I was setting up the video for last Friday's lesson, when to my surprise, in came a student with our un-enrolled Seminary student! I was delighted! I was so distracted that I forgot to celebrate one of the student's birthdays, in fact, but it was all good.
I started out by describing the setting where Elijah comes in to the picture. Ahab is the king. But is he king of Judah or Israel, and how can they know? The kids guessed for a second, and then someone remembered they could look it up in the Bible Dictionary chronology entry I showed them the day before. Ahab was super evil, the worst king yet (see 1 Kings 16:30-33 and 1 Kings 21: 25-26). Elijah tells Ahab there will be a famine and he goes into hiding.
Now I showed the kids the movie about Elijah and the widow. I handed them all a scratch sheet of paper and had them note the times they saw Elijah or the widow acting in faith. After the video, I explained, we would go to the tables to discuss our findings. The video is on the OT Resource 2-DVD collection, or you can see it on YouTube:
The video is about 10 minutes long, and so I made sure to summarize quickly so we'd have time to discuss.
After the video was over, we talked some time about how Elijah and the widow acted in faith. This discussion was pretty good. I didn't have any particular questions written down, and so I just went with whatever the kids said. We talked maybe 10 minutes about this.
After that, I described what happened with the priests of Baal, but briefly. I stressed verse 21 "why halt ye between two opinions." This reminded me of a story my Seminary teacher told me from her childhood. Her family had a Brahma bull that lived in a pen with a wooden fence. If you were outside the fence or inside the fence, he ignored you. But if you sat on the wooden fence, that bull would ram the boards with his horns to try to knock you inside. We talked about how this demonstrated how it's impossible to be a fence-sitter very long. We have to choose.
This story, by the way, did not have the same powerful effect on my students that it did on me when I was in Seminary :S Oh well.
Next we talked about Obadiah and his actions. We talked about the broken disused altar (verse 30) and why Elijah sought a sign for the people. He wasn't putting on a good show -- he was about changing hearts. It worked (verse 39).
My lesson objective was to help the kids be inspired to choose God and that faith in God results in sustenance, both physical and spiritual. The kids were pretty light-hearted, and so while the discussion and movie were good I can't say this was a solid hit. Maybe there was just too much to cover in one day. I did have Elijah split up into 2 days, but perhaps 3 would have been better.
Anyway, I could tell by the end that the mini-lesson on making choices was not hitting home for the un-enrolled student. He was closing in a little. I don't know him well enough to be able to tell what was going on. I was sure to speak with him afterward and followed up with a little FB note thanking him for coming, but I was pretty sure he'd not be back. He wasn't in class yesterday. I mentioned him today, and I hope that the kids will follow up and invite him back. He's a good kid and not only will my students benefit from having him in class, he'd benefit, too.