During our Bethany Stories series, we’re hearing stories about our namesake, a town outside Jerusalem where Jesus’ friends Martha, Mary, and Lazarus lived. We’re also hearing stories from our Bethany, especially from the past year.
On Sunday May 12th, elementary school principal and Church Council member Sara Haas shared some of what it’s like to teach our growing Sunday School cohort. (We meet, ages 4 through 2nd grade, every other Sunday during 10:30 worship. Come join us!)
Sara’s Bethany story:
I identify myself as an educator. For those of you who might not know, it is what I spend over 40 hours a week doing to earn a paycheck. But I am a mother too, so I am proud to say that my role as educator doesn't end when as I drive away from my school each evening. So putting on my teacher hat when on Sunday mornings feels right to me. Teaching kids about God would be a breeze! I grew up in Sunday School, I attended summer camp at church, went through confirmation class and sang in the high school choir. But have you ever sat to think about how much death, and destruction, and sadness there is in the bible? I open my daughters story bible and Daniel is sentenced to be eaten to death by lions, Moses is sent down the river after babies are ordered to be drown, Jonah is swallowed by a whale and lives to tell of it.
I remember the first time I questioned how I was going to explain some very grown up ideas to some very young kids. It was the story of Lazarus, raised from the dead by Jesus. Our family cat had recently died and so death had been explained to my then three year old, the permanence of it emphasized. Our kitty was not coming back. So how was I going to reconcile that with this story of resurrection.
But logic and order and the black and white reality that I apply to my adult view isn’t a issue for young kids. They already live in a world of fairy tales and believe in happy endings. They readily accept that God will take care of us in our darkest time. They see the good and joy in the world before they see the hurt and are ready to project that good back towards others. And seeing this easy faith that comes to kids in the Sunday School room makes mine that much stronger.