And if you know me personally, it might not be what you think. You may (or may not) know that I lost my mother last Christmas. It was pretty awful, but this is not what changed everything.
You may have heard me say that I got the call about losing her as I was finishing the written part (one year's worth of lessons) of the Sunday School curriculum which has encapsulated her entire career as a teacher. But this commitment is not what changed me either.
After her passing, I didn't work on said lessons for a good long while. But then I realised that if I were at least working on the midweek activities, it would still feel like working with her and I would have her "with me" in a way.
So I tore into it again. I wished I could ask my mother questions occasionally, but I found I was able to call my aunt a couple of times and get a pretty good idea of what was needed. I worked furiously with every moment that I had in the office. Over the past few months and with some assistance, I poured over midweek enhancement centres, 'newspaper office' rooms, bible timelines, study-buddy nights, and even a social media focus for kids. And it did not take as long as I thought it might! Somehow (and thank you, Higher Power) it took less time in months than the time taken by the lessons they support. There is still some tweaking and editing to be done along with artwork by a brilliant lady (more on that in an upcoming post). But as far as the core content goes? It is finished.
BUT SOMETHING CHANGED ...
Guess what? *sigh* It did NOT draw me closer to my mother as expected. In so many ways I did feel like I had a better insight to her heart, but that in itself is the key as to why, in some aspect, it did NOT make me feel like she was with me.
But it did remind me that someone IS.
Yes, you've got it. Every hour I worked on this massive thing, I saw the key. I saw that the beeline to her heart was, and always had been, Jesus. Every lesson from Genesis to Revelations, every activity, and every moment that flashed back to the Old Testament references was all about one thing ... the Saviour.
And THAT changed everything for me.
But why? Friend, I have always loved Jesus and just like you, there have been times in my life when I felt a little far away from Him, even doubted God. Yes, I have bible degrees, but I am also human. I have seen theology either enhance His presence or take a front seat to a real relationship with Him. At times thinking about God has become just that ... much more cerebral than sensitive.
And then I plugged away at this curriculum that teaches both young and old about Him. Whether it was Genesis, Joshua, John or Jude, the universal message and bottom-line common thread ... was Jesus. Over and over and over again - yes, even in Jeremiah. ;)
This Jesus-is-in-Job fact did not surprise me, of course, but if I picked up a detective's magnifying glass to look DEEP into the annals of Old Testament history, I would also find Jesus even in places I might not expect. So I picked up my very own heart-powered magnifying glass ...
and I fell in love with Him all over again.
Stories, accounts, and narratives are progressive by nature. The longer you learn, read or listen the more you will increasingly understand, until you have a real grip of all the information therein. This understanding is accurate of God’s Word too. The Bible is a story, a testimony of how God deals with humanity and of His plan to redeem them. Every week, in the SLEUTH FOR THE TRUTH curriculum you find the importance of the Bible and God's Plan for man, but most importantly you find JESUS CHRIST, the "golden thread" that ties ALL of the stories together, both in Old and New Testaments.
The Sleuth for the Truth curriculum may be designed to be read in a specific order, but that can certainly be tweaked. What matters is that Jesus is mentioned EVERY. SINGLE. WEEK. So students and also their teachers will have no other option than to see Him everywhere and fall in love with Him over - and over - and over - and over again.
So this week, whether you have Semana Santa, Heilige Woche, or Holy Week, remember that Jesus speaks your language. I pray that you find Him this upcoming Easter and the ensuing days of your life in a way you least expect.