Thursday, December 10, 2015

Tongues Of Men And Angels (2015)

In our study of the Gospels (juniors) and the Gospel of Luke (8th grade) last week, we took a one day detour and looked at love from 1st Corinthians 13. So much of the Gospels deals with the motives for our actions; Paul addresses the same issue at the beginning of his beautiful treatise: 
"If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing." (verses 1-3) 
As I have done in the past, I had my students put similar thoughts in their own vernacular, framing them with their own points of references. As they always do, they displayed a fascinating-and sometimes startling mature- grasp of life. Here is a sampling, all from 8th graders. Boys are in blue, girls are in pink, and all are used by permission:

"If I say I am a Christian but don't use God's words, what is the point of calling myself a Christian?" -Caleb S.

"If I love some people and hate others, my love is worthless." -Klyde

"If I work out and then go home and eat junk food and watch TV, I might as well not work out." -Mac

"If I worship God on Sundays but do not live according to His word on the other days of the week, I am two faced." -Victoria

"If I hate someone but say I love them, I am not the honest person I say I am." -Jasmine

"If I do good just for the gratitude of others, I might as well sit back and do nothing." -Andrew A.

"If I have a great deal of money but spend it all, I might as well be poor." -Cielo

"If I cannot focus on one girl in a relationship, how can I ever get married?" -Uwem

"If I don't trust God, I might as well stop wishing for miracles to happen to me." -Vy

"If I say I love my mom but I disobey her, I don't really love her." -Byron

"If I lie to my parents so they will let me do what I want, I should be disowned." -Lance

"If I apologize for something and then just do it again, I wasn't really sorry." -Desmond

"If I memorize the Bible but don't follow the Word, I am like one who toils for no reason." -Andrew W.

"If I believe in God but am not Godly, why even believe in Him?" -Connor

"If I talk about Jesus but make fun of others, I should have kept my mouth closed." Madison

"If I make a promise I know I will break, I should call myself untrustworthy.'' -James D.

"If I lie to get out of lies and get into trouble to get out of trouble, and I claim to love God, then I speak no Godly language.'' -Hailey P. 

"If I go to church just to warm the seat, I should have stayed outside." Walter

"If I want to be a cheerleader but only for the boys, I might as well not cheer at all." -Bria

"If someone tells me a secret but I tell other people, you shouldn't trust me." -Jordyn

"If I compliment someone then turn around and judge them, I should not have said the compliment in the first place." -Lillian

"If I get made fun of but I don't help another kid being made fun of, why should I be helped?" Zach

"If I volunteer but don't put effort into it, I should not volunteer." -Dillon

"If I love God but not the Bible, how will I know He loves us?" -Kaleb B.

"If I see someone being bullied but just stand there and watch, I just as guilty as the bully." -Brian

"If I tell my mom I'm going to the library but go to the movies with a boy, I should have stayed home." -Alexi

"If I say I'm grateful but I am not willing to give to the poor, then I'm not grateful" -Mikey

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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