Thursday, November 30, 2006

Thanksgiving, Hebrew Bible, and the Bible Studs

I was on the Outer Banks with my family for Thanksgiving, and we lost power all day Wednesday. Consequently, once it got dark, we were all forced to sit together by candlelight and..... talk to each other. It was amazing! I got a glimpse of what family life was like before TV and even radio. We sat around (adults on couches and chairs, and kids on the floor), and listened to the grandparents tell stories about their lives. It was so cool. Of course, at 10:30 pm the power came back on, everyone cheered, and then the TV's went on. So much for that....

It gave me an idea, though. When I asked a student what our topic should be in Bible study, he said he wanted to talk about communication and saying things that God would want us to. I ended doing Bible study by candlelight. We sat in a circle on the floor, and I read them Genesis 1 and 2. I told them that these stories were probably passed down to kids around the fire, in order to teach them about God and their culture. I tried to remember to use some of the Hebrew words, and made it sound like a kids' story. I even paused every time I said, "And it was..." and made them say "good."

We talked about what it means to be made in the image of God. Troy said, "Probably that when you make fun of people, you are making fun of God." Ryan said "Maybe it means that all of the people in the world together are God's image." We talked about this a little more, and then I asked them why God would later make commandments against making graven images.

talked about the rules about not having other Gods, and not making graven images. Again, they had good answers, about not putting things before God, and not worshiping the Gods of other cultures, etc. I told them that idols were made as a sort of point of connection between gods and people, and asked where else we just heard the world "image." Silence... they were wracking their brains. I prompted, "Made in..." and someone said, "oh... God's image." Ok, now connect the dots, "So what's the connection between the two passages?" Then I saw it dawn on Jesse's face.

"Oh... we're not supposed to have images because we are God's image. And God is in us instead of a statue."

Our Bible studies always have a lot of tangents, like when I announced that since only guys come anyway, I'm changing the name to Bib Studs, and I'll just start a girls' group too. Next week we are going to read Genesis 3 and talk about relationships and brokenness. Just having them take home the idea that the are God's image colors everything else we talk about.


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