I’m doing the final editing for the next DiscipleTown unit, “How to Make Good Choices” due out March 15th. Hard to believe I’ve written six of these! (and that I have 18 more to go!) I always marvel how each and every unit convicts me and how each unit seems to be exactly what I needed to review in my own walk with God and how much I enjoy developing a four week spiritual journey for children to explore as so that they can grow closer to Jesus and become better disciples.
Let me share one of my favorite elements from lesson three, it is a routine I use with my puppet, Gus. Of course, in the curriculum Gus’ name gets dropped (Sorry Gus!) so that teacher’s can replace him with their own puppet, I remember this routine fondly for both the humor and yet the poignant impact this routine has made many times on children. It’s a description, not a script, but you’ll get the idea:
Puppet has a black eye, a broken arm, and bandages all over his body. Leader asks what is wrong and says, “I hope you didn’t try to fight sin to the death like you were talking about last week!” Puppet says, “Oh, no. I did this all by myself.” Leader looks shocked, “You did this yourself? Were you in some kind of terrible accident?” Puppet says, “Oh, no. It wasn’t an accident. I did it on purpose.” Leader is even more shocked, “On purpose!? You did this on purpose? But why on earth would you do this on purpose?” Puppet looks sad and solemn. “Because I’m such a bad puppet. I needed to be punished.” Leader looks very concerned, “Punished? Punished for what?” Puppet continues, “Oh, I’m too embarrassed to tell you. But you said last week to turn to God and I’d stop sinning. Well, it didn’t work. I sinned again. And since I know better than to try and fight sin, I decided to beat myself up instead. I wanted to teach myself a lesson. God can’t have bad people on His team, you know. I’ve got to knock some sense into myself—beat myself into submission, you know. I tried to knock myself into the middle of next week. What is today’s date, by the way?” Leader is shocked and sad. “Oh, Puppet, you don’t need to beat yourself up. God will forgive you.” Puppet looks up, “Oh, I know He did, but not again and again.” Leader says, “Yes, again and again, and then again and again and again and again.” Puppet asks, “And then … again and again?” Leader smiles, “And then again and again.” Puppet says, “And then again?” Leader says, “And then again.” Puppet asks, “How many agains?” Leader says, “Until you’ve lost track.” Puppet says, “I already have.” Leader: “Then you still have more agains left over.” Puppet, looking more cheerful: “That’s a lot of agains!” Leader smiles: “As many as you need—that’s how much He loves you.”
Jesus sure has given me a lot of “agains” and I know I have a tendency to beat myself up to. I recently was with a good friend and brought up a sin I had committed in the past and this godly leader cut me off, looked me in the eye and said, “Do you believe in the cross?” I said “Of course,” and this person said, “then don’t ever mention your sin to me again. Just keep moving forward and serving the Lord.” Wow. That’s far as the East is from the West! We need more Christians like that, don’t we? We teach this stuff to our children, but sometimes its so hard to live and believe it for ourselves!
What are you beating yourself up for? What do you keep reminding yourself of?
Jesus has as many “agains” as we have sins. Need another “again?” He’s got one for ya!