"The solution is to be found through the sanctification of the parents. Become saints and you will have no problems with your children." Father Porphyrios , Wounded By Love

Monday, June 9, 2014

Teaching Ten - 10 Commandments


 We're in the process of teaching the 10 Commandments throughout our Orthodox summer religious education classes, and although we don't have an established curriculum, there have been many resources that I'd like to share in case others might need them. It could be a great Vacation Bible School program as well.

We teach one commandment every week, adding them to our two plaques cut out of cardboard. Along with the short lesson, we are watching small portions of this animated video  posted on youtube each week.  It really does seem that as the story of the Prophet Moses unfolds, so do the lessons of the 10 Commandments along with it. The kids are really enjoying the video. I find it well done, even if the Prophet Moses was not so muscular.

First 4 -              Mans’ relationship with God
Last 6   -            Man’s relationship with fellow man

1.      I am your God. There are no other gods except me.
2.      Do not believe in other fake idols. Worship only God.
3.      Do not use the Lord's name without serious purpose.
4.      Work 6 days and dedicate the seventh for God.
5.      Honor your father and mother.
6.      Do not kill anyone or anything - including even a bug!Life is from God.
7.      Honor and respect marriage between one man and one woman
8.      Do not steal.
9.      Do not tell lies
10.  Do not be jealous of others.

Intro: Begin a discussion on how we know what right and wrong is? Ask for examples to be given of good behavior and bad. Where did we learn this? Most often answered, from our parents. And "Who" is the greatest Father of us all? God, who wanted us to have a set of rules to follow, so that we may live in harmony with His desire for us, and the world. These guidelines are called the 10 Commandments.

1st Commandment - God reveals "who" He is so that we may worship Him correctly. He tells us His Name (YAHWEH) We know our God created the World and everything in it. He says He is the Alpha and the Omega or the beginning and the end. And as Orthodox Christians, we know God to be 1 in 3 persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, just as we have mind, word and breath within the same person, Christ is the Word, the Holy Spirit the Breath all within the same one God. Video footage: The birth of Moses and his early childhood facing the cruel behavior of Pharoah, Moses attempting to do good

2nd Commandment - God cautions us to take care not to fill our lives with so many other things that there is no room for Him. Nothing can or should replace God in our lives, nor the time we devote to Him each day. Just as it is important to worship Him in Truth, as we learned from the 1st Commandment, now we must take care only to worship and honor Him as the only God. Identify together examples of false idols (see handout) or ask your teens to cut out "idols' from popular magazines. Especially super-heros and videogame figures today! Discuss trendy statues and how acceptable it is to display these in store windows and homes today, along with putting our faith or hope in superstitions, astrology horoscopes, fortune telling, and magic. (All of which if we have participated in, we need to confess!) Video footage: Moses before Pharoah, who calls upon power of magicians and says Pharoah is "god" Eventually led to desert, the Jews make a gold calf

3rd Commandment - How many times do we here people yell out "O My God!" Can you imagine if God turned His attention each time, only to be told..."oh nevermind...I didn't really mean to call for you?" This is a common slip up but it can show our lack of respect for God's name. Let us teach instead to use our Lord's name only in prayer and doxology!

4th Commandment: This is a good chance to ask our children how often and when they remember God? Do they think of Him first thing in the morning? How about during a lesson at school, or in an afternoon sport? When we are busy, do we remember God is with us or do we treat Him like He is invisible? God knows that our day is filled with many tasks...and for this reason, He asks us not to forget Him by making sure we purposely stop everything else.

Our craft was to decorate these boxes as our "Kivoto" or Tabernacle that Aaron was tasked to build to house the plaques and for Moses to enter in to speak with God. We glued a square laminated card inside listing the 10 Commandments which were visible through the window, and decorated the outside colorfully with paints and decals. We also encouraged the students to only put religious items inside (a small cross, or icon card they may receive as a gift, a prayer rope, etc.) and to keep the box near their icons at home... The boxes were purchased here 


5th Commandment - Honor your father and mother.

The relationship between Christ and His mother, the Panagia is an excellent example of this from the wedding at Cana. Although it wasn't time yet for Christ to begin His formal ministry, upon request of His mother, He did. Which is why we believe He still to this day hears the prayers/intercessions of the Mother of God on our behalf. Also, the obedience of Christ to the Father can be cited. For younger kids, the message is one of respect for the parents who have sacrificed and provided for you, even when we disagree with our parents. It is not blind obedience, but one from Holy Scripture, for which Father would give the child a stone if he asked for bread?
We learn to trust and love the parents who care for us, because parenthood is a God-given responsibility. Not like a pet we can go out and buy, or give away, etc.


6th Commandment -
Do not kill anyone or anything - including even a bug!
Life is from God. This is a great chance to emphasis where life comes from, how we were made in His image when God breathed life into the dirt of the Earth, and how if we stop breathing, a.k.a. without that "breathe" we die/return to dust...therefore being in this world, we are like God's respiratory system, breathing because of Him and with Him! Since we are not the authors of life, it is not our right to take life. For older ones, the chance to mention suicide, abortion if appropriate. Some Orthodox elders were sad to walk on grass for even it is living! Possibly mention the harmony amongst all living creatures as bearers of His image.

7th Commandment 
(You shall not commit adultery) Honor and respect marriage between one man and one woman. This command reversed the communal living of polygamy of the Jews and strengthened the bond of commitment, that through the mystery of marriage, like Christ with His Church, we co-journey to heaven with one partner. Our symbol of this unity is even manifested physically, like a key that fits only one lock!  God does not bless same-sex unions, two mommy's, or homosexual lifestyle choices, as difficult as it is for some to avoid the temptation. There was one Adam, and one woman created for Adam, Eve.


8th Commandment -
  Do not steal.
Remember, this begins with taking something as a child, without asking a parent.Anything that does not belong to the person, or was purchased by them. The virtue is one of obedience, and always seeking the blessing before doing something, rather than acting on our desires/wants or passions. It teaches us discipline and not to desire material items, which often is the motive behind the act of stealing. If something is needed, our heavenly Father provides, or we work hard to earn what we would like.


9th Commandment -  
Do not tell lies
Lying is the opposite of Christ, for He said He is the Truth. THE truth, not one of many truths. The evil one is the deceiver of all, and when we lie, we are working together, in conjunction with him rather than with Christ. There is nothing we should be ashamed of,  or worry about when telling the truth. When we tell the truth, we stand with Christ, and His power will strengthen us.

10th Commandment - Do not be jealous of others.
Again, another root of sin which is pride, and thinking only of one's self. Desiring something, whether it be an item or a characteristic of some one else is a lack of gratitude for what one does have, and all of God's blessings. It is a comparison of ones self to another, and it is selfish because jealousy desires for you to have it in the end. Sometimes this can lead to scheming and more negative thoughts, even before action is ever taken. Sin begins in the desire. Being satisfied and thankful are the ways to avoid this sin.

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails