Israel’s story is a lot like the story of every other civilization — Their society rises and prospers (and things go well, miraculously well, even), so they think God is on their side. Then their society declines and collapses (with no miracles to save the day), so they think God hates them. But being convinced of the faithfulness of God, they are forced to re-think God in terms beyond your everyday petty tribal deities…
Whatever culture/community you’re in, it holds together because of shared hatred for someone, someone you blame for your community’s biggest problems. Your job is to find that someone, and be a friend to them. Then sit back and prepare to be hated. If you love the wrong people, your people will hate you. Love will expose and disrupt the organized hate that holds your society together; don’t expect them to thank you. I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Church potlucks will turn into lynch mobs in your honor, but fear not. Even if they do their worst and kill you, they won’t be able to defeat you.
Let’s admit it: Han shot first. Han Solo is a cold-blooded murdering thug, not to mention a slimy double-crossing no-good swindler. At the same time, Han Solo is awesome. He is one of us. I have a similar problem with my Judeo-Christian heritage. My spiritual forebears were spittle-emitting genocidal religious fanatics. I am one them; they are my people. But what I discover in the Bible is a God who is subverting our violent mythologies from within, taking us all somewhere we have never been before…
Below are video playlist resources for families and groups reading Chapter 10 of Brian McLaren’s We Make the Road by Walking. I’m using this with my kids this week, and I will make the full resource available in about 8 weeks, via the free email subscription. Subscribe to get the complete weekly resource with teaching scripts, children’s Bibles, coloring pages, resources for different learning modalities, and ideas for extending the conversation throughout the week. See subscription form to the right –> Main Playlist Secondary Texts Extras
The main playlist this week consists of “Bondage” from Prince of Egypt, a clip from World Vision about child labor, a good visual telling of the story of how slavery is part of our life in the modern world, “When You Believe” from Prince of Egypt, and a story of one boy in India who came out of slavery and now helps other kids do the same. (~15 minutes)
The Bible so far has brought up various theories about how God deals with “bad people” — like how God could just kill all the bad people, for example — but those solutions really haven’t solved the problem of people being bad. This week, another theory arises from these stories about brothers . . .
Bible stories don’t give us morals; they give us models of how the universe works. If we share our stories with our kids this way, perhaps they won’t find them so breathtakingly dull. Part of what we have in the Bible is a bunch of mental models, and what we need in our family is a shared way of talking about them… INTRODUCING: Systems Thinking.
COMING SOON to this site: 1). A constantly-evolving set of 52 resource-packed pages for Making the Road with Kids; 2). Weekly emails of resources synched with Brian’s recommended calendar; 3). Resources organized according to age group, learning modality, and spiritual style; 4). New ways to interact with other parents and church folks. We are, after all, making this road together.
Extinction events (like during the climate turmoil, flooding, and mass die-off at the end of the last Ice Age) are hard times to hold on to the belief that God loves and cares for his creatures. But our people took the “The gods want us all dead!” story and tweaked it. The result is a story about a guy named Noah…