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Sunday School Brings Bible to Life

by Francis Goon, Sunday School Teacher

The day had finally arrived. Bible Sunday. I wonder how often we Catholics read the Bible. Some more than their neighbour, I suppose. But the burning question remains within me. Do young Catholics know the Bible. A quick quiz in earlier class session revealed a more dismal and negative outlook on bible knowledge. Alright, so we are not bible scholars. The task at hand was to do a play for our audience, Form 2 Peter. That kind of put the kids in my Form 2 Paul at ease. Better them than in front of the whole congregation was the collective thoughts of these young souls. A thought quickly developed in my mind inspired no doubt by the Holy Spirit. A script for the play soon after developed. The premise was quite straight forward. Set in modern times, the character mirrors three (3) biblical characters: The Centurion, Zacchaeus, and Jairus.

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The Centurion portrayed a rather unique character. Despite practicing a different religion altogether (Roman pagan gods), he was fascinated by Judaism. This fascination led to deep respect for the Jewish community, evidenced by his willingness to build for the community Jewish temples. Furthermore, his fascination for Judaism had enable him to readily believe and thus, be given the faith to receive (for his servant) the healing power of God. It was on this premise that the character that mirrored the Centurion operated on. Zacchaeus as well portrayed a character that was relatable. The more I ponder over Zacchaeus and the sycamore tree incident, it dawned upon me that Zacchaeus curiosity for Jesus had pushed him into action: He climbed the sycamore tree. But why the sycamore tree other than the obvious fact that such a tree was near him and was at his disposal? He was aware of his physical limitation. He was a short man. But rather than wallowing in self-pity over matters beyond his control, he sought any means possible to overcome his limitations and seek what his heart wanted: A glimpse of Jesus. The evidence of this hearts desire can be seen fully in the act of Zacchaeus going through the trouble of climbing a sycamore tree. He was rewarded for his act when Jesus invited Himself to Zacchaeus home. It was on this premise that the character that mirrored Zacchaeus operated on.

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The last character in the Bible Sunday play mirrored Jairus. Jairus was an important man in the Jewish community during the time Jesus was preaching the Good News. His was a story of desperation and hopefulness. Jairus daughter was at the brink of death. When Jesus did arrive, Jairus was informed of the death of his daughter. Furthermore, he was advised not to trouble the Master. At this juncture, Jairus showed an admirable quality: faith, obedience, and patience. He had faith in Jesus when Jesus assured him and the others that his daughter was merely sleeping. He showed restrained in the midst of intense sorrow (after hearing the news of his daughters death) by listening to Jesus and obeying Him. He did not succumb to despair and anguish. He was in the presence of the Master and His words comforted him. He obeyed the voice of Jesus and remained where he was, as Jesus went to the girls room and soon after, the little girl was seen by all, alive. But I often wondered what would have been the emotion of Jairus after Jesus entered his dead daughters room. What did he expect from a healer? His faith in Jesus led him to obey the voice of Jesus and therefore wait patiently for Jesus to fulfil a fathers petition. He did not waver. He did not fret. He did not demand. The reward for his faith, obedience and patience was the joy of seeing his daughter alive again. It was on this premise that the character that mirrored Jairus operated on.

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Three (3) characters from the bible with one message: We grow into an intimate relationship with God when we are fascinated by Him, which leads to curiosity to see and end up experiencing God in an intimate way, which calls us to have faith in Him, to act in obedience to His Words, and wait patiently for God to work in our lives for His glory. That was the motive of our Form 2 Pauls play for Bible Sunday. The storyline was hammered out and copies of the script was electronically distributed using WhatsApp. The kids in class practiced and laughter mixed with moments of seriousness filled the classroom a week before Bible Sunday. On the red-letter day, as students from Form 2 Peter took their seats, curious to know what our play was about and hoping to guess them, students of Form 2 Paul took their position. At the appointed time, the students played their part as if they were on Broadway and the rest, as the expression goes, was history.

During quiz-time, students in Form 2 Peter began to guess the three (3) biblical characters and tried finding the story depicting these three (3) characters in the bible. The atmosphere was festive and we wrapped up the quiz session with a short lecture on the significance of the stories depicted in the skit. Thereafter, Form 2 Peter gave their skit and we in Form 2 Paul began to slowly understand, thanks to the students of Form 2 Peters brilliant performance of the woman caught in the act of adultery. The session ended with quiz and a short lecture by the teacher of Form 2 Peter. Overall, the Bible Sunday play presented by both classes (Form 2 Paul and Peter) were entertaining and meaningful. As we learned more about the stories in the Gospel, we come to experience our Heavenly Father in a real and intimate way through the lives of the characters who personally encountered Emmanuel.

 
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