Saturday, February 4, 2012

Teaching The Fall

I’m trying to figure out a “Fall” activity to do with our Little Girls.  I don’t mean Fall as in a season of the year, but The Fall.  The Fall of Man in Genesis Three.  For the past two weeks we’ve worked on a little booklet to help them remember the Days of Creation. 

How wonderful to see them use their books to tell us that on the Fifth Day God created birds and fish and whales! 

But, what’s a way to help remind them that in disobedience, mankind spit in the face of all that perfection, and ate of the Tree? 
A few years ago I was in Mexico with my wonderful friends Geraldine and Jerry.  We spent time touring around, but also helping with some local ministries. 

One day we drove for more than an hour up and down curvy roads to a small and poor community.  We were joining a group of missionaries, who visited every couple of weeks, to lead a time of singing, share a Bible lesson, bring small gifts and ice cream, and do a craft. 

The day we were there about 50 kids and adults came to sing songs and hear the story of the Fall.  After the Bible lesson, it was craft time.  We had everyone sit down on the ground, and each person was given a piece of white paper on which a snake had been drawn in a big circle.  Along with the coiled snake was a separate forked tongue. 
Everyone (from little kids all the way up to men in their 60’s!) wanted to participate.  We jumped in, handing out lots and lots of crayons to color the snakes, and then helping bring scissors and glue - and even more crayons. 
After the snakes were cut and the tongues glued on, it was time for the crowning decoration – Glitter!  We were all covered in it, our sweating faces (and hands and arms) sparkling in the sun.  We attached strings, and watched as the little kids ran around, their snakes trailing behind them. 
It was a cute craft, but...

I want the girls in El Callejon to learn why the world they (and we!) live in is so far from the perfection of Eden, when God saw everything He had made and called it Very Good.  That Satan is very real, and still wants nothing more than to see us rebelling against our Creator. 
To me, having fun decorating the snake from the Garden makes him something less harm- and hate-filled.  Like the glitter, Satan offers all things colorful and shiny.  Like the glitter, the curse we live under sticks to us, showing up even when we think we’ve showered it away.

I know, I know, I’m probably over-thinking all of this.  But, to me, this is important.  How do you teach little ones the big, and sometimes difficult, truths of the Bible in a way that conveys the seriousness without completely losing them – or worse, freaking them out so bad all they get are nightmares? 
As the kids ran on that hot and sunny day in the little community in Mexico, several of the snakes tore apart, getting caught on shrubs and fences.  Before we said goodbye, the ground was littered with the remains of the craft; bodies, tongues, heads, all being ground into the dirt. 

Fitting, really, as God promised a Savior who would defeat Satan, crushing his head. 

That is our hope and assurance.  Despite our turning away, God provided a way back into relationship with Him.  The joy and glory of that is made even more so when we understand just how much of a mess we’re in.  And, so, I want to share this well!
Hmm… I’m no farther along.  Anyone out there have any ideas? 

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