June 14, 2015 – Children’s Sunday Reflections

Reflections on Sunday School – Susan Goux

I’m going to tell you a little bit about Sunday School and a little bit about me.

When I was a child Sunday School was a family affair: my mother taught Sunday School and my brother, my father and I went to Sunday School. In Sunday School we learned and listened and played games and made friends.   The kids went to church camp together in the summer. Each week after Sunday School we went to church to worship. In summers I went to visit my grandmother and my aunt taught Sunday school, directed the children’s choir and everyone went to church. In fact when the children went to their Sunday School classrooms, the sanctuary of their church was divided into several sections and each was a different Sunday school area for adults. Then everyone gathered together for worship. As I got older and had children of my own, I taught a Sunday School class for High School students for many years. We had a lot of fun. My children were in the class and they even brought some of their friends with them so they could share the fun. We read the Bible and learned the stories., sometimes acting our the stories or trying out the food we read about to better connect with the words on the page. Then we talked about what it all meant to us. We also ate donuts and laughed and had a great time. The Sunday School had wonderful children’s day programs and Christmas Eve pageants. These are the things we did in Sunday School. But what did I actually learn in Sunday School?

I’ve thought a lot about why I should go to school on Sunday. Here’s how my thinking had evolved. Why do you go to school? To learn to read, write and how to put information together to think and apply to different situations, to learn what others have written down so we have a better understanding of the world around us – to learn things to help us as we live our lives and get jobs – it’s about what do you want to do when you grow up? Do you want to be a teacher, a plumber, a minister, a musician, a pilot, a computer game designer? Working hard in school will help you get the job you dream about.

Sunday school is the really the same – you read about God and Jesus, and Saul and Ruth and David and Mary all the people in the Bible and you learn from the stories of these people things that happened long ago. When you read these stories and talk about what they mean, you start thinking about what this means to you. What happened to them and was that what you wanted to happen to you? What would you do in the situations they find themselves in? Who do you want to be when you grow up? Hopefully you want to be kind, generous, happy and full of joy with friends and family to care about you even when things do go just according to plan. Can the things you learn in Sunday School help you become the person that you want to be?

One day I was thinking very hard about what I had learned in Sunday School. I was probably about 14 or so. Gradually as I was thinking about God, I felt his presence entering my heart. It stopped me and surprised me and scared me a little. I honestly didn’t know what to do. I did know I didn’t want that feeling to go away. It was a feeling of comfort and love and being cared for and it gave me confidence. I thought it was a nice to have that feeling when I was in church. Then it seemed that everywhere I went God was there with me., even when I wasn’t in church I started to talk with him, quietly, outside of church. Gradually I started to look at things differently—see the world a little differently. I started to think about what He would want me to do. It felt like he was walking with me as a friend and helper. There were many times as I grew up that I had to ask him what to do and how I should behave or what direction my life should take. I would happen across something that confused me as to what I should do. He didn’t always tell me but asked me what I thought I should do. The stories I learned in Sunday School took on a new life. I started to think about them as what God had told others, either directly or through Jesus. They were not just stories but lessons for how I could live a life that would please God and be a good life. It wasn’t always easy to hear what he had to tell me but I knew He was guiding my way for the rest of my life.

Sometimes, however, we forget to listen or are a little too busy to talk with God. And sometimes we come across some situation that it is difficult to understand what God would want us to be or do. That is why I think Sunday School is important for all ages. We all need to time to learn new things, to listen to others about what they have learned and to keep growing in our understanding of God.  On some Sunday mornings before church there are a few members of this congregation who get together to learn and listen to each other about how we can grow in our understanding of the teachings of Jesus and to talk with God. Sunday School isn’t just for little children or young people but Sunday School is for everyone. We can never stop learning about what God has to tell us.