Noah Teaches Sunday School

Categories: Noah

One Sunday morning, after my shower (during which I do some of my best Sunday School prep work!), I reached for a hooded striped robe. As I tied the belt, I noticed that the robe was reminiscent of Bible times. I kept it on, used cork and make-up to create a darker complexion and a beard, put on sandals, and queried the reflection in the mirror, "Do I look like Noah?" It didn't matter. The story of Noah was part of that week's lesson plan, and I was going to Sunday School as Noah to teach it.

When I got to church, I took the little chairs for the pre-school group and placed them in ark formation. The seats were on the outside of the boat. I took some newsprint paper and put it over the top of the chairs to create a roof. I was able to scavenge plastic animals from the toy ark in the nursery. As the children entered the class, they selected animals that would be their partners.

Opening exercises were on the outside of the ark, and then the students strolled in two-by-two. When we were all sitting quietly in the boat, I rhythmically tapped my fingers on the paper to make it sound like rain.

Other Sunday School teachers and attendants were Noah's wife and children. We talked about what God had asked Noah to do and why. Then we mentioned how many days we had been floating. I asked the children what we should do next.

One little boy suggested we pray, so I asked for volunteers to pray. One little girl started, "Our Father, which art in heaven." Noah's wife explained that was a great beginning, but Noah and his family didn't have that prayer yet. The children got very quiet. One little girl sat clutching her pig with her eyes closed and said, "We're afraid. Please save us." Another chimed in, "Yeah, I don't want to drown." Lastly, one four year old said very clearly, "Dear God, you got us into this mess, and please get us out. Thank you, Amen."

When we sent the dove (one of the children) out of the ark and she returned with an olive branch, the children cheered. One of the attendants put up a colorful rainbow. Sunday School concluded with a discussion of God's rainbow promise. It was the fastest moving class I've ever taught. The three and four year olds were at rapt attention. No one needed a bathroom break or a glass of water. After class the children found their parents and brought them in to meet Mr. and Mrs. Noah. One little girl, who routinely had trouble separating from her parents, reluctantly boarded the boat at the start of class. But, this week there was not a single tear. At the end of Sunday School, she hugged Noah and his wife, and said, "I loved it. Can we do this again?" She never cried again in Sunday School. There are so many ways to capture the students' imaginations and involve them in learning about our Bible friends.

G. Austin-Lett San Jose, CA