Jun 21, 2015

The God Who Calms the Wind and the Waves

Today's Gospel reading takes me back to November 2006. I subbed in a first grade classroom, in a Catholic school. I love teaching in Catholic school, because I don't have to worry about offending any sneezers when I automatically say "God bless you."  In Catholic school, Religion is in the curriculum.

The lesson was Jesus asleep in the boat during the storm. After talking about it, we acted it out. I picked the first 12 boys in the line and said, “You’re apostles – go to the front of the room and be in the boat!” They went up front.

The next student was supposed to be Jesus – ooops – the next student was a girl. I skipped her and went to the next boy. I told him, “You’re Jesus – go get in the boat!” and he went up front. “Ok, apostles, start fishing. Jesus, go to sleep!” So the apostles cast out their imaginary Daiwa fishing rods & reels, and “Jesus” lay down.

The rest of the class was divided between wind and waves. The wind children blew noisily on the (imaginary) boat, and the wave children waved at it. I said “Apostles! You’re scared!” They opened their eyes wide and shivered. I said, “Now wake up Jesus!” and twelve boys dogpiled on this poor boy, saying,  “Wake up, Jesus! Wake up!”

He wakes up, raises his hand to the wind and waves, and says authoritatively, “Hush y’all!” Instantly the wind and waves are still. (At this point I’m thinking Jesus was from South Galilee, and trying not to laugh…) The actors took a bow, and we talked about the God who calms the wind and the sea: quite a relevant lesson for children who live on the Gulf Coast during hurricane season.

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