Saturday, January 23, 2010

Points of Reference

Pick a passage from one of Paul's epistles that's rich with OT reference and imagery.

Imagine, if you will, Paul fervently sharing with his audience.

Paul ministered to Gentiles but his background was Hebrew and he drew from OT image & story.

Imagine that every OT reference that he makes is more than just a verse to reference but that each point of reference is a rich story memory for his audience - something that stretches back generation after generation with rich sensory associations. And these generations have heard and told these stories over and over and over since they were small children: stories about their ancestors, their history, their culture, their life and God with them there. Even the rules they keep in their homes and in their community, rules they've kept for generations, reflect the presence of God with them there and keeping a home and community they can share with a holy God & Father.

My point? The listeners need points of reference other than isolated verses to cross-reference. Pastors work hard at trying to find things/ideas people can relate to. Churches often do "object" lessons with children (children's sermons) and the adults love it. Adults get "more out of the children's message" than the sermon but many of these "object lessons" are still more abstract than children connect with. And more often than not kids end up being there for adult entertainment ie. we laugh at them and we can always justify our behavior (at the expense of the children). A discussion for another time.

But perhaps its one example (ok, 2 examples) of how considering "the child in our midst" helps us connect with God - or helps God connect with us.

Random side note:

Understand that should you decide to take new approaches to learning with your kids that there's an adjustment period for teachers, children, parents and the larger community. Give it some time before you decide whether something new is "working" or not. Or introduce the "new" in little bits & pieces. If it works, keep it. If it doesn't, throw it out. Just don't throw the Baby out with the bath.

No comments:

Post a Comment