Well, it was actually more like a “pop.” But it worked. I popped a plastic shopping bag filled with air and got the attention of the forty-some children who writhed on the floor at Good News Club today.
The lesson was on creation. I wonder how many of them had heard that the world began with a “bang” some billions of years ago? I wonder how many of them had heard the biblical account of creation? Some of them worshiped weekly with the families at churches in our community. Some have never been. As I taught a lesson I’ve read, studied, heard and discussed many times in my own lifetime, I couldn’t help but wonder what it would be like to hear it for the first time — as a child or an adult.
What would they take home from this? What would stick in their minds? I know from experience that it’s totally unpredictable. Some might marvel at the creative power of God’s voice. It all happened when he spoke, “Let there be…” Others might grab onto God’s evaluation of his work: “It was good.” I hope that some were captivated by their personal connection to the creation. After all, we too were knitted together in our mother’s womb, and are fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:13,14).
Since I am so familiar with the story, I think I wrongly assume that everyone is. Even in the church, I believe many have forgotten their Creator, His creation, and their own place in that creation. Perhaps if we talked more about that, we would place greater value on the lives of other created people. Like people who look different than us. Or those who need someone to take care of them. Or those who are crying for help, for a chance, or for love.
The biblical account of creation has much to say to a world where climate change, racism and human lives are headline news. We were created to take care of this world and take care of each other. Science might have a lot of answers, but it doesn’t bring that message. Theology may not have all the answers, but it drives home that point. If this world is worth dying for, then it must be pretty important to God. You must be pretty important to God.
If we brought that to the table, maybe we would get somewhere when we talked about global warming, hunger and poverty, war and human rights, fair trade and economic justice, and war and peace.