April 23, 2012

What Happens to Moses?

We had only been dating for a couple of weeks.

It was dreary, cold fall day so we decided to spend the afternoon watching TV. Our channel surfing landed on The Ten Commandments, Charlton Heston-style.

We watched as the Egyptians chased Moses to the Red Sea.

“Oh my gosh! What’s gonna happen? They’re not going to make it.” My afternoon companion leaned forward, gripped by the drama. I looked at him, dumbfounded.

“Um, it’s the Ten Commandments,” I reminded him.

“I know,” he said. “I’ve never seen this movie before.”

At that moment, I knew I needed to take another dip in the dating pool. 

But 15 years later, the story is a painstaking reminder: Lots of people don’t know the basic stories of the Bible. They don’t know that God through Moses parted the Red Sea, protecting the Israelites and giving us another example of how God can work things out even when we, in our humanness, can’t see any solution. 

They haven’t heard about the loaves and fishes or the promise of eternal life. 

It’s hard for those of us in the church to even fathom. But we don’t have to look far to find people untouched by the living word of God. And even for those in the pews every Sunday, Biblical literacy is low. Somehow, somewhere we lost touch with these ancient stories, forgetting how they help form and mold our faith, then and now. 

As the program year winds down, some churches are beginning to evaluate and decide what curriculum they’ll offer next year. I urge congregations to consider curriculums that explore the major Bible stories.  Create a safe space for people to ask questions about Abraham and Isaac, about all the begatting – and why that matters. 

For the last few years, my churches have used the curriculum, Weaving God’s Promises. Developed by the Rev. Canon Joanna Leiserson, the curriculum is targeted for children, weaving the great stories of the Bible into the liturgical seasons of the church. I know there are other, similar programs out there -- share them here, with your recommendations! 

We’ve found that adults are hungry for these stories and connections as well. We don’t get out the glue sticks for themed crafts each week, but we read the same Scripture as the children and explore the stories lectio divina-style. 

It’s amazing how many “Aha” moments the adults experience. We might even be ready to watch The Ten Commandments