Saturday, April 19, 2014

Another failed object lesson

According to our annual Easter tradition, we made Empty Tombs today.  We've made them every Easter since the kids were very young.  You take a marshmallow (representing Jesus' body), roll it in melted butter (embalming oil), sprinkle it with cinnamon and sugar (burial spices), and wrap it in crescent roll dough (the tomb).  If you seal the tomb properly, the marshmallow melts during baking, and when you bite into the tomb, it appears empty.  We've done it well in previous years, but this year, none of the tombs were sealed tightly enough, so the body didn't disappear.  It just sort of seeped out, which was a little disturbing, but still delicious. It reminded me of many failed object lessons I've attempted over the years.  Here's one from Nov. 2003: 
 Today I discovered that I can use Duplos to teach Noah  (age 2) Bible lessons. We were in the playroom building as usual when I happened to make a figure that looked like a man with his arms up, and it was Noah who pointed at it and said, “Jesus”. So I made twelve disciples and put Jesus on top of the upturned Duplo bucket and read the Sermon on the Mount from the Bible. Noah lost interest partway through and started loading the disciples into his dump truck. Then I built some tables and acted out the story of Jesus overturning the moneychangers’ tables in the temple. Noah got into that one more. Unfortunately, Jesus’ arms and legs broke off while he was violently overturning the tables.

From July 2006:
We made play clay and colored half blue and half red and kneaded it together to make purple. Sarah was napping, so Noah and I took turns making Bible stories in play clay and trying to guess the story. I made Jesus calming the storm, turning the water to wine, and the crucifixion and resurrection. Noah made David’s harp, Noah’s ark (complete with “vent holes so the animals can breathe”), and dividing the dead ox. (I lie in bed with Noah and read the Bible every night, and a few nights ago was Exodus 21. Right after the ten commandments there are all those obscure property laws. There's one about what to do if your ox gores somebody else's ox and kills it. You have to divide the dead ox and each gets half. I was just kind of mumbling through those quickly and didn’t think he was even paying attention, but after I was done reading, heading out the door, he said, "Why did that ox die?" which led into a long discussion. First thing the next morning, he said "How did they cut the ox in half? Did they have tools back then?” I said they probably used a stone ax or something, and he said, "Maybe they pulled the horn off the dead ox and used that to cut him in half." This is one of those Bible stories they don’t teach kids in Sunday school! Apparently it impressed Noah, because we read it several days ago, and here he is today acting it out in play clay.
I did a live action play of the crucifixion, but Jesus looked very much like a toad on the cross. I took him down and put him in the tomb and rolled a blob in front of it for the stone. I counted to three for the three days he was inside, then dramatically rolled the stone away and made the toad ascend to heaven. However, I didn’t realize that Jesus had adhered to the stone, so the blob started rising with him, which elicited gales of laughter from Noah. As I tried to pry the stone off his toady little body, one of Jesus’ legs ripped off and sent Noah into a laughing fit that went on for five minutes. I asked the Lord to forgive my rendition and let the truth sink into Noah’s heart in spite of it.
 And finally, one from August 2006:
 This morning we were coloring, and I noticed that many of the crayons were broken and paper peeled off, so I was trying to think what cool thing we could do with them.  I had Noah shave them with the vegetable peeler, then we put the peelings between two sheets of waxed paper. I covered the whole thing with a towel and ironed it.   I had this whole lesson going about how Jesus can take broken things and make them beautiful, and how the crayon shavings were like us, and Jesus was the iron melting us all together into one body of Christ.  Noah was paying attention really well and everything was fabulous.  It started to melt and make a lovely picture. I held it up to the light and talked about how much better it was when the light shone thru and how Jesus shines thru us and makes us lovely.   Then apparently I ironed too much, b/c I burned the thing and it was not pretty. Noah of course, followed the object lesson through, and said "If we have too much of Jesus, will He burn us?"  
Poor little Noah, pushing his crayon shavings around and looking disillusioned.

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