If you know me well at all or if you’ve been reading this blog, you know that I don’t hide the fact that I haven’t been gifted to work with children. I’m not creative to come up with neat activities that you see children do in churches or on Pinterest for that matter. So you can imagine how inept I feel when it comes to teaching my children.
But instead of bemoaning my lack of skills in this area, I’m trying to make the best of what I have.
Last week that was in the form of watching herbs that we planted from seed sprout.
A few weeks ago we took basil and cilantro seeds that I had harvested from my basil and cilantro plants last year, and we planted them in yogurt cups (with holes poked in the bottom for drainage). Drew got 3 and Alyssa got 3. Of course, Drew wasn’t happy with Alyssa’s sprouted first. 🙂
In one of Alyssa’s cups, I noticed that the cilantro sprout had not shed its seed. At the top of the sprout (you can see on the picture at the very left), you can see the shell of the cilantro seed we had planted, holding onto the sprout. It was then that I recalled Scriptures talking about how a seed must die in order to produce life. Thanks to Biblegateway.com, I did a search and found two passages, one in John and one in 1 Corinthians, and I planned a Bath Tub Bible Story with Drew.
(The reason I called it a Bath Tub Bible Story was that the plants are situated in the corner of my bathroom on our bath tub ledge. It’s the only room in the house with direct sunlight that I can place plants. I figured at the very least it would make a memorable Bible lesson for Drew.)
I chose to use the passage in John because it was the words of Jesus just a few days before his crucifixion and resurrection. I also thought how fitting the timing of this would be because Easter is right around the corner and Drew is studying about the resurrection in church.
So one night after baths and after I put Alyssa to bed, I told Drew we were having Bath Tub Bible Story and we went and sat in my empty bath tub.
I showed him the plant with the seed still attached, reminding him that this was what he planted, and how it came off our cilantro plant after the plant had died last year. I then read him this passage:
“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25 Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.” (John 12:24-26)
I explained as best as I could that Jesus was saying that he had to die in order for us to have eternal life after we die. Just like he saw that plant sprouting new life, Jesus rose from the dead, and for those who believe in him, they will be raised from the dead as well. I told him to recall how large our basil plant was last year (about 3 feet by 3 feet) and how it all came from a tiny seed. Jesus was like a seed, and because of his death and resurrection, as more and more people believe in Him, that “plant” – the church – grows bigger and bigger.
Let me pause and remind you that because I’m not gifted in speaking on a child’s level, this was HARD to put into words that I thought Drew could understand. I stuttered a lot. I paused and regrouped several times. At the end of it I thought I had completely blown it and said a silent prayer that God would use it despite my tripping up.
At the end of the story after we went back to the living room, Drew explained to Matt what his bath tub Bible story was about. I was amazed how he was able to really grasp the concept that I struggled to explain. I guess where I’m weak, God is strong.
And the next night Drew asked for another Bath Tub Bible Story.