I started teaching the Middle School class on Wednesday nights, and so far I am having a great time. Our topic for this quarter is “Identity in Christ”, and because I am such a movie buff, we are approaching this subject through that venue.
Week One was “Created for Community”. I showed the clip from “I Am Legend” where Will Smith is so lonely that he tries desperately to get the mannequin in the video store to talk to him. Sounds funny, but it’s not. From there we read about God’s creation, Adam/Eve, and ended with a great discussion about how much we need each other and the importance of bonding and being accepting as a youth group.
Week Two was “Citizen of Heaven”. That week we watched a clip from “The Terminal”. The clip was close to the beginning when the JFK international terminal administrator tries to explain to Tom Hanks that he is not allowed to enter the United States, nor can he go home because his country has been overturned. He is, quite literally, a citizen of nowhere. We then read about the Israelites wandering in the desert for 40 years, and God’s not allowing them to enter the Promised Land because of their lack of trust. We ended that night with a nice little talk about how being a citizen of heaven is not just something we hope for when we die, but something we experience and live out here on a daily basis.
Week Three was from “Hook”. Dustin Hoffman’s character, Captain Hook, hates Peter Pan so much he wants to kill him. Then he decides something even worse. What would hurt Peter Pan more than death? Turn his children against him. Captain Hook tells the children that their father (Peter Pan) doesn’t really love them. He points out to Jack (the son) that his father loves Maggie (the daughter) more, and gives examples of why. It was such a PERFECT clip to demonstrate how Satan tries to deceive us. We read the passage from John 8 where Jesus calls Satan the “father of all lies”. I asked a bunch of questions: “Does Captain Hook love the children? (no) Why does he want the children to love him? (the hurt their father) What does Maggie call Captain Hook? (a liar) How does Captain Hook try to divide the children? (by telling them their father loves one of them more than the other)”. Then I had them parallel those questions with their own about how Satan does the same thing with us . . . especially how he tries to make us believe that God blesses others in ways that seem unfair to us.
I hope this class is half as much fun for them as it is for me! Now, if I can just get them to bring their Bibles to class . . .