Tonight is the last night of Bible School. It has been fun. As predicted by my childhood experience, the kids are enjoying / remembering the songs, games and crafts. But we really are having some interesting discussions.
Last night was the best so far. The theme for the night was "How can Jesus help me when I mess up?" The Bible story was the Prodigal son. In it, the son asked for his inheritance, received it, squandered it and when destitute came home to his father and asked to be one of his slaves. Instead his father welcomed him with open arms and celebrated his return.
As we talked about it (read as I talked about it) they just seemed to think the son was stupid. I tried to get them to tell me if they ever made a mistake and needed forgiveness and of course, they were perfect. So I told them a story about when I was their age and needed forgiveness.
We lived between two old ladies (probably my current age, ha ha) and a new family that had just moved in. My friend and I were playing catch with a hardball in the old ladies yard when I threw the ball over my friends head and broke their basement window. Like any scared kids, we ran! And acted like we had no idea anything had happened. Eventually we were found out and had to apologize. Someone went with me to apologize and the ladies forgave me and gave me the ball back.
They laughed, asked me questions about how I felt and then started sharing stories, not just about themselves, but about people they know who made mistakes and had to deal with the fallout from the mistakes. We talked about prayer, giving and asking for and receiving forgiveness. These are big ideas and big topics for 4th and 5th graders.
Then they went outside, chased each other around and the boys chased the girls. Two steps forward, one step back.