Monday, May 5, 2008

Sunday School - fruit of the Spirit - peace

We had a lot of fun learning about peace in Sunday School yesterday. (The fruit? A "piece" of watermelon, of course!)

As I prepared, I realised the Bible speaks of 3 kinds of peace - peace with God, peace with others, and peace within. I decided to focus on the third, the freedom from anxiety which is ours when we trust God to care for us.

For children are anxious and fearful about so many things! Bogey-men, spiders, illness, bullies, death, intruders, the first day at a new school: do you remember how you feared them as a child?

When I was young and afraid of the dark, my mother gave me a placard which rested on my bed-head. Its blue letters said, "I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety" (Psalm 4:8). It comforted me when I lay there feeling scared.

So the children and I decorated placards for their rooms, with a choice of verses like this one: "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you" (1 Pet. 5:7).

I told the story of how Jesus calmed the storm. Not as some clever allegory about how Jesus calms the storms in our lives, but as the act which drove the disciples to ask in terror: who is this man?

Here's the pictures I drew (upside-down, which explains the wonkinesss!) as I told them the story:

1. Tired after a day of teaching, healing, and casting out demons, Jesus sleeps on a cushion in the front of the boat ...

2.Aaargh! A storm! Jesus sleeps peacefully on, while the disciples shout in fear. (The kids thought they looked like they were singing, but it's supposed to be fear.)
3. Before I drew the disciples' faces, I asked how they would have felt after Jesus calmed the storm. The children's suggestions? Relieved, amazed, happy.They were surprised when they saw the faces of the disciples and realised they were wobbling like jelly from terror!

Why? Because they suddenly realised they were in the presence of the One who can control the wind and the waves.

Jesus, the Lord of Creation, who is more powerful than all our fears, who hears our prayers when we are anxious or afraid, who will guard our hearts and minds with his peace.


Honoria said...

Love it!

The 'three kinds of peace' sounds a bit like the Shalom, don't you think?

Jean said...

Does it? You'll have to explain that one to me! I know "shalom" means "peace", and includes all kinds of things like prosperity, well-being, etc etc, but that's about it!!

Honoria said...

Can't really add much more than that! I was just appreciating how OT and NT go together.

I blogged in March about Shalom:

"This Hebrew word means wholeness, wellness, full health, abundantly blessed, wealth, prosperity, joy, peace between two parties (e.g. man to man, God to man, country to county)."

I applied it the blessings of Jesus... he brings life to the full. It's an eschatological picture of the whole world which begins now. The pivotal thing is his cross.