Friday, April 06, 2007

Sunday School Times

For the past twenty-five years at least, one of the things that has been closest to my heart has been teaching Sunday school. I currently have the smallest class ever-- two precious students, little girls, who I’m tickled pink to sit down with every Sunday.

This past week’s lesson was a difficult one for me to teach, though. It was about the fall of Judah and it spanned several chapters in II Kings, II Chronicles and Jeremiah. “How can I do this?” I thought. “How can I simplify all this information into one forty-five minute lesson, incorporating all of those kings with strange names (especially the king of Babylon) and the entire goings on in and around Jerusalem? How can I do this in a way that these eight and nine year old twenty-first century princesses can process it?”

Well, Catherine Vos to the rescue. I always like to make sure that the Bible is open before me and my students and that it’s clear to them that this, the Word of God, is why we’re there. Not a quarterly, not another book, but the Holy Scriptures. But every now and then, this book, The Child’s Story Bible, helps a flustered teacher put it all together in a way that will make sense to them.

The Child’s Story Bible by Catherine E. Vos is a retelling of the stories of the Bible in a sweetly expressed and concise way for our children. In the preface to the revised edition, Mrs. Vos’s daughter tells how this book was the labor of many years, her mother day after day going to the upstairs porch with her Bible, notebook and pencil. What a testimony about an “ordinary” housewife. The first copyright date was in 1935, with several editions following.

I would say that this beloved work is a must for any Sunday school, but also for any home where there are children. When I recommend it to you, I’m doing so both as a teacher of the Bible and as a parent/grandparent. I’ll probably have more to say about it as the month goes by.

So, last Sunday I read the story to the girls from this helpful classic, with our Bibles open before us to point out selected verses. The fall of Judah was covered thoroughly, accurately and clearly for their young minds. They were able to do their activity pages with few problems. This coming Sunday, we’ll just use our Bibles, open to the most wonderful story ever told—the death and resurrection of our Savior. We probably won’t read the Vos book this time, but I’ll just share here what she said at the conclusion of one of her chapters covering the resurrection:

“We may go to this same Jesus today with all our sorrows, and all our problems, and all our sins. He sees us, and hears us, and loves us. If we trust and love Him, we have new life—a joyous, happy life. For He takes away all our burdens.

“Shall we not love and serve this wonderful Jesus, who finished the work of our salvation, on the cross?”

~ Catherine E. Vos, The Child’s Story Bible

May you have a blessed and joyful Easter.


Beka said...

Such a sweet post; I loved the quote from Catherine Vos you gave.

I also want to say that having you as a Sunday School teacher for a few years way-back-when is something that has greatly influenced my life. I remember your Sunday School lessons so well. The Lord has most definitely gifted you greatly in this area. If the Lord blesses Mark & I with children, will you be their Sunday School teacher too?

Maxine said...

You made me weepy again. If the Lord grants you and Mark the children you desire, and if He spares me to be here when they reach that age, it would give me great joy to be their Sunday School teacher.
Do you know that I have a folder where I keep every note that any of my students or former students have written me? So I am going to have to copy and paste your comment, print it out and put it in my folder! Thanks, dear.

Scott said...

You have a folder for all those notes? Do they make folders that big? Of course, now you have to print this one and put it in there, since I'm a former student, from a little longer ago than Beka. You asked me to visit, so I have.
If you want to know what's on my mind right now, you can go back and visit my blog. Then you can cut and paste that, too. Are you sure it's only one folder?

God bless you, Mrs. Randall, with His own presence, the sight of His face after seeking, and His grace with your spirit, forever.

Beverly said...

Mumsie, I don't want to rain on your parade, but I was a student of yours too!! I have memories that if there was a shortage of papers, I never got one.

Of course I'm just kidding. You were a godly example to me ... in and out of the classroom. I still have the ornament that you stitched for me with the meaning of my name. I have the memory of your little stick figure drawings ... you always kept our interest.

Elise said...

Okay - you've sold me. I want it for my home!
I wish my sons had you as a S.S. teacher! :)
(Mumsie - Beverly, that's priceless! I love it!)