to help worms. Do you know? I don't. Worms are important. They make air holes in the soil (can't spell airate). Maybe I should find out how to help worms do their job.

If life was supposed to be just about me or just about me and God or just about Man I wonder if God would have bothered making everything else. But that's just speculation, isn't it. He gave us something to take care of and said, this is good.... Be awed by the things that awe you. Be awed by the things that awe the children around you. "Wow! Where did that come from?" . . . as you get older and "better informed" if you go back far enough and push through all the theories like pushing through bushes and brush (beware of ticks) . . . I think you'll find yourself in a place where you can't help but worship God.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for turning out eyes back to what God does so well each season. I don't think at our church we use what is outdoors enough in our teaching the preschoolers about God.