"Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." ~Proverbs 1:7
Very often we try to teach kids things that are way too hard for them. This can be true with subjects like math and history, but can also very often be true with faith. Our faith is full of mysteries that cannot be understood this side of heaven, but we grasp at glimpses of understanding and try to pass them on to new generations. Too often we think that wisdom comes from hours of study, listening to speakers, and endless reading, where real wisdom only comes from the Holy Spirit. I think that we need to set kids up with that knowledge from the start. This is going to be hard. You might not understand it all right now. But we are going to ask the Holy Spirit to help us. And because we fear our awesome God, His wisdom will rest in us.
The Creed is definitely one of those too-hard-to-get-it-all parts of our faith. So much is packed into those words. I was thinking about the lessons that I have been creating about the Creed, and how intimidating it might look at first to kids. So, I thought I would back up the truck and make something to start us off right- to give the kids the confidence of knowing the Holy Spirit has their back when the learning gets tough.
Notes: This craft might take some explaining in two areas.
1. Owls are a symbol of wisdom- I know, I know, adults get this, but sometimes symbolism is lost on kids.
2. The term "fear of the Lord" does not mean that we tremble and quake in the presence of God. Fear of the Lord is a gift of the Holy Spirit that means that we recognize the we are small and God is AWEsome. He fills us with awe and wonder.
Ok, let's get to making this craft.
First, start saving empty toilet paper rolls. I love when people bring these to me at church. They hand me the bag with a look of slight bewilderment on their faces, and say something like, "Umm, I heard that you wanted these? It was in the church newsletter... is that right?" Meanwhile, I am squealing with delight at all of the possibilities. It is ok, my fellow parishioners already know that I am a little different.
Next, have the kids paint them a solid color. Or, if you are working with younger kids or in a time crunch, prepaint so that they are dry.
Do you see the owlness yet?
Finally, take the text of the Creed, roll it loosely and tuck it inside the owl. It should expand and fit tightly, just peeking out and making the owl a little taller. This is the time to ask your students to invoke the Holy Spirit to bring them wisdom and understanding as they study the Creed. The owl can sit on their desk or table as they work to remind them that their learning is a gift from God and they can be wise through him.
The same craft could be used with another concept- a new math unit, a tough history lesson, etc. You could even make the owl once and the have the kids tuck a paper inside with a list of the topics they think are tough. I think it would be a great way to take what could become frustration and turn it into prayer.
Here is a link to the document with the patterns and text.