Monday, June 17, 2013

Crazy Love

Over the summer I'm teaching 6th and 7th grade boys Sunday School class. Don't ask me how, but I always end up teaching boys. Probably because I'm better at holding a conversation about archery, rock climbing, knives, The Avengers, and imitating Yoda than I can about nail polish, boys, texting, volleyball, and dance. Regardless, I decided to trial run Francis Chan's Crazy Love with the guys this summer. Too deep for 6th and 7th grade boys...why not dare them? So I did. And they're digging deep for Jaime's version of "guy-talks".

A few of the questions have been revealing: "Did you ever lose someone close to you and did it rock your world?" Answers: "My grampa died when I was three--I don't remember him." Well, at least they shared. Death hasn't visited most of them yet, at least not in a poignant fashion. But when we started exploring if this was the last day of their life, what would they do differently, we got more down and dirty:

  • I'd actually agree with my Mom and do as she asks 
  • I'd try to smile more
  • I probably wouldn't go buy stuff 'cause who cares?
  • I'd want to spend time with my family
  • I'd share my faith with my friends 'cause if they thought I was stupid in a few hours I wouldn't care any more
I think the more we dug, they got a little freaked out realizing we could die today. That today might be our last. We read Revelation 4 and the challenge was to read it everyday for a week before we prayed. Would it change their prayer life?

Check it:

After this I looked, and there before me was a door standing open in heaven. And the voice I had first heard speaking to me like a trumpet said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.” At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and ruby. A rainbow that shone like an emerald encircled the throne. Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads. From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. In front of the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God. Also in front of the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal.
In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back. The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle. Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under its wings. Day and night they never stop saying:
“‘Holy, holy, holy
is the Lord God Almighty,’
who was, and is, and is to come.”
Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, 10 the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say:
11 “You are worthy, our Lord and God,
    to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
    and by your will they were created
    and have their being.”

Boys love the book of Revelation. It's like a doomsday movie. Full of massive scorpions, flesh eating grasshoppers, a dragon, blood, glory ... but these guys came to class a bit somber. 'Sup?

Did their prayer life change at all?

  • Yeah, how could I pray after reading that? Like, God is kinda scary
  • I was sorta afraid to talk to Him--it was like, intimidating
  • Wouldn't they get bored saying "holy, holy, holy" all day?
  • I figured I should probably praise him a bit before I started in on me 'cause 'woah, man'
  • I had to pray at youth group and one of the kids was like, 'dude, you pray really good', and I was like, 'yeah, like, read Revelation 4 and you'll pray good too'

The guys were a bit overcome at the awesomeness of God. No longer was he just the warm and fuzzy-bearded Jesus that did cool things for people. He was intimidating, huge...Holy.

So if we died today ...

"woah! We'd be standing right there!"

Once the realization hit the boys they were pretty quiet. The idea of actually standing before God put it all in a new perspective. Life didn't seem so flippant any more and then one kid summed it up:

"It's pretty cool that we can actually talk to God. I mean, if He's that huge and holy and all, we shouldn't be able to speak."

That's right, guys ... it's a privilege. One we take for granted and one we don't share as we should.

So aside from the fact four of the boys are now reading Crazy Love on their own (in 6th grade! yeah, I know, their moms are stunned), and aside from the fact that one kid really DID learn how to pray good...

Today, we get to come before a Holy God in all His righteous power, and we get to stand there and converse as if He were as approachable as a good friend. And, we might meet Him today, and knowing all this sort of changes our perspective because, that, my friends ... is crazy love.

Have you felt His crazy love lately?

______________________________________


Jaime Wright -

Writer of Historical Romance stained with suspense. Youth leader. Professional Coffee Drinker. Works in HR and specializes in sarcasm :)

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2 comments:

  1. I love Crazy Love...in fact, I think I'm due for a re-read. And yes, I've felt God's "crazy love" a lot lately...not just in good stuff happening, but just a deepening of prayer and worship in my own life. There's really no better time spent than time with God, yeah?

    Thanks for sharing about the Sunday school class...sounds like you've got a great group of kids!

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  2. Oh, I love this! I love hearing stories of kids getting interested in reading the Word! Haven't read "Crazy Love". Hmmm... Thanks for bringing it to my attention! Bless you, Jamie :-)

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