Our Sunday School likes to children to learn bible verses. They encourage them to learn verses by giving them a reward each Sunday that they not only learn one, but share it with the Sunday School during opening.
Evan has been attending Sunday School since he was three, which is- coincidentally- when they started this nifty little learning tool. My mom goes to Sunday School with the boys, and tells me all about Evan’s ‘bible verses’.
Evan didn’t learn verses his first year in Sunday School. He was shy, and speaking into the microphone would have paralyzed him.
But the second year… When every single Sunday, he’d stand up, and shout say into the microphone, ‘GOD IS LOVE’ or ‘JESUS LOVES ME’
Yes, honey. Jesus does love you. But that is not a bible verse. He didn’t understand why he wasn’t getting pins. And helping him learn a new one wasn’t helping, he’d learn it, parrot it back just fine, and then every Sunday morning, he’d inform the entire Sunday School that Jesus loves him.
Last year was even better. Evan gave sermons. Long sermons. There might be a bible verse in there somewhere, and when there was, he got a pin (he had the most memory verse pins for the 3 and 4 year old class, by far). But when the pastor has to take the microphone away from him because he’s giving a sermon… well, no wonder my neck aches from all the head shaking.
This year, we are determined that it will be different. He will learn verses! He will have a new verse every single week! He won’t stand up there and give a sermon on them!
Cody needed to learn a verse. He had an ‘incident’ at school, and I wasn’t happy about it. Explaining that it was bad wasn’t good enough (never is with him), so I needed a reason. Of course, I went to the bible and found this lovely verse:
A good tree cannot bear bad fruit. A bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Matthew 7:18
Aha! It’s perfect! Behave well, you get good rewards. Behave badly, you get bad rewards. (It might not be the right reason, but for a 9 year old who was caught behaving badly, it works.) Taught it to him. Made him memorize it. He wasn’t perfect (can’t instead of cannot and grow instead of bear), but luckily, the Sunday School is ok with paraphrasing. Cody learned that verse. So did Evan.
When it came time to share our weekly verses, Evan’s little hand shot up in the air. They waited until everyone else had said their verses (which is good- you never know what you’re going to get with Evan, be it a bible verse or a pint sized sermon on why we should love Jesus, since Jesus loves us) and then Evan got up and shouted said ‘A GOOD TWEE CAN’T GWOW BAD FWUIT. A BAD TWEE CAN’T GWOW GOOD FWUIT.’ And then, the best part.
‘MAT YOU 7 18!’
I wonder if there was cheering. Surely, a standing ovation. Because Evan not only got it right, it’s something new, and does not have God, Jesus, or love in it.