Budding Bonhoeffers

A new-found great joy in my new call: walking through the various classrooms on Sunday morning to see how wonderfully my lay-leaders and the kids are doing.

This past week, we started a new unit (Moses and the Exodus, and how that story pre-figures the story of Jesus) for grades 1-5. The third grade was working on producing a radio skit based on a story about Sherpin the sheep, who learned from Jesus-sheep about how to get to God’s Great Pen. Their leader was reviewing the story before the recording started, and asked, “How do you get the God’s Great Pen?” The girls, of course, were ready with the “right” answer: “Follow the Jesus-sheep.” But the boys were up to something. One little guy piped up: “You have to die!”

Now, this being third grade, and Halloween being around the corner, the discussion among the boys descended into suggestions about the sheep murdering each other to get to the Great Pen. But these little guys were defintely onto something. Want to follow Jesus? To start with, you have to give up who you thought you were. And that’s no easy, painless procedure. To quote Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.”

So, don’t let anyone tell you that Sunday School theology is any less complex and advanced than the stuff they study in seminaries!