Apr 30, 2007

Recollections of Bible School

I have many memories of summers spent attending bible school. It was always a fun time. One I used to enjoy sharing with my friends and also a time for making new friendships! There was daily singing, studying bible lessons, children's church games, making crafts, and times of silent prayer. Bible school is a great platform to teach kids basic moral lessons and values. Ones that often times are not taught in the home. Through lessons, stories, and games children learn coping skills, social skills, and there are buried ethical teachings in everything. I recall one of the older ladies from the church who told wonderful stories using visual aids, Christian hand puppets, felt, and drawings. She had a wonderful voice. One story in particular was about two birds. One that built her nest out of stick and strong materials and the other that built hers using soft tissues that she found. The story goes on to tell how it rains and the nest made of the “prettier and softer” materials fell apart, but the one with the strong foundation withstood. The lesson: teaches you to base your life on the strong foundation of Faith and God. Not to be swayed by material things that may be pleasing to the eye, but rather build upon strong values and a belief system that will support you in times of trial. As a child I was always happy to see how many children enjoyed attending the summer bible schools. A lot of times the kids that attended were the ones that normally never got the opportunity to attend church or any organized gatherings. They would jump at the chance to get the individualized attention that the teachers gave. This special attention paid off, because their minds and hearts were opened, many learned various valuable lessons during that short week. The children, me included, were like sponges – eagerly soaking in everything! Most of the local churches supplied transportation to and from the church and some denominations had snacks. At the end of the week it was commonplace to have a group picnic at a local park. Crafts usually consisted of wooden crafts, painting plaster of paris plaques, or constructing paper projects. Stories covered many parts of the bible -times of Noah and the ark, Jonah and the whale, Joseph and his coat of many colors, Daniel in the lion's den, David and Goliath, etc… Each story was compared to every day life scenarios and each taught a valuable moral lesson. It’s sad to think there are a lot of children that have never attended a Bible school or Sunday school. Some have never even heard of or seen a Bible. Many children are looking for something to follow, someone to lead them. They receive mixed messages about mixing church and state. Personally, I believe every child deserves to be a child. They should be allowed to learn and to see God in their own way. There is a difference between teaching verses preaching. Religious education should be offered to children along with Math, English, History, etc…. As a child I don’t recall any bad ever coming out of learning about the love of Jesus Christ. If anything, it left those kids that came from broken homes or dysfunctional families feel like they weren’t alone. It gave them hope, faith, and love – if only for a week, each summer……………………………

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