Today my daughter and I get to teach Sunday School. We are put into a room with 4-5yr old kids who have no cares in the world. They are just happy to come in and play, learn about Jesus and eat snacks. It is so fun to watch them interact with each other. Most of them know each other from church, but there are a few new kiddos that come and are welcomed into the play circles enthusiastically. Lego forts are build, pretend meals are made and play animals are cared for. There are are few kids that have a hard time being away from their parents but usually forget about their worries when our song leader comes in to sing his songs.
Today we get to learn about “The Good Samaritan” if you haven’t read this story it’s found in Luke 10:25-37. The basis of the story is to love your neighbor as yourself. What a concept to teach such young kids. We were not born to love others first, but rather to love ourselves and then once we are good, then we can look to what others need. So as I prepped, I found an object lesson that was perfect since it involved candy. Now if you read through the paragraph above you can see that the kids in my classroom have a pretty good grasp on loving their neighbors, but it’s still a lesson worthy of teaching. The kids all sat in a circle on the carpet. Each one of them got to have one piece of candy. This is torture of course for a kid but they did well. Then they got to tell me how yummy that candy tasted. The next step was to give them a piece of ice. They had to keep it in their mouths for as long as they could stand it, once they spit it out they were immediately given another piece of candy. They then told me how that piece of candy tasted. Obviously they wouldn’t have been able to taste that piece because their tongues were numb from the ice. This is how it is when we don’t love our neighbors as ourselves.
As stated, before the kids got the ice they were given a piece of candy. All of them told me how yummy it was and actually asked for more, but a lesson needed to be taught about loving others, so I explained that just like the candy tasting good, that’s how we feel when we help others. We feel good, we have a better outlook on life. We want to do it more because the joy we see in the eyes of those we helped is the joy that Jesus wants us to feel and share. The candy that was given to the kids after the ice didn’t taste like anything. This is what it’s like when we are selfish and only think of ourselves. Our lives are numb, and joy is hard to find. Sometimes it takes work to love and help others, but even with the sacrifice, it’s better than to not sacrifice at all.
The kids grasped this concept better than I had thought they would, probably because in it’s simplest form it is easy. As we get older and the world teaches us that it’s not as easy to trust as it should be, we get cynical in our outlooks. We even start to think mean thoughts about ourselves. Here’s some things to try: volunteer to help at a shelter, buy some extra food at the store and find someone who needs some. Talk with a pastor about where there is a need and fill the need. Bake cookies for your neighbor. In our world looking past ourselves, is what gets us in a place of compassion and joy. My daughter and I volunteered to teach, not because we love getting up early on a Sunday, but because we love to see the kids, and we get to act like kids as well. There is joy in that. Jesus said “let the little children come to me”. When we have childlike faith it is easier to run to Him and see what He has to offer us. What we take from His love, is what we should share with others, it’s as simple as that. Until next time:
Being negative only makes a journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don’t have to sit on it.Joyce Meyer
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Rae’s New Shine Children’s Book
One day Rae woke up and felt different. When she looked at the people around her they seemed to “shine brighter” than she did. When she finally prayed about it and asked her mom for help, she realized she didn’t know her own worth. She didn’t believe in herself and felt dim compared to others. Once she started to see she was talented and worthy her shine came back.