This is some refinement I’ll be working into my Genesis chapters 1 and 2 classes this Fall.
It’s how I show that as Creation progresses, the things created are more like God. Once this graph is done, we move on to Eve, marriage, and God’s command to be fruitful and multiply. That completes our look at Chapters 1 and 2. We then look at sin in chapter 3. But this year, I’m going to draw a bit more to make a bridge between the bliss of Chapter 2 and the Fall in Chapter 3.
I usually stop the graph at Adam as shown. But this year, when God makes Eve, I’ll erase Adam’s head, and draw both Adam and Eve standing next to each other with some space between them. Then when we get to God’s commandment to be fruitful and multiply, I’ll draw in some kids, and the top of the graph will look like this:
Then I envision this sort of discussion:
“So y’all tell me about the humans on this graph. Well, they’re happy in Eden I guess. Yes, but I mean tell me about them on the graph. They’re the highest! Yes! Which means? They’re the best! Yes! Now watch this…[I draw]…now tell me about them.
They’re on a mountain! Yes, and how do they see all the other plants and animals? They look down. Yes. And how might that make them feel? Umm…important? Yes, and….like they are the boss? Yes, and…they can do what they want. Yes, maybe so. But what if they look up? They see God. Yes, and how do they feel then? Like God is important. Yes. Now if you see the Moon from the ground, but later you see it from the top of a mountain, are you closer to the Moon while you’re on the mountain? Yes. Does the Moon look any bigger? I don’t think so. Right; only a tiny, tiny bit that makes no difference. You may as well be at the bottom. But tell me about when you look down from the mountain. You see everything! Yes, it makes a big difference when you look down. Now tell me about looking up to someone. Like my parents? Yes. Well? They take care of us. Yes. And how about looking down on someone, y’all ever done that? Nobody? Well I have, and it’s probably my worst habit. That reminds me, let’s jump ahead to one of Jesus’ parables. See if y’all can tell it.
“Two people went up to the temple area to pray; one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector.” The Pharisee was bad! Like how? He thought he was better than everybody else. And was he? No. Right: “O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity—greedy, dishonest, adulterous—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week, and I pay tithes on my whole income.” And the tax collector? He was sorry to God. Yes: “…the tax collector stood off at a distance and would not even raise his eyes to heaven but beat his breast and prayed, O God, be merciful to me, a sinner.” Which man did Jesus prefer: the proud man or the humble one? The humble one. Why? Well, he was sorry for his sins? Yes, that’s a good answer. And the proud Pharisee— how about his sins? He didn’t think he had any. But did he? Yes. Right. We know for sure one sin he had, tell me when you know: “I am not like the rest of humanity—greedy, dishonest, adulterous—or even like this tax collector.” He was looking down on the tax collector! Yes, and putting himself up high, like he was God’s buddy.
So are you most likely to feel humble- or proud- when you look down on someone? Proud. Yes, and if you look up to someone? Humble. Yes, good.
Now we’re about to start on Chapter 3 in Genesis, the business with the snake. Y’all be ready to explain what pride and humility have to do with Adam and Eve’s sin, and our sins, too— there’s more to it than just eating an apple.”
3. Drawings can be more than illustrations: they should also be teaching tools.
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Lisa Mladinich says
Great teaching tips, Christian!
I always learn something new from you.
Cay Gibson says
Definitely passing this on to my teachers this year.
I should add that time permitting, I will probably digress for 30 seconds on “beating his breast”, and get the kids to connect it to the Confiteor at Mass; and another 30 seconds on my own bad Pharisee habits.