The fire, the snake and the blood

Dawn Reed Times Columnist

March 28, 2014

Some Bible stories are super easy to teach. Like Baby Jesus being born … there’s a stable, animals, shepherds and sheep. It’s exciting and surprising. Kids love it! And the stories of when Jesus healed people, and that He loves the little children … easy stuff.

Some stories are not so easy to teach because I’m afraid of what the kids will try at home.

During the last few weeks, we have been studying about Moses. My kiddies love the part about the mean king (Pharaoh) and make a mean face. They gasped when I told them that he did not love God. (We want everybody to love God!) They were stunned when I told them that he wanted to get rid of all the baby boys and have them all thrown in the river. I asked if we had any boys in class.

“I’m not going in the river!” Jaxon yelled. “I’ll kick that mean king in the head!” (He’s three.) I told him we couldn’t kick anybody in the head and that it was a story in the Bible.

Next class, we focused on the burning bush. They love that the bush was on fire but did not burn up. They learned that God spoke to Moses out of it. We talked about not playing with fire at home.

The next part of that exciting true story was when God told Moses to throw down his staff. It turned into a snake! The boys loved it and the girls didn’t. We talked about not picking up snakes at home and to always tell an adult if they saw one. Moses went to Egypt like God told him, but Pharaoh said “No!” when Moses told him to let his people go. (We marched around the table and sang, “Pharaoh, Pharaoh, Oh, Baby, let my people go! Huh! Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.”)

Then, we were ready to study the plagues! My most brilliant idea EVER was about the plague of blood. I planned to get a large glass jug and pre-sweeten it for cherry Kool-Aid. I would tell them that when Pharaoh would not let the people go, God turned the water into blood. I would sprinkle the cherry Kool-Aid into the pre-sweetened water and it would turn red. It would be SOOO COOL! Then, because we always have a snack, I would just get them to drink the red Kool-Aid. (I’m pretty sure Jesus rolled His eyes in heaven when I was thinking this through!)

Twenty-four hours later, I started re-thinking the drinking of the red Kool-Aid. After changing the water to red, I’m pretty sure all of them would have told their parents they had drunk blood in class. This, along with handling snakes and playing with fire, would have certainly put me on the “First Teacher to Let Go” list.

For the lesson, I got a large vase of water and sat it in the middle of the table. We reviewed the story of Moses we had learned so far. I told them to close their eyes and then sprinkled the cherry Koolaid in the top of the vase. I continued the story, “Because Pharaoh would not obey, God turned the water into blood.”

“Open your eyes!” I announced gladly. (I still thought it was an awesome idea at that point.) I wish you could have seen it! The red in the Kool-Aid started swirling in the water at first and then slowly seeped to the bottom turning the entire vase bright, BLOOD red! It was so cool!

Adrionna burst into tears! She was horrified at the sight of all the “blood”! She thrust her head into her MiMi’s side. (MiMi is a co-teacher.) “It’s not REAL blood!” I exclaimed. “It’s cherry Kool-Aid!” I rushed to the garbage can and got out the Kool-Aid envelope. “It’s cherry Kool-Aid, everybody!” I said again. “Let me let you smell it. It’s cherry!” Everyone took a turn smelling the Kool-Aid, which was NOT blood. I hurried to the restroom to pour it out!

On Wednesday, we had a new guest, Brody. He had had the very best time and was doing great. His Nanna went on to “big” church while he was in class. He had laughed with the other boys and was having a snack. While the kids ate, I reviewed the lessons we had been studying. Suddenly, Brody started crying that he needed his Nanna, and was inconsolable. I sneaked into the back of the sanctuary to fetch her.

When I asked a little later what had happened, Nanna told me he got scared when we were talking about blood. Dad-gum-it! I was glad he hadn’t been there the week before!

This week, we are going through the Red Sea.