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Kids and Corinth

Corinth Children

One of my favourite memories from my recent trip to the ancient city of Corinth, Greece was listening to a group of children singing songs.  I think their parents must have brought them along to look at the ruins and the museum that day.  It was a hot day so it appeared that they had stopped in the shade to have a rest.  Hearing these young Greek children sing and observing them becoming increasingly shy as the song went on reminded me once again that children are everywhere in this world.   Children were in Corinth on the day of my visit and children were in Corinth when Paul was there so long ago.

Paul stayed in Corinth for 1 1/2 years.  During his time there he supported himself by working with another couple in his same trade of tent making.  The couple’s names were Priscilla and Acquila.  Paul taught the Gospel to both Jews and Gentiles.  He taught in the synagogue and the synagogue leader, among others were baptised.

Angry Jews brought Paul before the judgement seat of the Roman proconsul, Gallio, and asked the proconsul to punish Paul for converting Jews.  Paul ended up being released because Gallio saw this as a religious matter and not a governmental one.  You can read about Paul’s time in Ephesus with Priscilla and Aquila. in Acts 18:1-18

In the photo below, and behind where the group is standing, is the “bema” or raised platform from which Gallio would have judged Paul.

Judgement Seat Corinth

I’ll leave you with some final photos from Corinth.  Both are from inside the Corinth Museum.  The first photo is of toy furniture and the second a stone doll.  Both are in the Corinth museum.  Yes, there were kids in Corinth even long ago!

Miniature Furniture

Doll in Corinth

The Noble Bereans

Here I am today in Berea, Greece which is now known as Veria. We viewed a mosaic which was made to commemorate the Apostle Paul’s visit as recorded in the Bible.

Below one mosaic were some ancient steps that were part of the raised area where people used to gather to hear important people talk. Perhaps he spoke there but we do know he spoke in the synagogue.

I thought about the Jews in Berea heard the message of Christ from Paul and were willing to examine what he said. No wonder they are referred to in Acts 17:10-15 as the Noble Bereans!

As I was looking at the mosaics and a statue an artist formed of Paul, I could hear children playing in the coutyard next door. I wonder if children were nearby when Paul was speaking.

A River and a Prison at Philippi

As my trip through Greece continues We make a stop in ancient Philippi.

First we went down to the likely location of the first meeting of Paul and Lydia. Their conversation led to the baptism of Lydia and her entire household ( Acts 16:11-15).

Throughout the trip I’ve had my ears open for what children might find interesting. Today such a thought came up when discussing the fact that Lydia was a business woman who sold purple cloth. Our guide shared one gross tidbit that I know the boys in my Bible classes would find interesting. The local method of the day for making purple dye was to crush a particular kind of seashell and mix it with human feces. Yuck!

Perhaps something to share next time you teach the Bible lesson “Lydia Becomes a Christian“.

After going to the river we toured the nearby ruins of the ancient city. We viewed the market area where Lydia might have sold her wares.

In this same city Paul and Silas were beaten and thrown into jail. An earthquake later made the gates of the jail swing open and the chains on prisoners simply fall off. This led to the jailer becoming a Christian. You can read all about it in Acts 16:16-40 and the Bible lesson is at Jailer Becomes a Christian.

The photos above show jail cells at Philippi.

Happy teaching!

One Step at a Time Up to Mars Hill

2018 Mars Hill Steps

God has blessed me with an opportunity to travel through Greece over the next week. Along the way I’ll try to send some pictures and thoughts you might like to share with the children you teach.

Today I’m in Athens and typing this from the top of Mars Hill (the Areopagus).

There are ruins of temples in many places. Seeing all the temples around makes me really appreciate the Apostle Paul and how he stood on Mars Hill and shared the Good News of Christ with philosophers. You can read about that event here.

The steps leading up to the top of the rock have been worn smooth because of the millions of people who have climbed them over the years. I snapped a picture of my daughter-in-law, Olivia, climbing these treacherous steps today. These would have been the same stairs Paul would have climbed!

I think kids would enjoy scrambling over the huge rocks and picking the little yellow flowers growing between them.

2018 Mars Hill Flowers

I watched two little Arabic-speaking girls crying out “Abba, Abba” in worried voices to their dad as he leaned over a dangerous edge gathering two of the little flowers to give to them. They were all smiles when he was safely back with them and gave them the flowers.

Let’s Dance!

Dancing.sm

After crossing the Red Sea and being delivered from your enemies, what would YOU want to do?  A seven year old in my Bible class answered, “I would do this!” and then proceeded to dance around our classroom clearly demonstrating pure joy.

Sometimes the illustrations I’ve selected and the scripts from which I read simply pale in comparison to the spontaneous responses of children who hear about what God has done.

Over a span of about a month we had journeyed along with Moses and the Hebrews and felt the pain of their suffering in Egyptian bondage.  We had seen God at work through the ten plagues.  We  worked our way through the emotional experience of the night when the angel of death passed over.  We trembled as we crossed through the Red sea on dry land with great walls of water on either side of us and the enemy right on our heels.

Now, after reviewing these events one more time, I asked the children in our Bible class to imagine being a Hebrew that day and looking back over the water of the Red Sea.  I asked them to imagine the feeling of knowing that God was so strong and loved us so much that he had conquered our enemies and gotten us out of Egypt.  My question “What would you feel like doing?” was a rhetorical question so I was simply floored when this seven year old spontaneously responded in exactly the way the Hebrews did!

Then Miriam the prophet, Aaron’s sister, took a timbrel in her hand, and all the women followed her, with timbrels and dancing. Miriam sang to them:  ‘Sing to the Lord, for he is highly exalted.  Both horse and driver he has hurled into the sea.’”  Exodus 15:20-21, NIV

At that point I put other activities aside and we all did just what the Hebrews had done.  We danced in praise to God for what he had done. Never mind that we were in an upstairs room and the adults in the Bible class below us thought I had possibly lost control of my class.  (Never mind that I probably DID lose control over them for just a few moments).  Never mind that the kids danced much better than the teacher.

The fact is that we participated together in some of the most “Biblical moments” I had experienced in quite some time.

The children went on the demonstrate dance moves depicting the plagues and the Passover and the crossing through the sea.  Then, after what turned out to be a rather morbid rendition of the annihilation of Pharaoh and his army, I drew the children back in together and we participated in some quieter activities.

Once again, I thank God that I have the honour of sharing His Word with children and that so often the children become my teachers.

More ideas for teaching using movement and dance

Movement and Dance