Sunday, November 7, 2010

Notes from the Pew

It has been an interesting experience, teaching religious education to my children. I don't have my own religious background to draw upon because I went to Sunday School in the south at Pioneer Park Church of Christ. Here is a sample of a song we used to sing:

Are you washed?
Are you washed?
Are you washed in the blood of the lamb?

Are your garments spotless, are they white as snow,
Are you washed in the blood of the lamb?

One learned not to ask how one's garments could be "white as snow" if you had the bad sense to wash them in lamb's blood. Some questions are metaphysical in nature, apparently. In fact, early religious education teaches you the difference between a question that can be answered and one that can't.

My students are not used to the blood and guts that can be found in the Old Testament. I know this because my co-teacher and I are teaching stories from the bible this quarter. Two weeks ago, I told the story of Moses and how his mother left him in a basket in the river to escape the Pharaoh's edict that all first born Hebrew children were to be killed. I think it is accurate to say that this bit of history traumatized them. Why, why, they asked? Why would anyone kill a child? Sadly, our own modern history is filled with instances of infanticide and horror. Am I preparing them for the inevitability of history? I hope I am laying the groundwork for these young souls to always, always think there is another way. May we all remember to be horrified when history repeats itself.

The lesson today on the oppression Moses and his people faced by the Egyptians ended with the song, "Let my people go." While we were cuing up the CD to listen to it, my son turned to me and said, "Didn't they play this song at your wedding?"


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