Monday, October 22, 2012

This week - Jonah, whales, no irreversible mistakes

I got a call Saturday evening asking if I was available to teach Sunday school the next morning for a class of 11th and 12th graders. I recently joined the church here at Elsah and had listed an interest in teaching Sunday school among the ways I was willing to be active. That means being always ready and prepared should the need arise, working with the Bible Lesson with the thought, how would I share this in Sunday school? Having found lots of inspiration in the Lesson on Probation after Death I was not at all hesitant to accept the task. It was a great class.

After we chatted for a few minutes about their week and answered a question raised about a special challenge someone was having I told them I had four things to talk about and they could choose how we would start: caterpillars, mustard seeds, how could the Shepherd leave the 99 to go after the 1, and Shinkendo, the art of ancient Japanese sword fighting. They wanted to hear about the sword fighting.  That was actually to follow the thread in the Lesson about having the faith to follow the right path. I told them about my son, Matthew, who has loved swords all his life. After college he formed a heavy metal band and played in clubs but he found he did not like that lifestyle. What he truely loved was sword fighting. He had done very well with fencing in college but that was not his favorite. He wanted to learn the Japanese method. So while he got a day job, he also researched about this ancient art and discovered that the mastser teacher or sensai of Shinkendo lives in the Los Angeles area. He met with him and applied to be his student. That lead to years and years of discipline and learning and practice until he became a Shinkendo instructor and was able to open his own dojo to teach others. He followed his path, with prayer and listening, and now he does what he loves best for a living. Faith is the substance of things hoped for.

Some of my earlier blogs are about the other things we discussed Sunday; caterpillars, mustard seeds, and Jesus' parable about the lost sheep. The time flew and we were surprised when the Superintendant rang the bell to end classes. On the way out, another teacher asked if I was available to teach this Sunday and I said I would be happy to do that. This time it will be a class of 3rd and 4th graders. So I am looking forward to this week's Bible Lesson and the story of Jonah.

Many religions teach about a God who condemns but in Christian Science we see that God is Love, and love does not condemn or punish. If we sin, we live with the consequences of that and that is a self-imposed punishment that lasts as long as we choose to continue sinning. What a great week to be studying Jonah.

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