Reviewing and renewing Biblical faith through story and study

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Jan 14: 4H-SS Teachers

Lesson Title: Glimpses of God – In the Beginning
Lesson Date: January 14

Sabbath School teacher’s 4H questions
Good questions are worth their weight in gold. Questions are most useful when they probe the edges of our knowledge base or comfort zone. Here are some questions to get you thinking beyond the box as you prepare to teach this Sabbath’s lesson to your class.

Head
building a foundation of knowledge

1. Sunday’s lesson mentions Ps 14:1 “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’” This verse implies there were atheists in David’s day and that he thought the idea was foolishness. What might it have been like to be an atheist in a world rampant with belief in gods of all shapes and sizes? How might the plight of the atheist in David’s day have been similar to that of the monotheist?

2. When is recreation re-creation? Often holidays leave us more tired than revived. What times of recreation truly re-create you — physically, spiritually, emotionally?

Heart
learning to love what God loves

1. Monday’s Lesson explores Job 38:4-7. This passage considers the planning and preparation that went into creation and the joy this brought the angels. Continue reading verses 8-11. How do tsunami’s show sin’s effect on Creation? How must they affect the heart of God?

2. How is Sabbath a day of recreation helping you relax and unwind?
How is Sabbath a day of re-creation helping you heal and renew?

Hands
choosing to act as God desires

1. The second half of Monday’s lesson compares God’s love to a mother bird preparing a nest and teaching the babies to fly. God prepared a nest for Adam and Eve and (similarly to most birds) they were ejected from it. For many birds, there are no gentle flying lessons repeated over time. It’s a jump or a push and a new life – of flight.

How do these two examples (Eden’s exit and leaving the nest) reflect your reality? Have there been times when you jumped or were pushed into the next phase of life? What did this act of “forced re-creation” create in you? Have there been times when you were gently shaped over time? Which do you prefer?
Consider times when you were involved in shaping other people – Have you shaped through both gentle moulding and tough love? How do these acts of re-creation of life reveal our connection to and reflection of God?

2. What Sabbath habit could you maintain that would re-create (renew) you personally each week?
What Sabbath tradition could you practice that would re-create (renew) your family each week?

Horizon
exploring the Kingdom beyond my walls

1. Sunday’s lesson explains the void/filled paradigm of creation week. Day 1 to 3 created environments, which were filled on day 4-6 (1/4, 2/5, 3/6). This ordering of space and then filling of it is also used by liberal Christians (who believe in evolution) to show that God is a God of order – gradually preparing ahead of time what he was planning long in the future. How could you use this common ground to develop a friendship with a liberal Christian? How could the Sabbath be a day of celebration to both ways of thinking?

2. In the new-Earth what re-creation (creation made new) are you most looking forward to? Why?
In the new-Earth what recreation (enjoyable moment or event) are you most looking forward to? Why?

2012 SS-Challenge
As your conference Sabbath School Director, it is my SS-Challenge to your Sabbath School to start a midweek small group meeting. To assist in this endeavour, I have created a study guide for your use. This study guide explores the 28 core teachings of the Seventh-day Adventist Church using the 4H model. It is open, inclusive, discussion oriented and non-judgemental. People of all ages and spiritual levels will enjoy your “28 Stories Small Group.”

The 4H approach to Bible study was developed while preparing the 28 Stories small group guide/journal. Here is an excerpt from Study 15 – “Very Good”.

Jesus extended a hand to Adam and helped him to his feet. Then draping His arm across the shoulders of His new creation, the two of them looked out over the glorious Garden of Eden. The sun shone full from behind them causing the river and everything beyond to shimmer and shine in it’s reflected brilliance.

The Creator spoke, turning to place His free hand on the man’s chest, “Adam, you are but shadow and breath,” and then with a sweeping gesture taking in all that was before them, He finished, “And yet, for you the universe was made!”

Jesus and Adam walked through the Garden. Jesus explained to Adam the amazing things that had taken place in the last six days. The entire world around them had taken shape—light, land, sea, sun, moon, rivers, trees, day and night.

Then Jesus said, “But today is special, Adam! Today I created and named you.”

“And I thank you,” Adam said. “I am greatly honoured to live in your paradise and care for your Creation.”

“And I am honoured to have you as my servant,” Jesus answered. “Serve me faithfully—with all your heart, all your mind and all your soul—and you will be fulfilled and happy.”

The 28 Stories Study Guide is available from the Adventist Book Centre.