Well after such a great 'Super Family Bible Night' last week I was thinking we were getting the hang of it but tonight I had to hold my tongue and allow my newly 8yo (Toby) fumble his way through the story of Mary and Martha. We (mum & dad) had so many great ideas of what Toby could do with this passage, different locations, different ideas and angles but as we started to share them we were shut down 'Mum, dad I already know what I'm going to do' and so a little unsure we began Super Family Bible Night.
Toby had dad read the story and the rest of us were to act it out; Lily as Mary, Toby as Jesus and mum as Martha (mmm is there anything in that??). The scene was set, actually it was quite literally set our dining room table seemed to look strangely similar to the table in the kids picture bible. It was not long after this point that we soon realised that Toby had spent most of his preparation time working out how he could copy each picture in the bible rather than thinking about the actual story. So we had flowers in a vase, a mortar and pestle, a broom - but very little attention was on the actual wording (note for next time get Toby to read from a bible without pictures first).
We did 'act out' the story and it was really fun but when it came time to look at what it means and how to pray we abruptly stopped. Toby was stuck – and as we tried to help – we saw the pout begin, the arms cross and he slouched into the couch. He's forgotten that we needed to not just tell the story but also to see what God is saying to us today through this story and to pray together.
And so I asked Lily what is God saying to you in this story about Mary and Martha? – Lily "I should love God... that we should pray more" – true but the way she said it reminded me of how kids often answer Sunday school questions "Moses"... "Noah"... "God"... or "Jesus".
Eventually we got to sharing about the importance of spending time with God, not just doing things for God (which is important) but spending time with God is more important.
In summary, a good fun night but I need to spend some time helping Toby (& Lily – who is next week) with the passage and reminding him about praying afterwards.
For more ideas and resources on Bible Engagement or to buy Kylie's 'Milk to Meat' book go to www.milktomeat.com.au