So I’m substituting this month for the sunbeam teacher in Primary. The lesson was about God and Jesus creating the fish and other ocean creatures for us to enjoy and use for food.
The first Bible story was about Jonah being swallowed by a big fish. Of course there is more than that to the story but that’s what the children focused on. I tried to tell it in a way that wouldn’t scare the innocence out these sweet little 3 year-olds. Honestly, I think all the children heard was ‘blah blah blah blah blah
swallowed by a whale
blah blah blah blah’
I had a picture of the next experience to get them back on track. It was from Luke 5 when Jesus entered Simeon Peter’s boat to avoid the press of the people so he could continue teaching. Then he told Simeon Peter where to let down his net. He had a little doubt, but with faith, did what Jesus told him and the load of fish nearly broke his net. Simeon Peter was amazed and Jesus told him to “follow me and I’ll make you fishers of men”.
As I was walking on the beach, at sunset tonight, I saw this huge log. It just appeared out of nowhere. The ocean just heaved it up onto the beach. It reminded me of the huge fish spitting Jonah out of its stomach. 🙂 That’s what got me rethinking about how this fish was a “blessing” to Jonah.
The other Bible verses were obvious ways that fish are blessings (feeding thousands with the loaves and fishes, making fishers of men, etc). The beginning of Jonah’s experience was when he was disobedient to the Lord. The Lord told Jonah to go into a city that was known to have lots of wicked people and tell them to repent. Jonah was scared and didn’t want to go. Jonah’s fish experience did get him to repent. On the third day in the belly of the fish he prayed. He probably prayed more sincerely and desperately than he’d ever prayed before! The Lord heard his prayers. The fish spit him out and Jonah went to the city. Many people in the city listened to Jonah. So their lives were blessed by that fish. I think that fish was a blessing to Jonah in the way that a dramatic trial is a blessing to me after it is over.
I’m afraid I wasn’t successful in explaining this idea to my 3 year-olds. I always learn more, as a teacher, though. But they got the general idea and I gave them goldfish crackers for a snack. 🙂 I wonder what they’ll say to Mom and Dad when they ask what they learned today?
Notes from my Workamping Journal:
Although church isn’t a part of this workamping gig, it is a vital part of my life. We encourage our hosts to go to their church. We can use all the spirituality we can get.